Tourism has certainly grown manifold especially in the last decade or so; today tourism has morphed into Eco-tourism, safari/ jungle tourism and more of the same. Since various travelers are looking for that one-of-a-kind experience, most tourism companies have decided to offer customized travel packages that cater to their taste. This is why tourism today is more about the niche and experience other than the destination itself. Let’s take a closer look at some of the positive and negative effects of tourism.
Positive impact of tourism:
Tourism often results in the development of the local economy; this is one of the reasons why most countries allocate a large part of their resources to develop the same.
- Economy: An influx of tourists can certainly help boost the local economy, it should certainly provide the locals with more employment, more opportunities, and this, in turn, should result in improved infrastructure which should benefit both the visitors and locals alike. And the influx of more tourists and foreign exchange should help boost the economy as well. It should also create a cascading effect on local industries including retail, transportation and result in more job opportunities.
- Environment: while it can be argued that tourism can impact the local environment, governments have woken up to the fact that travelers often prefer pristine destinations with local flora and fauna intact. This is why of late, there is a decided focus in a few nations, form China to India to preserve and protect their environment. The focus on saving the local environment can only be attributed due to tourism and the interest shown by certain travelers on the same.
- Culture: Many tourist companies have cottoned onto the idea that travelers often prefer the exotic which is why these companies have stated marketing some of the local cultural festivals, handicraft expo and more of the same to generate interest in select destinations. And it certainly seems to work as there is often a large ingress of tourists, especially during the festival season.
Negative impact of tourism:
Tourism also does come with a few negatives
- Economy: Tourism does have a cascading effect on the economy and while most of it is all good there are a few negatives. An influx of a large number of travelers can have an inflationary effect on some of the local products and services. Tourism can also cause some of the local property prices to shoot up, depending on the demand generated. The hike in select products, services can become a strain on the local population which in turn can cause them experience more hardship.
- Alcohol and drugs: one of the negatives where tourism is concerned happens to be both alcohol and drugs. While most people opt to remain sober when back home, however, restraint seems to be the last thought in their minds when on vacation. This often results in unfortunate consequences, drunken brawls, and even leads to arrests. But all said and done the ones who are often impacted by this happens to be the local population.
- Environment: It is only to be expected that when large groups visit, there would be an impact on the local environment to an extent. In more cases than not, it happens to be litter. If this litter is allowed to spread and grow, it can help spread disease and may even result in an outbreak. This is why it is essential to do a detailed cleanup, of all the local tourist attractions on a regular basis. It is essential that the government take all effective measures to protect the environment from any damage as a result of tourism and do their best to preserve the natural flora and fauna.
As you can see these are some of the positive and negative effects of tourism. Tourism, on the whole, is beneficial but it does come with a few negatives. As long as the government can take care to mitigate these negatives they should be able to take full advantage of this influx of a large number of tourists and help improve the local economy which should translate to more benefits and opportunities for the locals. In addition, with more tourists dropping in for some of the local festivals, the government-funded organizations can help organize the same. Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry, one that has trebled in the last decade and is widely expected to even grow at a much more faster rate in the coming years.