Tourism can generate large amount of revenues and provide job opportunities globally. Tourism is often treated as means to develop the country and to make the country known worldwide. This leads to the construction of infrastructure and facilities which are placed in locations which has the tendency to generate revenue in conjunction to tourism. However, the environment, economy and socio-culture suffers from the acts of tourism due to the activities carried out by tourist, thus creating negative impacts which affect it’s host community globally. Natural resource suffers from the acts conducted in the tourism industry. The process of excessive exploitation that affects the quality of land is called land degradation. Land resources cover a wide aspect which includes wetlands, land minerals, forests and fertile soil. Due to the booming success of the tourism industry, there is an increase of recreational facilities and an increase of construction for the tourism sector. This increases the pressure towards the natural resources that the world has to offer directly.
These natural resources are used to build accommodation which takes up land area, being used as building materials and any other infrastructure which are needed. A forest in Nepal suffers deforestation due to the increase in jungle trekking tourism. Jungle trekker clears the land for camping and to obtain firewood. Also, five kilograms of wood a day is being used to sustain a jungle trekker. Another natural resource which is being used excessively is water. Resorts and water parks uses an incredible amount of water to sustain some of the basic needs of tourist. However, this generates a high volume in water waste as this may lead to the shortage of water supply and its quality. This is a concern for countries in the Mediterranean as some regions are dryer.
Tourist consumes more water especially when the climate is hot and dry. The average consumption of tourists in dryer climates is about 440 liters a day which is almost double the amount of the average consumption by the inhabitants of a Spanish city uses. Tourism generates negative economic impacts just like any other industry. Countries that are rich in revenue can profit from the tourism industry but less developed countries may share a different fate as the tourism industry has much ulterior expenditures, which may damage the economy of its host. Economic leakage is nothing new in the field of tourism. Tourism leakage refers to the revenue which is generated by the tourism industry but spent or lost through other channels such as profits, wages and purchased imports. Tourists that purchase tour packages will spend most of their expenditures to the cruise or airlines, hotels and the company that provides the tourist with the tour package, and not to the local business of their destination. In a tourism study conducted in conjunction to economic leakage, it is estimated about 70% of tourist expenditures in Thailand ended up leaving Thailand.
Also, other Third World countries are estimated around 40% for India and 80% for the Caribbean. Leakage mainly occurs in two ways which are import leakage and export leakage. Import leakage happens when the host country has to import items and goods to meet the specification, need or demand of tourist. Refreshments are often imported to cater the higher standard of dining as the local products are not meeting the requirements of the hotel or the country doesn’t have an industry that could supply the products needed. Most of the revenue acquired from the expenditure of tourist ends up leaving the country to compensate for the imported goods. Export leakage is when international companies and corporations hold massive shares in import leakage. Planning and building infrastructures related to the tourism industry requires a huge amount of capital. Therefore these companies and corporations invest and help build facilities and infrastructures related to tourism.
However, in return, the share of profit is taken back to the country of origin for the foreign investors that helped with the finance of the tourism facilities and infrastructures. In some countries or region, the local communities are highly dependent on tourism to generate income and revenue. A country should have an assortment of industry to be able to flourish and have a healthy economy. However, when an industry becomes a main economic gain for survival, this will pressure the industry thus affecting the ability of the community that is involved to perform at its best. There are a few countries that are entwining tourism as a major economic gain and for its community to earn a living. This is because these countries are not able to or have limited ability to explore other ways to boost their economy. The World Trade Organization has conducted studies showing that small islands which practices tourism as their economy boost are Jamaica, Seychelles and Maldives.
The range of percentages is 34% for Jamaica, 21% for Seychelles and 83% for Maldives respectively. Furthermore, The Gambia holds a percentage of 30% as the workforce is dependent on tourism directly and indirectly. Economies that are over-dependent on mass tourism bear consequential risks. For instance, a change in tourism patterns, natural disasters, terrorism and economic recession can damage or hurt the tourism sectors. Socio-cultural impacts of tourism are the contribution of tourism in which the host community is affected by the relationship of interaction between the tourism sector and tourists which may be directly or indirectly. The way of life of the host community is affected by a considerable amount of outcome depending on what kind of practices is being followed. A considerable factor would be the correlation between the society and tourists who may lead to sensitive issues regarding traditions and customs as tourist might not understand the host society’s way of life.
Tourism is the act of traveling or visiting peculiar geographical region and interacting with the host’s community whom the tourists have not met. Elements such as ethnicity, theology, language and behavior can lead to different opinions of cultural understanding. In some regions, locals can get irritated by the acts of the tourist when they are not well versed in the local’s culture and lifestyle. Tourist might be doing this unintentionally but it seemed rude in the mind of the locals and an invasion of privacy. Due to little understanding towards the way of life and moral code of the locals, this act will lead to a fixed and simplistic mental image towards the locals. Countries that embrace the Muslim religion have stricter religious codes which are often overlooked by tourist when they visit the country. Muslim women are required to be more reserved in behavior and appearance as the women have a strict dress code which is to be carefully covered.
These rules are usually overlooked by tourists and it doesn’t concern them at all as they are on holiday. For example, tourists from different parts of the world have different dress codes based on their own preferences. This is a problem as some tourist wear attire that are more revealing or provocative such as skirts, hot pants or clothing which consist of sheer materials. This type of clothing tends to oppose the standards which have been set and followed by the locals. The attitude tourist bring and portray sends a misleading message towards the locals. Therefore, it is as a bad influence as the locals would question or disrespect their beliefs and culture which then creates uproar between the locals. Cultural clashes also occur in other local societies whom are following traditional ways such as the Christian societies in the Caribbean and Polynesia.
In conclusion, tourism generates several negative impacts towards its host community or country. Natural resources are being exploited due to the success of the tourism sector in some countries and they lack the ways to preserve it. On the other hand, poorer countries that engage in tourism suffer economic leakage greater than richer countries and in some regions, the local communities are dependent on tourism to generate income. Lastly, the tourists and the local community experience cultural clashes due to little understanding between each other. Therefore, the tourism planners must plan accordingly to reduce the amount of negative impacts. Also, to achieve a sustainable tourism, tourism planners must focus on the environment, economic and social-culture as these three factors are related to each other.