Is The Upside Of Tourism Worth The Downside?

Is The Upside Of Tourism Worth The Downside?

Ministers of tourism have been scrambling for decades now to increase tourism because of the money that it brings.

And it can bring huge amounts of money!

But in recent years more and more downsides to tourism have come into focus.

Huge hotels now stand where there were once unspoiled beaches; coral reefs have been savaged; wildlife has been wiped out; and cultures have been irreversibly altered.

There are probably many other minuses too, and I can’t but wonder if encouraging mass tourism was really such a good idea.

What do you think?

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3 Responses to Is The Upside Of Tourism Worth The Downside?

  1. eagerwatcher says:

    Mass tourism ruin areas of natural beauty, damages coral reefs, pollutes beaches and destroys the habitats of wildlife as roads and hotels are built.

    And perhaps ironically, damage to these natural resources is likely to reduce the future numbers of visitors.

    Is the upside worth the downside?

    I’d say that in the short term “yes”, but in the long term, “no”.

  2. RegSpragg says:

    I agree with you Eagerwatcher but there are more negative issues too.

    The tourist resorts are more often than not owned by large Western companies so the profits earned from tourism go straight into their bank accounts.

    Moreover, nearly all the well-paid managerial positions are often held by foreigners, whereas the wages given to local hotel employees are usually very low, and when this is the case very little money enters the local economy at all.

    Purchasing souvenirs, food and other goods from local people can help to spread the benefits of tourism but it doesn’t in my opinion outweigh the negative effects of mass tourism.

  3. big-thoughts says:

    I don’t have much to add to the negative effects except perhaps the last on on my list of positive things here.

    Economic

    * Foreign exchange
    * Tax revenues
    * Job opportunities

    Environmental

    * Puts an economic value on “unspoiled” natural resources
    * Encourages the establishment of national parks and protected areas

    Sociocultural

    * Puts an economic value on traditional arts, crafts, and cultural practices
    * Encourages the preservation of historical sites and heritage buildings
    * Fosters within the host society tolerance and acceptance of different cultures

    The problem that I have with the last one is that the effects can be negative too.

    Imagine how you’d feel living in a very poor village or town and having to work very long and anti-social hours for very little money and seeing people spending what seemed to you like huge amounts of money on totally unessential things.

    Would the experience generate tolerance and acceptance of the other culture?