Describe and evaluate the negative social, cultural or environmental impact caused by tourism in a destination of your choice. Analyse the causes of this impact and judge to what extent sustainable tourism strategies and methods could eliminate or ameliorate them and thereby secure the long term future of the destination.
The negative effects of tourism are widely publicised in a number of destinations worldwide; however it is often underdeveloped nations that are home to natural wonders of the world which attract huge tourism levels. This is significant as these underdeveloped nations often rely on the tourist industry as a main source of income and therefore a source of economic development. Increasing tourism levels often requires the development of hotels, transport links, and general infrastructure development in order to cater for the tourist demand. The fact is tourism does provide many positive impacts for destinations worldwide in terms of job creation and economic contributions. Despite the positive impacts tourism provides, negative social, cultural and environmental impacts often arise due to inadequate sustainable tourism strategies. The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “ tourism which leads to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems” (World Tourism Organization 1996) In addition they describe the development of sustainable tourism as “a process which meets the needs of present tourists and host communities whilst protecting and enhancing needs in the future” . One destination which has suffered and is suffering negative social, cultural and environmental impacts from tourism is Angkor. The key issue is to examine the extent to which the negative impacts can be eliminated or ameliorated through sustainable strategies in Angkor and thereby maintain the area and in particular the temples as a tourist destination, this can be achieved by studying other destinations which have integrated and used sustainable tourism to secure the future as a tourist destination. The temples of Angkor represent one of humankind's most astonishing and breathtaking architectural achievements. Around a hundred stone temples remain and sustainable tourism strategies are crucial to maintain their long term future. Angkor was designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992. Over two million tourists visited Cambodia in 2007, and the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism predicts this will increase to 3.2 million in 2010. Tourism generated $1.5 billion in revenue in 2006, underlining the industry's importance to Cambodia. (Paris Franz (Oct 26 2008) Cambodia’s Angkor Wat under strain Accessed March 20), furthermore the earnings of one-third of Cambodia’s workers are less than 56 US cents per day so tourism is crucial for them and the economy. Half of all visitors to Cambodia go to see the Angkor temples so any potential irreversible damage to them would be to severe detriment of the long term Cambodian economy.
The huge rise in tourist numbers in Cambodia has without doubt created negative impacts for Angkor and the temples and led to the questioning of their long term future as a tourist destination. Negative cultural, environmental impacts arising include poor waste management leading to the decline of ecosystems, whilst overuse of water resources could seriously affect the long term future of the temples, and therefore as a tourist attraction. Irreversible environmental impacts have occurred in the shape of damage to the temples due to the sheer number of tourists visiting the sites. Negative cultural and social impact have also arisen from tourism and the management of tourism, local people are being pushed out of Siem Reap and Angkor due to higher living...
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