Environmental Impacts of Ecotourism

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THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ECOTOURISM

The impacts of ecotourism to the host country can be environmental, economical or socio cultural, impacts can be positive and negative. Tourism relationship with the environment is complex, many activities can have different environmental effects. Many of these impacts are linked with the construction of general infrastructure such as roads,airports and tourism facilities including resorts, hotels, golf clubs and marinas. The negative impact of tourism development can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which it depends. On the other hand, tourism has the potential to create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. Ecotourism development can put pressure on natural resources when it increases consumption in areas where resources are already scarce. This can lead to negative impacts such as: soil erosion, increased pollution, natural habitat loss... The tourism industry generally overuses water resources for hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and this can result in water shortages and degradation of water supplies. Forests often suffer negative impacts of tourism in the form of deforestation caused by fuel wood collection and land clearing. Transport by air, road and rail is continuously increasing. Air pollution from tourist transportation has impacts on the global level, and the noise causes stress to humans and wildlife. Solid waste and littering can degrade the physical appearance of the water and shoreline, and cause the death of marine animals. For example: cruise ships in the Caribbean are estimated to produce more than 70000 tons of waste each year. Anchoring, scuba diving, yachting, cruising are some of the activities that can cause degradation of marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. Environmentally sustainable tourism isnot easy to achieve. Tourism can contribute to positive developments only if it is adequatelly planned,monitored and...
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