Environmental Impacts Due to Tourism
By Olivia Hazell
Year 11, Dundas
Due Date: 10/05/12
Environmental impact refers to the direct effect of socio-economic activities and natural events on the components of the environment. These impacts can be planned such as afforestation or due to tourism can be totally accidental such as littering. Environmental impact is the change in the environment culturally, and physically which can be due to tourists both negatively and positively.
PURPOSE OF REPORT
The purpose of this report is to determine the positive impacts on the environment tourism has, while also making aware the negative impacts tourism has on the environment. In this report negative impacts will be examined, with example of such and will also be provided with possible solutions in order to minimise the impacts.
NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND SOLUTIONS
Air Pollution and Water Resource
Transport by air, road, and rail is continuously increasing in response to the rising number of tourists and their greater mobility, as tourism now accounts for more than 60% of air travel. A study estimated that a single return flight emits almost half the CO2 emissions produced by all other sources consumed by an average person yearly. In Nepal, the severe air pollution lingering over capital Kathmandu is repelling tourist, which is one of the economies mainstays. Tourist go to places such as Nepal to see its beautiful landscape, however, the air pollution is so serious that the sky over Kathmandu is covered by dark polluted clouds and the mountains are hardly visible for 50 days on a year. Due to factors such as exhaust fumes the number of foreign tourist visiting Nepal in 1995 had declined by more than 12%. The tourism industry generally overuses water resources for hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal use of water by tourists. This can result in water shortages and degradation of water supplies. Due to hot climates and the tendency of tourists to consume more water when on holiday than they do at home, the amount used can run up to hundreds of litres a day. “In recent years golf tourism has increased in popularity and the number of golf courses has grown rapidly. An average golf course in a tropical country such as Thailand needs 1500kg of chemical fertilizers and pesticides per year.” Solution
The solution really is to cut down on transport use in everyday life - cycle, walk or take the bus instead of driving. Try to limit international travel to when it is absolutely necessary (use teleconferencing), and catch the train rather than fly. Ultimately, aviation fuel should be taxed to reflect the damage it does to the environment and then plane flights will become more expensive so that people will only take them when necessary. We all need to get involved and talk to our representatives. Many of our current governmental regulations are not strong enough to address our air pollution problems. Citizens need to contact their legislators and ask for better policies, and make the matter awareness within the government and communities.
Solid Waste and Littering
In areas with high concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural attractions, waste disposal is a serious problem and improper disposal can be a major spoiler of the natural environment - rivers, scenic areas, and roadsides. Solid waste and littering can degrade the physical appearance of the water and shoreline and cause the death of marine animals. The Pacific Islands are drowning in rubbish, as shorelines are seen to have a blue-green rim which is displayed to be thousands of beer cans. The island is running out of space to dump rubbish, therefore it is causing serious river and groundwater contamination and their turtles and marine birds are dying due to the litter. Tourists travel to see pristine beaches and beautiful coral reefs, but as this country is unable to deal with its waste disposal, it...