Impact of Tourism on the Environment

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Impact of Tourism on the Environment (Negril)

Negril is situated on the western end of the island of Jamaica. It is known as the 7 mile beach even though it is slightly longer than 6.4 km in length. Negril is also called the tourism capital of Jamaica. Tourism is travel for business, leisure or recreational purposes and therefore has many impacts on the environment: as natural habitats both aquatic and terrestrial are being destroyed and damaged when hotels and roads are being built, causing pollution in many forms and also coral reefs are being destroyed in the process.

The current model of tourism has a negative impact on the environment of Jamaica. This model is based on the construction of mega super inclusive resorts, which require engineering solutions such as dredging, construction and limestone blasting in order to create swimming beaches, and construct buildings a few meters away from the high water mark. Construction and operation of tourist facilities such as hotels and other attractions also result in significant alterations to the terrestrial environment, trees, insects, birds etc. Operation of these entities also results in the diversion of resources such as water and electricity which could have been used elsewhere in the society.

Jamaica's tourism product is also dependent on the coral reefs and their associated ecosystems such as sea grass beds and mangroves. These ecosystems are, however, threatened by natural causes and human behavior such as coastal pollution, rapid coastal development, over-fishing and global warming.

Increased construction activity provides relatively short term and low-skilled employment. The alternating demand for this pool of labour often results in the increase of unplanned settlements and squatter communities that are established close to the resort areas. The creation of these communities results in the destruction of the watershed in these areas as well as inadequate sewage treatment and solid waste...
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