Impacts of Tourism Development

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Sustainable tourism is an industry that attempts to make a low impact on the environment and local culture while helping to generate income, employment, and the conservation of local ecosystems. It is responsible tourism that is both ecologically and culturally sensitive. Meaning, sustainable tourism activities have minimal impact on the environment and culture of the host community. It aims to meet the needs of the present tourists and host communities whilst protecting and enhancing needs in the future. According to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. Thus, sustainable tourism should make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity; respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance; ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation. The travel and tourism industry may have many different positive and negative impacts on the social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of life in a particular area or region. The major benefit of tourism for a country is economic therefore the industry has a variety of economic impacts. Tourists coming into the country contribute to sales, profits, jobs, tax revenues, and income into the area. The most direct effects occur within the primary tourism sectors like accommodation, restaurants, transportation, amusements, and retail trade. Through secondary effects, tourism affects most sectors of the economy. The first positive economic impact of tourism is that it creates more jobs for the people living in the area. With the growth of accommodation, restaurants, shops and airports, the demand for staff working in these tourist accommodating facilities increases. Second positive economic impact of tourism is that it increases the revenue of the area whether it is on an international, national, regional or local level. Tourism development brings economic benefits in terms of increased expenditure in an economy that may come from either domestic or inbound tourists. Inbound tourism brings with it increases earnings from foreign currency exchange as well as investment from foreign investors that helps build the tourism industry of the area. According to and article from sustainabletourism.net, 'The global travel and tourism industry creates 10% of world employment (direct & indirect)'. Third positive economic impact of tourism is that it improves the infrastructure of the area. As the demand of tourists increase in the area so does their needs. Improvement in roads, rail networks, airports, electricity, sewage and many more is being developed by the area to cope with these demands. The locals then benefit from these developments all year round and they may not have had these developments if not for tourism. Fourth positive economic impact of tourism is the multiplier effect. When an area develops as a tourist destination, the local economy of the area benefits from it because of the new jobs created as well as the income generated by the shops and restaurants that the tourists bring in. The income then generated is used to improve local services whether by developing better transport services and infrastructures or creating facilities that would benefit the local residents such as leisure centres, shopping areas, entertainments and...
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