The English Lake District
The Lake District used to be regarded as a remote region in north-west England but modern transport developments mean that it is easily accessible from the main centres of population. * About 12 million people visit the Lake District every year making it the second busiest of the national parks. * 90% of visitors come by car. * The main attraction is the scenery and landscape. Other attractions are the clean air, peace and quiet and good walking. * 10 million people live within a three hour drive of the national park. * Tourism creates about 30% of employment. * There are 65,000 bed spaces, while tourism supports a large number of other small businesses.As the traditional industries have declined, tourism has risen in both volume and its importance to the local economy.Tourism also creates problems: * Small country roads can easily become congested. * Footpaths are eroded by so many walkers: nearly 10% of paths are seriously eroded, costing 2.5 million to repair. * Mountain biking and four wheel drives add to the problem of path and track erosion. * In some villages 40% of houses are holiday homes. Around 20% of all homes in the national park are holiday or second homes. * Shops sell souvenirs, tourist related products and services rather than meeting local needs. * There are 17,000 boats registered to use Lake Windermere. There have been pollution problems caused by sanitary discharge from boats. * Tourist jobs are often seasonal and low paid. * House prices rise beyond the means of many local people. It is estimated that in some areas nearly 25% of locals will never be able to afford to buy a home. * Tourists often congregate in "honeypot" villages which become overcrowded and too commercialised. Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick are examples. * There are 65,000 bed spaces so the local population of 42,000 can feel overwhelmed by tourists during peak periods.There is a danger that if tourism gets out...
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