Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts in Tourism

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The large scale impacts of Tourism include environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts. Impacts can be positive, as well as negative, but should never be underestimated. The concept of sustainability is factored into these tourism impacts, when the size of the impacts become large enough to drastically alter economic, socio-cultural and environmental areas of a tourist destination. The importance of these impacts will be analysed and evaluated in this essay, keeping in mind that this will be kept within the context of sustainability. With the use of academic literature, the three impacts highlighted will be discussed, along with the concept of sustainability, to highlight the importance of these crucial issues to sustainable development of tourism.

The term sustainable tourism means, tourism that is developed in such a way so as to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Lawton & Weaver, 2006, pp. 343). This is an important concept when analysing the various impacts of tourism industries within a particular area. Keeping this in mind, the Sustainable tourism values and principles model will be used to demonstrate points of interest, and to analyse the various impacts in more detail.

The importance of the economic impact on a tourist destination cannot be stressed enough. According to Gartner (1996, pp. 64), “The money brought into an area through the process of hosting tourists provides more economic return than simply the sum of the expenditures accruing to the few businesses that come in direct contact with tourists. Almost all sectors of an economy benefit economically from tourism”. The monetary benefits that are generated by the local economy can be used to re-invest in the tourism industry, and also be used in sustainable development practices.

The following example is taken from an article titled, “Estimating the Economic Contribution of Visitor Spending in the Kruger...
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