Ethical implications of tourism in developing countries
September 26, 2006
Tourism is instituted in ad hoc fashion, with little regard to appropriate socio-ecological planning. This paper outlines the ethical implications of tourism in terms of the social and political, environmental and economical issues in developing countries. All resolutions for these implications, follow the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) which is a set of principles whose purpose is to guide stakeholders in tourism development: central and local governments, local communities, the tourism industry and its professionals, as well as visitors both international and local (UNWTO, n.d.). Background on the industry:
In general, tourism occurs in developing countries, because businesses have adopted a development-oriented perspective. The emphasis is on development (use) in order to reach optimal economic gain by extractive use of resources rather than protection and preservation (Fennell, 2002). There has been a trend in humans, to take on the role of being bad rules, by trying to exploit and dominate for short-term personal gain at any expense (Peterson, 1996). It is a harsh reality that there are a significant lack of resources for effective management of visitors and the environment (Fennell, 2002). Therefore, resource management is a critical issue that needs to be dealt with, and not defined by the primary stakeholder, the industries, but rather shared interests. Functional management aspects:
Social & Political:
There are many social and political implications as to how tourism operations are run in developing countries. There are many tourism operations that ignore the interests of the local community and do not allow them to partake in the decisions of any operations. Not only this, but there is also no consideration of the degree of tolerance that the locals have towards the tourists before becoming annoyed, which is termed as social crowding (Saveriades, 2000). Some tourism operations will even dislocate human communities or band the locals from being allowed on certain parts of the land, such as beaches where resorts are located (Fennell, 2002). Tourism development, in some cases, has disrupted community structures, and has led to conflicts among local communities, developers, governments and tourists (Sweening, Bruner & Rosenfeld, 1999). Social changes can sometimes be harder to measure than environmental changes, but these impacts are often linked together. Environmental:
Tourism has consistently been shown to have an impact on air and water quality, erode soils, create noise pollution, expand the built environment, increase transport networks and disrupt species behaviour in a number of ways (Fennell & Ebert, 2004). These natural resources have been defined by human perception and are used up for money. Trees, fish, gold, recreational spaces and so on are simply viewed as ‘neutral stuff’ that exist within the environment until they are perceived by humans and recognized as able to satisfy the human need (Fennell & Ebert, 2004). No consideration is placed upon how resource usage affects the species lifestyle and the changes that occur in these species habituation, and territorial behaviour, such as the interference with the essential processes of securing a mate and ensuring access to adequate sources of food (Fennell 2002). The infrastructure and facilities for these destinations usually require large expanses of land, such as airport facilities, especially for international aircraft, connection facilities and runways, highways and accommodations (Sweening, et al. 1999). These forms of development and degradation of natural resources continue to harm the environment and lead to irreversible damage...