‘Sustainable Tourism is a Myth.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement? (15 Marks)
Sustainable Tourism is essentially an industry committed to making a low impact on the natural environment and local culture, while helping to generate income and employment for local people. As Global economists forecast continuing international tourism growth, this continuous growth will place great stress on remaining biologically diverse habitats and indigenous cultures, which are often used to support mass tourism. Therefore it is important that sustainable tourism is promoted and that people are educated about the opportunities provided in order to minimize the effects that tourism poses on the natural environment while helping to benefit local communities.
However, when looking at evidence of tourism around the world it doesn’t appear that sustainable tourism is being undertook. For instance, in Cuba the government undertook a rapid expansion of tourism in the 1990’s in order to try to fuel economic recovery after the soviet bloc that it was part of collapsed. By the end of the 1990’s it was estimated that out of a workforce of 3.5 million over 60,000 were directly employed in tourism. Additionally, the multiplier effect is high with reports suggesting that for every 100 jobs created in tourism; another 53 are created in manufacturing, 36 in construction, 29 in transportation etc. Nevertheless, the degree of economic benefit that comes from tourism to local people is a huge problem e.g. only 10% of the profit from Havana’s old colonial centre is ploughed back into schools, hospitals and slum upgrading. Furthermore, most importantly, Cuba’s tourism industry may not be as profitable as it appear as Cuba is unable to manage and market world-class tourism without outside support. Consequently, this has led to sizeable ‘leakage’ of profits aboard which is thought to be reducing the gross returns of the industry by about 75%. Therefore this is not a sustainable...
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