Positive and Negative Impacts of Tourism Across a Wide Range of Environments

Topics: Tourism, World Tourism Organization, Sustainable tourism Pages: 8 (2823 words) Published: August 6, 2010
Positive and Negative impacts of tourism across a wide range of environments


Many definitions explain tourism from different scholars to suit the purposes of respective writers. In this case, the following definition of tourism will be of use. Tourism is ‘the activities of people traveling to as well as staying in places particularly outside their respective usual environment for at least not more than one year consecutively for leisure or business and any other purposes (Johnston, Gregory et al, 2000: 840). Tourism is not ideally an industry precisely in the traditional sense; rather, it is an activity, which takes place well over a number of sectors (in specific accommodation, retail trade, cafes and restaurants, and transport). Because of this, measuring the impact of tourism economically, socially or any other impact whether positive or negative is complex (Croall 1995, p.67). The economic relevance of tourism can be assessed particularly in terms of the contribution it has on the total value of services and goods produced in the economy, also on the export dollars, which it creates through the sale of services and goods to overseas visitors as well as the jobs it creates. This is a direct impact positive in the economy with Tourism appearing to grow in relevance within the economy (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). However, there are many other negative and positive impacts relating directly to tourism. Conversely, while there is potential ideally for continued projects growth there is still lack of understanding especially within the communities as to the prevailing possible or negative impacts that tourism may bring (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). This, therefore, calls for a sustainable conducting of tourism and always being ready for situations. This paper examines the impacts of tourism whether negative or positive with a suggestion that, on balance, tourism’s contribution is positive.

Analysis of tourism’s contribution to Australia generally focuses on the economic value of tourist spending. In the year 2000, the ABS published the National Accounts of Australian: Satellite Account, 1998 (5249.0). The publication represents ideally the first ABS attempt to practically, put tourism into an accounting framework nationally. Tourism is ideally not a conventional industry especially in the System of National Accounts (SNA 93). Its definition is by the customer (visitor) but not on the product produced (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). The satellite account (TSA) generally creates a broad picture of the industry that allows it to compare to conventional industries for instance agriculture, retail trade and manufacturing (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). However, more in the focus has been on the economic aspect of tourism and the positive impacts the industry has on the economies of respective countries. The gross domestic product of tourism (TGDP) estimates and tourism gross value added generally relate to the impact of tourism activity directly, but there is more to the impacts of tourism than just the economic value (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97).


It is great to look into tourism in the economic field before conducting analysis of whether the practice is overly positive or negative. Tourism is ideally a multimillion-dollar industry for many countries. According to the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), it is the world’s stable and fastest growing industry predicted that ideally, by the end of the coming decade at least a quarter of billion persons will be working within the tourism and travel sector (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). Out of this, there is a perception that this is the best development tool for many less developed countries. Looking at it from this perspective, it is highly arguable that overly, the industry is more positive with impacts in such sectors (Croall 1995, p.67).

However, there is a negative impact on the same note. Although communities within a local region...
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