While tourism can be a powerful positive force for change in poor countries, it can also be seriously damaging for the local environment and culture. An increase in mass tourism that is not controlled responsibly can ruin areas of natural beauty. Tourism can damage coral reefs, pollute beaches and destroy the habitats of wildlife as roads and hotels are built. Ironically, damage to these natural resources is likely to reduce future numbers of visitors. Another negative effect is that the increasing numbers of aeroplane ?ights are a major cause of global warming.
A second problem is that the tourist resorts are frequently owned by large Western companies and all too often the pro?ts earned from tourism go straight into the bank accounts of these companies. Moreover, the well-paid managerial positions are often held by foreigners, and the wages given to local hotel employees are usually very low. Where this is the case, very little money enters the local economy at all. By purchasing souvenirs, food and other goods from local people you can help to spread the bene?ts of tourism.
Finally, tourism can have an adverse effect on local culture, traditions and the way of life. Large numbers of tourists can undermine traditional beliefs, values and customs and in particular risk commercialising the culture that they ?nd so interesting. And where these tourists are insensitive to local traditions their behaviour can cause great offence. Tourism Fact File · Tourism employs 250 million people, roughly one in ten of the world’s workforce. · 80% of the people that travel internationally come from the USA, Canada, Japan and 17 European countries, including the UK.
· 15 million Britons take package holidays abroad each year. · The developing world’s share of the tourist trade has increased by an average of 9. 5% a year since 1990. · The amount of money that leaves a destination country (the country where people spend their holiday) varies from 40% out of India, and 80% out of the Caribbean islands. · The UN calculates that the amount of water used by an average tourist in 24 hours would be enough to grow rice for an individual for 100 days. · An 18-hole golf course in a dry country can use as much water as a town of 10,000 people.