Tourism in the last few centuries has gained an essential place in society’s life and states’ development. Many people travel to different places both outside their country and inside it every year. There is an opinion that the tourism industry should be banned to protect the local environment, culture, and economy. I cannot fully agree with this statement since this area also positively impacts these aspects. Thus, this work aims to consider and evaluate tourism’s positive and negative contributions to the aspects mentioned above. Among them, we can say that tourism is developing the sphere of ecological and rural tourism while continuing to pollute the local environment. Also, the tourism industry directly affects the gross domestic product, provides more jobs, and improves underdeveloped areas.
The first area directly and most noticeably influenced by the tourism industry is countries’ economies. The first positive factor is the provision of jobs for the population. This field of activity includes specialists in various plans, qualifications, and activities, including pilots, hotel workers, tour guides, and restaurant businesses. Moreover, in the United States of America, almost two and a half million people were employed in the industry in 2021 (“Tourism and recreation,” n.d.). The second argument for tourism development is a good remuneration level. Hence, some of the above professions pay for themselves at a reasonably high level, which improves the quality of people’s lives. This factor results in the fact that people spend more money on shopping, medicine, or entertainment, which contributes to improving these industries.
Tourism has an impact on the gross domestic product of the country, both positively and negatively. In 2019, the direct contribution of travel and tourism amounted to three percent of the total global GDP. This indicator can be considered satisfactory, but in 2020 it dropped sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic, which worsened the state of the country’s economies. Many people were quarantined in their homes, and countries closed their borders to tourists. Thus, this circumstance is undoubted proof that travel is closely related to the economic side of the countries’ activities.
Another argument for tourism is that this industry supports low-income countries with a large influx of tourists to countries that lag in economic development from others (Puah et al., 2018). For example, for the Small Island Developing States of the world (SIDS), more than thirty percent of their export earnings are accounted for by tourism (“About Small Island Developing States,” n.d.). Thus, this scientific work refutes the opinion that tourism should be banned because of the negative impact on the economic sphere of life of states.
Further, it is necessary to pay attention to how this area of human activity affects the local environment. This point of view may have a dual justification; that is, at the moment, there are both harmful and valuable aspects. Thus, the direction of eco and rural tourism, which has been received in the modern community, is valuable. It consists of the fact that many residents of large cities, to find peace and tranquillity, go to the countryside. There, they are given the opportunity to work or observe the activities of farms, participate in hikes or improve the ecology of the area, and plant plants on it. Thus, the agricultural and environmental industries receive incredible growth due to an increase in their workforce and financing. Moreover, this factor can contribute to the spread of awareness about the importance of preserving the environment.
Tourism also has some importance in the process of combating the problem of climate change. This issue has long been one of the most important, especially after the development of the industrial and technological spheres of people’s lives (Ehigiamusoe, 2020). This activity is expressed in air, water, and soil pollution, violation of the ozone layer, and the occurrence of acid rain. It is worth noting that these are only some of the consequences of harmful human actions, and on the one hand, the travel industry also makes its contribution. Thus, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing due to multiple flights of aircraft and other modes of transport associated with the transportation of people.
In particular, it is worth noting the impact of tourism on the local environment. Scientists have long proved that the development of human activity occurs due to the use of a large number of natural resources. Thus, harm is caused not only to the environment but also to the living organisms that live in it. Due to the development of tourist entertainment locations in the local area, there is eviction and relocation of the local population. These innovations contribute to the development of such serious problems with, for example, waste disposal. Without proper and well-thought-out measures, the natural resources of the area may be depleted, thereby significantly worsening the quality of life of people.
On the other hand, more airlines are thinking about their harmful influence. Henceforth, there is a specialized organization called the World Travel and Tourism Council (“World travel & tourism council,” n.d.). It is a major leader in the field of environmental protection and is developing plans and strategies for the industry to become climate neutral. As for the local environment, many airlines show initiative and implement changes to improve the surrounding area. These measures include regular planting of trees and taking care of the fauna of the territory. Significant investments are being made in improving amenities such as recreation areas, drinking water, and the preservation of natural monuments and cultural heritage sites.
Furthermore, tourism contributes to the conservation of nature and the improvement of its resources. An especially remarkable contribution is made by the sphere of eco-tourism, which is very popular in society. Activists of this movement speak and promote that to protect nature. The specific subjects of this activity are old-age forests, lakes, coastlines, parks, and wildlife. Tourists who choose this type of recreation spend time outside while contributing to the improvement of the ecology of the region.
The area on which tourism has a negative impact rather than a positive one is the local culture. Research shows that “culture is about how people interact as observed through social interaction, social relations and material artefacts” (Hall & Lew, 2009). Thus, it is noted that it has all the possibilities for the deterioration of this aspect and bears more of the nature of exploitation. In particular, this fact concerns less developed countries. The nature and organization of the modern tourism industry contribute to the harmful effects.
Therefore, the tourism industry can lead to an overflow of tourist destinations that have unique cultural values. Such overcrowding can cause stress for both travelers and locals. Where the field under study is one of the leading employers, traditional activities such as agriculture may decline. Moreover, there may be a change in people’s daily lives, which is part of the country’s culture. Henceforth, due to the seasonality of this phenomenon, many residents sit without work for months and thereby completely transform their way of life.
In countries with strong religious codes, changing cultural values can also become a negative aspect. Studies highlight that tourism contributes to the development of such a phenomenon as a “demonstration” effect (Mason, 2003). Such a case occurs in many developing countries and affects tourists and hosts of the country. Henceforth, this effect is characterized by the fact that the observation of tourists will lead to changes in the behavior of the local population. In these conditions, local residents will celebrate the excellent material benefits of visitors and strive for them. This can have negative consequences, such as a destructive effect, as locals begin to resent them because they cannot purchase the goods and lifestyle displayed by the visiting people. The second argument for a negative phenomenon is influenced by such a factor as a large flow of customers. Thus, there is a situation when the authenticity of the tourist experience and culture of the country is violated. In other words, there is an authentication of experienced emotions and impressions for tourists.
However, the opposite opinion shows that tourism has a positive effect on the culture of the country while preserving it. One such interaction is investing in the activities of artisans and cultural figures of local regions. This is done to attract the most significant number of tourists, which also supports the promotion of national and traditional authenticity. Tourists also often visit cultural attractions and invest their time in local music, dancing, and other performances. They support an intangible culture that gives regions their unique identity and protects the multiculturalism of our world. Stimulating and motivating mass tourism and investing money in the preservation of local heritage play a valuable role in the preservation of culture. Moreover, it also contributes to the improvement of infrastructure and local conditions, which creates better education and better conditions for recreation.
The tourism industry is becoming more widespread after the weakening of regulatory coronavirus measures. Therefore, it is necessary to study its impact on such areas as culture, ecology, and the economy of local regions. This process will help to reduce possible negative contributions and contribute to the improvement and better settlement of the crisis. Thus, this work supports the view that tourism activity has a significant positive impact on the economy. This is due to the fact that it affects GDP, provides work to various specialists, and provides good pay. In the context of ecology, tourism has both a negative and a positive impact. For example, eco-tourism and agricultural tourism are becoming more widespread. However, due to the transport of carriers, environmental pollution occurs. The last point is the negative impact on culture, which is expressed in the deprivation of authenticity. However, the financing of the traditions and customs of the local population has a driving influence. Thus, this work, to a greater extent, refutes the claim that tourism should be banned because of the harmful impact on the local environment, economy, and culture.
About Small Island Developing States. (n.d.). United Nations. Web.
Ehigiamusoe, K. U. (2020). Tourism, growth and environment: analysis of non-linear and moderating effects. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28(8), 1174-1192. Web.
Hall, C.M. & Lew, A. A. (2009). Understanding and managing tourism impacts: An integrated approach. Routledge.
Mason, P. (2003). Tourism impacts, planning and management. Butterworth Heinemann.
Puah, C. H., Jong, M. C., Ayob, N., & Ismail, S. (2018). The impact of tourism on the local economy in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Management, 13(12), 147-151. Web.
Tourism and Recreation. (n.d.). NOAA Office for Coastal Management. Web.
World travel & tourism council (WTTC) represents the travel & tourism sector globally. (n.d.). World Travel & Tourism Council. Web.