Various Impacts of Tourism

The impacts of tourism can be sorted into seven general categories:

  1. Economic
  2. Environmental
  3. Social and cultural
  4. Crowding and congestion
  5. Services
  6. Taxes
  7. Community attitude

Each category includes positive and negative impacts. Not all impacts are applicable to every community because conditions or resources differ. Community and tourism leaders must balance an array of impacts that may either improve or negatively affect communities and their residents. Leaders must be sensitive and visionary, and must avoid the temptation of glossing over certain difficulties tourism development creates. Tourism leaders must also balance the opportunities and concerns of all community sectors by working against conditions where positive impacts benefit one part of the community (geographic or social) and negative impacts hurt another. Conversely, community sensitivity to tourism means avoiding undue burdens on the industry that could thwart its success. Local leaders should not expect tourism to solve all community problems. Tourism is just one element of a community. While creative strategic development of tourism amenities and services can enhance the community or correct local deficiencies, tourism, like all business development, must assure that its products (attractions and services) attract customers. Overbearing rules and restrictions, and overburdening taxes can make tourism businesses less attractive or competitive.

Understanding Tourism Conflicts

Different groups are often concerned about different tourism impacts. To generalize, where one group embraces the e c o n o m i c impacts of tourism, another group experiences social and cultural i m p a c t s , while another is affected by tourism’s environmental  impacts. In theory, the interests of each group could be completely separate.For example, Group A could include the business community and people who are in need of the jobs offered by tourism. Group B might include residents who feel displaced by an influx of visitors. Group C could be local outdoor enthusiasts concerned about changes in natural resources. In such a case, each group would have completely different outlooks on tourism. Ideally, all groups could be positively affected and would support the community’s tourism efforts. However, when group interests are divergent, differing perspectives can make consensus on tourism development difficult. In most cases, groups with interests in one area of tourism will also have interests or concerns about other tourism impacts as diagramed in Figure 1b. In these situations, there are common areas of interest and a greater likelihood that each group will show more appreciation for the concerns of the other groups. Finding commonality provides a starting point for resolving tourism issues.

 Economic impacts

usually seen as positive, contributing to employment, better services, and social stability. Also it may improve in terms of cultural education which one may have not considered. Yet these impacts can also contribute to high living costs within the community, pushing local business out of the areas, and raising costs for locals .

Environmental impacts

Impacts that affect the carrying capacity of the area, vegetation, air quality, bodies of water, the water table, wildlife, and natural phenomena.

Social and Cultural 

Associated with interactions between peoples and culture background, attitudes and behaviors, and their relationships to material goods. The introduction of tourists to sensitive areas can be detrimental, cause a loss of culture, or, alternatively, contribute to the preservation of culture and cultural sites through increased resources. Relationship between culture and tourism is a strong one.The widespread cultural, economic and social benefits lead to at policies promoting linking culture and tourism or the narrower development of “cultural tourism”  worldwide at continental, national and regional levels. In Europe,  the European Commission promotes cultural tourism as a means of underpinning the “unity in diversity” of the EU population.

Community Attitude

Visitor interest and satisfaction in the community is a source of local pride. Seeing visitor interest makes localresidents more appreciative of local resources that are often taken for granted. As tourism develops, local residents will enjoy more facilities and a greater range of choices. Tourism activities and events tend to make living in a place more interesting and exciting.

However, tension between residents and tourists can occur. People will often feel stressed over the new, increasingly hectic community and personal pace of life. They may claim the result is no better than before or perhaps even worse. Where culture is part of the tourist attractions, over-amplification of cultural traits and creation of “new” cultural traits to satisfy tourist tastes may create a phony culture.

Badly Behaving Tourists are a new threat to global tourism. There is a heightened negative attitude to tourists. Read here in detail.



About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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