Tourism, Blessing or Curse? IndividualAssignment Tourism Resource DevelopmentAs stated by UNWTO (2017), the concept oftourism is an economic and social sensation.
Nowadays, it counts as one of therapidest growing economic sector worldwide due to its persistent growth andexpanding divergence. Thereby the contemporary form of tourism is thoroughlyconnected to enlargement and covers a rising quantity of fresh destinations,which made this sector a reason for growth in demand of socio-economicimprovement, as well. At the moment, tourism’s business capacity is already equalor even bigger than the one of oil trades, food productions or automobiles, andsymbolizes the core income sources for a multiplicity of developing countries. Inaddition, this leads to rising variation and rivalry between destinations, butalso to economic and employment benefits in tourism sector as well as linkedones. The number of international tourists’ arrivals has grown from 25 millionin 1950 to 1,235 million in 2016, while it is forecasted that it will rise upto 1.8 billion by 2030 (UNWTO, 2017).Based on this, one can say that tourismbrings lots of economic and social benefits, especially in developingcountries, but what is the shady side of it? Particularly in current times ofmass tourism, an important difficulty is to identify the positive and negativeeffects associated with tourism and how balanced they are. In relation to this,the leading aim of this report is an argumentation the question if tourism is ablessing or a curse, as well as the contribution as a tourist, student andfuture professional to develop responsible tourism practices, which will besupported by expert knowledge and a variety of dilemmas in order to reason theopinion.
To begin, the most meaningful positiveimpacts of tourism will be mentioned in the following. First of all, to attractpeople usually enormous amount of money is invested to improve facilities,infrastructure and preserve the heritage sites of a destination. Furthermore,the need of employment rises which creates more jobs but also a broader varietyof jobs for local inhabitants either through direct employment within theindustry or indirectly by the usage of retail and transportation (Mdusm, 2016).
Already today, one out of ten jobs arerelated to the tourism and travel industry with an increasing forecast for thefuture (UNWTO, 2017). This results inbetter opportunities for education as well as a counteract of migrating toother cities in order to earn money. Then, due to the mix of people withdifferent backgrounds a more diverse ethnicity is build which results in betterunderstanding of cultures and can advantage to raise international awareness ofproblems like abuses of human rights or poverty (Simm, n.d.
). Besides this,positive environmental impacts include the surrounding areas and the overallcondition for presence, for example consistent acts to improve aesthetics suchas planting flowers and trees, but also improvement of facilities such assitting possibilities, drinking water and cleanliness. The reservation ofmonuments, buildings and heritage sites are also highlighted to make itinteresting for visitors (Mdusm, 2016). Additionally, tourism can foster theconservation of natural resources, e.g. rain forest and wildlife through animalpreserves and marine parks, by generating income by charging entrance or guidefees (Simm, n.d.).
Another aspect are the political outcomes that come togetherwith tourism which leads to connection and understanding among countries, forexample due to rising demand in long-haul tourism from developed countries todeveloping destinations (Mdusm, 2016). Finally,the generated economic impact is that tourism contributes beneficially to thecountry’s economic growth, which can be seen in the increasing numbers ofglobal international tourism receipts earned by destinations because in 1950 itwas US$ 2 billion and in 2016 US$ 1,235 million. Furthermore, it builds 10% ofthe world’s GDP with the result in introducing to foreign markets, improved advertisingand strategic promotion as well as liberal trade policies. Likewise, revenue iscaused as well through taxation either direct or indirect through goods andservices bought by visitors (Mdusm, 2016).Although, these explained impacts mostlyfocus on the whole country itself, tourism also can have benefits on regionaland local levels, for instance when income and attention is generatedespecially to rural areas (Mdusm, 2016). As a conclusion, these effects of tourismmay sound promising, however, with tourism negative effects come, as well,which will be explained in the next paragraph.
Firstly, effective tourism requiresessential infrastructure including roads, accommodations and visitor centerswhich usually are financed by the government and so consequently out of taxrevenues. Overcapacity of people, tourists and locals, can result in heavytraffic if the infrastructure cannot cope up with it, but also in poorcleanliness leading to possible ejaculation of diseases (Mdusm, 2016). Next,jobs in the tourism sectors are mostly seasonal and poorly salaried, while onthe contrary tourism can boost prices of houses, goods and services. Moreover,economical leakage is often the case which deals with money escaping to giantinternational companies instead of benefitting the local community (Simm,n.
d.). Furthermore, the loss of identityand traditions can occur if local inhabitants imitate the behavior of visitorsas well loss of moral due to bigger potential for criminality seeking for easymoney from visitors (Mdusm, 2016). Besides, high numbers of tourists can alsohave an unfavorable consequence for the locals’ quality of life due toovercapacity, crime and other problems such as drugs and prostitution, but alsodue to displacement of property in order to build tourism facilities (Simm,n.d.). Secondly, the more people are in a region the more natural resources areneeds as well, meaning that in worst case overcrowding can harm the natureenormously. But not only nature is endangered by the influence of tourism butthe animal population as well with a total decline of 58% of the globalpopulations including fish, birds and reptiles concerning the range of 1970 and2012 (WWF, 2016).
Further, it can lead to increased littering, pollution,noise, inappropriate waste disposal, traffic radiations and an overalldistraction of the area’s ecological stability (Mdusm, 2016). Additionally,other consequences can be threats because of overuse towards water supply,coral reefs and heritage places. Thirdly, if a destination depends on tourismincomes there is a high risk due to incidents like terrorism, economic collapseand natural catastrophes (Simm, n.d.).
In addition to this, the explicit forms ofwildlife and children sex tourism are being taken into consideration toquestion in regard to weather it is a blessing or a curse. As stated by SPOTS (2017), wildlifetourism is happening all over the world, although South Africa is the leadingprovider in this case, and can shortly being summarized into attractions asgiving milk, petting, taking photos and walking with wildlife animals such aswild cats, lions and cheetahs. So, tourists basically pay lots of money forinteraction with these animals. The common prices for a photo are approximately25€ per photo, while the costs for volunteers “taking care” of cubs mostlystart with 500€. However, there is a difference in the term hunting, regularand canned hunting. The former is considered when the animal is wild driftingand not caught in an area. The typical stay is as a minimum one week and costsfrom 30,000€ up, whereas the hunters order a particular species of animal withno complete guarantee to be able to catch it.
On the contrary, the latter dealswith a specifically chosen animal that has been a petting cub before and is shelteredin a restricted area. Here the typical stay is only a few days and gives aguaranteed kill because itis easier for the hunters. The prices reach from5,000€ to 30,000€ (SPOTS, 2017).
Statistics show that most lions shot arecanned hunted, meaning purposely bred and used in tourism before, as well.Furthermore, the number of lions in captivity and non-captivity differ fromcirca 8000 vs. 2800. As a result, the standard life cycle of a farmed lion canbe seen below in figure 1. Figure 1.
Farmed Lion Life Cycle (SPOTS,2017) Therefore, it can be arguedthat this form of wildlife tourism is animal abuse rather than “helping cubs indanger” as the highest danger for wild animal is loss of habitat. Additionally,it is a fact that after having regularly interaction with humans, wild animalsare not able to survive in the wild anymore. Besides, it is not unusual in thecub petting industry that they isolate the cub and mother after just a few daysinstead of normally a minimum of one year and a half. But as previously seen infigure 1, to cope with the demand of tourists, bred wild animals need to beexchanged on a regular basis as they get dangerous for humans when becomingolder, even though they are trained for their whole life. To conclude, wildlife tourism,such as interactions with wild cats, literally generates animals for touristsand hunters which always results in animal abuse. So, it may be interesting andexciting for humans to get into direct contact with wild animals, but thispleasure is one sided as it is harming the animals enormously and does notsupport the process of nature conservation (SPOTS, 2017).
Another significant dilemmais the sexual abuse due to tourism in general but also especially regardingchildren. To begin, the definition ofchild prostitution related to tourism is when an individual uses tourismservices, sexual insults a minor, meaning someone younger than 18 years old, inexchange or promise for money or goods. It includes sensual massages as well asviewing nude children, and are disciplinary by law (Ecpat, 2017). As publishedby Ecpat (2017), this does not only happen in developing countries but also inNorth America, Europe and Australia for example. Furthermore, it is notpossible to stereotype offenders because the range reaches from internationalto national, from old to young, from male to female, and from paedophile tosituational happenings. For the children, main push factors are vulnerabilityas poverty, low self-esteem, personal issues and absence of understanding.
Onthe other side, the main pull factors are attention, excitement from risk, feelingof belonging and confidence. However, the difference to tourism related abusesare contributing factors such as anonymity, liberty and power imbalances(Ecpat, 2017). Moving on from the general impacts oftourism towards the more specific focus on responsible tourism, first adefinition is needed. According to Del Chiappa, Grappi andRomani (2016), the term describes a framework of performances that are inrespect to the “host’s natural, built, and cultural environments and theinterests of all parties concerned” (Del Chiappa, Grappi & Romani, 2016,191) as well as to reduce the damaging effects on the destination. Besides, it focussesstrongly on the values of social and economic justice but also on respect ofthe environment and culture, whereby the local community plays a central roleand has the right of a socially sensible elaboration of its area. Furthermore,it is stated that every party involved, such as purchasers, stakeholders,tourism companies, local organizations and DMOs, acts in a responsible way inrelation to the results of their behavior. Consequently, the positive awarenessof a beneficial contact among the local inhabitants, tourists and the tourismsector is important in responsible tourism aiming for preserve the authenticityof destinations. In addition, it does not differ if it is an international ornational destination nor if it is a developing or expanded country because theterm emphasizes a demand of respect, understanding and learning through indigenousidentity and interface with inhabitants and giving something back to them, aswell.
All that said, the next step is to clarifythe possibilities of personal contribution in order to foster the extension ofresponsible tourism. To create a complete representation the following part providesinfluences as a visitor, student and future professional. In the context of wildlifetourism in connection with responsible tourism, humans’ sensible reactionshould include to absolutely avoid visits to wild animal breeding farms, animalperformances like bull fights and circuses, as well as places where photos aretaken together with wild animals. All in all, direct interactions with wildanimals should never be supported (SPOTS, 2017). One important step to workagainst child sex tourism is to not look away and report suspicious behaviorfollowing the idea of working together to protect children worldwide fromsexual abuse. Examples of common situations are when an adult enters a frontdesk or hotel room with a minor who does not seem related to him. Moreover,when the guest refuses to show his own or the child’s identity or when there isinappropriate contact between two individuals while one seems to be underage.
If situations like these occur, present personnel or the management should benotified immediately as well as the child should not be left alone. In the end,it is important that awareness is raised, doubtful behavior is reported andproviders connect closely with child protection policies. Furthermore, thetourism industry in particular can contribute to it by establishing proceduresagainst child abuse, train employees in children’s rights and zero tolerancepolicy of sexual manipulation of children as well as provide information totourists of prevention and report methods (Ecpat, 2017). Finally, the responsibilitiesas a tourist include the overall willingness to invest time in order to searchfor information before the journey as well as during it because only by this itis possible to experience the local context intentionally and honourably. Having assessed all thesefeatures, it is indicated that there are positive as well as negative sides oftourism.
However, it is not easy to claim if tourism is a blessing or a curse,due to the fact that it is rather complex and has a variety of stakeholder withcontrary interests involved. But as argued before, tourism in general hasplenty of positive and important impacts as for instance improved facilitiesand infrastructure, increased job and education possibilities and enhancedcultural exchange. Nonetheless, it also follows that it often happens thatdeveloping countries, that depend on the revenue created through tourism, donot earn much from it because of economic leakage or intense competition withother destinations. Therefore, when these developing countries would not get exploited,when nature would not get destroyed due to over tourism or disrespectfultourism behaviour, or when local communities in general would get the chance tobenefit more from tourism, tourism can be more a blessing than a curse.
Nonetheless, the current developments in tourism can be seen more as a curse asit seems that money is the main purpose of the industry, which harms localinhabitants, animals and nature enormously only to offer tourists pleasant andlow-budgeted holidays. But if this continues further, there is no question thatit all will be over one day sooner or later because, firstly, animal as well asnature resources are limited but also cultural uniqueness and century-oldtraditions are irreplaceable as well. So, whenever the time is reached, thereis no going-back again and serious consequences follow, which the tourism andtravel industry is forced to adapt to.
Consequently, there are twopossibilities for the industry, one is to react now and make tourism a realblessing for everyone and everything connected, or two is to continue in thisway, as a curse for the long-term, and loose the richness of cultural andnatural potentials for good. Referencelist Ecpat.(2017). Child sex tourism PowerPointslides. Retrieved from https://elo.stenden.com/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/file?cmd=view&content_id=_3751761_1&course_id=_15314_1&framesetWrapped=true Mdusm,P. (2016).
The positive and negative effects of Tourism on the social-culturalenvironment of a country. Retrieved on January 4, 2017, from https://www.linkedin.
com/pulse/positive-negative-effects-tourism-social-cultural-prince-mdusman/ Simm, C.(n.d.). USA TODAY: Positive & Negative Effects of Tourism. Retrieved onJanuary 4, 2017, from http://traveltips.usatoday.
Animal welfare PowerPointslides. Retrieved from https://elo.stenden.com/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/file?cmd=view&content_id=_3772100_1&course_id=_15314_1&framesetWrapped=true UNTWO(2017). Tourism Highlights: 2017 Edition. Retrieved on January 4, 2017, from https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.
18111/9789284419029 WWF(2016). Wildlife Conservation. Retrieved on January 4, 2017, from https://www.worldwildlife.org/initiatives/wildlife-conservation