Environmental Impacts of Tourism
* The history of tourism closely shows that the environment has contributed to the birth and progress of tourism. * The term “environment” connotes both human and physical characteristics. Speakers and writers often refer to human environment, physical environment or a combination of both. * A term that describes the human and physical characteristics of an area is preexisting forms.
1. Environmental Awareness
Tourism has created environmental awareness in two ways:
* First, contact with scenic areas has raised man’s awareness of the earth’s beauty and made it easier for him to see and enjoy it with minimum damage. * Second, environmental awareness has been heightened by mass tourism
Conservation and prevention of the environment not only benefits the local area but they also determine the future of tourism. * First, the local residents benefit from the preservation. * Second, tourism for as long as it draws tourist, will continue to be socio-economic and culture asset.
The aim of National Park Services, with the inclusion of conservation, is much broader now than it was in the past. The national park in East Africa, Kenya and Tanzania were founded to protect wildlife.
Clare Gunn cited the following factors which led to the conservation movement: 1. There was a social concern to which park movement owes its beginnings. The growth of industry and commerce and their associated ills stimulated a demand for the parks and open spaces. The provision for public land was seen as an antidote to the immoral values of urban society and as an escape from the routine work and urban living. 2. There was an emphasis on the efficiency of resources being used, particularly of non-renewable resources. Early expectations stressed maximum utilization but with a minimum of environmental degradation. 3. Conservation also incorporated aesthetic enhancement. This is particularly significant as one major tourist activity is sightseeing which depends heavily on qualities of the natural environment. 4. Protecting the natural environment from irresponsible human manipulation.
4 Ways in which Tourism has been important to Conservation (according to Mathieson and Wall) 1. Stimulating the rehabilitation of existing historic sites, buildings and monuments. 2. Stimulating the transformation of old buildings and locations into new tourist facilities. 3. Creating the impetus for the conservation of natural resources 4. 4. Bringing about the introduction of administrative and planning controls necessary to maintain the quality of the environment to ensure a satisfying and rewarding experience for the tourists.
3. Development of Attractions
Several countries around the world are identifying areas which have the potential to attract tourist. In the Caribbean island of St. Croix, the U.S. National Park Service has established and developed an underwater national park. This unique site attracts snorkelers and those interested in corals. It helps preserves the area and creates an awareness of the character of the coral reefs and the see floor. *
High mountain areas have been developed.
4. Historic Preservation
Many historical sites in both urban and rural areas have been preserves to attract tourists. This restoration and rejuvenation is occurring throughout the world and serves as a major characteristic of an area intended to impress tourists Example: Intramuros, Mont. St. Michel in France, Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, USA
5. Preservation of Nature
As far as preservation of environment is concerned, it tries to maintain the present condition areas of the nature which are not yet touched by humans
Environmental preservation is viewed or seen as the setting aside of earthly resources for preventing damage normally caused by contact with humans or by certain human activities, such as logging, mining,...
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