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Tourism: Impacts on the Economy and Eco System

In: Business and Management

Submitted By dfregoe
Words 2095
Pages 9
Caribbean History and Culture
March 17, 2013

Tourism: Impacts on the Economy and Eco-System

How is Caribbean tourism negative for their economy? How does tourism negatively impact ecology? Those are the questions I ask myself, is tourism tearing apart the Caribbean? In some ways there are both positive and negative impacts of tourism on the economy and ecology of the Caribbean. The reason this topic is worth being thoroughly exploring is because of all the lives it impacts on an everyday basis from work to water supply. Through researching I have found that there are a few alliances that their only purpose is to benefit and help keep the eco-system the way it is supposed to be. Now not all resorts are watched under these alliances but I am going to take a closer look at these Alliances and see exactly what they stand for and how they could make positive changes when it comes to helping save the eco-system. In the end I’m going to find statistics on what good and bad is going on, what people are doing to try to improve any of the bad and see just how much tourism affects the lives of the people and lands of the Caribbean. My plan is to look inside of it all, shift out the myths and find the truth on both the Economy and Ecology issues. The purpose of my research project is to look into the different effects tourism has on both the economy and ecology. I’m going to be digging deep into what is really happening to the oceans (Hill, 2013) these beautiful oceans that the huge chain resorts sit on. Also I want to find out how many resorts actually have policies that are put in place to help keep the oceans beautiful, clean, and alive? Looking to find out if tourism really does help the economy, because yes it brings revenue and jobs, here is an excerpt about the numbers. “In 2008, travel and tourism accounted for 13.5 percent of the GDP of all Caribbean countries” (Hill, 2013). Yet I still want to know what type of jobs? How much do they pay? Do the Caribbean nations have rules and guidelines for these over-seas corporations on how they should preserve the lands? The known things on tourism in the Caribbean are resorts create jobs, and lead to extra tax money to spend on schools, hospitals etc. At the same time these same resorts are dwindling down the water supply because of their mass usage, and putting pollution into the oceans, which over time could have a horrible impact on these resorts revenues (Simm, 2013). Ecology issues vary greatly but there are a few major ones that I would like to discuss; waste, water resources, local resources, land degradation, and pollution. Firstly I want to talk about the waste. Where are they putting it? They don’t have an effective waste management system for all the tourism spots and all this goes into the sea, which is putting pollutants into the water. “In areas with high concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural attractions, waste disposal is a serious problem and improper disposal can be a major despoiler of the natural environment - rivers, scenic areas, and roadsides. For example, cruise ships in the Caribbean are estimated to produce more than 70,000 tons of waste each year. Today some cruise lines are actively working to reduce waste-related impacts. Solid waste and littering can degrade the physical appearance of the water and shoreline and cause the death of marine animals.” (Impacts of Tourism, 2001) Some more of the ecology issues are all the tourist spots are consuming mass amounts of the water supply here is some numbers that round up the amounts they are using “Tourism makes huge demands on the Caribbean's water resources that is used for drinking, cooking, washing, swimming pools and air conditioning, reducing the volume of water available to local people. One study found that the average guest in Jamaica uses between 645 and 2,086 liters per night, compared with between 95 and 729 liters per guest per night in the United Kingdom. Several hotels have implemented programs to reduce their water use and make it more efficient. Installing gravity-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads can reduce the amount of water used by guests” (Kennedy, 2012). Recently golf tourism is on the rise and they are putting them in more and more of the resorts on these islands. These courses need a huge amount of water supply on a daily basis. If they are using wells as their water source they can over pump which causes saline into the groundwater (Impacts of Tourism, 2001). When they build these beautiful resorts they are contaminating and polluting not only the water but the land too. There are a ton of land resources that come naturally and will be greatly affected by tourism such as fossil fuels, fertile soil, forests, wetland, and wet life (Impacts of Tourism, 2001). All this construction they have for all these new resorts has increased pressure on all those resources and on the landscapes. With the direct impact on these natural resources eventually it will cause for the land not to be useable and unfit for any infrastructure (Impacts of Tourism, 2001). Forests in certain regions are also negatively affected and suffer the consequences of deforestation, and all this is being used for fuel wood, and land clearing. Air Pollution and noise is another huge problem, the amount of international air passengers worldwide went up from 88 million in 1972 to 344 million in 1994. Air emissions are on the rise due to the fact that 60% of tourist travel is through the air. Just like the ecology, the economy issues range widely. Let’s start with the fact that they have “sweat shops” that are paying people $30 (American money) a week which is the minimum wage in Jamaica. They are making these people work harder and faster and when they can’t meet these expectations they are bringing in Asians to do their work and eventually close down shop and move the plant elsewhere. Because of the IMF agreement they signed to get out of debt the people could no longer export goods to prosper or even sell to their own people because the imports from other countries were cheaper so there was no competition. By having this country do these types of things work is getting less and less and more people are going without jobs which results in high unemployment rates and crime. The unemployment rates are very high in the Caribbean just some of a few are Jamaica 14.2%, The Bahamas 14.2%, Haiti 42.6%, Turks and Caicos Islands at 10%. (Field Listing, 2012) These people are so poor and it’s not right because they could and still can be prosperous if things had been different with the agreements the Prime Minister was signing. Now there’s no work and tons of debt but yet these tourist go there and see the beautiful beaches and great weather and have absolutely no idea what’s really going on inside the country. “Of each US$ 100 spent on a vacation tour by a tourist from a developed country, only around US$ 5 actually stays in a developing-country destination's economy. The figure below shows how the leakage happens” (Negative Impacts, 2013).

There are two ways this can happen, either import or export leakage. With import leakage this happens when tourists demands certain standards of equipment, food, and other products such as they are used to back at home, but the country they are in cannot supply these things for them. More so happened in poorer countries, because food and drinks must be imported since the local products are not up to the hotels standards, or simply put the country does not have a supplying industry they can get these products from. Much of the money tourists pay for these vacations actually ends up leaving the country in order to pay for the imports (Kennedy, 2013). “The average import-related leakage for most developing countries today is between 40% and 50% of gross tourism earnings for small economies and between 10% and 20% for most advanced and diversified economies, according to UNCTAD” (Negative Impacts, 2013). As for export leakage “Multinational corporations and large foreign businesses have a substantial share in the import leakage. Often, especially in poor developing destinations, they are the only ones that possess the necessary capital to invest in the construction of tourism infrastructure and facilities. As a consequence of this, an export leakage arises when overseas investors who finance the resorts and hotels take their profits back to their country of origin. A 1996 UN report evaluating the contribution of tourism to national income, gross levels of incomes or gross foreign exchange, found that net earnings of tourism, after deductions were made for all necessary foreign exchange expenditures, were much more significant for the industry. This report found significant leakage associated with: (a) imports of materials and equipment for construction; (b) imports of consumer goods, particularly food and drinks; (c) repatriation of profits earned by foreign investors; (d) overseas promotional expenditures and (e) amortization of external debt incurred in the development of hotels and resorts. The impact of the leakage varied greatly across countries, depending on the structure of the economy and the tourism industry. From the data presented in this study on the Caribbean, St. Lucia had a foreign exchange leakage rate of 56% from its gross tourism receipts, Aruba had 41%, Antigua and Barbuda 25% and Jamaica 40%” (Negative Impacts, 2013). “Tourism is vital to the entire Caribbean region, contributing an estimated 14.2 percent of the region's Gross Domestic Product in 2011, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. A survey undertaken by the Oxford Economic organization in 2010 found that tourism played a larger role in the Caribbean economy than it did in any of the world's other equivalent areas. Yet the majority of this income -- perhaps as high as 80 cents in every dollar -- "leaks out" of the Caribbean” (Negative Impacts, 2013). How is Caribbean tourism negative for their economy? How does tourism negatively impact ecology? Those are the questions I ask myself, is tourism tearing apart the Caribbean? In some ways there are both positive and negative impacts of tourism on the economy and ecology of the Caribbean. In the above description of the different problems they are having that comes with the tourism territory has answered thoroughly to the above mentioned questions. I believe that yes tourism is tearing the Caribbean apart, because these tourist don’t realize what these builders do in order to put up these resorts or how much or the natural resources they are depleting. Eventually one day there will not be a beautiful ocean to go sit at because it will have been so horribly polluted that it’s not “useable” anymore. Also with the impacts of tourism on the economy it takes a great tole when it in fact looks like it helping them but most of their profits are going outside of the country, they are not really producing to many jobs for locals, and everything that the resort uses is being imported so that that locals don’t even have a chance of producing the goods to be bought to make them a dollar.

Works Cited

Hill, Danielle. "What Are the Benefits of Tourism in the Caribbean." USA Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. <>.

Simm, Carole. "Positive and Negative Effects of Tourism." USA Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. <>.

Kennedy, Rita. "The Effects of Tourism in the Caribbean." USA Today. Last modified 2012. Accessed February 17, 2013.

Federal Government. "Field Listing Unemployment Rate." CIA. Last modified March 5, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2013. print_2129.html.

Works Cited Cont.

"Tourism's Three Main Impact Areas." Environmental Impacts of Tourism. United Nations Environment Programme, n.d. Web. 3 May 2013. <>.

"Negative Economic Impacts of Tourism." United Nations Environment Programme. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2013. < FactsandFiguresaboutTourism/ImpactsofTourism/EconomicImpactsofTourism/ NegativeEconomicImpactsofTourism/tabid/78784/Default.aspx>.

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