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Tourism

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Nowadays it is undoubted that tourism has become one of the largest and fastest growing industries at the global level. In fact, the majority of developing countries consider international tourism as a main approach to generate more local economic activities and encouragements of environmental improvement for regional areas. This leading service sector, however, could draw severalproblematic issues for the local environment and even economy of recipient countries due to many reasons. This essay will argue that in developing countries the economic and environmental negative impacts caused by tourism outweigh its benefits for local communities. To understand the influence of tourism on host countries, this essay aims to provide the evaluation about the benefits and costs of tourism on both economy and environment throughout two sections. The first section discusses the outperformance of negative consequences caused by tourism on environment comparing to its positive effects, while the second argues that the impacts ofvulnerable economy arose from tourism outweighs its benefit for the developing countries. Besides, the essay also points out the genuine situations of the tourism industry in South East Asia as the typical case of developing countries. Firstly, tourism has posed several destructive effects on environmental structure of the host regions where tourism activities take place. Undoubtedly, the constructions of facilities and infrastructures constructed for tourism as well as heavy visitation of tourists could partly destroy environmental sites. According to Archer, Cooper and Ruhanen (2005), uncontrolled tourism development has adulterated and debased theaesthetic value and uniqueness of local environment by unsightly hotels and other unplanned constructions of facilities. Agreeing with this negative impact, Seviour (2013) shows an example of the long line of high-rise hotels along the Jesolo beach in Italy that offends the visitors by its discrepancy with the natural surroundings. This situation, even, is deteriorating in developing countries where the relationship between tourism infrastructures and its indigenous environmental structure has not been put into proper consideration from the local planning departments. In the case of South East Asia, while Thailand witnessed the transformation of the coast resort in Pattaya into a sprawling and disorganised centre of tourism, there were several damages on ecosystem in tourist destination of Malaysia such as Marine Park and Tioman coral island (Hitchcock et al, 1993; Musa, 2000). Tourism mismanagement, intentionally or unintentionally, has corrupted the harmony between humans and the environment. Fletcher (1993), however, suggests that tourism has generated greater motivation for host countries to protect and maintain their fragile environment such as forests, beaches and wildlife parks. The creation of the Amboseli National Park, for instance, was considered as the remarkable conservation effort brought by tourism in Kenya. After 10 years of his research, unfortunately, this example becomes less convincing for the positive impacts of tourism when Knox and Marston (2003) point out the Amboseli National Park has been severely damaged due to the high density of safari vehicles. As the matter of fact it could be impossible to think of the tourism industry without transportation. Although before the late-1960s, only a minority of tourists travelled to South East Asia region due to its remoteness, the competition on prices of long haul flights between low cost airlines have contributed to the remarkable increase in overseas travelling activities into South East Asia (Hitchcock et al, 1993). Nevertheless, in the year of 2000 Hall and Page blame transports in tourism sector on causing environment damages when they inform:`…in the case of transport, the relationship with environment pollution and the significance of the tourism-transport interface in terms of declining environmental quality in cities and resort areas is becoming an issue of growing concern in Southeast Asia’ (Hall and Page, 2000:73). It could be explained by the fact that international airlines and ground transportation systems that occupied for the high demand of tourism operations are probably the reasons for air and noise pollution that badly affect to natural quality of ecologically-fragile zones. In fact, high concentrations of carbon monoxide and other harmful pollutants emitted from combustion engines of vehicles are the major environmental burdens for the host regions.Thus, there is always a high demand for careful planning and management of transportation networks in holiday destinations, particularly under-developed countries where usually lack of knowledge and vision about sustainable tourism development. Additionally the unconscious travel behaviours of tourists are responsible for the damages on highly sensitive ecological areas. Littering is one of the typical symptoms of poor awareness about environmental fragility of visitors. From every mountain in Great Britain, for example, a ton of scattered rubbish are made up of tourists per day while it is estimated nearly 25,000 used bottles are collected yearly from New Forest in Southern England (Archer, Cooper and Ruhanen, 2005). Waste disposal and sewage, if processed improperly, can be an environmental trigger of various health risks for local residents and ecosystem. Furthermore, another threat of human health quality such as noise disturbance stems from different commuting activities of tourists. It is common knowledge that noise disturbance makes people more stressful and even add more pressure on fauna and flora. This drawback even could be caused by alternative tourism – the ideal strategy for the sustainable tourism development. Seviour (2013), to illustrate, informs that the eco-tourists in Peru made a great amount of noise that discouraged Hoatzin bird from breeding and resulted in decrease on the number of this rare and wonderful species. Equally important, the concentration of both temporally and spatially of high volume of tourists is the main reason for the severe pressure on local resources. In fact, a significant number of trees as well as native woodland zones in certain mountain areas have sacrificed for fuel and land use utilized by operating activities of tourism. To exemplify, skiing resorts has replaced forest zones and brought about disasters such as soil erosion, flooding and mud slips (Archer, Cooper and Ruhanen, 2005). Furthermore, deforestation caused by such adverse situation leads to the major threat of forest genetic resources and even global warming as a long-term consequence. Not only forest has been threatened by tourism, water resource is also the victim of the over exploitation from the wasteful forms of tourism development. Particularly, swimming pools and golf courses consume a massive amount of water and land. Namely, a conventional golf course possibly requires the similar quantity of water that can be utilized by approximately 60,000 local individuals (Fletcher, 1993). In poor countries, where it is likely that water insufficiency was inherently severe, local people now suffer more burdens from tourism. To exemplify, Vietnam has encountered with many pressing problems of basic infrastructure provision such as water supply and energy in order to serve for the operation of hotels (Hall and Page, 2000). Beside inferior self-evident commercial benefits, tourism has challenged developing countries by increasing the high degree of economic vulnerability of peripheral regions in certain ways. Not only sensitive ecological areas are easy to be damaged, the economy of a country or region if largely depend on international tourism industry could become the genuine source of vulnerability.Firstly, foreign tourism companies give a rise to “leakage” effects on recipient countries. In this case, leakage effect is considered as challenge when the amount of money generated by tourism fails to stay with host regions, but international tourism operators and speculators. It is widely believed that tourism is characterized as an intangible type of export which its products are culture, natural beauty and locally produced goods in the host regions. Although Archer, Cooper and Ruhanen (2005) agree that this multi-billion dollar industry can enable destination countries to benefit from foreign currency, they also point out its drawback may still exist. In essence, the income of expatriate labour force as well as construction and operating expenses incurred by foreign-owned companies fails to contribute to economic benefit of local residents. This is because the inadequacy of skilled workers and resources in poor-ridden countries self-limits their export opportunities through international tourism development. Hall and Page (2000) point out the poor condition of accommodation infrastructures in Vietnam failed to satisfy basic international standards. Consequently, Vietnam has relied on foreign investments to meet such shortages as they note:`…A number of international hotel chains are investing in the country (Sofitel, New World and Century)…Hanoi has a dearth of five-star hotels, with overseas investment being used…’ (Hall and Page, 2000:173). That is to say developing countries tend to be inferior of fending for themselves in the international market places, even within their home countries. In the perspective on sustainable tourism development, Goodwin (2008) believes that promoting consumption of domestic goods and services can reduce leakage impacts. While this solution seems to be a feasible concept in principle, in reality it is probably fraught with hindrances. The major drawback for locally produced goods and services is package tourism such as cruise tourism and all-inclusive tourism. These types of tourism product are generally operated by multinational companies, hence they hardly have approach into local communities. It is true that tourist region itself obtains less than half of total revenue from package tourism, and even under a quarter if the package involves foreign-owned accommodation (Knox and Marston, 2003). Secondly, disadvantages that local residents incur directly from their vulnerable economy caused by tourism outweigh its advantages. According to Knox and Marston (2003), international tourism is the great economic opportunity for developing countries on the grounds that it is further affordable to establish a new job in tourism than other heavy industries. In the other words, the high demand of tourism labour force opens new career market places in recipient countries, in particular where unemployment is still a major problem. However many jobs within the tourism industry demand a considerable level of skill such as proficiency in different foreign languages and thus, many countries in the South East Asia region encounter with the deficiency of the required skilled labour. As a result, Scheyvens (2002) suggests that tourism industry solely creates menial, seasonal jobs for local residents.In Thailand, the poorly paid and menial job of chamber workers in luxury hotel is the example demonstrating for the plights of local people in such an outstanding holiday destination (Thailand, Tourism and the Truth, 2011). Even if this multi-billion dollar industry provides a range of high paying career from tourist guide to hotel manager, it remains highly unlikely that local people who inherently were not trained to work in service industry can hold such key positions in tourism industry. That fact could be a major hindrance for the case of Vietnam when Hall and Page (2000), point out less than 50 per cent of employees who are occupying tourism jobs in this country are qualified due to the insufficiency of tourism and hospitality training schools. Furthermore, local people sometimes incur increasing taxes arose from the expenses of new facilities and infrastructures constructed for tourism development. In essence, instead of being operated as profit-maker for developing countries, tourism, if not put in the local interests, could lead to the high tendency in over exploiting the native labour forces and other resources in these countries.
In conclusion, tourism simultaneously poses various opportunities and challenging in terms of environment and economy for host countries. Clearly, this essay has addressed a number of significant issues which argue that the negative impacts of tourism is outweighing the benefits. Firstly, the destruction onenvironmental aesthetic and health, and heavy pressure on local resource scarcity caused by tourism operating activities seem to dominate the conservation or restorationefforts of fragile environments from tourist operators or government. At the same time,in developing countries, the whole tourist region and resident individuals are likely dispossessed their net financialbenefits due toleakage effects and the failure of consideration on local human rights. In the case of South East Asia countries, the collaboration between government, private sectors and local residents can be crucial to reduce the negative impacts from tourism in terms of environment and economy and achieve their sustainable tourism development in the future.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
ARCHER , B., COOPER,C., and RUHANEN, L., 2005. The positive and negative impacts of tourism. In: THEOBALD ,W.F., eds., 2005, Global Tourism, 3rd ed. Burlington : Elsevier Inc., pp.79-102

FLETCHER , J.,2008. The environmental Socio-cultural Impacts of tourism. In: COOPER, C., FLETCHER, J., FYALL , A., GILPERT, D. and WANHILL, S., 2008. Tourism: principles and practice. 4th ed. Harlow: Pearson education Limited, pp.161-179.

GOODWIN, J., 2008. Sustainable Tourism Development in the Caribbean Island Nation-States. Michigan Journal of Public Affairs , vol 5.

HALL, C.M. and PAGE, S., 2000. Tourism in South and South East Asia: Issues and Cases. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

HITCHCOCK, M., KING, V.T., PARNWELL, M.J.G., Tourism in South-East Asia. London: Routledge.

KNOX , PAUL L ., and MARSTON,SALLIE A., 2003. Places and Regions in Global Context: Human Geography. 2nd ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River.

SEVIOUR, M., 2013. International Tourism: Who really benefits?. [Lecture to PEAP course, Nottingham Trent University].

SCHEYVENS, R., 2002. Tourism for development: empowering communities. Harlow: Pearson Education limited.

‘Thailand: Tourism and the Truth’, 2011. Stacey Dooley Investigates, Series 1, episode 5. [TV] BBC Three, 01 July 2011. [Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0100vtt. Accessed 04 December 2013.]

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