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Tourism is one of the most essential sector of hospitality industry. It is considered to be an important part of economy which helps in generation of large scale revenue and profits for the country. This industry has gained a lot of significance over years due to the large number of persons being involved in this sector as employees, clients, business associates, customers etc. which provides a strategic edge to tourism business. Tourism business has stretched from small villages to metropolitan cities and from seaside to hilly areas and gained a massive proportion of overall marketplace. This report is based upon positive and negative impacts of tourism from four perspectives, namely, social and cultural, political, economic and environmental with respect to United Kingdom. Also, this report provides an in-depth insight into the recommendations and solutions that can be considered by businesses operating within tourism sector to enhance the positive aspects as well as to overcome the negative sides of this business.
Tourism refers to actions of people who travel and stay in places except their own residents for meetings, leisure or any other purpose for not more than a year. This sector is a large source of revenue generation for various businesses that are operating in same or associated field. Also, tourism generates employment opportunities for a large number of people across the world. In relation to this, the various positive impacts of tourism from social and cultural perspective are discussed below:-
Socio-cultural: These basically revolves around the lifestyles, latest trends and technologies persisting in country and industry. Also, this factor deals with beliefs, values, norms and practices related to a specific country. Tourism helps in bringing various individuals and groups belonging to various geographical locations together by way of their tour or holiday packages. This reflects that travel and tourism sector largely assists business in removing the cultural barriers among the human resources working within a tourism organisation as well as this business sector. It enables cultural exchange among the tourists. Also, at a global level, tourism helps businesses in overcoming national barriers and difference of opinions, views, thoughts and practices so as to integrate the same for overall effective functioning of this industry. Tour and travel industry also has a significant contribution towards promotion of regional and cultural practices of people and helps in arising interest of individuals and groups towards art festivals and tour fairs. Besides this, it encourages the organisation of events and exhibitions in relation to domestic and international tourism.
Economic: Tourism has a major impact on economy of a country. This business sector works towards the upliftment of local community. This takes place by way of creation of job opportunities for people within the country which assists in raising their standard of living and giving them satisfactory salaries so as to keep them happy. Also, tourism creates revenue for government so that they can provide better facilities for people. It gives an overall economic boost to nation by giving significant contribution towards creation and development of infrastructure as well as superstructure by way of construction of new roads, restaurants, hospitals, canals, bridges and places of attraction for tourists through the revenue generated from tourism. Also, it is seen that tourism creates a positive relationship between tour and travel sectors and other products and service providing businesses. This sector of economy creates opportunities for other business sectors like heritage preservation entities, hotels, fun & adventure sports and also areas like shopping, recreation and positive attitudes of people towards tourism.
Environmental: This includes the consideration of businesses in relation to conservation of environment and sustainable development. Effective management of tourism policies in relation to environment helps in raising the benefits of travel and tour towards enhancement of quality of life. For this, tour and travel agencies make use of sound and carefully planned systems of functioning so as to ensure least negative impacts upon nature. Also, tourism work towards effective utilisation of natural resources. Besides this, there are various types of tourism like wildlife, nature, fun, adventure and ecotourism that helps in promoting various forms of environments including rain forests, wilderness, mountains, rivers, oceans, lakes, coastlines etc. Tourism sector substantially helps in creating awareness about environmental stewardship.
Tour and travel operators substantially promote proper waste disposal, reduction in usage of plastic bags, use of energy efficient and non polluting means of transportation. Tourism sector also enhances the quality and conservation of flora and fauna by preservation of national heritage and development of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Effective waste minimisation tools and techniques along with pollution preventive measures are thus considered to be some of the major ways in which tourism functions for the preservation of environment.
Political development: Tourism and politics has a huge connection between them. Many tourists visits to selected countries by completing neglecting others. If two countries have great political relations among them then doing travel between those countries would be convenient and easy which will also encourage tourists to travel to countries. Tourism industry should be explained on their online websites so that tourists are aware of that countries rules and policies. This will make their trip easy. Whereas politicians takes various decision which helps in increasing productivity and profits of tourism sector. If government will reduce taxes of countries than tourists can visit easily and it will also an ease to them to make use of different services of tourism.
Resources: Tourism is a sector that has a dependency on physical environment of a place. Mostly tourism has also effected natural resources like air and water. Many tourism industries have used electronic cars instead of petroleum cars which has reduced air pollution. Moreover government has put restrictions on usage of natural resources and companies which are following to that rules and regulations, government are providing them extra benefits. More natural resources of a country attract tourist as they make their trip luxurious and enjoyable. Where as water resources are prime attraction for any visitor within a country. Also it helps in balancing conservation of natural resources by making use of different policies in tourism sectors.
Although there are various positive impacts of tourism sector upon various areas of a country, yet it also has some adverse effects. Both the forms of environment, natural as well as man-made are essential to be maintained by tourism. But the relationship between tourism industry and environment along with natural resources has over years not been favourable. Tour and travel operators engage in many such practices that can have detrimental impacts upon environment. Such activities are associated to various aspects like infrastructure, political and economic conditions and environmental concerns. Many tour agencies make use of such vehicles, equipments, practices or activities which cause a lot of pollution and pose threats to human health. It is essential that local heritage is preserved by tourism which is contradictory to the the real situation of this sector.
Socio-cultural: Tourism industry can even have a number of negative impacts upon society and people that are a significant part of it. It can be said that when a large number people visit a place then it will be difficult for existing infrastructure like railways, roads and health care department to cope up with stress which has been created. Also, tradition can be affected as local people may tend to copy lifestyle of tourists by observing and analysing them which can lead to loss in customs of city for which they are being known. Crime rates are also probable to get increased as a result of tourism when tourists visit such cities that have increased number of crime including theft cases.
As a result of tourism, communication problems also occur, at times, between host community and tourist due to barriers of language, culture, nation and traditions. Besides this, local goods can be replaced by exported goods even when they are not authentic but seems appealing to people which will result in decline in traditional industries. Local culture can be transformed into commodities as festivals and traditional ethnic rights, religious rituals are sanitised to meet expectations of tourist which can lead to reconstructed ethnicity. Sacred places and sites will not be treated as sacred and will not be respected as they are referred to as trade off goods. Furthermore, nowadays, demands of tourists are rapidly changing with time so countries try to modify their designs with respect to art and cultural manifestations which can lead to change in existing natural heritage monuments and places.
Economic: Tourism can even have adverse effects on economy on a country. For instance: natural disasters which are unforeseeable and unexpected like weather conditions (earthquakes, landslides), political upheaval will obviously have a negative impact as tourist will avoid visiting such places which eventually will have a adverse impact on economy. Also, to attract tourists, infrastructure is created which results local taxpayers and local government to spend lot of money. And when more money is invested on infrastructure then investment on critical sections of society like health and education, sanitisation can not be done effectively. Furthermore, tourism often leads to reduction in traditional employment, leakage of money along with seasonal unemployment. In relation to tourism industry, leakage generally takes place in case of loss of money from any geographical location. Also, tourism often leads to increased cost of living as travelling to various locations become quite expensive and lucrative for tourists. Tourism sector results in loss of traditional jobs in case when people shift from industrial sectors to service industry. As a result of tourism, local community sometimes have to spend huge amount on transport, foods, drinks, entertainment, events etc.
Environmental: Tourism is a highly growing sector in today's world. Growing rate of tourism sector often leads to increase in amount of pollution as well as wastage. Unfortunately, not every country and every government works towards dealing with this issue. Travel and tourism industry is one of largest industries. It clearly surpasses oil exports, food products and auto mobiles sector as well. There are numerous activities happening nowadays that adversely affect the growing tourism industry. Examples of such negative activities include terrorism, political changes or upheaval, impactful weather conditions etc. These factors can largely affect a region and its tourism sector. Also, it will create a havoc in lives and mindsets of people for quite a long time. If a region is entirely dependant on tourism sector there are higher chances of negative impacts to stay for a longer period of time and recovery will be very slow.
Sometimes, too many tourists at a place at the same time also affects quality of life. This phenomena is known as over tourism and creates a burden in lives of common people there. Destinations or regions facing this issue involve rural Patagonia, Chile and urban Barcelona and Spain. In U.S., where top 10 natural parks were highly visited in 2016, managers of national park service are searching for alternate ways in which they can protect and reserve their natural parks for their future generations. Number of visitors has been growing from year to year and many a times even exceeds its local population.
Political development: Politics and political development is a major concern which greatly affects environment and its relative conditions. An effective government helps in improving quality of environment and controls its depletion in numerous ways. Various reasons for environmental depletion have been mentioned and studied by economists. It has been argued that non democratic regimes are more in state to underprovide public goods such as environmental quality when compared to democratic ones. One major reason behind this is that politically stable powerful and elite people have majority share of country's income and resources. It simply implies that they have an uneven and disproportionate share of amount that is been given for environmental maintenance and regulations. Also, they are entitled to a proportionate share in benefits of pollution control.
It has been commonly analysed and found in a survey that politically elite people are worst in forming policies and implementing them when it comes to environmental policy levels as well as public provisions and their implementation. Political development is entirely dependent on people favouring or supporting them. Certain parties and leaders favour development of themselves while some are in favour of ecological development and environmental maintenance. Government of different regions favours different industries by using tariffs, subsidies and other rules and regulations. These industries many a times pollute environment to a great extent as compared to others while certain help in reduction of pollution. To prevent this, governments many times set standards that help in environmental safety and protection.
Resources: Natural resources are adversely impact by tourism industry. As tourism allow diversification it also damage landscape and vandalise livestock. It erodes and disturb various resources of nature. Tourism allow traffic congestion which increase level of pollution. It degrades land and minerals. It also effect fossil fuels and reduce fertility of soil. It creates negative impact on forest which creates forests degradations. It badly affects environmental resources which includes wildlife and minerals. Also, it leads to huge amount of pollution which poses threat to lives of human and affect their medical condition adversely.
From the above report, it has been recommended that there is a huge need for government, local communities and other public and private institutions to preserve the practice and business of tourism. Also, there can be steps taken by tour and travel operators to indulge in such practices that pose least harm to environment along with national heritage. Businesses functioning within this sector of hospitality industry should make use of latest trends and technology while carrying out its operations so as to ensure that this sector does not engage in any such practice that is against public interest or leads to harmful effects like pollution. Also, by doing so, organisations can ensure that they stay ahead of its competitors by gaining widespread acceptability from public.
Government should provide strategic direction and overview of tourism by establishing a proper institutional structure. They should also imposed rules and regulations which would increase profits and productivity of Tourism sector. By retaining current system of tariffs will also help people to spend less on travelling trip and can plan a trip easily. Moreover government should also made rules for children that Tourists below five years must not be taken charges for travelling. Another thing which could be suggested to government for doing development and promotion one must establish a development bank for tourism which allows exchange of currency in a lower and affordable rates. Moreover, arbitration can be used to resolve disputes or negligence between customer and service provide. This can also be act as a proof in case of fraud or if rights of tourists are being violated. Such methods will also help in resolving conflicts without going to courts. Other recommendations which can be given are tax incentives, development of infrastructure and management of waste within countries in which tourists are travelling. These will not only benefit government in generating revenues but will also help tourism sector to increase its productivity and profits.
Sustainable tourism is a practice which involves a concept of visiting a place as a tourist and also try making or creating a positive impact on environment and its practices. It also impacts society as well as economy as a whole. Tourism generally involves primary transportation to general locations, accommodation facilities providing proper channels of entertainment and recreation and so on. Tourism industry can never be sustainable in every sector completely as every sector of economy has some positive as well as negative impacts. Hence, tourism sector should always aim towards achieving higher level of efficiency and becoming more sustainable. By continuous development of many regions and countries and growth of their tourism sector , it provides significant impact over natural resources, consumption patterns, pollution as well as social systems. Sustainable development is needed for responsibly planning and managing of resources for tourism sector which helps it in its survival in long term. This is an ongoing process and requires wide participation as well as building consensus. This process involves constant monitoring of impacts and introducing necessary and corrective measures as and when required. It should also focus on attracting high level of satisfaction for tourists.
It is also recommended that measures should be taken by tour and travel agencies to ensure that there is no exploitation of tourists during the tour. Also, steps can be taken at local levels to preserve this sector of business and ensure that there is no harm is caused to cultural values, beliefs, norms and practices of host country.
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