MASS TOURISM AND ALTERNATIVE TOURISM Tourism results in both positive and negative impacts on the destination region. To remove negative effects, it is essential that policy making and planning should be done effectively. Tourism has the potential to increase the economic, social, cultural and environmental life of a country…
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Mass tourism refers to an uncontrolled type of tourism, where tourists use up non-renewable natural resources. The adverse consequences are caused by “overpopulated, inundated resorts, and social problems with tourists confined to their golden ghettos and locals to their impoverished conditions” (Encyclopedia of Tourism 2000: 20). The excesses of mass tourism culminated in the development of alternative tourism based on ethical, ideological and political principles, with dynamic and innovative solutions for situations having dangerous implications for the future. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the differences between mass and alternative tourism, and whether each can benefit local communities. National resources including culture and heritage are the main assets of tourism; hence social and environmental well-being are considered to be more important than economic well-being. Mass tourism is mainstream, and the authorities have been considering whether alternative forms of tourism would be more sustainable than mass tourism. “Ecotourism, particularly community-based ecotourism, is becoming the mainstay of alternative tourism development in less developed countries (LDCs)” (Hashimoto 2002: 83). ...
It also sustains indigenous lifestyles, and provides incentives for wildlife conservation besides other natural resources. On the other hand, mass tourism creates environmental havoc, “adulterates and debases indigenous cultures, and brings unsightly development, pollution, and environmental degradation” (Knox and Marston 2003: 321). In the Caribbean, sewage has polluted coastal waters, and poisoned mangrove trees, while boats and divers have damaged coral reefs. In the European Alps, tourists ten times greater in number than the local population have ripped up forests, obliterated pastures, and covered scenic valleys with hotels and other facilities. Cooper, Fletcher, Fyall et al (2008) reiterate that environmental impacts of mass tourism include high-rise hotels on beach frontages, and other constructions. Additionally, tourism activities can overdraw scarce natural resources such as water for swimming pools and other facilities. Environmental impacts of weeding chemicals used in golf courses, besides fertilizers, pesticides and other treatments, are high. Further, transportation networks and leisure activities such as using snowmobiles add to the noise and air pollution. Air transport and local level tour buses and other vehicles add to the environmental pollution. Hence, “greater commitment is required from the tourism industry” (Jenner & Smith 1992: 5) to reduce environmental degradation which reduces tourism profits to host communities, besides causing depletion of natural resources. . A study conducted by Gursoy, Chi and Dyer (2010) examined local residents’ attitudes toward development of mass tourism and alternative tourism, in Sunshine Coast, Australia. Community support for either type of tourism
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