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Tourism and environment in conflict - Essay Example

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Tourism and environment in conflict The development and growth of tourism industry in recent years has strained the relationship between tourism and environment, changing its very structure and dynamics between the two from that of co-existence to conflict…
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Tourism and environment in conflict
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Download file to see previous pages Thus on one hand where the industry is hailed as a key contributor to the country’s economy and boosting its growth and development, on the other it is blamed by environmentalists and other stakeholders as responsible for single handedly destroying and depleting the natural resources (Huebner, 2010). Both sides of the arguments are valid and hold credibility considering the vast amount of evidence available in the form of research conducted over the years. This indicates a dire conflict between two of the most critical elements of the society. The tourism industry, unlike the other industries relies solely on the use of the natural resources to lure and attract consumers. The natural environment hence, forms a very integral part of the trade which is exposed to the public. The increase in tourism incidentally leads to an increase in common tourist activities such as shopping, dining, which are often created in the midst of nature so as to afford a fine sight-seeing experience for the consumers. Such activities significantly increase the risk of destruction and depletion of natural resources and damage the surrounding environment and bio-diversity (Brebbia and Pineda, 2010; Leigh, Webster, and Ivanov, 2012). The fact that tourism has caused a gradual yet steady deterioration of the environment has been accepted lately due to the increasing evidence asserting the same. Tourism has consistently contributed to the rise in industrial wastes. According to reports tourism generates significant amount of waste due to increased human activities in the surrounding area. It has also caused a radical shift in climate due to increased traffic leading to air pollution. Since the tourism is highly dependent on consumers, increased tourist activities are inevitable. Any effort to reduce or eliminate the production of waste and protect the environment is hence likely to be futile mainly due to the sheer size of the industry (Sharpley, 2009; Scott, Hall, and Gossling, 2012). The deterioration of the environment due to increase in tourism is a paradox faced by the industry since the availability of clean and orderly environment is one of the key pre-requisites for the tourism industry to thrive. The industry on one hand strives to co-ordinate the two diverse yet inter-related causes – that of promoting tourism and safeguarding the very natural resources it endorses as a bait to attract more consumers. The tourism industry is hence entrusted with the burden of balancing the act of protecting the environment by keeping it clean and retaining its purity, and at the same time use it as its USP (Unique Selling Point) in attracting more consumers. This indicates a conflict of interest between the tourism industry and the environment whereby the wider social cause of environment protection is sacrificed in exchange for capital gains. The conflicting relationship between tourism and natural environment can be rectified to a certain extent by coordinating and controlling the impact of tourism activities on the environment. This issue is confronted by two diverse perspectives i.e. ethical and economic whereby the significance and gravity of neither of the two can be denied or ignored. It is highly impossible to ignore the contribution of tourism in ensuring protection of the environment and vice versa. However it is of crucial significance to ensure that the thin line between ethical and commercial objectives of the trade is not overlooked in favor of profits. Incidences such as illegal ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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