Negative Impacts of Tourism
Many of the negative impacts from tourism occur when the amount of visitors is greater
than the environment's ability to cope with the visitor volume.
Some of the consequences of exceeding the environmental capacity include strain on already
scarce resources such as water, energy, food and natural habitat areas. In addition, unchecked
tourism development may lead to soil erosion, increased pollution and waste, discharges into the
sea and waterways, increased pressure on endangered species of animals and plants, and heightened
vulnerability to deforestation, as well as loss of biodiversity.
The same way that tourism can encourage the preservation of socio-cultural authenticity of
host communities, mass tourism may also erode traditional values by introducing foreign
elements which are in conflict with the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of
The tourism paradox therefore, lies in the tension between our desire to travel the world, and
the need to provide the most benefits with the least harm. Many well intentioned people in the
public and private sector are hard at work looking for solutions that will provide viable,
long-term socio-economic benefits for tourist areas.
Building a culture of sustainability will however, take time and you, the traveler, can
become part of the solution.