Green Hotels & Responsible Tourism Initiative

The Responsible Traveler Guide

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Negative Impacts of Tourism

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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 community.

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.

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Authors

Dr. Sonya Graci
Dr.
Sonya Graci
Jacqueline Kuehnel
Jacqueline Kuehnel
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HotelsCombined.com Accomodating Green