The tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. On both a local and national level tourism has profound impacts on the environment. Tourism’s negative impact can affect both economic and environmental factors that have a great influence on future development. It may leave you questioning, what impact does tourism have on the environment? Keep reading to find out more about the tourisms negative impacts and how sustainable efforts are helping to eradicate them.
How Does Tourism Affect The Environment?
The influence of the tourism industry in large cities, as well as remote rural areas rich in natural wonders, can’t be understated. For many smaller communities around the world, tourism is the best opportunity of generating income to sustain lifestyles and traditions. It can bring a lot of good to regions, but tourism has negative impacts as well.
The quick degradation, extinction, or depletion of nature is the most concerning of the negative impacts of tourism. If these are not completed with long-term planning and preservation in mind, the results can be catastrophic.
A few examples of potential threats to natural areas around the world include closures of beaches, bays, and other tourist attractions. Tourism’s impact on the environment causes things like soil erosion, increased pollution, discharges into the sea, natural habitat loss, increased pressure on endangered species and heightened vulnerability to forest fires.
Nature Destruction Due To Tourism
Boracay Island – Philippines
The Philippines had to shut down Boracay Island because of tourism negative impact on the environment and natural destruction on the island due to trash. One of the main problems generated from the tourism boom in the Philippines is the unregulated development and pipes carrying raw sewage into the sea.
Despite multiple warnings from the President of the Philippines to stop the dumping of garbage into the ocean, the whole of Boracay Island has been shut down for 6 months. Tourism here is threatened by the present scenario of fast-paced development and increasing pollution.
The impact of closing Boracay Island does have a few negative implications, but the positive impacts of a closure far outweigh the negatives. This closure allows environmental regulations to be enforced, and a successful and sustainable clean up procedure to be put in place. It also combats overcrowding and the overdevelopment of the island, allowing for the restoration of its natural beauty.
Maya Bay – Thailand
Maya Bay, in Thailand, is another beautiful place where nature destruction has occurred thanks to overtourism. This once breathtakingly beautiful cove is nestled on the idyllic island of Phi Phi Ley. It has long been considered one of the most iconic sites in the Phi Phi archipelago. With turquoise waters, powder-soft sands, and towering limestone cliffs that captivate visitors from around the world.
Experts say the pollution from boats has contributed to the destruction of the once pristine coral reefs in the area. In addition to boat pollution, it is estimated that both litter and sunscreen have destroyed over 80% of the coral reef around Maya Bay.
The area has been closed in an effort to combat tourisms negative impact and to help the recovery of marine life, coral reefs, and underwater gardens. Authorities have previously planted new coral reef areas and additional trees have been positioned by the beach in order to help prevent further erosion. The closures serve as a good reminder of the natural destruction that can occur due to overtourism.
It is predicted that Maya Bay will close again this year in order to undergo another period of natural rehabilitation. This allows the delicate ecosystem to recover and flourish, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy this stunning location in its full glory.
Tourism can have a negative impact and cause nature destruction in some of this world’s most beloved destinations. You can combat this by visiting some lesser known destinations or being cognizant of your impact on the areas that you visit. Get out and explore sustainably!
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