Tourism - Referat
“Tourism is wearing out our planet!”
Today I want to inform you about the effects of the globalization process on the tourism branch and its negative consequences for our global environment. But before turning to the topic I want to carry out a little survey with you- just to check if there are people who change their opinion about that statement by David Lodge after my talk.
Who of you share the view that tourism ruins the nature?
Who attends to the opposite and thinks tourism is only positive?
Is there anybody who takes the opinion that it is both- positive and negative?
Does anyone have no clue about it?
Ok, we will return to the results later on.
In the following I will give you some information about the development of tourism in the world, its reasons and the importance for the economy. At last I will come to the consequences of the globalization process in the tourism branch especially for the culture and the environment.
1. Development of mass tourism
A long time ago only a few people - especially from the nobility and the higher middle class - had the possibility and time to travel - until the 20th century - because in the 1950´s the economic upswing set in and caused an enormous tourism wave which led to the expansion of global travelling and the phenomenon of mass tourism.
There are various reasons for this: On the one hand the social and on the other hand the technological advances of the last decades.
The shortening of the daily and weekly working time results in more free time; therefore it can be stated as a reason of increasing tourism.
In the last 40 years the daily leisure time rose from 1,5 h to 4,1 h, at the weekend the people have half an hour more time than in the past and the holiday season tripled from 9 days to 31 days so that the Germans are keen on travelling. More income, economic growth, a higher life expectancy and individual mobility also supported the explosion of the tourist branch particularly in Germany.
Another reason for the increase of tourism is its commercialization. The world seems to become smaller because of new means of transport like trains, automobiles or planes which make it easier to reach other places. That fact even supported the expansion of certain types of infrastructure; which means: more hotels, more restaurants, more streets, harbours, airports, more buses and cars and logically more energy, canalization or cultural institutions.
1.2. Economic importance
Tourism belongs to the most important branches of the industry world wide. Every year it obtains about 40 billion US Dollars profit and offers over 100 million jobs. Some regions are only able to survive because of the tourists. But you even have to take a look at the distribution of profit: the USA and European states like Germany or Spain get 50 % of the revenues. Only 5 % are received by developing countries. To illustrate what I found out about the development of mass tourism I picked out the following statistic. Here it is shown how tourism developed from 1950 up to now. You can see that it is growing steady; especially Europe seems to be a magnet for tourists and you can notice as well that especially in African countries tourism is not of such an importance. This red line represents the revenues, as I mentioned before they are increasing, too.
2. Criticism on tourism
If you go on holiday it will always have an impact on the countries and regions you are visiting and logically, it will have consequences for their population, nature and culture. As I already said, often a new infrastructure is built only to satisfy the tourists’ needs. By building new streets or airports the responsible people do not show any consideration for the environment, traditional structures and the interests of the population. In some regions there are even so-called “ghettos” for tourists and in some cases tourism destroys its own potential because areas become unattractive when there are too many people, you might know this by your own experience.
2.1. Cultural effects
The more countries assimilate to tourism the more local and cultural traditions turn into shows or productions made exclusively for travellers. Tourism develops to a monoculture and is supported by those who are longing for profit. That is why the tourism branch is a part of the economic globalization and leads to the adaptation to the western world.
People travel in so-called exotic paradises and make a contribution to the rejection of the real cultural characteristics. The “exotic” things are only theatres according to the wishes of the guests. This is a vicious circle because tourists feel that the native hospitality has gone for business and therefore contributes to loose the origin of a country. Most will feel ridiculed and stop to respect the natives and their interests.
2.2. Consequences for the environment
This is of course a very current topic: the damages in environment and nature are dramatically. At first you have to mention the enormous air pollution. The emission of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide has an upward tendency especially because of cars and planes. I am sure you heard about the debate and the plans to raise the taxes for cars and make it expensive to travel to reduce the emission.
But even water and ground are in danger because the oil of vehicles or motor boats and even the sun protect lotions pollute most notably the Mediterranean Sea.
Another big problem is the rubbish produced by tourists. In vacation resorts there will always be more dirt than at home besides it is difficult to clean it up on the beach or in the mountains. The estimated quantity of waste in the Austrian alpines amounts 4.500 t, the one of sewage 90.000 m³.
To go on, tourism has negative consequences for developing countries and their natural resources. Due to the tourists´ consumption of water and energy caused by swimming pools and air conditioners the ground-water level falls. Therefore it is difficult to keep up the drinking water supply or the watering for the agriculture of these countries.
At last you can even say that tourism is damaging nature and eco-systems, the habitat for animals and plants. For the establishment of a new infrastructure the people change the aesthetic things for example natural or cultural country sides and they change the natural ground which leads to its erosion. Thousands of forests must die only for new ski slopes or hiking trails, sailors, divers or surfers are destroying water biotopes and the ones to suffer are always the animals.
Before I come to the end I would like to come back to our survey and ask you once again:
I think it is an interesting result. It was my aim to show you that tourism has positive and negative aspects because it is wrong to say that it is just destroying our environment. On the one hand there are bad things as the emission of harmful gases or the dying of forests but on the other hand tourism has made a contribution in protecting some natural areas as well. Some Canadian woods or African reserves yet only exist because the tourism branch wanted them, otherwise they might be damaged today. Besides you should not forget that tourism is the most important branch of economy and therefore essential for many regions.
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