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Impact of Tourism Industry to the Environment Essay

Introduction

The tourism industry can pose a threat to the environment, if changes made to it are not sustainable and are irreversible. This paper is entitled “Impact of the tourism Industry to the Environment: A Philippine Situation.” The researchers want to discuss how the tourism industry can pose a threat to the environment regarding to the changes made, whether it is not sustainable and irreversible. The researchers chose to do this paper in order to complete the major requirement of Comski 2. Second, to apply their knowledge on what they’ve learned from the study of research. Third, to apply their learning on APA. Hopefully, this paper will serve as reference guide for the upcoming tourism students to develop their writing skills and love for reading. This research paper will help the students to have a better understanding on how the tourism industry can pose a threat to the environment when a not sustainable and irreversible change have made. According to It’s More Fun in the Philippines website, the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences.

Prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, the Filipinos had a rich culture and were trading with the Chinese and the Japanese. Spain’s colonization brought about the construction of Intramuros in 1571, a “Walled City” comprised of European buildings and churches, replicated in different parts of the archipelago. In 1898, after 350 years and 300 rebellions, the Filipinos, with leaders like Jose Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo, succeeded in winning their independence. In 1898, the Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. Following the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World War II, particularly at the famous battle of Bataan and Corregidor which delayed Japanese advance and saved Australia. They then waged guerilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. The Philippines regained its independence in 1946. Filipinos are a freedom-loving people, having waged two peaceful, bloodless revolutions against what were perceived as corrupt regimes.

The Philippines is a vibrant democracy, as evidenced by 12 English national newspapers, 7 national television stations, hundreds of cable TV stations, and 2,000 radio stations. Filipinos are a fun-loving people. Throughout the islands, there are fiestas celebrated everyday and foreign guests are always welcome to their homes. According to Tourism Research and Statistics Division, visitor arrivals in 2013 totaled to 4,681,307 surpassing the previous year’s record of 4,272,811 by 9.56%. This feat gives the tourism industry a new milestone as tourists continue to demonstrate sustained growth amidst challenges. During the year, visitor count reached an all time high of more than 400,000 during the months of January, February, March, July and December. The highest growth rate, on the other hand, were recorded in February (15.8%), June (14.0%) and August (13.0%). Koreans remain the biggest source market with 24.9% share to total inbound visitors for 1.17 million arrivals.

This market continued to sustain growth at 13% by year-end. The successful conclusion of air services agreement in this market has contributed to increase in flight frequencies in key international gateways. Chinese tourists have bounced back with year-end growth of 69.9% for a total visitor arrival of 426,352. This volume surpassed the revised target for China of 260,000 set at the beginning of the year. The substantial increase in Chinese visitors was first felt in May when arrival posted 107.7% growth. For the past eight months, growth was steady at more than 100% to double digit. Accordingly, Chinese visitor share to total inbound expanded from 5.9% in 2012 to 9.1% in 2013. Japanese visitors continued to rise steadily with 433,705 arrivals for 5.1% growth. The implementation of new programs and introduction of new products targeting new and niche markets have revitalized the growth in this market. Remaining as the third biggest source market, Japan accounted for 9.2% share to total visitors. Australians and Singaporeans have already surpassed the Taiwanese as the fourth and fifth source of visitor arrivals.

These markets posted 11.4%and 18.0%, respectively. These markets demonstrated slow but consistent expansion from seventh and eight ranks during the year. Visitors from the United States of America (USA) contributed the second biggest arrivals at 674,564 for a share of 14.4%. Other countries that contributed substantially are Taiwan with 139,099 arrivals, Canada with 131,381 arrivals, Hongkong with 126,008 arrivals, and United Kingdom with 122,759 arrivals, Malaysia with 109,437 arrivals and Germany with 70,949 arrivals. Moreover, the following markets generated noteworthy gains: Saudi Arabia (+29.7%) with 38,969 arrivals, Vietnam (+27.8%) with 26,599 arrivals, Russian Federation (+25.2%) with 35,404 arrivals, Indonesia (+24.5%) with 45,582 arrivals, United Arab Emirates (+19.5%) with 15,155 arrivals, Thailand (+16.8%) with 47,874 arrivals, France (+15.8%) with 39,042 arrivals and India (+12.5%) with 52,206 arrivals.

By regional grouping, the East Asia region continued to contribute the biggest arrivals for share of 49.1% with 2,298,597. The region posted a double-digit gain of 12.73% vis-à-vis its previous year’s contribution of 2,038,987 arrivals. The ASEAN region maintained its position as the third largest contributor of arrivals by region, accounting for 9.02% of the overall traffic base. This region posted an increase of 12.49%, from its output of 375,190 in 2012. Total revenues gained from inbound visitors for the year was estimated at US$4.40 billion, equivalent to Php 186.15 billion, up by 15.1%. The overall average length of stay of visitors in 2013 remained at 9.6 nights. Foreign visitors stayed for an average of 9.4 nights while Overseas Filipinos stayed an average of 18.8 nights.

Average daily expenditure of inbound tourists during the year increased by 8.7% to US$101.12 from the US$ 92.99 recorded in 2012. Koreans showed biggest spent at US$140.81 per day while visitors from the United States have the longest stay at 13.4 nights. On the other hand, based on per capita spending of the Philippines’ top markets, visitors from Canada recorded the biggest spent at US$1,393.68. It was followed by visitors from Australia with a per capita expenditure of US$1,382.48. Other high spending markets include: Germany with US$1,360.34, U.S.A. with US$ 1,334.34, United Kingdom with US$1,306.86 and Korea with US$ 874.59.

Statement of the Problem

The study shall focus on how tourism industry can pose a threat to the environment, if changes made to it are not sustainable and irreversible. This research paper will also answer the following questions: 1. Do you think that most of the changes in our environment are caused by the development in our tourism industry? 2. What are the major changes that happened in our country’s environment due to our own tourism industry? 3. Do you think that the policies made by the government to address environmental problems which resulted from the tourism efforts are effective? 4. Has the government made efforts to make our environment sustainable to cater to the demands of the blooming tourism industry? 5. How does the country respond to the growing problems we experience in terms of our environment and its impact to the tourism industry?

Scope and Limitations

This study shall only focus on how tourism industry can pose a threat to the environment, if changes made are not sustainable or irreversible. However, this study shall not focus on other aspects that are not related to the topic to be discussed.

Methodology

The researchers chose the topic how the tourism industry can pose a threat to the environment, if changes are made to it not sustainable and irreversible. The researchers made a research interview with an expert in order to answer the research questions being made. The research instruments used were the primary references from the Learning Resource Centre in College Department composed mainly of books and some internet sites that gave information related to the topic.

First, the data was gathered by listing the title and author of the book. Second, the researchers browsed some articles and internet sites that can help them to answer some requirements needed in order to complete their paper. The plan used by the researchers in their data analysis started from the choice of topic to be analyzed, formulation of thesis statement, outline, statement of the problem and first draft. Browsing some background and other related information helped the researchers in creating note cards. The researchers, through their interest on the chosen topic, were able to formulate a research problem, and a couple of research questions. The researchers gathered information led them to the conclusion.

Presentation and Data Analysis

To complete this study, it is necessary to analyze the data collected in order to answer the research questions. As already indicated in the preceding parts, data are interpreted in a descriptive form. This part comprises the presentation, analysis, and interpretation of the findings resulting from this study.

Presentation of Data

This study presented how does tourism industry can pose a threat to the environment, if changes are made are not sustainable and irreversible. The research questions formulated by the researcher will be answered using the interpretations of the gathered data.

General Overview

According to Eturbonews website, the Philippines have the total land area of 30 million hectares; where the 15.8 million is composed of tropical forests. Spread throughout the 7,107 islands of the archipelago, these are home to a recorded 556 species of birds, 180 mammals, and 293 of reptiles and amphibians, as well as a vast variety of trees, plants and flowers. Scientists have confirmed that, in the aggregate, 67 percent of the aforementioned fauna and flora are endemic in the Philippines. Every year, moreover, more new species are being discovered in the Philippines than in any other country. But as the Philippines’ population continues to grow, so have its forests shrunk.

In 1934, when the population was a mere 15 million, 17 million hectares were under forest cover. By 1960, the population had doubled and forests were down to only 10.4 million hectares. Since then, due largely to illegal logging and slash-and-burn farming and despite government and private sector efforts to curb them, the annual deforestation rate has been at 2 percent. These gathered data came from a research interview conducted by the researcher to an expert. The expert who has been interviewed was Ms. Joreen Rocamora a Domestic Tourism teacher.

Changes Caused by the Tourism Industry

According to Ms. Rocamora, not all of the changes in the environment are caused by the development of the tourism industry. For her, these changes in the environment are mostly coming from people. It is not only coming from the tourism development but also coming from avarices, apathy and arrogance of the people. When they seek for more, when they would want to get more from the environment whether it is coming from the industry of engineering and manufacturing, if one is seeking more from it then, definitely our environment would changed negatively. Second apathy, when one is indifferent, he or she does not care about the lives of other people especially on how they lived. Environmental awareness will just throw away all of those things and one can harm the environment if we do not think other people especially the future generation, whether it is coming from the tourism industry, engineering or manufacturing or any other industry like agriculture, it could also harm the environment. It is not coming mainly from the tourism industry; that’s why there is eco-tourism.

Eco-tourism is low impact tourism, there is no need for us to develop the area, we just need to maintain, sustain and preserved what we have in the community. There’s no need for a lot of visitors to occupy the said area. Tourism development, yes it is one of the reason if we do not minimize the negative impacts of development in our country, particularly in a certain destination. If we maximize all the positive impacts definitely it will not harm the environment. For example when we have new hotels, if they use solar for their power, if they use organic materials, if they use biodegradable and even reuse water to cover the field and even the golf courses for watering the golf courses; when you say tourism development you also pertain to practices and management systems.

For example, corporate social responsibility wherein hotels their management reach out to the community to help them and to clean up, to have coastal cleanup, do tree planting. Travel agencies, when we have travel agencies, they also have green movement program wherein they lessen the use of papers and they create packages that would include tree planting activity, coastal cleanup, volunteer tourism. It means that even if we have to develop certain areas, we can still minimize negative impacts and be able to reach out to the environment and to the community. We give back to the environment and to the community by providing job opportunities. The interview only states that most of the changes made to the environment came not only in tourism industry but also in other industries whether it is sustainable or irreversible. People can be considered as one of those who make changes to the environment due to its apathy and arrogance. They can also be the one to make some necessary actions in order to preserve the natural resources our country have.

Major Changes Happened in the Country’s Environment from Tourism Industry Positively we have a lot of developments in our country in the environment like La Mesa Eco-park, the rehabilitation of the eco- park because of tourism industry, because of the local government unit and the commission on the parks they are able to create such programs that give livelihood, opportunities and rehabilitate La Mesa Eco-park, Pasig River is also being restored.

We also have several restorations of parks wherein they offer packages like a guided tour with the use of eco-friendly materials. When you say major change, I can say in the environment it is a major change that happened in our country it has rehabilitated and it has sustained our country’s premiere disappearing natural destinations. All in all, most of the changes made to the environment came from tourism industry due to eco-tourism wherein people sustained, maintained and preserved the beauty of natural resources. Due to eco-tourism there are a lot of parks and water forms being rehabilitated. That’s why it can be considered as one of the major changes made by the tourism industry to the country’s environment.

Environmental Policies

We have one, the latest is “Bangon Pilipinas”, and it is a program coming from the Department of Tourism wherein the aim is to help the Samar and Leyte and even the Bohol who were affected by the recent typhoon “Yolanda” and the earthquake. Most of the proceeds from the packaged tours are given to the community and to the people from Samar, Leyte and Bohol. Some examples of the environmental policies are no smoking in some areas, the use of eco-bag. There are laws and environmental programs coming from the government like no to mining, no to dynamite fishing and the no to killing of whales, now they are preserving this extinct whale sharks and no to killing of primates like tarsier and other indigenous animals. When we say environment were not only talking about plants, we have the flora and faunas, ecosystem, marine rich diversity that’s part of the environment.

According to Eturbonews website, an article entitled “The Philippine Environment and its Eco tourism Potential” states some related topics to environmental policies of the country. Thence, in tune with recent global awakening, aided by mainstream media coverage of environmental issues, and adopting new approaches and strategies toward saving the planet for posterity, Philippine government agencies and the private sector have been working closely to focus broader attention on a source of great pride for the Filipino nation, the country’s abundant wealth of endemic species and the precipitous rate at which these species are decreasing and disappearing.

Efforts Made by the Government

Yes, Loren Legarda, one of our senators is one of the advocates for environmental programs. She is really pursuing this kind of efforts from the senate. We also have Commissioner Nyem, he is the one who argues to the House of Representatives, he is also the representative to the United Nations World Tourism Organization in the environment. He is the one who made campaign for environmental programs. Yes, they’re creating efforts with regards to, especially, not only coming from the tourism development, as what I have said when we say development it means we are able to develop one area using recycled materials, reusable, like E-jeepney, solar energy, so we can balanced the positive and negative effects. It doesn’t mean that when we develop a certain area the environment would be destructed.

Not all changes made in the environment can produce negative effects. In developing environment we have eco-tourism so it doesn’t need to develop, because when it comes to eco-tourism it’s about sustaining the environment. When we say development it is too broad, we can give opportunity. Development is not only about infrastructure, it is not only amenities, it is not only widening of loads. When we say development we can also provide employment other people which can help them earn money and increase their standard of living.

Filipinos Respond to the Environmental Problems

Our country’s ways to respond to problems are by means of policies. As what I’ve said, the environmental laws, the practices that they are implementing, coordination should be present when the policies are executed; those are the tourism planning and development in our country. Part of our strategic directions for national tourism development plan is developing and sustaining the destinations we have. One of the ways our country is responding to the problems in the environment is by assigning zones called the T.E.Z which stands for Tourism Enterprise Zones, and are the only ones allowed for further development.

Other parts not included in the T.E.Z. are not permissible for development because they should just sustain, preserve and maintain it. The most important thing is it should start from us because we are one of those that contributed to the suffering we endure from climate change and global warming. The reason behind the sudden changes in our environment is that it can also come from our own action. We should not be dependent to our government in making plans for the future of our environment. We should have the initiative to do our part even if it will be just in small scale.

As strategic directions of the DOT, he said there is a need to develop and market competitive tourist products and destinations; improve market access connectivity and destination infrastructure; and improve tourism governance and human resources. He lamented that the DOT’s budget of $10 million (P423 million) for marketing and promotions has not changed in the past five years, compared to neighboring countries such as Malaysia with $80 million and Thailand with $75 million. With this, he said the DOT will ask the Department of Budget for an additional P5 million in their budget. In a statement, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said that climate change will become an increasingly pivotal issue affecting tourism development and management. “The global tourism industry has been marked by changes as a result of the impacts of climate change on tourism destinations, tourist demand, and creation of policy and management responses adopted by key stakeholder groups with respect to adaptation and mitigation,” Jimenez said.

Keep tourism industry a float. Commissioner Heherson Alvarez of the Climate Change Commission said that while tourism industry is a contributor to climate change by generating greenhouse gas emissions through reliance on cars, buses, especially air travel, as well as high levels of energy consumption such as air-conditioning, heating and lighting, viable and sustainable solutions need to be considered. “We are living on dangerous but challenging times. To curb greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on carbon-heavy energy, we must scale-up the use of renewable energy sources such as biomass, solar, micro-hydro and wind as they are abundant and ecologically sound alternative to fossil fuels,” Alvarez said, adding that the highly populated Philippines is vulnerable because of its relatively low capacity to adapt to the climate crisis. Alvarez further said that tourism has a huge potential to alleviate poverty and spur economic growth “so it is urgent that the industry makes it sustainable and disaster-resilient.” “DOT’s programs are greatly threatened by climate change.

We need to keep the tourism industry afloat as it is a matter of national survival,” Alvarez stressed. Legazpi Mayor Geraldine Rosal, on the other hand, said that with the recent calamity that hit Metro Manila and various parts of the country, there is a need for coping mechanism to be able to adapt to climate change and disastrous effects. “We need to promote now more than ever the bottom-up approach or the learning by doing approach to address the pressing problems confronting us now not only in the eco-cultural tourism sector but in all vertical and cross sectors of society,” Rosal said.

The non-government organization Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) headed by its President and Chairman Nong Rangasa said that the 1st tourism and climate change conference attended by local officials, business sector and tourism officers aims to enhance the level of understanding of those with the tourism industry on how climate variability and extremes could affect development. “This conference was designed to showcase, demonstrate and translate effective and efficient implementation of science-based analysis for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures,” Rangasa said.

Recommendations

For the improvement of the study, the researchers would like to recommend the following: 1.This researched paper is suggested to the future researchers to give them more insights about the topic. 2.It is also advised that more resource materials be used to broaden the study. 3.Choose a topic that they can easily understand and they must also have interest in it. 4.Give citation on every resource used to avoid plagiarism. 5.Follow the steps in making a research paper.

6.Lastly, it is recommended to develop the study in a longer period of time in order to acquire more information about the topic.


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