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Positive and Negative Impacts of Tourism Essay


Many definitions explain tourism from different scholars to suit the purposes of respective writers. In this case, the following definition of tourism will be of use. Tourism is ‘the activities of people traveling to as well as staying in places particularly outside their respective usual environment for at least not more than one year consecutively for leisure or business and any other purposes (Johnston, Gregory et al, 2000: 840). Tourism is not ideally an industry precisely in the traditional sense; rather, it is an activity, which takes place well over a number of sectors (in specific accommodation, retail trade, cafes and restaurants, and transport). Because of this, measuring the impact of tourism economically, socially or any other impact whether positive or negative is complex (Croall 1995, p.67). The economic relevance of tourism can be assessed particularly in terms of the contribution it has on the total value of services and goods produced in the economy, also on the export dollars, which it creates through the sale of services and goods to overseas visitors as well as the jobs it creates.

This is a direct impact positive in the economy with Tourism appearing to grow in relevance within the economy (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). However, there are many other negative and positive impacts relating directly to tourism. Conversely, while there is potential ideally for continued projects growth there is still lack of understanding especially within the communities as to the prevailing possible or negative impacts that tourism may bring (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). This, therefore, calls for a sustainable conducting of tourism and always being ready for situations. This paper examines the impacts of tourism whether negative or positive with a suggestion that, on balance, tourism’s contribution is positive.

Analysis of tourism’s contribution to Australia generally focuses on the economic value of tourist spending. In the year 2000, the ABS published the National Accounts of Australian: Satellite Account, 1998 (5249.0). The publication represents ideally the first ABS attempt to practically, put tourism into an accounting framework nationally. Tourism is ideally not a conventional industry especially in the System of National Accounts (SNA 93). Its definition is by the customer (visitor) but not on the product produced (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97).

The satellite account (TSA) generally creates a broad picture of the industry that allows it to compare to conventional industries for instance agriculture, retail trade and manufacturing (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). However, more in the focus has been on the economic aspect of tourism and the positive impacts the industry has on the economies of respective countries. The gross domestic product of tourism (TGDP) estimates and tourism gross value added generally relate to the impact of tourism activity directly, but there is more to the impacts of tourism than just the economic value (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97).

It is great to look into tourism in the economic field before conducting analysis of whether the practice is overly positive or negative. Tourism is ideally a multimillion-dollar industry for many countries. According to the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), it is the world’s stable and fastest growing industry predicted that ideally, by the end of the coming decade at least a quarter of billion persons will be working within the tourism and travel sector (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). Out of this, there is a perception that this is the best development tool for many less developed countries. Looking at it from this perspective, it is highly arguable that overly, the industry is more positive with impacts in such sectors (Croall 1995, p.67).

However, there is a negative impact on the same note. Although communities within a local region gain a financial infusion in tourism, many factors determine the proportion of income that remains within the local economy (Croall 1995, p.67). This is because many large multinational corporations for instance tour operators retain the largest proportion of tourism’s profits, with the remainder lost via several forms of leakage, for instance soft drinks, that are, imported particularly from outside the local community ideally at a high cost (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97).

This is, therefore, negative is a terrific way because it drains away most of the countries revenue and drags down the economy. However, looking at it in a more positive way (Murray 2009, p.186-208), the industry in maintenance, construction, and operation of tourist facilities, complements the drained capital therefore no cause of alarm to overrule the positives of the industry (Deardon and Harron 1994, p. 81-102).

On a different perspective, tourism is impressive and controls its operations, therefore, maintaining as a stable practice across the globe, which has more of positive affects (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). In the modern tourism industry, the practice has taken a different approach, and it I now practiced as ecotourism (Acott and La Trobe, 134-156). Ecotourism ideally draws on many concepts. It can be defined generally as, a sustainable tourism form focusing on learning and experiencing about nature. It should be ethical in management in order to be oriented locally, low-impact, non-consumptive and small scale (Acott and La Trobe, 134-156).

Richards and Hall (2000, p.89-97) suggested that sustainable tourism practically takes into account many features. These are social, environmental, cultural, economic, political, managerial and governmental (Croall 1995, p.67). Although it is accepted widely that sustainability is among the most relevant issues faced by the industry, there has been claims that because of sustainable tourism ideally being a loosely defined concept, the industry has to simple terms adopted it for the purposes of marketing (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). However, sustainable tourism is a positive impact and one that should be hailed in the industry because it conserves the environment and adds to the sustainability of the ecological niche (Acott and La Trobe, 134-156).

More to the positive of the tourism industry, it generates jobs for many economies and the people in respective countries. This, therefore, makes it an exciting industry and one that is critical in any economy (Deardon and Harron 1994, p. 81-102). It develops more of positive impacts and supports the concept that overly, on balance, tourism’s contribution is positive (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). Hotels, tour operators and airlines are the most visible businesses in the tourism industry, but many more people get employment in the tourism industry, or indirectly benefit from it (Croall 1995, p.67).

As visitors’ dollars transact within the economy, they spread throughout the country’s economy benefiting the community in many positive ways (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). The high rates of employment in various sectors are what yields as positive in the industry bringing in a better future for many citizens of a particular country. It also brings down the dependence level in such a way that, people can have the ability to support themselves with the daily bread. This ultimately comes up with a big solution to the crimes that people engage in search of daily bread. The ultimate positive impact is a high-secured community and continuous development through massive investment.

On the other hand, the environment quality, both man-made and natural, is critical to tourism. Nevertheless, tourism’s relationship particularly with the environment is exceedingly complex (Murray 2009, p.186-208). It generally involves several activities, which can have some adverse environmental effects (Croall 1995, p.67). Many of these impacts link with the construction of infrastructure such as airports and roads, and of tourism facilities, which includes resorts, hotels, golf courses, restaurants, shops, and marinas. The negative impacts of the overall tourism development can destroy the environmental resources gradually on which it solely depends (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97).

However, this cannot rule out the fact that tourism as also holds positive effects in the environment (Murray 2009, p.186-208). It is arguable that tourism has an extraordinary potential in creating beneficial effects on the environment by highly contributing to environmental conservation and protection, therefore, poses as a positive impact to the environment (Haywantee and Ramesh 2000, p. 356-407). It is a way to, ideally raise awareness of values of the environment and it can serve generally as a tool to finance natural areas protection and increment of their economic importance.

It is equally vital to note that socially, tourism has an enormous influence on the host societies (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). Ideally, Tourism can be a source of international peace, amity, and understanding (Bramwell and Henry 1996, p.45). However, on the dark side, it can be a destroyer of indigenous cultures (Ray 1998, p.3-20), a direct ecological destruction source, and an assault of people’s dignity, privacy, and authenticity (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). This is, therefore, a point of argument in favor of both positive and negative impacts of tourism (Murray 2009, p.186-208).

Some of the positive effects of tourism include the development of positive attitudes towards one another (Deardon and Harron 1994, p. 81-102). Among others is the eventual learning of each other’s customs and cultures, reduction of negative stereotypes and perceptions, friendships developments, development of pride, respect, appreciation, understanding, and tolerance for one another’s culture (Ray 1998, p.3-20; Doan 2000, p. 267-288). There are more to positives on the social field, which includes the increment of self-esteem of tourists and hosts, psychological satisfaction particularly with interaction and many others than outdo the negatives therefore supporting the argument that, in balance, tourism’s contribution is positive (Croall 1995, p.67).

It is essential to add that more on the greater end of positives, social contacts between the local people and tourists may result in ideal mutual appreciation, family bonding respect, tolerance, awareness, understanding, learning, and liking (Bramwell and Henry 1996, p.45). Residents on one hand received education regarding the outside world without having to leave their homes, while respective visitors learn about another distinctive culture significantly (Deardon and Harron 1994, p. 81-102). Local communities, therefore, receive more benefits through contribution by the industry to the social infrastructure improvement like health care institutions, schools, libraries, internet cafes, and so on (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97).

On the other hand, if local culture is the main base for tourist’s attraction to the region, this greatly helps in preserving the local handicrafts and traditions, which maybe at a time were on the verge of the extinction meaning that it is a greater and more positive attribute of the tourism industry (Croall 1995, p.67). A prominent example is the Uzbekistan, particularly in the famous regions as Buhara, Samarqand, and Horezm. The tourists substantially contribute enormously to the preservation of the established traditional handcrafting, hammered copper work, wood carving, handmade carpets and silk, and of course to maintenance and preservation of historical and architectural monuments.

The past activities bestowed to tourism as the main founder and the root cause of the same show clearly that the industry has a immense potential of highlighting more impacts that are positive (Doan 2000, p. 267-288). For instance, since Uzbekistan proclaimed independence early in 1991, there were many monuments and museums, opened and renovated in promoting the national traditions and culture (Bramwell and Henry 1996, p.45). Growing interest in the respective culture makes the people locally tremendously proud of their life.

However, on the other side, the industry is known more in some parts of the globe as increasing hostility, tension, and suspicion (Ray 1998, p.3-20). Richards and Hall (2000, p.89-97) claims that ideas of tourism being a vital force for peace are mere exaggerations. To him, indeed, there is little evidence, which tourism is ideally drawing the world together (Murray 2009, p.186-208). However, no surmountable evidence can be in provision to overrule the positives of tourism with such claims of tensions and hostilities.

It is arguable that successful development of any form of resource can lead to heavy negative impacts. This is similar to many others cases for instance development of cities and slum dwellings around a region, which bring in varied effects to the particular region. Among them include, assimilation, conflict, overdevelopment, and artificial reconstruction (Bramwell and Henry 1996, p.45). This should, therefore be a point of argument to enhance controls, which can handle such situations. While presenting a culture in a particular region, tourists at times may preserve the culture in some way but also can dilute and destroy it (Deardon and Harron 1994, p. 81-102). The point is promoting tourism in the region in a way that it would give both incomes as well as create respect for the local cultures and traditions (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97).

Additionally, it is crucial to look into ecology and the impacts tourism has in a way that it will help bring up a better, and considerable argument in favor or negation of the idea that, in balance, tourism’s contribution is positive (Bramwell and Henry 1996, p.45). There are both positive and negative impacts of tourism particularly on the local ecology (Murray 2009, p.186-208). The tourist industry often grows well into mass-tourism. This leads to the over consumption, lack of resources and pollution (David and Ray 2010, p. 449-473). Nevertheless, from the ecological view, tourism is more often preferable and acceptable than any other production industrially, as it is friendlier to the environmental (Deardon and Harron 1994, p. 81-102).

This point gives the industry a plus and supports the idea that in balance, tourism’s contribution is positive (Richards and Hall 2000, p.89-97). The problem is that normally, it is not easy to change the established traditional way of life precisely of the local communities this is because it creates pseudo conflicts. Without a doubt, in many countries or regions the alternative industries are more harmful environmentally than tourism besides that in several countries of the Pacific and Asia. For instance in Samoa, Cook Islands, and others, tourism is the key source of income and relatively the friendliest sector to the environment (Haywantee and Ramesh 2000, p. 356-407; Bramwell and Henry 1996, p.45).


Tourism is not ideally an industry precisely in the traditional sense; rather, it is an activity, which takes place well over a number of sectors (in specific accommodation, retail trade, cafes and restaurants, and transport). Because of this, measuring the impact of tourism economically, socially or any other impact whether positive or negative is complex. Evidence shows that the impact of tourism particularly on local communities can be both negative and positive, whether it comes to social, economic, or environmental effects. It generally depends to which extent that the tourism industry is developed particularly in each region. What determines the nativity or positivist of the industry is, each region bearing capacity.

This means, the limit of the incoming influence, which does not harm the community. Thus, the argument on the positives and negatives of the tourism industry remains wide open. There is no clear cut on which side overrides the other, but on mere grounds, the positives are many than the negatives. It is arguable that though there are many negatives of tourism, the positives complement the same and are better and more grounded. It is therefore arguable that, on balance, tourism’s contribution is positive.

Acott, T. and La Trobe, H 1998, an evaluation of deep Eco-tourism and shallow Eco-tourism, Journal of sustainable tourism, 6(3) 134-156 Bramwell, B and Henry, I 1996, Sustainable Tourism Management: Principles and Practice, Tilburg: University Press, p.45

Croall, J 1995, Preserve or destroy – tourism and the environment, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: London, p.67
David, G and Ray, S 2010, Climate change-induced economic impacts on tourism destinations: the case of Australia, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 18(3) p. 449-473 Deardon, P and Harron, S 1994, Alternative tourism and adaptive change, Annals of tourism research, 21: 81-102 Doan, M 2000, the effects of ecotourism in developing nations: an analysis of case studies, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 8 (4): 267-288 Haywantee, R and Ramesh, D 2000, the Environmental Impacts of Tourism at the Casela Nature and Leisure Park, Mauritius, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability 2(3) 356-407 Murray, C 2009, an integrated approach to assess the impacts of tourism on community development and sustainable livelihoods, Community Development Journal 44(2):186-208 Ray, C 1998, Culture, intellectual property and territorial rural development, Sociologia Ruralis, 38: 3-20 Richards, G and Hall, D 2000, Tourism and Sustainable Community Development, Routledge: London, p.89-97

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