1. (a) Critically evaluate the impacts that the cruise ship industry has on destinations. (b) Suggest recommendations that can be used to minimize or mitigate the problems Identified in question 2a.
1. Critically evaluate the impacts that the cruise ship industry has on destinations.
The Caribbean represents the main market for the cruise industry. As a major destination, the Caribbean cruised has been activated since early 1980, and has identified itself with the cruising industry over the years. While there are clearly benefits to be gained from cruise ship visits, there are also issues which destinations must consider, in order to optimize benefits and reduce negative impact, ( Manning, 2006). The main challenges encountered by activating the cruise ship industry in the Caribbean are as followed: environment challenges, maintaining market share and growth patterns, the concentration of the cruising industry, the increase in ships capacity, congestion, natural disasters, diversification of the product offered and competition with hotels, (Dridea et al, n.d).
The environmental impacts of the cruise industry may be positive or negative. This industry may encourage an appreciation of the environment, and generate support and funds for environmental protection, but it can also degrade the marine and adjacent terrestrial environment. The environmental
costs of the sector are incalculable given that the cruise ship industry is unregulated and difficult to gauge widely its impacts, despite enforcing environmental standards for the industry. For example, the introduction of the cruise shipping Port Facilities in Falmouth has posed negative impact on the environment.
Mott Macdonald (2007) postulates that the major impacts expected from the development of the Port Facilities in Falmouth includes: loss of habitat and biodiversity such negative impacts are a major concern to Jamaican coastal areas where the reefs are already stressed from a number of anthropogenic and natural threats, loss of fish habitat widening of the entrance of the channel will partially remove the reef wall which is a primary habitat to Bermuda Chub .The potential exists for disruption to fish habitat, spawning and feeding grounds and possibly fish migratory routes. This represents a direct long-term adverse impact to the fish community on the reef and in the harbour. Other environmental impact includes:
• Loss of Coral Cover
• Ecological Impacts ( its associated flora and fauna)
• Increased fresh water runoff due to expansion of paved area
• Increased potential for oil spills
The cruise industry has the potential to provide economic benefits to a port state. These economic benefits arise from five principal sources: 1) spending by cruise passengers and crew; 2) the shore side staffing by the cruise lines for their headquarters, marketing and tour operations 3) expenditures by the cruise lines for goods and services necessary for cruise operations; 4) spending by the cruise lines for port services; and 5) expenditures by cruise lines for the maintenance. The cruise industry has provided the highest economic contribution for the United State Virgin Island, according to the survey conducted by the U.S.-based organization Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) during the period of 2005-2006 cruise year , it was concluded that the total cruise tourism expenditures in U.S.
Virgin Islands summed up to $362 million. St. Maarten had the second highest per passenger spending rate and the highest expenditure rate, resulting in $246 million in cruise tourism expenditures. However, over emphasis on the economic benefits derived from tourism has often led to adverse physical and social consequences. The reason for this is the simple fact that, as tourism development and tourist activity expands, so too does the potential harm, social impact and potential for human induced harm and disturbance to destination residents and the environment (Jackson 2006).
Kenneth (2003), also concur with Jackson that even though the cruise sector has opened up an opportunity for heavy use and instantaneous cash flow from short term but intense use, this had added pressure onto land-based facilities, resulting in congestion, scheduling and control problems, which have affected visitor satisfaction which will result in decline cruise visitors. Other experts in the field agreed with the statements mention above that as the cruise ships continue to grow larger, further investment may be required. Under these types of tourism scenarios with high infrastructure or environmental costs, rapid growth of tourism may result in a stagnation of or even a decline in GDP (Gooroochurn et al (2005); Nowak et al (2003) and Nowak et al (2007).
Interactions between resident and cruise passengers can have positive effects offering residents the possibility of learning about the world and explore new life perspectives. The largest social issue for a destination is people pollution; increasing cruise activities restrict the space of residents and sometimes push them to adopt different moral conducts.
Suggest recommendations that can be used to minimize or mitigate the problems Identified in question 2a.
In order for a destination to minimize or mitigate the problems associated with the cruise industry they need to follow in the ‘footsteps’ of the Eastern Canadian, with the introduction of cruise ships into that environmentally sensitive areas of the Eastern Canadian Arctic raises many concerns. However, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) introduced a set of principles, when implemented, could help in the protection of the Arctic and its environment from negative effects caused by tourism.
I concur with Kenneth Atherley (2003), that in order to minimize the added pressure onto land-based facilities, resulting in congestion, scheduling and control problems, which have affected visitor satisfaction. Countries need to implement the strategy of Bermuda which placed a cap on cruise tourism, this strategy outline that not more than two (2) ships should be at the Port at one time, and each passenger have to pay $60 head tax, ships operating in their water must employ Caribbean nationals, pay US$1.5 million towards an education fund; each passenger must have a US$30 voucher at the ship’s expense. Additionally, another way to solve the problems associated with the cruise industry in the Caribbean region lies with the tourism policymakers; they need to work collaboratively with all stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of maximizing the benefits derived from tourism, while at the same time minimizing costs/negative impacts.
They can also implement carrying capacity strategies which aimed at maintaining the balance between social and ecological monitoring programs. Other strategies to mitigate the negative impact caused by the cruise industry is to monitor and evaluate the impact of cruise tourism on the natural, social and cultural environment in order to ensure the conservation of the resource base; continuously assess the carrying capacity of the existing attractions and services used by the cruise visitor, and develop mechanisms for the management of these sites on a sustainable basis. Encourage the enhancement of existing attractions and facilities and the development of new ones; establish and manage strong relationships with the cruise industry to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes; develop appropriate programmers which effectively convert cruise passengers to long stay visitors.
Dridea R. and Mihai., B (n.d). The Impact of the Cruising Industry on Local Destination Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/13728721/
Gooroochurn N. and Blake A., (2005). Tourism Immiserization: Fact or Fiction? Feem Working Paper No. 143.05. Fondazione Eni Enrico Matei. Jackson,
L. A. (2006). Ameliorating the negative impacts of tourism: a Caribbean perspective.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 18 (7), 574-582. Retrieved from Emerald Database.
Kenneth A. (2003). Cruise Industry–Related Challenges Facing Caribbean Destinations. Retrieved from http://www.linkbc.ca/torc/downs1/CaribbeanCruiseIndustry.pdf
Manning T,( 2006), Managing Cruise Ship Impacts: Guidelines for Current and Potential
Destination Communities. Retrievied from http://www.tourisk.org/content/projects/Managing%20Cruise%20Ship%20Impacts.pdf
Nowak J.J., Sahli, M. And Sgo, P. (2003). Tourism, trade and domestic welfare, Pacific Economic Review, 8 (3), pp. 245-258.
Nowak J.J.,. and Sahli, M., (2007). Coastal tourism and “Dutch diseases” in a small island economy, Tourism Economics, 13 (1), pp. 49-65.
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