The growth in international tourism is providing many LEDCs with new opportunities of economic development, but few derive full benefits from their primary resources for tourism. Discuss this statement. This statement is true; many LEDCs do not take full benefit from their primary resources as large transnational companies set up in the country and large leakages occur. However, TNCs would not set up in the particular country if they did not feel that the area provided them with the sufficient resources to ensure a profit.
Primary resources are existing resources that encourage people to visit, and are not purposely provided for tourists such as lakes, historic buildings and climate. Secondary resources, on the other hand, are provided for tourists, to enhance their experience and to enable them to access the area. International tourism has grown due to a number of factors, such as people being more adventurous, more disposable income, the cost of long haul flights are becoming cheaper with package holidays and there is an improved infrastructure in the destination.
However leakages are the main limitation of tourism in LEDCs. These can come from foreign developers and hotel owners taking profits, foreign works sent over by the companies and hotels sending money back to their own countries, payments for goods imported for tourism, to repay loans and travel costs taken out by foreign airlines. For example Antigua in the Caribbean loses 96 cents out of every dollar in order to pay for food from Miami and Florida, and even though the country has over half a million tourists each year, bringing in i??
200 million, much is lost to foreign developers and to cruise ships, who organise their own tours – these use the primary resources of the island but Antigua does not see much income as the cruise ship is there for a few hours and then goes, and as a result Antigua gains no accommodation fee. Goa on the west coast of India for example has used its primary resources of the temperate climate, the large beaches and palm trees to attract tourists from the more economically developed countries of Europe and North America.
This has provided jobs and money to the area however as many of the hotels are foreign owned, a proportion of the income is lost from the area and therefore it does not benefit Goa. This then in turn reduces the multiplier effect, as potential income has to pay other countries, which have produced a garment, or own the hotel. The argument still stands that foreign investors would not set up in LEDCs if they did not believe that the primary resources would be beneficial to them, and as such we can agree that LEDCs do not take full benefit from their own resources as profits are leaking to foreign countries.
A large benefit Goa has received from the increased tourism in the country is the establishment of nature reserves and animal sanctuaries, however these have caused problems in that there is increased litter, fresh water for locals is reduced and buildings over two stories in height have decreased the quality of the view. Therefore, even though tourism has help to stabilise some primary resources in the environment, these are being abused by tourist and as a result has become detrimental to the LEDC in question.
Kenya is another example of an LEDC who has developed tourism in order to provide new opportunities. The primary resources include the climate, beaches, culture and the safari of the Big 5. The Masai Mara game reserve help to conserve and protect animals however this type of safari does have major problems. The hot air balloons used to observe the area, scare animals away through their loud operating noise and the mini buses used cause massive dust pollution and erosion, with 30-40 buses around one animal at one time.
The park does offer lots of jobs however these are often menial. Furthermore the largest of the foreign earnings from Kenya comes from its tourism, with food, European beer, water and electricity having to be imported from elsewhere. Also, as Kenya does not have a regular refuse collection, the rubbish disposal is poor, which attracts animals, and damages their health. Furthermore it detracts from one of the primary resources of its beautiful beaches with rubbish spreading across these.
Continuing the theme of destruction of scenic areas and habitats is the destruction of the coral reefs off the coast, which have now become destroyed and may cause problems of erosion on the coastline. Therefore, the primary resources that Kenya may have to attract tourists are becoming damaged, and as a result will not be able to sustain a high level of tourism based purely on the resources that Kenya has to offer.
The culture of the Masai tribe in Kenya has also suffered as a result of tourism. The Masai people who once lived in the game reserve are now no longer allowed to live there and as a result the fenced off areas that they have marked out block the routes of migration of may animals. Furthermore, the Masai are seen as a commercial enterprise, selling many good that have been manufactured in china, and consequently the multiplier effect is affected with large leakages.
Also, many Masai children go to a boarding school, thus the culture and social history is lost causing one of Kenya’s primary resources to be severely harboured. Although international tourism has developed dramatically in the last decade, many LEDCs who would earn vast amounts of income if they did not have foreign investors or had loans to repay, are losing out – their primary resources, the largest and most influential resources in a less developed country, are slowly becoming destroyed.
Furthermore, with the destruction of these resources, the LEDC does not see large profits with leakages to foreign countries. Therefore we must conclude that the statement that many LEDCs do not derive full benefits from their primary resources for tourism is true, and it may even be possible to state that tourism is actually detrimental to the primary resources in an LEDC.