Tourism is a sector that can contribute to the economic, environmental, and also social growth of a region or country at large. At the same time, it can also adversely affect the growth. If the negative outcomes of tourism are not allowed to outweigh the economic benefits, then it can keep good balance between its beneficial outcomes and investments made towards tourism. Not all impacts of tourism are overt. They are often indirect and assessed by the judgement of the observer.
Let us see how tourism impacts economy, environment, and society.
Let us see the positive and negative impacts of tourism on economy −
● Inbound tourism helps to generate revenue from foreign shores.
● Inbound and domestic tourism create job opportunities.
● Inbound and domestic tourism stimulate the development of infrastructure.
● It generates opportunities for small scale local businesses.
● Outbound tourism creates economic leakage.
● All types of tourism create a sense of dependency on the customer or economic recession.
● It can also promote parallel economies.
● The revenue earned from the tourism business seldom is beneficial to the local population if the destination has accommodation provided by international hotels.
Let us see the impacts of tourism on environment −
● It promotes investment in conservation of natural habitats.
● It thus in turn, contributes to the stability of the ecosystem.
● In developing countries, it discourages deforestation and over-fishing in large water bodies.
● It contributes to creating awareness of the value of environment for humans.
● It promotes vandalism and littering.
● It makes way for destruction of wild life and vegetation.
● It invites air, and water pollution.
● It creates a large carbon footprint.
● It creates a sense of dependency on the natural resources.
Let us see the impacts of tourism on society −
● The infrastructure development also benefits the local population.
● It tends to make people aware of the superfluous customs prevailing in the region.
● It helps eradicate poverty by promoting the arts and crafts made by people who search for a source of income.
● It fosters a sense of pride among locals.
● The bonds among communities are strengthened.
● It impedes the life of local population because of congestion, noise, and pollution.
● It can bring problems of alcoholism, drug addiction, and prostitution in the local society.
● To make place for new accommodations or recreational facilities, the locals may be displaced by acquiring their lands and violating human rights.
● It may act as a platform for the spread of contagious diseases.
● Tourism can change local community structure, family relationships, collective traditional life styles, ceremonies and morality.