Explain strategies that can be used to minimise the negative environmental impacts of tourism whilst maximising the positive impacts.
Tourism can be great in that it can educate the wider world about a particular area, such as the Arctic or the Amazon rainforest. Tourism can bring money into an area and give the people who live there an incentive to protect a natural treasure or a priceless artifact which they may otherwise be tempted to destroy in the name of progress.
One way to promote sustainable tourism is to limit the number of tourists or to limit the places they may go. It would be best to involve the local people in this endeavor as they know the area best and hopefully have the best intentions for the area. Smaller tour groups give a more intimate experience with the area and allow for more interaction with native guides. Smaller groups also leave a smaller environmental footprint on the area. As a benefit for the people who live there, making the region appear remote makes it all the more desirable and this could potentially bring in more money for the region.
Eco-tourism should be supported with sustainable infrastructure; while people need places to stay, the region should not be opened to development in the name of bringing people there. For example, one would not get the true Amazon basin experience by staying in a luxury hotel that uses a lot of the region's resources. If one is encouraged to stay with the locals, then one can achieve a greater appreciation for the local culture and the area.
The money collected through tourism should go to the people who live in the area in order to demonstrate to them that it is in their best interest to keep it safe and educate people about their homeland. Part of the money should also go towards ecological efforts to keep the land pristine. If the people who live in the region see that is in their interests to keep the region natural and if tourists want to preserve the region as a place to experience not only through pictures, Earth's natural wonders may have a chance of surviving in a constantly developing world.
Although tourism contributes positively to different countries, it can result in adverse effects on the environment when proper management is missing. The following strategies can be used to minimize the negative impacts on the environment while simultaneously increasing the positive impacts:
Ensuring product and service diversification will increase the number of activities that tourists can engage in when they visit. This move will reduce traffic to hotspot areas and release pressure on the environment.
It would be helpful to develop and implement laws and regulations that are relevant to specific environments. For example, laws that will aid in the conservation of marine areas where coral reefs are being destroyed.
Embracing eco-tourism will be helpful in conserving both the environment and the wildlife. It is also aimed at reducing the conflict between wildlife and the locals. It is critical to allow the local people to participate in making decisions that affect their lives. It is useful because it allows the locals to be part of the conservation efforts and increases the chances of success.
Implementing green tourism will help revitalize native cultures and protect local heritage. All the parties involved (tourists, locals, government, travel agencies) play their role in establishing ethical and sustainable tourism. For example, some of the money collected by the government should be used in conservation efforts such as erosion management, water conservation, and recycling.
Tourism that is not managed in a proper manner can severely impact the environment of the tourist destination.
This is the reason behind a new form of tourism carried out in a manner that is sustainable for the environment of the tourist destination and at the same time beneficial for the local population being adopted worldwide and is commonly referred to as eco-tourism.
Some strategies by which the negative environmental impacts of tourism are reduced in eco-tourism include:
- Providing an option for tourists to stay with the locals instead of living in special resorts and hotels that have to be constructed for them. This affects the environment to a much smaller extent. In addition, tourists are able to share the way in which the locals live, which could be totally different from their own. The locals who accommodate the tourists have an incentive to not change for the sake of tourism as it is their original lifestyle that the tourists come to see.
- Educating tourists about their impact on the environment of the tourist destination and telling them how they can keep it as low as possible.
- Educating the local population on why their protecting the environment around them is essential to maintain tourism and assure they continue to benefit from it.
- Ensuring the number of tourists who visit the location is sustainable so that tourism does not cause a damage which would soon make the place unattractive for tourists.
- Enforcing strict laws on what the tourists can take back from the location and ensure that they cause no damage.