Tourism can have social, environmental and economic impacts that could benefit the tourist destination or cause a lot of damage.
Tourism has become a very large industry in many countries and is the primary means of earning money for a large percentage of the population. This benefits the local economy, as people do not have to migrate to other areas to earn money. But in times of economic crisis, tourism is an industry that is affected the most, as tourists cancel visits to expensive foreign destinations. The tourist destinations, without an alternate means for people to earn money are severely impacted.
The environmental effects of tourism have for long been very bad. It has been carried in an unsustainable manner, causing a lot of damage to the local environment of the tourist destinations. In many places this has resulted in tourism ceasing to be a viable source of income after a few years and seriously affecting the local population.
The social impacts of tourism vary, from being beneficial in the preservation of the local culture and way of living. As tourists usually like to visit places that offer an experience distinct from their normal life, the people of exotic tourist destinations have a reason to preserve their culture. On the other hand, tourism has destroyed the local culture in many cases with the population of tourist destinations changing itself to mimic the tourists. The locals of many tourist destinations often feel they are being treated as freaks by the tourists.