Positive & Negative Effects of Tourism
As you plan your next vacation, keep in mind your trip might not be as fun for other people as it is for you. Tourism is a good thing in some ways, but it can be something quite the opposite in certain contexts. Don't be a bad tourist--there are repercussions to leaving your footprint behind.
When tourists visit a city, they bring money. When they spend that outside money, the city gains economically. The positive effect: more money for local economy, hopefully resulting in lower taxes for residents.
The other obvious positive effect of tourism is for the tourists themselves. Visiting another part of the world should be fun. A tourist experiences new things and learns about new cultures. Tourism can thus can be educational.
The main negative effect of tourism is that it tampers with a natural environment. In a city setting, tourists disrupt communities by coming into places without any knowledge of their surroundings. At the very least, this could be annoying for residents. In natural settings where people do not live (like forests or mountain areas), a tourist can pollute an area.
Tourism is not environmentally friendly. It usually requires travel and the use of natural resources. Cars, planes and ships are all pollute the earth with unnatural vapors and smog.
The Bottom Line
Tourism will continue. People do not stay in the same place for their entire lives. And experiencing other places is a healthy way to further personal education. If you are a tourist, try not to tamper with the environment you are visiting. Look into Ecotourism for a way to better help the local communities you vacation in (see below for more information). Ecotourism is a fun way to experience other parts of the world but have less of a damaging effect on the environment.
Ron Augustine is a rookie freelance writer and producer who has worked primarily in radio and print media for Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions, Relevant Magazine, WMBI Chicago and the Burnside Writers Collective. He graduated Moody College in 2007 with a degree in Communications.
tourist image by Svetlana Kashkina from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>