Travel

Impacts and Benefits of Tourism in Society

Impacts and benefits of tourism in society, provides a brief explanation of how tourism is currently one of the sectors of the economy that has more growth, both economically and socially. Being such an important activity in these times, it brings a series of impacts and benefits, both environmentally and culturally, since it involves the communities. Even ecotourism benefits communities that are poor in economic resources but rich in biodiversity, environmental resources and indigenous culture. These resources attract a large number of tourists who are little interested in conventional tourism, and who are more closely disposed to the environmental and cultural activity of a particular region. To understand a little more about what ecotourism is, an explanation will initially be given about what tourism activity implies.

Tourism

Tourism is defined as the activity carried out by people when they move from their usual place of residence with leisure, entertainment or other reasons and who do not intend to engage in remunerated activities in the place they visit.

Tourism has become in the last decades an important activity in the economic sector, since it generates employment, exports and investment of companies specialized in offering recreation and travel services. Jorge Chávez de la Peña, writer of the book Cultural Biodiversity and Ecotourism states: "In this century, tourism as a social phenomenon already encompasses all areas of human endeavor and has a significant influence on the development of many countries, both European and international. eternally called in the way of development ".

One of the effects that tourism provides is the generation of employment, investment in regions considered low economic resources, but with cultural diversity and biodiversity.

“Tourism is defined as the activity carried out by people when they move from their usual place of residence with leisure, entertainment or other reasons and who do not intend to engage in remunerated activities in the place they visit”.

Similarly, environmental deterioration is also one of the most important in this century, and therefore all activity and tourism must be done as recommended by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), which says that all tourism must be done in a sustainable and with awareness of care for the environment where it is practiced. The environmental problem in which the world finds itself at the moment is so serious, that there is no human activity that should not consider this problem and take measures to avoid further deterioration in the environment.

The main raw material of tourism, are the tourist attractions of a region and offer visitors a unique experience that allows changing the monotony of people and meet the expectations they have on a certain culture, place and ecosystem. The development of tourism promotes the constructions that allow to exercise the tourist activity, as they are hotels, roads, restaurants among others. These constructions seek to supply the needs of the visitors and generate economic impact on the locals, since the value of the land increases and it also generates the creation of numerous jobs in the areas with the greatest attraction and influx of visitors.

As tourism is a booming and growing activity, it generates both economic, environmental and sociocultural impacts.

Impacts of the Tourist Activity

Positive and Negative Impacts at the Economic Level

Since tourism depends to a large extent on the human factor, it generates the creation of new jobs. In addition, the demand for local goods increases, the value of housing increases and, in general, the land where tourist activity is generated. It also generates investment, and improvement in the economy of the region.

Tourism also has negative impacts, such as monopoly by companies, low participation or none from the country of destination; Tourism is a seasonal economic activity, little or no tourism training for the population results in the contraction of unqualified personnel and thus the distribution of income is affected as it is not equitable.

“Tourism also brings negative impacts such as, monopoly by companies, low participation or none of the country of destination”.

Positive and Negative Impacts at a Socioeconomic Level

Tourism can stimulate interest in one's own culture due to its traditions and customs, the recovery of cultural identity, cultural exchange and modernization of cultures.

Tourism can also generate deculturation of the destination: since the contact of locals with visitors can lead to adaptation to the customs of visitors and the disappearance of their own culture. Even socioeconomic differences between visitors and locals can influence the increase in crime, prostitution, gambling and conflicts caused by drug addiction.

Positive and Negative Environmental Impacts

The positive impacts that ecotourism brings are: The rational use of nature, environmental education for tourists and residents, the conservation of ecosystems, although on several occasions tourism brings problems to the environment such as, for example, the saturation of strategic ecosystems, pollution, erosion and destruction of ecosystems as well as visual impact. Sometimes not having an awareness of the problems that can be created and alter an ecosystem, even leads companies providing tourism services to make constructions and modifications of the environment to provide a particular service.

“As tourism is a booming and growing activity, it generates both economic, environmental and sociocultural impacts”.

The destruction of ecosystems is due to the massive presence of visitors, since for many years the only thing that was taken into account when exploiting an area to exercise tourism was the enrichment of the people involved in the sector. Currently that has changed thanks to the emergence of ecotourism, or also called sustainable tourism, which seeks the least impact on the environment and its alteration.

Currently conventional tourism or also called mass tourism has been replaced by other motivations of other types of tourism. Since conventional tourism is characterized by having the following impacts:

Over-saturation of the cargo capacity of the destinations (congestion, lack of resources, discomfort in the residents). Little respect towards the environment and towards the landscape.

Currently, a tourist development that is in harmony with the environment is tried. That implies respect towards the environment where it is located, accentuates the interest for the best preserved spaces.





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ECOTOURISM

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines ecotourism as:

“As tourism is a booming and growing activity, it generates both economic, environmental and sociocultural impacts”.

"That environmentally responsible tourism modality consisting in traveling to relatively unchanged areas in the ecosystem, in order to enjoy, appreciate and study the natural attractions (landscape, wild flora and fauna) of said areas, as well as any cultural manifestation (of the present and from the past) that can be found there, through a conservation process, also has low environmental and cultural impact and promotes an active and socioeconomically beneficial involvement for local populations "(Ceballos-Lascuraín, 1998, p 7).

Ecotourism also promotes other kinds of attractions, cultural, historical, natural. This type of tourism is willing to pay high prices for the existence of unique attractions, whether cultural or natural. At the commercial level, it has been successful in the development and marketing of a new, unconventional tourism activity, associated with the use of the natural and cultural resources of a region. The main countries with this type of tourism development are Kenya, Costa Rica, Belize and Ecuador, the biological diversity of the fauna and flora of these regions has led to it being developed by naturalists and scientists who became the main promoters of ecotourism and allowed other people to be interested in visiting those destinations.

The main philosophy of ecotourism is the conservation of the environments where it is practiced, the development model is sustainable and also the World Tourism Organization describes ecotourism as any form of tourism based on nature, in the main motivation of tourists is the observation and appreciation of nature. Generally, although not exclusively, ecotourism is organized for small groups by specialized and locally owned companies. Ecotourism also seeks to reduce negative impacts on the natural and socio-cultural environment.

“The main philosophy of ecotourism is the conservation of the environments where it is practiced, the development model is sustainable”.

After having developed the present essay, it has been concluded that tourism is an activity of strong growth in the economy and also generates some impacts, which can be avoided by changing tourism practices.

The concern for the care of the environment, has led to change different activities and generate the concept of environmental sustainability. It concludes that one of these activities has been the tourism sector, since this has generated impacts at different levels, social, economic and environmental, the latter being the main mission of sustainable tourism, is to avoid at all costs the impact on the environment.

It is important to highlight the importance of the awareness that tourists have taken nowadays about the care of the areas they visit.





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