The Global Importance of Tourism

Some people think tourism is just going to a travel agency and buying a tour to visit a place. However, there are more issues involved in this field than people can imagine. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) tourism represented 5% of the direct global GDS, offering 235 million jobs worldwide and generating more than US$ 1 billion for local communities where it is developed. It is clear, therefore, that tourism brings advantages to a country, but there are obviously disadvantages.
This essay will demonstrate that tourism is much more than a simple trip and can positively or negatively affect different aspects and it will argue the importance of planning before tourism is developed will be explored. Discussion of the positive and negative aspects of tourism will be really complex (Ragsdale, n. d. ). To better comprehend the positive and negative consequences generated by tourism, it is important to evaluate each aspect linked separately. Economical, environmental, cultural and social aspects are the most significant aspects.
Economic effects are the first benefits to the host country. Tourism increases job opportunities, because it creates new roles, such as servers, hotel staff, retail outlets and tour guides. Moreover, the population also can work in jobs of new hotels and facilities created as result of the tourism industry. (Ragsdale, n. d. ). Some other effects are the economic development, the improvement of income, the currency and the employment (Rodrigues, 2012). As an example, Bahamas have the tourism as their mainly local economy and source of jobs.

The tourism guarantees employment for more than half of community, directly or indirectly. (Members of the Demand Media Studios Community, n. d. ). Before tourism being developed in this region the population was living in poor life conditions and occupying worst job positions. Regarding the environmental aspect, tourism can be a reason to protect the nature and the money collected from tickets to visit parks makes people obey rules to preserve the park. This industry also gives a chance to understand how the environment works. (Allen, n. d. ).
Additionally, conservation of natural areas, rising environmental quality, stimulating the participation of people with the environment, improvement of infrastructure and increased awareness of the environment are some example of positive effects of tourism. (Rodrigues, 2012). Cultural and social aspects are some of the touristic attractions. This direct contact teaches visitors a new view and it is lucrative for the local population. (Ragsdale, n. d. ).
Furthermore, tourism can help to conserve cultural heritage, the cultural exchanges and the renewal of cultural pride. Also it promotes peace and greater empowerment of women (Rodrigues, 2012). In Bahamas the cultural identity is a concern of local government about the trivialization of crafts and influences of other cultures about changing local traditions. (Members of the Demand Media Studios Community, n. d. ). Probably, without tourism the government would never think about the Bahamas traditions.
On the other hand, negative effects are being showed too (Allen, n. d. ). Economically, it is important consider how to finance and maintain tourism, because it can also encroach on the community with companies from another country, taking part of the profits instead of local population. (Ragsdale, n. d. ). In addition, tourism can aggravate social inequality, because if you didn?t have qualification, you would not have opportunity to work in this field. Besides, it can also raise the local and the housing costs around the touristic areas (Allen, n. d. ).
Bali is a good example of this situation. The tourism had grown about 80% in 2010 compared to 2000 and also had grown franchising and convenience stores around the city giving the profits to overseas companies. Moreover, the government gave a temporary residence to 6,000 foreigners allowing them to work; it was not very fair competition for better jobs. In addiction, the real estate sector increased the property values causing the local population to migrate to other cities and without much infrastructure.(Trunkl, 2011).
It is recognizable that tourism also can be a disruptive mechanism against nature (Ragsdale, n. d. ). It can contribute to water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, visual pollution and problems with rising trash. In Bali tourism are destroying the natural source and overloading local infrastructure, affecting the environment and the community. The transit is increasingly congested and natural areas and plantations are being devastated to build more roads or tourist attractions. (Trunkl, 2011).
In relation to the cultural aspect, tourism can negatively affect the authenticity of community, disrespecting traditions such as religious rites and crafts. (Rodrigues, 2012). Tourism causes a really invasive situation and consequently the host community will be influenced by tourists, endangering their customs, habits and cultural riches. (Ragsdale, n. d. ). Socially the unpleasantness between tourists and natives is a negative result in this area. Moreover, the excess numbers of tourists leads to a less quality of the attraction and it may increase the cases of prostitution, crime and violence. (Rodrigues, 2012).
To reduce negative impacts and enhance positive impacts will be necessary a good tourism planning, always based on social equity, environmental awareness and expansion of the local economy. Tourism planning is a mechanism of management focused in an actual scenario of destination analysis to project possible panoramas. This mechanism builds a guide to transform the current target into sustainable tourist attraction using the resources available efficiently. First of all, the government should involve and sensitize the community where they want to explore the tourism.
Without this support, the tourism will inevitably fail. After that, they need to define the goals: what kind of tourism will be explored in this region; which kind of public will be explored and if all industry involved is prepared. Thus, they analyse all resources and create a strategy of product development. After that, tourism will be explored. Furthermore, it will be always monitored and evaluated to do constant readjustments (Miranda, 2013). In conclusion, tourism has a great power of influence in societies where it is developed in very interesting aspects.
For this reason, tourism cannot be considered as something unimportant and it not even occurs without a planning. It should be well planned, executed and monitored results to make changes as needed. This dynamic will require well trained professionals and constant research in this area. It is no longer possible to think in tourism as just a simple trip, everything that occurs during any trip is interconnected and affects the whole society. Provide a well planned and sustainable tourism will be inevitable for the survival of the local community. The focus now is to maximize the positive aspects and minimize the negative one.
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