Impact of Tourism on Environment
Tourism growth leads to modification and degradation of environment. As a result, there is environmental stress. The environment resources are exploited for tourist attraction because of their beauty, recreation, culture, but when visitors as a tourist start coming to that area, all the environmental traits are destroyed.
The impact of tourism on environment is depicted in the following image.
Image credits © Manoj Patil.
Environmental impact of tourism are as follows:
- Degradation of Natural Vegetation
- Adverse Effect on Wild Life
- Effect on Pollution
- Traffic Jam and Disturbance in Rural Environment
- Disturbance Caused to Traditional Economic and Societies
Above points highlighting Environmental impact of tourism are discussed below.
1. Degradation of Natural Vegetation
There is a destruction of natural vegetation due to cutting of trees for campfire, construction of resorts, tents, etc. Accidental fires due to throwing of lighted cigarette have devastating effect on landscape. Such fire damage the environment more severely. The clearance of natural vegetation may have direct effect on rainfall and climate of that area. Many times, there are changes in species composition due to collection of flowers, plants, fungi by the tourist.
Due to increasing number of tourists in a valley of flowers, the numbers of flowers in these beautiful valleys are going down every year. With the development of tourist centres major construction activity like highways, roads, hotels, airport, etc. starts. Such development results into removal of agricultural land for residential areas.
2. Adverse Effect on Wild Life
Animals face hardship for water and grazing land. The development around parks has prevented animals from migration. The feeding and breeding areas of wild animals are badly affected due to the construction of highway and roads through parks. Handling of young birds by tourists results into infant mortality. The sports activities like horse riding, trekking, skating, camping, picnicking adversely affect on bird life. The sports activities in water like surfing, boating, yachting disturb crocodiles and fish in water.
3. Effect on Pollution
Due to overcrowding at the tourist places air and water pollution increases. Dense population at the tourist centres results of various forms of waste. The slopes of mount Everest and other trekking areas are full of plastic tags, cans and broken beer bottles. Due to disposal of waste and sewage in ocean water, water pollution becomes a major problem along the beaches.
4. Traffic Jam and Disturbance in Rural Environment
The historical places, archaeological monuments, picturesque squares have turned into crowded parking places. Tourist cars, coaches create congestion on roads and disturb the villages. Tourism violates the peace of countryside and distorts the character of a place.
5. Disturbance Caused to Traditional Economic and Societies
Tourism in every region or a place has its own setup of economy. However, when the region or a place becomes the tourist place, due to many people visiting in that area people find some other sources of living. So people to change their traditional source of living to modern sources of living.