Many places in the world rely heavily on tourism as a key source of income and employment.
Unfortunately, tourism can also be a source of problems, especially if it is not managed well. A huge influx of visitors can gradually deplete the beauty, uniqueness, character, environment, resources, and social coherence of a tourist destination over time.
It is easy to underestimate the scale of tourism. Every year, about a billion tourists take trips: That makes 30 tourists arriving every second. There were around 76.9 million tourists visiting the US In 2017. That many travelers can easily present huge challenges for many destinations. Transporting, providing places to stay, feeding, entertaining, policing, and cleaning up after that many additional people is not a simple or straightforward task. Is it worth it?
This article lists the main advantages and disadvantages of tourism.
The Advantages of Tourism
- Economic. It brings in money. This is probably the main advantage of tourism and the reason why it has been promoted so much, especially in developing countries. The income generated can make up a significant proportion of both private, local, and national incomes.
- Opportunistic. It provides jobs. Hotels, bars, transport, activities, shops, and restaurants all need staffing. Tourism can provide much-needed employment for people.
- Infrastructural. It provides a means and an incentive for investment in infrastructure such as roads, rail networks, and local medical and education facilities.
- Environmental. It can provide economic incentives for a place to preserve, maintain, and regenerate the environment in both urban and rural settings.
- Cross-Cultural. It promotes international connections which can bring more business and cultural collaborations in the long term. It also promotes cross-cultural awareness for both locals and tourist and builds bridges of understanding between cultures.
- Promotional. It “puts a place on the map”: Tourism gives the locality a chance to show itself off and raise its profile in the world.