What are the disadvantages of tourism?

Did You Know?

° The money generated by tourism accounts for 5% of global GDP.

° For every job created in the core tourism industry, around 1.5 extra, indirect jobs are created in the wider tourism-related economies.

° Tourism provides jobs for 1 out of every 12 workers in advanced and emerging economies.

The Disadvantages of Tourism

Environmental: Tourism can often cause environmental damage with risks like erosion, pollution, the loss of natural habitats, and forest fires. Even if tourists behave responsibly, the sheer number of them can cause damage. Ancient buildings, monuments, and temples often struggle to cope with increased traffic and suffer inevitable wear-and-tear. Reefs and other natural tourist attractions can suffer permanent damage.

Cultural: The commercialization of culture can undermine the soul of a tourist destination. Local traditions that have a rich cultural heritage are reduced to wearing costumes and putting on acts for the tourists in return for money.

Culture Clashes: Tourists often lack respect for local traditions and culture, refuse to follow local dress standards, get drunk in public, or behave rudely or inappropriately towards locals.

Service Economy: Although jobs are created by tourism, most are relatively low-level such as bar work, hotel service, restaurant serving, and so forth. These low-wage, low-skill workers have little prospect for advancement or promotion.

Seasonal Fluctuations. Tourism jobs are quite commonly seasonal and insecure, with no extra benefits such as pensions, sick pay, or healthcare. Some areas can be inundated with visitors during busy times, and then virtually deserted for many months.

Imbalanced Funding: Money can end up being directed to tourist areas when it could be used more effectively elsewhere in a country. The locals who don’t live in specific tourist areas miss out and suffer relative decline.

Foreign Poaching: Oftentimes, most of the tourism industry in a developing country is owned by big foreign companies. They make the major profits, leaving local businesses with relatively little benefit.

Tourism Dependence: Sometimes, tourism becomes so focal that other forms of income-generation are neglected and an economic dependence on tourism forms. This is fine in good times, but it can leave the country vulnerable to economic ruin in the long run and can contribute to political upheaval or natural disasters.