Negative Impacts

Negative Impact of Tourism 

Air travel
There has been an increased number of transport on road and by air in the past years which has an influence on the environment and the health of humans. Transport is an essential tool for tourism; the negative effects of the transport are the pollution from emanating different gases and the damage created to the environment (Page and Connell, 2009).

  •            Over 1/5 of the world’s population are using the air for their travel because it’s a fast way to get to a destination;
  •           Airplanes need airport to operate their flights which means that construction of airports is an important thing, this is affecting the environment because they are constructing new airports or expand them, for example “Frankfurt’s third runway resulted in the felling of half a million trees.”(Page and Connell,2009:425);
  •         Aircrafts are using kerosene which is affecting the environment. “Like all fuels, on combustion kerosene produces:
  •   carbon dioxide (…)
  •    water (…)
  •   carbon monoxide (…)
  •  hydrocarbons (…)
  •   nitrogen oxide (…)
  •  sulphur dioxide (…) ”(Page and Connell,2009:425)

The impacts of the emission of these types of compounds in the atmosphere can create a lot of damage to the environment.
The pollution of air is due to the development of airports for the tourism industry (Beech and Chadwick, 2006).
Basically if there will not be a reduction of the gases released by the air planes the environment will be affected on long term.

Tourism activities that affect the environment

Skiing/alpine tourism –tourism products have to be created such as hotels, resorts etc which have a big impact on the mountains, because this means that there has to be prepared the ground for new constructions (Page and Connell,2009).

Ecotourism – too many tourists that get involved in this type of tourism, some of them might not be qualified or specialized which  can lead in damaging  the environment :  for example Kenya, Galapagos Islands and Thailand are suffering from the overcrowding of the ecotourists (Page and Connell, 2009).

Boating, diving, walking and others activities have a negative impact on the environment , for example tourists feeding wild animals affect the animals lives because they can get sick and they become violent towards the residents and tourists, this can influence their breeding as well. Another example is the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt which is suffering severe damage because of  the large number of visitors, 5.000 visitors a day,  that are bringing  inside the tomb moisture , dust and different bacteria’s (Gee, et al. 1998).

Tourism cannot exist without tourists, tourists have an impacts from every point on a destination, the environment if one of the reasons of the tourists wanting to travel to a destination, if the environment is destroyed the tourists will not be attracted to the destination. The tourists have an impact on all types of environments because they are not managed by different laws or by tour guides, depending on their holidays.

Physical impacts
“Tourism destinations comprise a wide diversity of environments, from purpose-built resorts to remote natural areas. ”(Page and Connell,2009: 425)
According to the European Environment Agency(1998) cited in Page and Connell(2009:427) tourism has a contribution in the following impacts:
  •           waste
  •           reducing levels of biodiversity
  •          pollution of inland water
  •         pollution of marine and coastal zones.

There are different impacts related to the development of attractions such as : “inappropriate development, loss of habitat, extinction of species, pollution, and loss of spirit.”(Page and Connell, 2009:425).

a.“Inappropriate development” (Page and Connell, 2009:428)
The tourism development whether is on a large or small scale can be improper if it affects the environment. There are different habitats that are influenced by the improper development of the tourism industry and its products.  

Burac(1996) cited in Beech and Chadwick (2006) describes the view of the coast line from Guadeloupe and Martinique islands, not only that it doesn’t have the real architecture style of the destination but also that there are different buildings in construction which are affecting the coast line.Different pubs, restaurants  that are built either on the coast line or on the beach affect the environment because they damage the quality of sand and also it damages the soil that need to be prepared for construction .

In Hawaii there has been a development of golf courses, for sports tourists and some of them were built on the agricultural land which had a direct impact on the environment it destroyed the agricultural land to build new courses(Holloway, et al. 2009).

b. Impacts on the natural habitat and wildlife
Development of tourism products that will be used finally by  tourists have a great impact on the environment.
For example:
-in Nepal, trees are being cut off so that they can be used for constructing lodges, for heating the water that tourists use in their accommodation and cooking had a very big impact on the country’s forest.
- in Amboseli National Park in Kenya, cheetahs behaviour changed because of the visits of tourists in their natural environment, that’s why cheetahs avoid appearances while tourists are visiting and this affects the animals lives because the animals change temporary the location which is affecting the feeding process and all other activities (Page and Connell,2009).
Improper management of tourist groups is affecting the environment in the destination they travel to, because they are interested to live the experience of their life so they go close to the wildlife, they produce a lot of litter.
Another matter is the removal , for purpose of selling or just to keep as souvenirs of the corals and rare shells from Pacific region (Holloway et al, 2009).

c. Pollution
The water is being polluted from the sewage  being pumped out in the sea.  The sewage is affecting the aquatic life. Marine wildlife is being affected by this type of pollution and of course people that are bathing in the sea (Page and Connell,2009).
There is  noise pollution created by all types of transports and activities:
- the airplanes taking off and landing at the airports disturbs tourists and residents;
- boats can disturb the residence and tourist from the coasts with the noise made from their motors; these boats also affect the aquatic environment because of the oil spills in the sea.
- ski jets and other types of bikes for water disturb the residents and locals while being on the beach (Holloway et al, 2009).

d. Overcrowding and traffic congestion
Overcrowding is a major problem because it affects the environment through erosion, too many people visiting at the same time the same place has an impact on the soil and not only.
Traffic has a big impact as well because , cars and other types of transport on the road put pressure on the road. The road traffic can damage the built environment through pollution and vibration of the buildings, and also noise. Another problem is parking spaces which are not available everywhere and drivers could park their cars off-road which will affect the vegetation (Page and Connell, 2009).
For example, Venice has a network of canals and tourists are using this type of transport while travelling to attractions or just to see the buildings . Because of the overcrowding of the boats the water is flooding the pavements of the city (Holloway et al., 2009).

e. Wear and tear
Tourists have different activities which influence the natural environment, this type of activities can be horse-riding, mountain biking and many more which damage the vegetation because of the disturbance created to the soil, no matter of the location (Page and Connell,2009).
In  the United States many of the sand dunes got destroyed or eroded because of the frequent use of beach buggies (Holloway, et al. 2009).

Beech, J. and Chadwick, S. (2006), The business of tourism management, Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
Holloway, J. C. , Humphreys, C. and Davidson, R (2009), The business of tourism , 8th edition,Essex:Pearson Education Limited.
Page, S. J. and Connell, J. (2009), Tourism a modern synthesis, 3rd edition. Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA.