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Lecture 8

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GEO 802
Abednego Aryee

Lecture 8: Sustainable tourism: The prospects & challenges of Ecotourism Sustainable tourism & leisure: - Definition of sustainability: Sustainable tourism meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future - Multiple factors that work against the achievement of sustainable development: o Economic factors – too many tourists visiting one place means that a greater demand of everything (resources/limited resources) is required – this results in an increase in the price of commodities  Too many tourists also means a lot of money coming in the place though  Too many tourists also means more labor required which results in loss of taxes and potential of low productivity at the origin  Creative destruction occurs when investment capital is transferred from rural areas to tourist resort areas (that are experiencing boom) – migration of service sector  Glut of labor (too many people moving to tourist destinations) can result in unemployment Recommendations to overcome these problems: create ethnic tourism (preserve rural traditions), agro tourism; limit the number of tourist that can visit an area (to solve the problem of inflation), re-training programs or skill development programs (to solve the problem of unemployment), creation of more job opportunities, promote green development o Environmental factors – tourism compete with other sectors for essential resources like land, labor, and goods & services  Eventually a phenomenon known as the ‘brain drain’ – when that happens there will be a loss of opportunities for a good productivity in the country  Airline industry is responsible for greater amount of air pollution and its constant release of CFCs, CO2, NO2, etc. into the atmosphere – these gases contribute to the green house effect and global warming Ways to deal with this problem (balance between promote transportation and less pollution): hub & spokes system of transportation (use of bigger aircrafts), use less polluting public transports that run on ethanol, use hybrid cars, buses that run on fuel cell (emits water vapor only, no gas), in Japan the railway system runs on solar systems  Disruption of bio-diversity from extreme activities of hunting, fishing, and development – promotes spot hunting/fishing Solutions: input approach of sustainability (use of renewable resources like wildlife, fishes should be rates and amount that will allow the natural resources to replenish itself), output approach to sustainable development (the emission of waste like CO2, NO2, petro chemical products and other human wastes should be rates and amounts that will allow the receiving bio- physical system enough time to neutralize the disperse, dissipate, biodegrade or breakdown), assimilative capacity of natural systems (means that if you keep growing garbage that is not bio-degradable then we will have an over accumulation which will cause environmental problems) o Socio-cultural factors – ways in which leisure and tourism infringes rights, values, and belief systems of local people – problems: modification of culture, degradation of cultural resources and facilities Solutions: need for information booklet that reminds tourists of the sensitivity of the local cultures (example: in forest be respectful of wildlife) - Definition of sustainability by UN conventions: meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs - Another definition: states sustainable tourism is the optimal use of natural and cultural resources for national development on epitable and self-sustaining basis to provide a unique visitor experience and an improved quality of life through partnership among government, private-sector and communities - Optimal use of resources means wise or judicious use of resources - Different beliefs/point of views of sustainability: o Oxymoron o Anthropocentric o Bio-centric (natural resources have to be preserved) and eco-centric - How can one ensure a balance between the anthropocentric and the bio-centric beliefs? Carrying capacity: - Maximum level of recreational use of activities beyond which there is a decline in number of tourists - Social carrying capacity: can also affect the host community if the level of tolerance is exceeded, potential for irritation or hostility – especially in small communities that are homogeneous - Social factors which can determine the extent of the influence of carrying capacity: o Social structure: of the destination is vital is determining the skill and nature of tourist impact  Example: compare NYC/London to Apia in Western Samoa or Bhutan (live in rural societies where there is a extended family system)  Nature of tourist influences: if you have a community of 200,000 where there is over 1 million tourists arriving in 2 months compared to these 2 million spread over 20 years impacts the host less o Cultural heritage: is important is determining the impact of social carrying capacity  The more unusual the cultural background of destination areas, the more attractive a destination may become to potential tourists – ironically, the more unusually cultural traditions are the greater a likelihood of adverse impact on the socio-cultural attractions – seen in the area of demonstration effect (a situation where rural people who where used to dressing very simple/old-fashioned - now with tourist coming with western style impact these people to change like them) – contaminates the local culture
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