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Impacts Of Mass Tourism On Ecotourism Sites

". . . delicate ecotourism often occurs on a huge level within certain accessible areas leading to the observation that ecotourism can and frequently does occur as a form of mass travel and leisure. . . ' (Weaver and Lawton, 200: 362). Critically assess, using cases, the social, financial and environmental impacts of mass tourism on ecotourism sites.

From my studies and research in this subject matter area of geography it is visible that there surely is a link and even a romantic relationship between ecotourism and mass tourism. In order to understand this relationship however we should take into account what exactly travel and leisure means, and eventually what is recommended by ecotourism and mass tourism. What essentially is tourism? Undoubtedly there are extensive varying definitions to describe travel and leisure but essentially travel and leisure ". . . is the temporary movement of folks to places outside their normal places of work and residence, the actions undertaken during their stay in those vacation spots, and the facilities intended to focus on their needs" (Alister Mathieson and Geoffrey Wall 1982, p. 1) Travel and leisure is obviously a leisure activity and there are many various varieties of travel and leisure including;

  • Cultural tourism.
  • Sex tourism.
  • Adventure tourism.
  • Geotourism.
  • Event tourism.

The travel and leisure sector has experienced significant upsurge in later years due to higher earnings and greater transport amenities and convenience. According to the Central Figures Office Ireland website, www. cso. ie the amount of trips by Irish residents on domestic travel has increased from 7, 001 in 2004 to 8, 340 in 2009 2009. The increase or improvement of tourism within certain areas has varying impacts, both positive and negative, on the economic, cultural and environmental aspects.

Ecotourism or ecological travel and leisure essentially refers to travel to an area possessing natural, physical or ethnic beauty for example streams, shorelines, mountains and wildlife ecosystems. The primary purpose associated with this form of travel and leisure is to keep, protect and value the worthiness of the region. Corresponding to Mike J. Stabler et al, ecotourism identifies ". . . a sustainable, non-invasive form of nature-based tourism that focuses mainly on studying aspect first-hand and which is ethically were able to be low impact, non-consumptive and locally orientated (control, benefits and level). It typically occurs in natural areas, and really should contribute to the conservation of such areas. " (Mike J. Stabler et al, 2010, p. 360). Ecotourism includes an array of activities from goes to to natural ecosystems including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, activities such as mountain climbing and goes to to see animals family pets for example gorillas that i will discuss later in this essay. You will find two main types of ecotourism; soft ecotourism and hard ecotourism. Soft ecotourism is normally the more popular form of ecotourism and usually includes short-term experiences which can be nature led with a head to guide and where the individual earnings to a facilitated area. Due to the popularity of very soft ecotourism it is more likely that mass travel and leisure could develop because of this. Hard travel and leisure on the other hand refers to the average person involving themselves in an intense experience without amenities like accommodation, restaurants and retailers for example The Hollies Centre in Region Cork.

Mass tourism can be quite difficult to determine as there are no insights concerning how many travellers would classify as mass tourism. However it fundamentally refers to large scale travel and leisure where there's a great or massive amount tourists in a given area at anybody time. Mass travel and leisure has come to the fore scheduled to higher incomes and accessibility as previously mentioned and likewise to these the benefits of package deals has also enjoyed a essential part in this form of tourism. It is essential to note that there surely is a romantic relationship between both of these forms of tourism and you can effect the other hugely. Throughout this article I will discuss the influences, socially, financially and environmentally of mass tourism on ecotourism sites with reference to various cases.

By managing and controlling potential mass tourism by using an ecotourism site the negative sociable and environmental effects are significantly reduced, making sure the entire preservation and conservation of the site. Rwanda is a little country which is located in central Africa and is also famous for its beautiful physical scenery including the scenic beaches at Lake Kivu and its vast series of mountains. In addition to the beautiful scenery, it also offers an abundance of wildlife including various varieties of parrots and the unusual hill gorillas. (Shape 1) Rwanda is known worldwide for these pile gorillas and this undoubtedly is a main attraction for visitors. According to the Rwanda Tourism website, www. rwandatourism. com, the amount of site visitors in Rwanda increased from 826, 374 in 2007 to approximately one million in 2008. Furthermore gorilla travel and leisure in Rwanda is continuing to grow significantly and reached a top in 2008 when 17, 000 vacationers were recorded browsing the Volcanoes National Park alone (Neilsen, H. and Spenceley, A. 2010, p. 2. ), with peak season being the months of July and August. However the upsurge in Rwanda's tourists wouldn't normally be classified as mass travel and leisure on a global scale, it is vital to note that this increase has already established significant effects in Rwanda. The Volcanoes Country wide Park is situated in north Rwanda and is placed on the border of Virunga National Park in the Congo and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Playground in Uganda. The Volcanoes Country wide Park enables holidaymakers to see the astonishing gorillas up close. The amount of travel and leisure certainly has impacts on the ecotourism site socially, financially and environmentally.

The neighborhood in Rwanda has experienced both negative and positive impacts consequently of the increase in tourism. In relation to social effects Rwanda has definitely benefited. The income received in the united states as a direct result of travelers in the recreation area has supposed that the neighborhood areas have socially expanded. Beneath the ORTNP and with the support of the federal government, a tourism earnings program was initiated in 2005, meaning that 5% of income from area fees moves towards aiding local neighborhoods and projects. Listed below are examples of assignments carried out in Rwanda as a result of the revenue scheme;

Schools; the development of ten classes within the area has dramatically lessen travel time for local people to school. This enables pupils to focus on their studies, thus increasing the quality of education in the region.

Water Tanks; over 5, 000 young families within the area have benefited from the development of drinking water tanks which provide 20, 000 litres of water per person per day.

(Neilsen, H. and Spenceley, A. 2010, p. 11)

The Rwandan community owns a rich social society which exists in their arts and crafts for example woven baskets, pottery and painting. Tourist expenses on such social crafts shows curiosity about local traditions and rituals and ensures the indigenous culture survives between the varying civilizations of visitors. Environmental impacts are a significantly important feature when discussing gorilla travel and leisure in Rwanda. Due to the fact that these hill gorillas are uncommon and endangered varieties conservation and security of these pets or animals is a priority. One can claim that tourism itself can have a detrimental effect on the animals which undoubtedly is a fair argument. Gorilla travel and leisure can and does present a risk to gorilla conservation as travellers can put stress and disturbance upon the gorillas. This may adversely have an effect on the behavior and health of the gorillas. (Neilsen, H. and Spenceley, A. 2010, p. 16) Evidentially these factors could be in charge of a drop in human population size. However, as people in Rwanda have realised the danger, they are now managing mass travel and leisure in the following ways to be able to conserve the eco-site;

Anyone who desires to participate and experience closer contact with the gorilla types must purchase a permit which is expensive and limited. Visitors are willing to pay high charges for these permits which essentially means that tourists know about and are promoting the ecotourism code of minimising ecological effects.

In addition to the high cost of permits so when briefly mentioned previously, the revenue system means that 5% of this money is fundamentally re-invested back into the conservation and safety of the nationwide parks.

A group of regulations have been unveiled which prohibit risk to the gorillas. These rules are enforced by personnel applied within the recreation area. Listed below are some examples of rules and regulations enforced;

Tourists have to keep a distance of 7 meters between themselves and gorillas.

There is a regular limit of one group of travelers per group of gorillas, a limit to the number of travellers within that group and they're required to stay together.

Visits are to have a limited span of time of one hour.

Minimum age requirement of 15.

(Neilsen, H. and Spenceley, A. 2010, p. 4)

If we could to imagine this ecotourism site without any means of controlling tourist numbers what is the impacts environmentally? Certainly the gorilla varieties in the Volcano National Area would become extinct. The populace of the gorilla has already decreased in recent years and there is absolutely no question that considerable large scale travel and leisure (bigger than what Rwanda happens to be experiencing) would reduce it even more. In terms of economic effects with regards to travel and leisure in Rwanda we can see that tourism is behaving as an economical asset to the neighborhood communities. Employment in gorilla travel and leisure is very significant with least 180 employment opportunities have been created within the park including guides, anti-poaching clubs and gorilla teams' trackers. (Neilsen, H. and Spenceley, A. 2010, p. 12)

Benidorm is a coastal town located in the province of Alicante in Spain. It is home to beautiful sandy beaches which appeal to numerous tourists each year. Originally before the 1960's it was a little town where farming and sportfishing were the primary resources of income. During this time period Benidorm experienced little or no tourism.

Since then however Benidorm has developed tremendously and draws in just as much as ten million visitors per year. Because of this dramatic change the lives of the neighborhood people and even the surroundings have changed significantly. Tourists are attracted to Benidorm due to easy accessibility, cheap package deals, great quantity of accommodation, the beautiful sandy beaches, nightlife and golf courses. The town of Benidorm developed speedily to be able to cater for this large scale tourism and this development has had social, economic and environmental impacts as a result. The development of travel and leisure related infrastructure has negative environmental effects near Benidorm. Over intake, over development, pollution and man-made reconstruction are amongst these negative influences. Many high surge hotels were produced in order to cater and maximise tourism within the city which immediately diminishes the beauty of the city and decreases elegance.

Pollution is an ongoing problem in the area. Tourism contributes to extreme litter and extreme pressure on sewerage systems. Cheaper package offers have resulted in an increased degree of flights, thus increasing the degrees of nitrous oxide, hydrocarbon and business lead in the air. Over usage of natural resources for example drinking water is another negative impact of tourism in Benidorm before with vacationers exploiting the reference in hotels and swimming pools. Reconstruction of beaches, and creation of golf courses diminishes originality, portrays a modern town and drains images of the picturesque fishing community that was once there. (Amount 2) Corresponding to an article on the BBC media website however, www. bbc. co. uk/news/, Benidorm is currently highlighted as the new face of ecotourism. The author represents the recent environmental positive effects which were recognized and have happened as a result of the initial negative effects of mass tourism. In a single hotel the signals immediately turn off upon vacating the room and many of the taps are foot-pump managed to conserve water which in turn tackles the overconsumption of the natural learning resource. In addition low energy street lighting can be used. In relation to the overall economy of Benidorm there are both positive and negative impacts. The tourism industry is worth an impressive total the economy and is also a vital asset in terms of job creation. The restaurants, pubs, hotels and shops employ a huge amount of folks from Benidorm and the surrounding areas which would perhaps be unemployed if it was not for high travel and leisure levels. The majority of food is locally sourced which essentially means that money received by local businesses is actually going back into the local current economic climate. However tourism in this town has negative influences also. Lots of the hotels in Benidorm are chain hotels and are foreign owned. This functions as a drain on the neighborhood current economic climate as money leaves the united states. The cost of living increased because of this of mass tourism with prices of residences and goods and services putting strain on the locals. Socially, the huge numbers of tourists browsing Benidorm has led to an array of ethnicities which can have has both positive and negative effects. The extensive multicultural society therefore of mass travel and leisure indeed positive yet this can have strongly affect negative impacts. It can simply drown out the Spanish culture of the city and with such a diversity of civilizations anti-social behavior has occurred and remains a opportunity when misunderstandings or insulting of different cultures occurs. Furthermore mass travel and leisure can have negative impacts socially for the locals. Mass tourism has led to a growth in inappropriate behaviour with tourists engaging in such activities as medicine use and unnecessary drinking. Tourism also interrupts local usage of amenities such as outlets, roads, general public parks and sporting facilities as well as public transport.

From the cases I have discussed throughout this article it is noticeable that there surely is indeed a marriage between the two varieties of tourism- ecotourism and mass travel and leisure. With regards to my two cases, gorilla travel and leisure in Rwanda, Africa and travel and leisure in Benidorm, Spain, it is essential to note that I required two different approaches in terms of talking about them. When discussing ecotourism in Africa, I reviewed the effects that managing holiday numbers has had on the ecotourism site. It really is evident out of this example that guaranteeing the influences of tourism quantities on this vacation spot are checked and handled is vital for sustainable tourism industry. Without the management gorilla figures would lower and would eventually become extinct. Therefore the ecotourism site wouldn't normally be viewed as a must-go destination and tourism may stop. With specific reference to the tourist vacation spot of Benidorm in Spain, I talked about the impacts which mass tourism had in the beginning created on the region. As opposed to this, in newer years I have given an understanding to how Benidorm has improved from a location of mass tourism to a location portraying potential eco-touristic attributes. Travel and leisure management in a vacation spot that is consistent with local neighborhoods preserves and increases the environment and shields its wildlife, while providing a far more authentic traveler experience and removing the negative public and environmental influences of mass tourism on ecotourism site.

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