Tourism...Side Effects In the Economic Growth

September 17, 2007 - by Maggie Xu

Tourism, considered as a high-profitable industry, is booming around China. It serves as an engine of economic growth and has become the main source of local revenue. While lots of people seem to ignore its negative effects on the local environment and culture. It is reported from time to time that many famous scenic spots, such as Huangshan National Park in Anhui Province,Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province, Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan Province,etc., were greatly damaged by the vacationers.

The drawback tourism brings about can be plainly seen in at least two aspects: environment and culture damage. In terms of environment damage, with the development of new means of transportation, travel has become easier than ever. Many popular places are flooded with visitors, who spoil the beauty of nature by creating and leaving behind God-knows-how-much trash. In addition, a lot of unsightly artificial facilities have been and continue to be built in order to promote tourism, with disastrous effects on the environment.

Now let us see how tourism negatively affects the culture. The main problem comes from the conducted tour. It greatly restricts the exposure of tourists to local culture, and contributes little to mutual understanding between nations and cultures. On the contrary, the superficial impressions tourists get during such tours only intensify their stereotyped ideas about other cultures. What is more, the foreign ways introduced by travelers may have an adverse impact on the local people, who tend to be susceptible to the influence of more advanced cultures. In the long run, the uniqueness of individual cultures will be wiped out by such homogenization.

The side effects arisen along with the rapid growth of tourism call for more attention. The unchecked growth of the travel business may render the economic development unsustainable. The right choice we should make is to take into careful consideration that how to balance the economic growth and the protection of local environment and culture, and thus efficient measures are expected to be taken as soon as possible. This is the issue pondered not only by the government authorities but by the general public.



1 Comment

  • 1. Michelle  |  September 18, 2007, 4:13 pm

    Tourism is one of the world's largest industries and one of its fastest growing economic sectors. It has a multitude of impacts, both positive and negative, on people's lives and on the environment. Sustainable tourism should make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.



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