Tourism is a boon to many countries and it brings valuable investment into countries far and wide. When we look at the long term however, it seems that a gradual, planned tourism industry is the key to any country getting this right
Tourists need facilities and these need to be built, maintained and upgraded. All valuable from the point of view of creating jobs, but what a country needs to look out for is that it does not burn up the resources that keep people coming there in the first place. If this happens, the industry will be a short lived phenomenon and when the party is over, locals will be left with an environment that has been destroyed and no way to support themselves and their families.
Accommodation, water supplies, restaurants and recreation facilities involve a lot of digging, dragging and breaking things down. Sand mining causes beach and sand dune erosion, paving and concrete removes green areas and natural habitats. And it’s not just the local building work either, airport construction, marine construction and road building can lead to land degradation, deforestation and destruction of the very scenery that people are coming to see there.
When a tourism centre is built, it must also be run in a sustainable way. Run-off from all of those people showering, cooking and so forth needs to be handled in a way that does not ruin delicate ecosystems. Australia is already struggling with the impact of tourism on its famous coral reefs and the degradation there is noticeable.
When tourism takes off, it’s important to bring it into line from the start. This is the only way to prevent things from spiraling out of control. When nature is gone, it’s gone and all the industry in the world is not worth that.