You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Tourism has increased so much over the last 50 years that it is having a mainly negative impact on local inhabitants and the environment. However, others claim that it is good for the economy.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of tourism and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Whether or not tourist destinations benefit from international tourism is a debatable issue. To sonic governments, the local economic benefits are worth the overcrowding and hiked prices of the tourist season. However, there are environmental and social costs and other risks of relying on tourism as a major source of annual income.
Sleepy coastal communities can be changed beyond recognition by mass-market tourism. Package holiday companies operate huge numbers of low-cost flights to high-rise hotels in developing countries every summer. This means, of course, that easy money can be had servicing this seasonal influx and the government sees increased tax revenue and local employment. However, when the tourist season comes to an end, employment ceases and the area becomes a ghost town. The social cohesion of a small community can also be blighted by the seasonal migration of people to the cities to look for work out of season, leaving only the elderly behind. This is perhaps made worse by second home owners, who drive up house prices beyond the means of local inhabitants.
On the other hand, the local community do gain language skills and other fringe benefits of cultural exchange. Such a large volume of travellers every year can cause environmental problems to fragile habitats and historical sites. Age-old stone remains can be worn away and traditional buildings demolished in favour of bland international hotels. Local infrastructure can also fail to cope with large numbers of visitors, leading to pollution and litter. However, over time this can change as the economy improves and tourism becomes more of an established industry. Local government investment in infrastructure should ensure repeat trade and further benefits for the economy.
Overall, tourism can be a good source of income for countries blessed with natural beauty or sites of historical interest. However, governments must ensure that the wishes of local businesses are not put before the needs of the local community and that any revenue generated by tourism is reinvested in the area to protect the local environment.