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The Environmental Impact of Tourism and Recreation is almost always harmful. Discuss

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The Environmental Impact of Tourism and Recreation is almost always harmful. Discuss. ( June 2001) The quality of the environment, both natural and man-made, is essential to tourism. However, tourism's relationship with the environment is complex. It involves many activities that can have adverse environmental effects. Many of these impacts are linked with the construction of general infrastructure such as roads and airports, and of tourism facilities, including resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, golf courses and marinas. The negative impacts of tourism development can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which it depends. On the other hand, tourism has the potential to create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. It is a way to raise awareness of environmental values and it can serve as a tool to finance protection of natural areas and increase their economic importance. Negative impacts from tourism occur when the level of visitor use is greater than the environment's ability to cope with this use within the acceptable limits of change. ...read more.


Pollution is another negative environmental impact of tourism. Tourism can cause the same forms of pollution as any other industry: air emissions, noise, solid waste. littering and releases of sewage. In areas with high concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural attractions, waste disposal is a serious problem and improper disposal can be a major despoiler of the natural environment - rivers, scenic areas, and roadsides. For example, cruise ships in the Caribbean are estimated to produce more than 70,000 tons of waste each year. Today some cruise lines are actively working to reduce waste-related impacts. Solid waste and littering can degrade the physical appearance of the water and shoreline and cause the death of marine animals. In mountain areas, trekking tourists generate a great deal of waste. Tourists on expedition leave behind their garbage, oxygen cylinders and even camping equipment. Such practices degrade the environment with all the detritus typical of the developed world, in remote areas that have few garbage collection or disposal facilities. ...read more.


Tourism can significantly contribute to environmental protection, conservation and restoration of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources. Because of their attractiveness, pristine sites and natural areas are identified as valuable and the need to keep the attraction alive can lead to creation of national parks and wildlife parks. In Hawaii, new laws and regulations have been enacted to preserve the Hawaiian rainforest and to protect native species. The coral reefs around the islands and the marine life that depend on them for survival are also protected. Hawaii now has become an international centre for research on ecological systems - and the promotion and preservation of the islands' tourism industry was the main motivation for these actions. To summarise, tourism can have negative and positive impacts on the environment. If managed well, a tourist resort has the potential to be sustainable and benefit the local environment and people. However, most tourist resorts are not sustainable and do not consider the surrounding environment. If you combine this with the pollution caused by travelling to the destination, the tourism industry has a huge negative impact on the environment. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is a good response that clearly addresses the question by outlining the relationship between tourism and the environment in the introduction. This is good as it eases the reader into the argument and shows that the student has some ...

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Response to the question

This is a good response that clearly addresses the question by outlining the relationship between tourism and the environment in the introduction. This is good as it eases the reader into the argument and shows that the student has some background knowledge on the topic. The student then sets out a coherent argument by exploring the 3 ways that tourism can damage the argument, each in a separate paragraph. This makes it clear and easy to follow. They then give the counterargument that tourism can be good for the environment. Thus, they demonstrate consideration to both sides, hence showing a fair and balanced argument.

Level of analysis

The student gives evidence (in the form of examples of locations where the environment has been impacted by tourism) throughout the essay. This is important as it shows that the arguments are based on fact and evidence, not opinion. Thus the view argued is stronger. If anything, I would like to see even more examples, which could further strengthen the argument.

Quality of writing

I have no criticism of the quality of writing. The student follows the conventions of structure by using an introduction - main argument - conclusion format. The grammar, spelling and punctuation are all in order.

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Reviewed by danielle-dansmell 27/06/2012

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