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The Importance of Tourism in the European Mediterranean Area and its Impacts.

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Introduction

************** ''Tourism is a Necessary evil for our Mediterranean Region '' ************** The Importance of Tourism in the European Mediterranean Area Europe and Mediterranean areas have political and symbolic importance even if they have not definite limits. From a geographical point of view Europe and Mediterranean are the southern and western parts of the Eurasia, while politically speaking they represent two areas with a strong instability. However they have tourist resources that succeed in attracting the international tourism; these elements give originality and unicity to the territory of the Mediterranean area. This has an important role in the tourist field, also helped by lots of tourist activities and by the typical climate. All these aspects contribute to the creation of the Mediterranean circular of the coast countries. As they have not the same distribution of the tourist flows, the have the problem of unbalance in the relation between resources and utilization, especially in the north sea-side. Although these problems, tourism becomes for the Mediterranean States a common activity, giving them a new economic dimension. The most important feature of the Mediterranean tourism is the diffused sea-side installation; it can cause a strong impact on the sea ecosystem and by the time it can generate a dangerous ecological situation of the Mediterranean area. If we consider that 120,000,000 people live in this area with 200,000,000 tourists that during the summer period are in the sea-side countries, this means a considerable antropic presence. ...read more.

Middle

Freshwater Freshwater concerns are reaching crisis levels in some Mediterranean countries as demand outstrips supply and desertification advances throughout the southern regions. During the summer months water supplies are exacerbated by tourist flows for use in hotels, swimming pools and golf courses. Pollution and wastes The Mediterranean Sea receives 10 billion tonnes of industrial and urban waste per year with little or no purification. The production of wastewater and solid waste in tourist areas often exceeds the carrying capacity of local infrastructures due the high seasonal demand. Pollution also negatively affects water quality in beach areas and drinking water supplies. The human health implications can be severe. The cause and effect for tourism is also great, as tourism contributes to all forms of pollution (water, waste and atmosphere) and is adversely affected by the impact of pollution on the natural resources they rely upon. Social and cultural impacts While tourism provides certain economic benefits to a region at least in the short term, it also causes disturbance to the local way of life as well as to social structures, and can adversely affect traditional practices that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It utilises the physical environment for profits that are mainly directed out of the country, creating adverse impacts on livelihoods and lack of benefit sharing with the local people who will bear tourism related costs to both the human and natural environment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Growth in Eastern Mediterranean and North African countries is higher- often double- than in the traditional western Mediterranean destinations. Countries, such as Turkey, Croatia, Morocco, Tunisia, and Greece, tend to present a far more dynamic growth patterns than the more mature destinations with tourism activity spreading along their coastlines. Overlaying biological data from a previous WWF analysis identifying the most important coastal and marine areas for biodiversity resulted in a projection of tourism activity in the following key areas: * Alboran Coast (Spain and Morocco) * Liguro-Proven´┐Żal coast (France, Italy, Monaco) * Corso-Sardinian coast (France, Italy) * Southern Tyrrhenian coast (Italy) * Dalmatian coast (Croatia) * Eastern Ionian coast and islands (Albania, Greece) * Aegean Sea and Anatolian coast (Greece, Turkey) * Cilician coast (Turkey) and Cyprus coast * Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia) * Algero-Tunisian coast (Algeria, Tunisia) This projected tourism activity in the most ecologically important areas in the region will further degrade already developed areas and cause drastic transformations of the coastal and marine ecosystems in untouched areas. Furthermore, by 2020, approximately 350 million tourist arrivals will visit the Mediterranean, representing about 22% of all tourists world-wide. The ten Balkan countries are forecast to receive 79 million tourists in the year 2020 (4.6 % growth rate over period 1995-2020). The leading tourist destinations will be Greece, Turkey, and Croatia. Under the current tourism development patterns, these trends likely imply the degradation and even the outright destruction of most of the still valuable natural and cultural areas of the region. ****** ...read more.

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