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The real 'cost' of tourism is its impact on tourist recipient sites and regions.

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Introduction

The real 'cost' of tourism is its impact on tourist recipient sites and regions. Using quantitative data, measure the costs and benefits of tourism on a site or destination of your choice, evaluating that cost in economic, social and environmental terms. Give examples and describe from your own knowledge tourist sites that have paid a price in social and cultural disruption, or in environmental pollution. In the light of your findings, address the question of whether tourism is an appropriate tool for national development. Tourism has become one of the key industries in affecting the state of the world economy, and is being adopted by many struggling countries as a tool for national development. By studying the costs and benefits of tourism on concerned countries, it is feasible to analyse its success as a strategy of development. As tourism is a relatively new industry and is growing so fast, the literature on the subject is continually expanding as more studies are carried out. The aim for this piece of work therefore, is to investigate the real 'cost' of tourism on Jamaica. Studies into the subject and the country will be examined, extracting the costs and the benefits in economic, social and environmental terms. The data will then be analysed in a suitable way and compared to alternative methods so as to determine if tourism is an appropriate agent for national development in Jamaica. It is very important to establish a few definitions before continuing with the essay, so that the eventual aim can be measured. Firstly, what we understand by the word tourism. Basically, it means a temporary and voluntary movement of people to a destination of their choice for the fundamental purpose of pleasure. The duration can range from a few days to a whole year. Facts in 2000 showed that there were 700 million travellers per year, 62% of which was solely for leisure. ...read more.

Middle

Although the above named advantages are possible for Jamaica, unfortunately it is not always looked on by the government in this way. There were very few examples found where Jamaica was looking to significantly improve their environment as a result of tourism. Despite the fact that the surroundings are clearly being destroyed the emphasis, as I think will come out even more lately, is that Jamaica are willing to sacrifice the environment in an attempt to maximise their income. But is this an appropriate strategy? Do the advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages? In an attempt to answer those questions it is essential to look at what tourism brings to the economy. The Jamaican GDP was measured at about J$5,034 million during 2002, and stats on visitor stays indicate a total expenditure of J$1,000 million through tourism. This suggests that the tourism industry accounted for about 20% of Jamaica's GDP in 2002. This is a substantial increase from 10 years previous when tourism accounted for just 13.3%,6 but it is still recovering after the impact of the September 11th, 2001 happenings in USA. Before the events in USA, tourism was highly influential in the success of the Jamaican economy but it suffered a decrease as people became more concerned about travelling. It is only now that the industry is starting to re-develop, and it is again becoming one of the most influential industries amongst insurance services and the manufacturing business. Tourism is clearly a huge industry with immense potential for any country to use as a tool for national development, particularly economic development. Unfortunately, the richer countries seem more able to benefit than the poorer ones, which can lead to a larger gap building between them. Although the following figures are slightly dated they help indicate the state of the Jamaican economy and we can infer its current state from these after knowing it has since grown after the large blip due to September 11th. ...read more.

Conclusion

If you consider the earliest definitions, which basically suggest that Third World Countries strive towards being similar to the Western World, then I believe that tourism is an appropriate tool for development. It is a guaranteed way of becoming more like the Western World in terms of technology and infrastructure. However, I also believe that this is not the best definition and that the latter ones are more valid. The World Development Report suggested the overall goal was to increase the economic, political and civil rights of all people across gender, ethnic groups, religions, races, regions and countries. So if this is taken as the basis when answering the question, then my answer would be different. Tourism clearly does not go along way to increasing the political and civil rights of the Jamaica residents for example. Tourism brings in "intruders" from other countries who intrude on their lives and remove a significant amount of identification the citizens may have. The government have to make the choice of whether they are willing to sacrifice the well being of their residents and state of their environment in order to maximise the profits from the industry. Unfortunately, this is often the case as the country need their economy to be strong, and there is no doubt that tourism has massive potential of bringing in revenue. The only other consideration the government should have would be to use the money to improve industries within their own country and work on trade as an alternative. The potential revenue may not be as high but I believe it is safe to say that the disadvantages would be hugely less. In conclusion, of the theorists mentioned earlier I would agree with Andre Gunder Frank, as I believe if countries like Jamaica want to succeed they should disconnect from the global economy and pursue their own national strategies of import-substitution. 1 www.uneptie.org 2 www.uneptie.org 3 www.american.edu 4 Internet. Jamaica Tourism Impacts' 5 Internet. Jamaica Tourism Impacts' 6 www.boj.org 7 www.uneptie.org 8 www.uneptie.org 9 www.uneptie.org 10 Organization of American States 11 www.eh.net 12 "Tourism Economic, Physical and Social Impacts" 1 ...read more.

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