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Tourism in LEDC's creates environmental and social problems whilst bringing limited economic benefits. How far do you consider this statement to be true

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Introduction

Tourism in LEDC's creates environmental and social problems whilst bringing limited economic benefits. How far do you consider this statement to be true? Tourism is now the world's biggest industry. It may be defined as the temporary visit of people to a region in which they do not live, for a period of more than 24 hours. Tourism has been promoted by the wealth of the developed countries, aided by the cheap flights offered by low cost airlines, and peoples increased leisure time and their desire to visit more exotic locations. The very nature of tourism brings large numbers of people to an area about which they may know very little. Many regions suffer environmental and social problems and this can be exacerbated by tourism. Tourism to Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC's) is generally by wealthier people from More Economically Developed Countries (MEDC's). There is often a vast disparity between the relative poverty of local people in LEDC's and the wealth of visitors from MEDC's. The vast gap in wealth and a lack of respect for the natives by the tourists can cause resentment, but the LEDC's depend upon the income, which the foreigners bring to the areas they visit. LEDC's as the term implies, suffer from weak economies. Tourism is therefore particularly valuable since it is an export earner, bringing new money from foreign countries. ...read more.

Middle

In Egypt and Jamaica over 60% of export income is derived from tourism. When a new demand is realised, goods and services are promoted in the area, resulting in a growth pole effect and the rapid expansion of tourism. It is beneficial because it provides income and employment for the residents. The demand for accommodation generates employment in construction and service industries. Once money is being spent in LEDC's the amount of money in the economic cycle has increased. The locals can then spend this money improving their businesses and homes. As the money continues to be spent, it will generate more demand for goods and services and thereby promoting economic growth. This multiplier effect will eventually have an effect on the overall development of the country, enabling the government to increase its tax revenue, improve the balance of payments and aid the overall development of the country. The improvements to services and living conditions, brought about by tourism may be shared by the local population. The transport and communications infrastructure is often the first improvement to be made followed by an increase in the range and quality of facilities offered. Better food is available, water supplies are installed and basic services such as waste disposal are introduced. All these can be enjoyed by the locals, and will increase their quality of life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Contrary to the fears that indigenous cultures are eroded by tourism, it can actually sustain traditions. Tourism promotes the development of art and craft industries to reinforce local cultural identity. Tourists are often interested in the native dances and will pay to view traditional dances and customs. This also ensures that the dances are passed down the generations and are not lost. The jewellery produced and worn by locals can be sold and therefore there is an incentive to retain the traditions. Tourism also increases the demand for guides and workers who are knowledgeable about the area in which they live. As a result there has been an increase in the training, skills and general education of the people living in popular tourist destinations. International tourism can bring great economic benefit but it is vital that stringent controls are introduced to direct and limit levels in areas of environmental and social sensitivity. Tourism can only generate economic benefits if the region and it inhabitants are the recipients of the revenue. It is therefore vital that leakages in the economic cycle are limited and that the money received by the region is used effectively to promote and monitor tourist levels. If the income derived from tourism is used productively many of the side effects can be limited. Ultimately the economic benefits must outweigh social and environmental problems; otherwise there would be no incentive to promote tourism. Page 1 ...read more.

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