- Term Papers and Free Essays

The Negative Effects Of Tourism

Essay by   •  December 1, 2010  •  3,483 Words (14 Pages)  •  2,505 Views

Essay Preview: The Negative Effects Of Tourism

Report this essay
Page 1 of 14




Elaina Kozyr

BLPR 101.51


Tourism and the environment have a very complex and interdependent relationship. Today, tourism is one of the largest industries in today's

world economy and is a great source of foreign exchange for many developing countries, whose major assets are their natural resources.1 At the same time, it is the environmental quality of a place that will determine the success of the tourism industry, since it is the main attraction for tourists. There have been a lot of arguments about whether tourism is beneficial or harmful to the environment. A lot of the developing countries whose main source of foreign exchange is tourism industry overlook certain setbacks such as the fact that sometimes they are not prepared to meet and support such a vast amount of people. Most of the islands in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, try to make the best out of this, taking everything out of the environment and causing damage to their land that sometimes can be permanent.

Not only do they use up their natural resources to support the growing tourism industry, but they also deprive local population of what is righifully theirs. It is sad to see how developing countries try to stay afloat in this competitive world, how they are pressured to do everything and anything so that they could be economically one step up from where they were before. Yet, all they do is take and take without putting much back in. It doesn't work that way, in fact, everything and everybody in some way depend on one another. This brings us to the point that even tough economic well being and development of the country depends on this multi-million industry, tourism has its downside. Negative effects caused by tourism industry can be very costly to the country and its population.

For the island of Jamaica as well as other islands, the effects include pollution animal and plant extinction, coral reef destruction, inadequate sewage and waste disposal system, deforestation, destruction and erosion of the beaches. This doesn't seem like a lot, but as the time goes by, the problem intensifies especially if there is nothing done about it. Local community suffers as well, through shortages of water and natural resources; most of the local population of Jamaica does not directly benefit from the industry at all. An example of this would be the food that is used by hotels, it is exported and almost nothing is purchased from the Jamaican community.

Jamaica's Fragile Environment and Tourism

Jamaica is an island paradise located in the northern Carribean. It is one of the islands that is visited by hundreds of thousands tourist annually. The main attraction is its natural beauty: sandy beaches, clear water, distinguished wildlife, and, of course, warm climate. Jamaica has been once known as the land of wood and water, and the rich diversity of flora and fauna is still amazing to this day. There are reported to be about 3,000 species of flowering plants alone, 827 of which are not found anywhere else. There are also 25 species and 21 subspecies of birds which are found nowhere else.2

Jamaica relies heavily on its tourism industry; however, in the process, ecology of the island is suffering. Every little thing that is done to accommodate tourists sets Jamaica one step back on the environmental scale. This is also due to the fact that there is little done to improve present conditions of the island. The government, in an attempt to encourage tourism investment, has let the hoteliers to keep their money where they want.

Basically, the owner or operator of an approved hotel enterprise or resort cottage is entitled to relief from income and dividend tax for a period of up to ten years. In addition, the owner may also benefit from a duty exemption on imports for constructing or expanding hotels3. So, all of this profit is usually kept in private offshore accounts or invested in other projects overseas. Thus, it is not even certain what percent of the money generated from the industry is put back into the national economy and improvement of the ecology.

Pollution: The Effects of Increasing Population and Consumption

Recently, a lot of researchers have been paying attention at how the island has been stressed by heavy population load. The island's visiting population has more than tripled in twenty years Ð'-- now equal to almost half the size of its native, resident population. Although the impact is rather different if the transient population increases at this rate than if the permanent population does, an increase in the tourist population of this magnitude poses very similar challenges and problems as any other kind of population increase.4

In addition to the increasing number of tourists, the migration of native people in search of jobs drawn bytourism growth has led people to live in environmentally vulnerable locations. Such areas are already exposed to unfavorable conditions, and more pressure caused by constant overuse of these territories by people makes it more damaging to the island and its inhabitants.

The heavy flow of tourists is also related to the pollution of the environment. Ordinary things that we usually don't dwell on very much can have severe consequences on such a small island as Jamaica. The use of airplanes to transport people to and from the island, growing number of vehicles contribute to pollution. This is a serious threat to an island of such proportions, the areas available to people are highly sensitive to the wastes produced by the vehicles and sewers which are dumped into the environment of the island. Pollution ranges from unclean air to contaminated waters, and, in the case of Jamaica it's both.

Jamaica's inadequate sewage disposal system has been the cause for worries for some time now, throughout the island. Even tough the large hotels generally have treatment plants, the effectiveness of such is very questionable. Studies indicate that the average tourist ingests ten times as much water and produces three times as much solid waste as the average resident.5 Discharges from the sewage systems are usually dumped into the ocean waters or nearby bay (as is the case in Ocho Rios).

Not only does this causes pollution, destroys the wildlife of the ocean, it also prohibits



Download as:   txt (21.5 Kb)   pdf (221.6 Kb)   docx (17.2 Kb)  
Continue for 13 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). The Negative Effects Of Tourism. Retrieved 12, 2010, from

"The Negative Effects Of Tourism" 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <>.

"The Negative Effects Of Tourism.", 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <>.

"The Negative Effects Of Tourism." 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010.