lunedì 16 maggio 2016

"UNSUSTAINABLE" TOURISM: a phanomenon not to underestimate


a plague affecting the tourism field for many decades, which cause lot of problems, such as damages to the environment, traditions and local cultures. Just a few care about tourism but all are paying and will continue to suffer the consequences of some incorrect behavior.

What does “unsustainable” tourism means?

Un-Sustainable” tourism can be defined as “tourism that has no respects for local people, cultural heritage and the environment”.

Ok, but what sort of damages can it cause?

Tourism can cause lot of damages, such as environmental problems like pollution, caused by fuel consumption, noise, congestion and continual expansion of transport terminals and car parks, as well as buildings that may be inappropriate and intrusive, cultural conflicts created by different cultural backgrounds, economic dependence from the large multinational companies, which dominate the tourist economy to the detriment of the local economy. Sometimes the distinctive character and atmosphere of a place may be lost, in addition people can lose their traditional way of life and even a sense of their own identity.

How did we arrive to this problem?

Some of the causes of the diffusion of an unsustainable tourism are some wrong choices. Everything begun with the advent of the industrialization, the distribution and the consumption of identical products realized in stock also affected tourism. The tourist, in fact, interact with a place or a culture at the same way as any product, trading and nullifying every type of characteristic that characterize them and having no care of what surrounds him. Besides, many governments encourage in every way the tourism in an area, not keeping in mind the ability of reception of the same area. Lot of local politicians and multinational companies take benefits from these not-stop growths and they speculate on it, without considering the crisis that can be caused. Unfortunately, tourism produces few benefits for the local population. Prices increase in parallel to the increase of the arrivals in a place, making the cost of the life more and more elevated and unsustainable for the inhabitants

What are the negative impacts of tourism?

When a large number of travelers visit one place, a form of tourism, called MASS TOURISM, is generated. It can have negative impacts on the area, such as seasonal, part-time and poorly paid jobs, the income generated doesn’t go to the locals but goes out of the area directly to the big multinational companies, damages to the natural environment, eg. Litter, habitat destruction, cultural and tradition change, overcrowded areas and traffic jams and, last but not least, an increase of the prices because tourists are more wealthy than local people.

Some example of unsustainable tourism.

When they want to get in touch with their past and their history, tourists are lucky enough to have free access to some of the most ancient places in the world. However, the modern tourism is a double-edged sword: it gives visibility to the historical location and collects funds to preserve the historical heritage, but expose the site means that everyone could enter for a tour. If tourists are respectful we could consider it as a pro; but if the tourist doesn't follow the rules, ruining the properties, or, even worse, damaging the location, tourism could become a sore. Unluckily, because of someone's mistakes, limitations are now imposed to tourists and significant places are now becoming more and more impregnable.

Today, a lot of places have been ruined by tourists and, sadly, now they are almost destroyed. An example are the Pyramids and the Sphinx, which are deteriorating because of the uncontrolled flux of tourism.

There are some cases also in Italy, for example the Colosseum, which is an important historical monument built in the Roman age; it is one of the most important and visitated places in the world, but, recently, has been vandalized and authorities decided to impose high fines to who would have been caught to vandalize this monument. Only few months ago, two Americans girls have carve their initials on the wall, damaging this important monument.

Another famous example is Stonehenge, one of the most interesting places in the world which, even today, makes people wander about his origin. In the past, some unrespectful tourists have chipped the stones, and restorers didn't repair them with historical fidelity, but following aesthetic purposes, so, now, even the position is not the authentic one.

We need to minimize the impact on the local culture and resources, try to give something back to the communities, by contributing to initiatives designed to give power and responsibility to local people, open our mind to other cultures and ways with a different cultural background.


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