Q:

What are the environmental impacts of tourism?

A:

Quick Answer

Pollution, depletion of resources, and physical changes and degradation of the landscape are three of the chief impacts of conventional tourism on a native ecosystem. There are many specific issues and situations which may arise within these basic categories.

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Full Answer

The negative environmental impacts of tourism result from the fact that the influx of visitors creates a situation where local resources are insufficient to cope with the increased traffic. This can result in a number of specific issues.

  • Resource depletion - water shortages, high energy use, shortage of raw materials and competition with local populations for scarce resources.
  • Pollution - pollution of air, water and land, sewage systems overtaxed, litter, noise pollution.
  • Physical changes - trampling of grass or sand, destruction of plant life and plant and animal habitats, deforestation.
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