Q:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of tourism?

A:

Some advantages of tourism are job creation, expansion of local infrastructure, such as roads, public transportation and sanitation facilities, and education of tourists. Meanwhile, many advantages are also disadvantages. For example, job creation does occur, but many of these jobs tend to be menial and offer little chance of advancement; the jobs that do offer upward movement are often filled from outside.

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With the advantages of infrastructure improvement often come downsides such as pollution, destruction of some aspects of the environment and scattered development that may be inaccessible to residents of the area. Moreover, if big businesses play a role in developing the tourism industry in a certain area, the local businesses and residents may see very little of the profits, because the money goes to the big business. Also, while many tourists learn on their trips, that learning often comes at costs, such as residents of the area feeling belittled or patronized, especially if the tourists focus only on certain aspects of their culture.

Some ways tourists can act mindfully are by going to locally owned and operated businesses and by remaining environmentally aware. Businesses in a tourist area can also act mindfully by working to continue the culture in a non-patronizing way and by involving the community in many ways. One method is to set up educational programs or scholarships for students in the area.

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