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Tourism

 

Tourism is an important contributor to many countries’ economies but it can have negative impacts unless it is properly managed, and the conflicting needs of interest groups are balanced. LEDCs in particular can become dependent on tourism, which is dangerous if the tourists suddenly stop coming.

 

Human and physical resources

 

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The National Gallery in London

 

The human and physical resources found in a particular place often influence tourism to a particular destination. Human resources are tourist attractions that have been made by people, such as the Eiffel Tower in France. Physical resources are the attractions that have been made by nature such as beaches or lakes.

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Walkers in the Lake District

 

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According to a recent survey of British people travelling within the UK, the activity that people like to do the most while on holiday is walking. Walking allows people to enjoy the physical resources of the countryside such as hills, rivers and lakes.

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The second most popular activity was visiting heritage sites. This includes historical buildings and sites of historic significance. These are human resources.

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The third most popular activity was swimming. People like to swim at the beach or in lakes
(physical resources) or swimming pools (human resources).

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Other popular activities were visiting art exhibitions, watching performing arts and visiting theme parks (all human resources).

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The Eiffel Tower, Paris

 

 

Man-made tourist attractions include:

 

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Art


Architecture


Cultural monuments


Museums


Local traditions


Food and drink


Music and drama


Important historical or political sites.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is an example of a cultural monument and a place of architectural interest. As well as admiring it from ground level, tourists can go to the top and see a great view of Paris, with the River Seine (physical resource) and many beautiful buildings (human resources).

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Guard Tower at Robben Island

Robben Island in South Africa is an example of a historical or political site. Many people who visit South Africa go to Robben Island to see where
Nelson
Mandela
spent most of his 27 years in prison. People are interested because Nelson Mandela’s struggle and sacrifice helped end
Apartheid
in South Africa.

 

The table below shows that tourists in the UK are attracted to many different types of man-made tourist attractions.

 

 

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Graph showing top 10 tourist attractions in the UK

 

 

 

 

Physical resources

 

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Beach on Rawa Island, Malaysia

 

‘Physical resources’ are the natural features of an area which might attract tourists. They include:

 

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The physical relief of the landscape, such as beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes and glaciers.


Ecosystems such as rainforest or tropical grasslands.


Weather and climate – most tourists seem to like it warm and dry!

 

Tourism in an MEDC: National Parks

 

The UK’s National Parks include some of the country’s most beautiful natural landscapes, including coasts, mountains and forests. In 1949, the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was passed in order to protect the UK’s areas of natural beauty and ensure that everyone could enjoy them today and in the future.

 

There are currently 12 national parks across England and Wales, including Dartmoor, the New Forest, the Lake District, the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales and Snowdonia.

Restricted parking zones have been set up in some villages, for example in Elterwater. The car park on the edge of the village has been expanded and parking on grass verges and near houses has been restricted.

Raising awareness of conservation issues for visitors with posters and leaflets at tourist information and visitor centres.

A 10mph speed limit was introduced on Windermere in March 2005. The lake had become congested with powerboats and water skiers and noise from the speedboats was spoiling the lake for other users such as swimmers and canoeists. There was also concern that the wake from powerboats has caused shore erosion and that boats had contributed to pollution and the disappearance of reed beds in the lake. Conservationists welcomed the new speed limit, but speedboat owners, water-skiers, and boat companies around the lake objected to the change. Businesses have been affected and boat users have had to find alternative lakes.

 

 

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Grasmere in the Lake District

 

The Lake District National Park was created in 1951. Covering 880 square miles, it is the UK’s largest national park and receives 12 million visitors a year. People come to the Lake District for many reasons, including hill walking, rock-climbing, mountain-biking, fishing and boating. They also come to visit historical buildings, or just to enjoy the beautiful lakes and mountains.


Balancing different interests

 

The park is managed by the National Parks Authority (NPA), which attempts to balance the conflicting priorities of different park users. For example:

 

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The protection of the park’s environment, wildlife and natural features – things that can be harmed by excessive tourism. This is not only the Authority’s job, but is also powerfully lobbied for by conservation and wildlife groups.

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Tourists who come to enjoy the park need roads, parking, accommodation, shops and restaurants which are not necessarily going to be good for the countryside.
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Local businesses may want to encourage more and more visitors.

 

 

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Farmers, who may be concerned about damage to fences and livestock by walkers and their dogs.

Restricted parking zones have been set up in some villages, for example in Elterwater. The car park on the edge of the village has been expanded and parking on grass verges and near houses has been restricted.

Raising awareness of conservation issues for visitors with posters and leaflets at tourist information and visitor centres.

A 10mph speed limit was introduced on Windermere in March 2005. The lake had become congested with powerboats and water skiers and noise from the speedboats was spoiling the lake for other users such as swimmers and canoeists. There was also concern that the wake from powerboats has caused shore erosion and that boats had contributed to pollution and the disappearance of reed beds in the lake. Conservationists welcomed the new speed limit, but speedboat owners, water-skiers, and boat companies around the lake objected to the change. Businesses have been affected and boat users have had to find alternative lakes.

 

 

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Local residents, who may be worried about congestion, littering, noise pollution and the erosion of footpaths.

 

If these different interests are not carefully balanced, the result could be damage to the environment, local people becoming upset or even hostile, and tourists being put off visiting the park. Case study:

sustainability in a national park

 

Here are some of the measures that have been adopted to help maintain the Lake District for future generations.

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The Lake District

Restricted parking zones have been set up in some villages, for example in Elterwater. The car park on the edge of the village has been expanded and parking on grass verges and near houses has been restricted.

Raising awareness of conservation issues for visitors with posters and leaflets at tourist information and visitor centres.

A 10mph speed limit was introduced on Windermere in March 2005. The lake had become congested with powerboats and water skiers and noise from the speedboats was spoiling the lake for other users such as swimmers and canoeists. There was also concern that the wake from powerboats has caused shore erosion and that boats had contributed to pollution and the disappearance of reed beds in the lake. Conservationists welcomed the new speed limit, but speedboat owners, water-skiers, and boat companies around the lake objected to the change. Businesses have been affected and boat users have had to find alternative lakes.

 

 

 

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A beach in Bali, Indonesia

 

 

 

Image From EcoleBooks.com Tourism in an
LEDC
can have different problems associated with it. Governments in LEDCs

 often see tourism as a vital source of income, which can be used for development.

Image From EcoleBooks.com Countries rich in physical resources – such as warm climates, beautiful beaches, rare ecosystems, and abundant plant and animal life – are often sought-after holiday destinations by people from
MEDCs.
Tour operators and developers invest in these locations in the hope that they will become as popular as European resorts.

 

Tourism: pros and cons

 

Places such as Kenya in East Africa, where tourists go on safari, or Bali in Indonesia, which people visit for the beautiful beaches, all benefit financially from tourism. However, tourism in LEDCs needs to be carefully managed to prevent harm to the environment and local communities.

 

Image From EcoleBooks.com  The effects of tourism on LEDC’s:

 

Advantages

Problems

 

Foreign currencyspent by tourists can be invested in improving local education, health and other services.

 

Profits go to foreign companies, such as tour operators and hotel chains, rather than to the local community.

 

Jobs for local people are created and people can learn new skills in tourism services.

 

 

Foreign companies may bring foreign workers to do the skilled jobs; so local people only do low skilled, poorly paid work.


 

  

 

Construction creates jobs and develops skills for local people.

 

House pricesrise when foreign companies and investors buy property for hotels and holiday homes. This often makes houses too expensive for locals.


 

 

Local infrastructure is improved as water and sanitation facilities, roads, buses, taxis and airports are provided for tourists.

 

Important projects for local communities might be sidelined as infrastructure developments are focused on tourists.

 

Visitors get an insight into local customs and traditions.

 

If the aim of activities is to entertain, rather than educate tourists, this may belittle the local people.

 

Touristssee beautiful landscapes, wildlife and plants. They can also be educated about the dangers to fragile ecosystems in the modern world.

 

 

Pollution and disruption to wildlife habitats could occur if tourism isn’t sustainable.


 

Ecotourism

 

Ecotourism is a type of sustainable development. The aim of ecotourism is to reduce the impact that tourism has on naturally beautiful environments.

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Jungle hut in Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

 

 

Any tourist destination can be harmed by increased tourism. If areas are damaged or destroyed, they will not be available to future generations

 

The ecotourism approach includes:

 

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Ensuring that tourism does not exploit the natural environment or local communities.


Consultation with local communities on planned developments.


Making sure that infrastructure improvements benefit local people and not just tourists.
Ecotourism now has the backing of the
United
Nations,
which made 2002 the “International Year of
Ecotourism”.

 

Guidelines for ecotourists

 

Ecotourism sets out guidelines for how tourists should behave when visiting fragile environments. These include:

 

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Protect the environment – keep to footpaths, don’t leave litter or start fires.


Don’t interfer with wildlife – don’t scare or feed the animals.


Protect resources – don’t take too many showers or use air conditioning.


Support local communities – stay in locally owned accommodation and buy produce from local
people.

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Eat local food and drink – avoid products that have been imported from MEDCs.


Respect local customs and traditions – some communities are offended when tourists wear
inappropriate clothes in religious places, strip off on the beach or behave in a rowdy manner. Locals appreciate tourists who try to learn the language and show an interest in their culture.
Ecotourism is increasingly popular and many people appreciate remote locations, small numbers of tourists and less sophisticated facilities. If a resort becomes over-developed then they will choose alternative destinations.

 

Case study: ecotourism at Uluru

 

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Tourists climbing Uluru

Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) in Australia is one of the largest rocks (or monoliths) in the world. Until recently large numbers of tourists visited the rock and climbed it using a rope-and-pole path drilled into the side of the rock. As a result the rock was becoming eroded.

 

 

 

In 1985 the Australian government handed the land on which Uluru stands back to the Aboriginal inhabitants, the Anangu.The rock has spiritual significance for the Anangu and they do not climb it. The Anangu now ask tourists to respect the rock by not climbing it, and most tourists comply.


 




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EcoleBooks | ZIMSEC O LEVEL GEOGRAPHY FORM 4 - Tourism

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