The Economic and Social Impacts of Tourism

The Economic and Social Impact of Tourism Today, tourism is one of the largest and dynamically developing sectors of external economic activities. Its high growth and development rates, considerable volumes of foreign currency inflows, infrastructure development, and introduction of new management and educational experience actively affect various sectors of economy, which positively contribute to the social and economic development of the country as a whole. According to recent statistics, tourism provides about 10% of the world’s income and employs almost one tenth of the world’s workforce. All considered, tourism’s actual and potential economic impact is astounding. Many people emphasize the positive aspects of tourism as a source of foreign exchange, a way to balance foreign trade, an “industry without chimney”. But there are also a number of other positive and negative sides of tourism. The Positive and Negative Social and Environmental Impacts of Tourism Socially tourism has a great influence on the host societies. Tourism can be both a source of international amity, peace and understanding and a destroyer and corrupter of indigenous cultures, a source of ecological destruction, an assault of people’s privacy, dignity, and authenticity. Here are possible positive effects of tourism: • Developing positive attitudes towards each other • Learning about each other’s culture and customs • Reducing negative perceptions and stereotypes • Developing friendships • Developing pride, appreciation, understanding, respect, and tolerance for each other’s culture • Increasing self-esteem of hosts and tourists • Psychological satisfaction with interaction So, social contacts between tourists and local people may result in mutual appreciation, understanding, tolerance, awareness, learning, family bonding respect, and liking. Residents are educated about the outside world without leaving their homes, while their visitors significantly learn about a distinctive culture. Local communities are benefited through contribution by tourism to the improvement of the social infrastructure like schools, libraries, health care institutions, internet cafes, and so on. Besides, if local culture is the base for attracting tourists to the region, it helps to preserve the local traditions and handicrafts which maybe were on the link of the extinction. On the other side tourism can increase tension, hostility, and suspicion. Claims of tourism as a vital force for peace are exaggerated. In this context economic and social impacts on the local community depend on how much of the incomes generated by tourists go to the host communities. In most all-inclusive package tours more than 80% of travellers’ fees go to the airlines, hotels and other international companies, not to local businessmen and workers. On the other hand large hotel chain restaurants often import food to satisfy foreign visitors and rarely employ local staff for senior management positions, preventing local farmers and workers from reaping the benefit of their presence. Tourism has the power to affect cultural change. Successful development of a resource can lead to numerous negative impacts. Among these are overdevelopment, assimilation, conflict, and artificial reconstruction. While presenting a culture to tourists may help preserve the culture, it can also dilute or even destroy it. The point is to promote tourism in the region so that it would both give incomes and create respect for the local tradition and culture. There are also both negative and positive impacts of tourism on the local ecology. Tourism often grows into mass-tourism. It leads to the over consumption, pollution, and lack of resources. Conclusion Thus, the preceding paragraphs show that the impact of tourism on local communities can be both positive and negative, whether it comes to economic, social, or environmental effects. It depends to which extent tourism is developed in a particular region. Every region has its bearing capacity, that is to say the limit of the incoming influence that does not harm the host community. If we overcome that limit negative impacts of tourism will follow.

History of Tourism

The earliest forms of leisure tourism can be traced as far back as the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of “historic antiquities” ...