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Impacts of Tourism on Host Communities

©2005 Wissenschaftlicher Aufsatz 13 Seiten



Table of Contents

1. Questions & Answers
1.1 Question No.: 1 regarding the World Tourism Organisation 2020 Vision
1.2 Question No.: 2 regarding the potential impact of tourism
1.3 Question No.: 3 regarding ecotourism versus mass tourism

2. Bibliography

1. Questions & Answers

1.1 Question No.: 1 regarding the World Tourism Organisation 2020 Vision

In its report Tourism 2020 Vision the WTO predicted that by the year 2020 international tourists arrivals would grow to almost three times the 1995 rate and that tourism spending would grow to 2 trillion US $, which is five times the 1995 spending level. Provide a thorough analysis of the social, political, economic and technological trends driving this astounding growth.


The World Tourism Organization (WTO) works with existing international standards on tourism statistics which where approved in 1993 and 2000. While the purpose of the first standard was to develop a first set of basic elements of the System of Tourism Statistics, the second standard relates to the design of the instrument that today is the unifying framework of most of its components (i.e. the Tourism Satellite Account). The Tourism Satellite Account is a project to adapt conceptual framework form a regional perspective. Identifying market trends as they are happening; short term and long-term forecasting; analyzing the world’s generating markets; conducting research into niche markets are some of the activities carried out. WTO’s seven-volume forecast Tourism 2020 Vision on worldwide forecasts is a landmark study based on data gathered from Member States and interviews with over 75 tourism visionaries about the future of the industry. It predicts that international tourist arrivals will grow by an average of 4,1 % annually for the 25-year period 1995 to 2020. Tourism 2020 Vision includes forecasts of inbound and outbound tourism growth for countries in every region of the world and examines the outlook for several market segments.

The long-term forecast from the World Tourism Organization is based on the assumption that the future development is similar to the last 10 Years. On the internet page of WTO is written “Although the evolution of tourism in the last few years has been irregular, WTO maintains it is in the forecast for the moment. The underlying structural trends of the forecast are believed not to high and significant changed. Experience shows that in the short term, periods of faster growth (1995 – 2000) alternate with periods of slow growth (2000 – 2002). While the pace of growth till 2000 actually exceeded the Tourism 2020 Vision forecast, it is generally expected that the current slowdown will be compensated in the medium to long term”. These assumptions are shown in the following chart:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: World Tourism Organization

From the area of political and economical drivers, the argument has been made that we are entering a new era of “flexible specialization” where consumers require a wide variety of products. As a consequence, methods of mass production are being replaced by more flexible systems.

There are many political changes in the past which have influenced the development of the tourism industry positively. It basically started of with the perestroika in Russia and the reunification of Germany in 1989. East Germany was the first communist country who broke down and opened its doors to allow outbound travel due to the reunification. Within the next years all the Eastern European Countries have moved from a communist government to open democratic governments allowing outbound travel and opening up for international trade in order to improve their economic situation. By May 2004, the European Union has expanded from 15 to 20 members. In 2004 10 former Eastern European Countries have joined the EU. Besides these changes in Russia and Eastern Europe, China has as well opened its doors for trade and travel. Since beginning of 2004 Chinese people have received travel permission to the first European countries without difficult visa conditions. Whereas in 2001 only 12.13 Million Chinese people traveled, it is expected by the World Tourism Organization that the number will grow to 100 Million by 2020. Another country of interest is India. Whereas the increase in travel in India is more for an economical than political reason, therefore it will be discussed in the next chapter.

Significantly more is known about the economic drivers. More and more companies will work on a global level and therefore the economy will grow globally. The economy growth is also influenced by two new players China and India. Besides, that China has opened its doors for outbound travel it also has opened its doors for international investments within China. China will develop until 2020 and become most probably the largest supplier of outbound travel. Besides China, India has found its market niche in the area of technology, IT and finance. They will become the market leader country in this field. This market leadership will improve the overall economical situation in India and allow more people to travel abroad.

The social drivers are to a large extent demographically influenced. Probably the most important one is the growth of the population. US scientists expect a population growth by end of 2015 to 7.2 billion people on earth. Even so the main growth will take place in the developing countries, it will still have a great influence on the overall tourism growth. A further driver is the increased aging of the population. Due to better health care systems people will live longer and in a better condition and will therefore have more possibilities and the necessary money and time to travel. Coherent with the increase in age is also an increase in the average working life which again will have influence on the travel pattern. In addition more and more people decide to live in single households instead of having a family. These people will travel by far more than traditional families as they have more resources available. Having a family traditionally is cost intensive and limits travel opportunities. Traveling brings people into contact with each other and has an educational element as well.

The technology improvements and developments will influence the tourism in two areas. The first area is the transportation. The development of the new Airbuses and planes will allow transporting up to 850 people on one long distance flight in the future. This is almost double of what can be transported today per flight. In addition the overall infrastructure on the continents will further improve. Europe will be covered by a high speed trains, which will allow to travel through Europe in a cost efficient and speed way. The low cost carrier airline segment will further grow and allow a wider group of tourists to go on flight journeys. Besides the developments in the transportation area, another aspect is the development of the distribution channels. In the future the internet will be the main distribution channel for travel. It will allow anybody in the world with an internet access to get information and booking possibilities on any destination (price, availability, location) in the world.

But there are also negative drivers which should be mentioned. There are some risk factors, which could stop a growth like the projected one. These are in example our energy reserves. Should the oil reserves become limited, tourism will be badly affected, if no alternative energy solutions for transport have been found by then. Another risk factor is terrorism. The Early 21st Century was hit by some massive terrorism acts, which brought a great amount of insecurity to the population and which have held a lot of people away from traveling abroad. There have been several recent major terrorist acts in Europe, but because Americans were not involved they got only fleeting attention from the American media. Over the past 2 years there has been a major surge in terrorism abroad, both internal and international incidents. While it is easy to hit on the fear of terrorism as the culprit in the decline in European tourism, and it is an important factor, we believe a combination of factors are involved: terrorism (9/11, or the attack in Madrid, the unrests in Israel), the weakening of the US dollar, disease like SARS (mainly in Asia), or the recent natural disaster like the tidal wave (Tsunami), and the competition of other countries and regions of the world.

On the other hand the WTO issued a statement on Friday, January 7, 2005, in which it assessed that the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster in Indian Ocean will have only a limited impact on world tourism. There are seven reasons for that, WTO says, among them the present expansion of tourism in the region and Asia’s capacity in dealing with crises.

1.2 Question No.: 2 regarding the potential impact of tourism

List and describe the potential positive and negative cultural impact of tourism.


There are direct and indirect, short and long term impacts and changes. And it is not so clear to separate between cultural, social, and economic impacts. All three comes more or less together, like the traditional role of women in some areas, the consumption behavior, the employment and migration problems, or problems of accommodation, to name few examples.

Positive impacts:

- Maximization of accessibility of existing cultural resources
- Train people in community to serve as hosts interpreters of area’s heritage
- More cultural activities, not only for tourists
- Positive economic impact (improvement of infrastructure) for shops, theme parks, gaming, restaurants, and for the community (taxes from non-residents) etc.
- Possibility for economic grow, tourism can stabilize and diversify economy. The tourism industry is labor intensive.

Negative impacts:

- Chance of disease can increase (SARS)
- Crime can increase
- Physical damage to environment, accommodation, toleration
- Nutrient enrichment
- Overexploitation of resources
- Foreign culture might make tourists and residents uncomfortable
- Cultural collision (extent to which visitors adapt to local norms)

The positive and negative cultural impact of tourism on host communities has a lot to do with carrying capacities.

Carrying capacity can be defined in several different ways. Ecologists often define it as “the maximal population size of a given species that an area can support without reducing its ability to support the same species in the future. It is a ‘measure’ of the amount of renewable resources in the environment in units of the number of organisms these resources can support”. In ecotourism, carrying capacity could be the measure of what is actually happening to a park’s resources or the visitor’s experience.

The basic objective should be to help visitors appreciate the natural and cultural uniqueness of a site by bringing them closer to it. In order to achieve this, the site design must be human-scaled and intimate, so that sensory features, such as sights, smells and sounds are appreciated and preserved. This definition describes ecotourism, but there are some other forms of tourism.

It is from this perspective that one can begin to comprehend the cultural impact of international tourism. When tourists arrive at their destination, they bring with them different believes and behaviors, which to some extent influence the host culture. At the same time, tourists are changed by their experiences. In short, tourism is an interactive phenomenon, affecting both the hosts and the visitors.

But this effect is lopsided. The influence of tourists on the societies they visit is generally more pronounced than vice versa. The majority of global tourists come from a few affluent countries (dominant cultures), which are relatively unaffected by visitors from smaller local cultures. On the other hand, tourism increases the risk of irreversible cultural and eco systemic disruptions in smaller societies.

Preservation of culture is many times encouraged by the fact that tourists visit an area to see or take part in that culture. Ethnic cultural festivals help preserve the ties of people with their roots, as well as attract visitors to an area. For instance, the Hopi Cultural Center in Arizona helps preserve and interpret Hopi culture, and is funded by the visitor accommodations connected to it.

The funding for many historic museums and buildings probably would not be as high if not for their potential to attract visitors. Although most areas are interested in preserving historical heritage, the potential for attracting tourists is frequently an important factor leading to financial support. For instance, recent renovations to the Custer House at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in North Dakota were probably not needed as much to preserve history as to enhance visitor access to this interesting historic building.

Tourism encourages preservation of natural areas. Sometimes it seems like tourists are threats to natural areas, with high levels of visitation negatively affecting those environments. While that may be a legitimate concern in some natural areas, one has to wonder how many of these areas would be protected and managed at all, if it were not for their potential to attract visitors. Let's face it, there is not much incentive to preserve scenery, unique natural areas and other natural resources if no one visits them. By providing a socially and economically acceptable alternative to other potential uses of these lands, tourism helps protect those natural resources which have been incorporated into our national, state and local parks, nature preserves, forests and wild-lands.

Shopping and other support businesses many be more abundantly available to local populations because of the volume of business created by tourists. Most communities with small year-round populations, but large tourism volumes, have more retail shops, movie theaters and other businesses than the local population could support. The local residents benefit from the availability of these businesses, which tourists have helped make possible. Tourism encourages community pride and togetherness. Residents of many communities take special pride in welcoming visitors into their areas. The community pulls together to make the visitor's experience a good one, not out of business motivations, but out of a true sense of hospitality. This community pride and spirit of hospitality has greatly enhanced the reputation of many countries, states and local communities.

Tourism enhances cross-cultural understanding. People from different cultures are brought together in tourism experiences, either by visiting a different culture or by different cultural groups mixing together at a tourist destination. This leads to greater understanding of each other's cultures.

Recreational facilities are frequently developed to meet visitor demand, but also open up access for local residents. The use of these recreational facilities by visitors is frequently seasonal or on weekends, but the local residents get to use them year-round or mid-week. For instance, many ski areas are heavily used on weekends, but have much lower levels of use during the week. Local residents benefit by having good access to these ski facilities developed primarily for the weekend visitors.

Much of the research on people's opinions about tourism and tourism's impacts have one consistent finding, that most people are aware of tourism's positive economic impacts. Even people who might be classified as tourism haters are aware of the positive benefits of income, jobs and tax revenues. It is difficult to find indications that residents of host areas are very aware of non-economic benefits of tourism. It seems that when researchers examine economic impacts they tend to find mostly benefits, although there are also economic costs present, and when researchers examine social, cultural and environmental impacts they tend to find mostly costs, even though there may also be benefits.

What the tourism industry needs is a more comprehensive view of tourism's impacts, both positive and negative. A research agenda which places greater emphasis on the non-economic benefits of tourism would help accomplish this goal.

Perhaps we also need to change the way we talk about tourism. Tourism itself is not really an "industry," but is an area of human activity that contributes economically to the hotel, restaurant, transportation and other industries. Perhaps if the concept of the tourism "industry" was de-emphasized, tourism could take on a broader community development role.

1.3 Question No.: 3 regarding ecotourism versus mass tourism

Provide a detailed analysis of how ecotourism is different from mass tourism? (7 Principles)


The 7 Ecotourism Principles:

1. Ecotourism should not degrade the resource
2. Ecotourism should provide first-hand, participatory and enlightened experiences
3. Ecotourism should involve educational components
4. Ecotourism should involve acceptance of resources on their own terms, recognize limits
5. Ecotourism should promote understanding
6. Ecotourism should promote moral & ethical behavior
7. Ecotourism should provide long term benefit to the resources

Ecotourism, which began as a left-wing offshoot of the adventure travel business, is the fastest growing sector in the tourism industry, worth well over $ 200 billion a year. It is loosely described as tourism which has a “low impact” on the environment and which contributes to the local economy (and what kind of tourism doesn’t?). Eco-tourism has therefore grown to encompass everything out of doors, save blood sports. If you like a good walk in the woods, you may be an eco tourist too. Ecotourism has been hailed as a win/win position for conservation, the host community or country, the traveler, and the industry. An other very important aspect is the sustainable development. It is an emerging doctrine that demands a long term view of economic activity. The concept has involved within the past few years and has rapidly become a way of paying for natural conservation and increasing the value of the natural land that is left. Sustainable development not only ensures that consumption of tourism does not exceed the agility of the host destination to prosper, but also provides for the freedom, education and welfare of the host community. It has become common knowledge that it is unethical to save nature at the expense of the local people. The host community should be given the opportunity to act as partner in the sustainable development of its land, not as enemy of it. And maybe, this point is one of the most important differences between eco-, and mass tourism. But the reality is more complex. Much of what is marketed as environmentally responsible travel is “ecotourism light” simply nature or adventure tourism with a new name, or conventional cruise or beach holidays with “add-ons” (a short hike in the rainforest, a day’s white-water rafting). Properly practiced, ecotourism is multifaceted: it is low-impact, small-scale nature tourism that educates the traveler, provides funds for conservation, helps empower local communities, and fosters respect for different cultures and human rights.

But who controls paradise? For example, many private reserves in Costa Rica are used for ecotourism and provide valuable buffer zones near national parks, increasing animal habitat. Lodge owners also often report poaching, logging, and hunting to the authorities. On the negative side, luxury beach hotels in Guanacaste Province lure tourists with phony ecotourism, promising the chance to see turtles laying their eggs, when, in reality tourist development is endangering these ancient animals. These hotels also exploit the environment by offering golf courses and huge swimming pools where water is very scarce. A rule of thumb: stay away from the large beach hotels that tout ecotourism. There are plenty of small, responsible lodgings that cost a lot less, are warm and comfortable, and are run by people who love and want to protect nature. People who earn their living from ecotourism are more likely to defend their natural resources against destructive activities, such as logging or mining. In Bolivia, the Quechua-Tacana villagers of San Jose Uchupiamonas developed the Chalalan Ecodloge to protect their land from oil and mining interests and to create jobs that would help keep the rainforest standing. Approximately 40 community member members manage, staff, and own the business. Since the project began, poaching in the area is down, and the communities living conditions have markedly improved.

With the most remote corners of our delicate planet easily accessible by modern transport, how can we both protect and enjoy our world? The stress of ecotourism goes beyond the natural world to disrupt traditional ways of life. Indigenous people’s use of the forest for firewood, meat, and agriculture sometimes comes in conflict with tourists wishes to keep the land pristine. To protect the tourism industry, regulations preserve these forest resources; meanwhile, locals, unprepared for work in tourism, are left with no alternatives but impoverishment and resentment. It is impossible to visit an environment and not have some deleterious effect. But the eco-traveler should be one of the travelers who fight to keep the wild places wild, as he has been personally touched by their magic and beauty.

As mentioned, the benefits of ecotourism are becoming increasingly attractive. However, planners and managers must also face the problems that may arise. These issues tend to be complex. Ecotourism, by its very nature, builds up expectations and raises the risk of hit-and-run tourism; this is described as an influx of nature lovers and culture addicts to the latest wild spot, followed by its abandonment once discovered and degraded. Moreover, ecotourism attractions can be located in the most remote and rural areas. Therefore, ancient cultures and economies may be harmed ore disrupted. These challenges, among others, need to be met. Planners and managers must be prepared and educated on the impacts of tourism. Their optimal strategy must involve minimizing these costs while maximizing the many benefits. It this is not possible the way from ecotourism to mass tourism is very short. This becomes very clear in the following chart by David Bruce Weaver, Ph.D., Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly.

Mutually beneficial linkages between ecotourism, mass tourism, and protected areas.

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Mutually beneficial linkages between ecotourism, mass tourism, and protected areas.

A (mass tourism to ecotourism)

Provides a large clientele (soft eco tourists) and revenue flow

Brings economies of scale amenable to sustainability

Provides lobbying clout in the face of competing resource users

B (ecotourism to mass tourism)

Contributes to diversification of a mass-tourism product

Attractive to an increasingly “green” mass tourism market

Further exposure to sustainability principles and practices

C (protected areas to ecotourism)

Provides an attractive, high-quality venue for ecotourism activities

Insulates ecotourism from incompatible activities

D (ecotourism to protected areas)

Revenue flow provides funds for enhancement and expansion

Broad exposure increases public support

2. Bibliography

Dr. Robert R. Nelson, Handout for the Session Impacts of Tourism on Host Communities, 2005, Executive MBA Program

Ph.D. David Bruce Weaver, Ecotourism as Mass Tourism: Contradiction or Reality?, Article, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration

WTO’s General Guidelines for documenting tourism statistics, May 2004

WTO’s Measuring the Economic Impact of Tourism: a proposal for some Basic indicators, Enzo Paci Paper on Measuring the Economic Significance of Tourism

World Tourism, where next?, France Bequette, Article, 1996 Unesco Courier

Tourism: the enhancement of respect – World Tourism Organization’s development of a Code of Ethics, Francesco Frangialli, Article, UN Chronicle, 2001


ISBN (eBook)
382 KB
2006 (Januar)
Impacts Tourism Host Communities

Titel: Impacts of Tourism on Host Communities