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Negative Impact on the Environment in Popular Recreation Areas Due to Tourism

Info: 1796 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 8th Feb 2020 in Tourism

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It is essential to take the recommendations in an inclusive manner with the aim of preventing damages to ecological sites and services such as parks, beaches, rivers, lagoons, monuments and scientific reserves.  During vacations, we can also consider the use, conservation and restoration of natural resources and ways make the least negative impact on the environment.

It is important to understand the relationship between society and nature, to promote the long-term environmental educational process and to observe without damaging wildlife in a tourist area.

Reflecting on the environment, redistributing the generation of waste and encouraging cleaning during vacations, it is necessary to assume a responsible attitude, so that any activity carried out during the holidays does not have a negative environmental impact. It is necessary that vacationers, bear in mind that pollution of rivers, mares, etc., directly affect the communities that depend on these places, to live, grow their food and develop as a community.

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It is necessary that vacationers have an ecological vision and do not destroy the environment, for example, using biodegradable materials, etc. I think that the conservation and care of the environment and natural resources is everyone’s job.

With this work, I would like to encourage vacationers to take a responsible attitude.  This way, any activity that takes place during their leisure time will not have a negative impact on the environment.


What is the negative impact that tourism does on the environment in popular recreation areas?


Tourism has represented an important activity for the world’s economy, as a massive phenomenon that requires a large infrastructure and complex services that have not always had an adequate planning, it has become a constant deterioration of the natural and social environment.  Not only has it transformed the physical aspect of the tourist areas, but it has generated serious ecological cataclysms: destruction of ecosystems, decrease in the quantity and quality of water, impoverishment and contamination of soils, extinction of multiple species of fauna, severe affectation of the flora, fishing depredation and pollution of the sea, as well as disintegrating traditional economic activities, acculturation, migration, phenomena of population growth and disorderly urban, among others.


A total of five Tourism and Environment articles that touched on topics in tourism, conservation, ecology, urban tourist areas and increased awareness of the impacts of tourism on environment, trends in tourism and environment from 2002 to 2018 were evaluated.  A systematic review process was used to identify collect, evaluate and interpret the available and relevant research pertaining to the increase in negative impact of vacationers in popular touristic areas worldwide. 


The analysis of the articles revealed that it is important to know in depth the negative impact of tourism in popular areas for vacationers. It is necessary to raise awareness in the community in general regarding the interaction of them and the environment. It would be convenient that in the touristic places, constant monitoring of the changes is carried out over time. These can be very useful, if the study of the cause (tourism development) and the effect is allowed at the same time. It is also necessary to establish simulation methods in tourist areas since they can be useful for predicting impacts, for example, soil mistreatment, water pollution, etc.  (Kaffashi, Radam, Shamsudin, Yacob, & Nordin, 2015)


Tourism as a phenomenon of displacement from a place of permanent residence to another temporary one, is not only a movement of people that implies transportation, lodging and food, but it is a complex social phenomenon, with multiple facets that involve economics, social-cultural (use of free time) and the environmental. Tourism as an economic activity corresponds to a dominant rationality and aims to generate profit, which has involved a constant process of expropriation and exploitation of the resources of communities and countries for the benefit of large capital.  (Lansing & Vries, 2006)

In recent years, tourism has been faced with the loss of quality and value of the vacation offered by the conventional tourism model, which is massive in consumption and has a high impact on the ecosystems and the host culture.

In response to this, a new tourist current has emerged and grows in the developed countries, main generators of demand: the alternative tourism (which has become a new way of enjoying free time, contact with nature, the peace of the landscape, and the ruggedness of the terrain cause the tourist to place themselves in a different angle where they understand the world that surrounds them and they understand more about the conservation of the environment.

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It is a form of tourism respectful of nature.  Based on attitude, on behavior, on the commitment that humanity must assume, in terms of conservation. The new tourist current is said to be the result of changes in the values and habits of life that have occurred in the populations of developed countries, which seek to improve their quality of life (through new ways of using free time and a clean environment).

The crisis of the conventional tourism model and the growing concern of the populations of developed countries to improve their quality of life led to a change in tourism demand.

In this transformation of today’s society, the environmental crisis has played an important role. The increasing pollution of the atmosphere, soil and water; the loss of multiple species of flora and fauna; the destruction of the ozone layer, etc., represent a danger for human survival, but it also translates into a loss of quality of life.  (Kaffashi et al. 2015)  

Consequences of the negative impact of tourism in popular recreation areas

If we want to preserve our planet, it is worth noting that when we move to areas with natural spaces, tourism has consequences that the environment can suffer:

As for the vegetation, logging, for the construction of tourist establishments, or firewood accommodation, can especially affect the species of younger trees, and also the species that are destined for tourist parks and gardens are altered. In addition to the garbage and waste generated by the establishments, which alter the vegetation.

Another one of the most harmful effects is the traffic of vehicles, but also the pedestrian, which causes loss of vegetation by trampling. If the number of tourists is excessive, the habitat and vegetation can be even more affected and even destroyed.

In the waters Especially in the beach areas, the supply and quality of water is affected by a high demand, also for swimming pools and recreational spaces. There has even been the case of villages that run out of drinking water when there is an excess of tourists. The main pollution problems are derived from wastewater that is treated incorrectly and thrown into the sea, beaches, lakes and rivers from the tourist industry.

In geology, especially in unprotected areas, the extraction, wear and tear and alteration of minerals, rocks and fossils can destroy unique features of a landscape. This can be attributed to tourists, but also the construction of hotel and tourism infrastructure causes irreversible alterations in the land by the movement of soils, by the polluting residues that may remain, by the changes in the circulation of water and of course because It alters the landscape, as we see in those very invasive hotels on the beachfront.

Urban tourism also has its share of responsibility in the environmental alteration of the city. For example, when the landscape changes with an infrastructure that collides with its environment.  When a large event attracts a large number of people, the capacity of the city is exceeded and the whole environment suffers consequences (from waste, garbage, to pollution by noise or excess of vehicles).  The hotel industry is the main source of waste in many of the tourist centers.


There is no doubt when it is stated that for the development of any type of tourism it is necessary that this be conserving the natural environment and preserving the historical and cultural environment and this is because one of the effects of tourism development is its impact about the environment; the result of its impact can be positive, but unfortunately it can also have negative effects such as those exposed in the present work.

In order to achieve a balance between tourism and the environment, it is fundamental proper planning, consisting of trying to relate correctly the scale of development of tourism activities with the specific potential of each place and therefore the ability to sustain the resources.

We must change our attitude towards the environment. Only by understanding the importance of this for the global ecosystem and for the future of the human species can we make human activities such as tourism sustainable.


  • Behrens, D. A., Bednar-Friedl, B., & Getzner, M. (2009). Sustainable management of an alpine national park: handling the two-edged effect of tourism. Central European Journal of Operations Research, 17(3), 233-253. doi:10.1007/s10100-009-0087-1
  • Kaffashi, S., Radam, A., Shamsudin, M., Yacob, M., & Nordin, N. (2015). Ecological Conservation, Ecotourism, and Sustainable Management: The Case of Penang National Park. Forests, 6(12), 2345-2370. doi:10.3390/f6072345
  • Lansing, P., & Vries, P. D. (2006). Sustainable Tourism: Ethical Alternative or Marketing Ploy? Journal of Business Ethics, 72(1), 77-85. doi:10.1007/s10551-006-9157-7
  • Mcelroy, J. L. (2003). Tourism development in small islands across the world. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 85(4), 231-242. doi:10.1111/j.0435-3684.2003.00145.x
  • Thornburg, J. (2014). The environment and the future of tourism. Turismos, 9(1), 145-165.


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