The Negative Impacts Of Cruise Tourism Tourism Essay

1877 words (8 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Tourism Reference this

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1. Introduction

Nowadays, cruise tourism plays an important role in the tourism industry. Cruise ships become newer, larger and more comfortable so that nearly every need of the customers can be satisfied on the high seas. Capabilities like theaters, cinemas, fitness clubs, discotheques, casinos, tennis courts and many others are common on most modern cruise ships. Moreover, that most of the named activities are already included in the price. Thereby the ships beat about all the seven oceans to the most beautiful places on earth like for instance the Caribbean. But all these glorious sounding features involve several negative environmental problems. Cruise ships contaminate the seas with tons of waste and sewage which causes decreases of biodiversity, coral reefs and of course the water quality. Mass tourism harms and destroys ecological systems like beaches and reefs. This examination is about the impacts of cruise tourism to the environment and contingencies how to make cruise tourism more sustainable.

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2. Utilization of resources

Cruise tourism requires an abundance of resources and produces quantities of waste. A typical Caribbean cruise ship produces about 50tons of waste, 7.5 million liter potable water, 800.000 liter wastewater and 130.000 liter oleiferous water. Approximately 75% of all produced wastewater are caused by cruise ships. Between 1993 and 1998 over 100 cases of marine pollutions were investigated in the Caribbean. The estimate number of unknown cases might exceed this number many times over because the disposal of wastewater takes place in aquatic environments where environmental pollution is permitted on payment of a fee.

Furthermore the cruise industry requires a convenient super- and infrastructure at their destinations which often overwhelms the financial capability of the regions and causes a dependency to the cruise tourism.

3. General information about the impact of the cruise tourism industry

The entire tourism industry has positive as well as negative impacts on the economy, the culture and the environment. Thereby the cruise industry is no exception. Being an in Niche market the cruise industry’s impact is higher-than average. By establishing more than 450,000 employments with salaries of 15 billion US-Dollars in the whole and a turnover of some billion dollars above all the cruise industry in the USA has a great impact on the economy. Furthermore a big impact on the government’s revenues and expenditures is notable. The revenues of local governments consist like following:

Taxes paid on turnovers by cruise passenger, the crew and the cruise line

Temporarily taxes on accommodations that are paid by passengers

Revenues in fees paid by passengers as well as by the cruise line, including fees for calling at a port, cleaning and other expenditures on a harbor

Fees for recycling and the use of water

Fees for passengers, including admission charge and payments for medical provision

Tax payment of companies which distribute products and services to cruise lines passengers taxes paid by enterprises

Operational costs on- site

Secondary or indirect tax revenues like payment of property tax by employees of the cruise lines and their families

4. Possibilities to create sustainable cruise tourism

The Cruise tourism encompasses different segments and sub segments. Aspects of sustainability in the sense of ecological sustainability play in most of the sub-segments of cruise tourism a more or less important role. All indications are that the cruise industry, in its own interest, tries to eliminate these negative impacts as fast as possible.

Potential Reasons, as the fact that one of the most important subareas of cruise industry, the Caribbean, cannot comply the conception of sustainable tourism in the sense of the definition of sustainability mentioned in the Bruntland Report, have to be searched on the academic and socio-cultural level. To find concrete evidence on these levels seems to be difficult.

Although the cruise tourism initiate doubtless economical impulses on the destinations, the essentially effects on the long term local development remain to be unrealized. The relation between costs and benefits on the environmental level as well as on the socio- cultural level seems to be unbalanced what a disadvantage of the destinations is. A quantification of this context owes.

With the undersigning of a pioneering nature protection agreement on January 15th 2008, re-experienced the 12-month collaboration of Conservation International, the tourism agency of Cozumel, and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association its climax. Cruise industry representatives from the government, private enterprise association and cruise ship association were part of this contract. With the undersigning of this arrangement the contractual partners originated a significant nature conservancy initiative which should help to protect the vulnerable biodiversity of the most popular cruise destination on earth – Cozumel, Mexico.

In the year 2006 the island employed about 1000 workers for cruise ships, which brought an estimate number of 2.6 million cruise passengers to Cozumel. During peak times up to nine cruise ships with over 10.000 tourists reach the island’s harbor daily. The rapid growing of the cruise tourism industry led to a heavy burden for the environment.

The agreement composes the fundament for sustainable cruise tourism which will be achieved with the following projects:

The creation of more awareness for environmental problems among the cruise tourists, tour operators and within the local community

Improvement of the infrastructure of the island (especially the transportation- and waste-management)

Increased security for the coral reef

Indemnity of the strict observance of current laws

These projects were developed during a range of workshops by groups of different stakeholders. Hereby over 80 leading representatives of the cruise tourism were brought together in order to pinpoint important environmental aspects and to achieve a common accomplishment for these projects. This common planning process is worldwide the first of its kind in the cruise tourism. Therefore Cozumel is the only cruise ship destination which helps to prevent its nature and biodiversity.

Leading representatives of the cruise tourism established the so-called Stewardship Working Group which is supposed to implement objectives mentioned in the environment protection agreement. Following objectives are on the agenda:

Every cruise ship passenger will see a 30 second information-movie in which he will appealed to handle sustainable in order to protect the nature

In a photo exhibition, nearby the landing stage, the passengers will see the unspoilt districts of the island

All tour-boats on the island have their own recycling system

In the next step the representatives will evolve awareness campaigns which involve not only the cruise tourists but also the tour operator and hosts. Approximately over 500.000 cruise tourists will be involved in such campaigns.

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5. Particular sensitive sea area

The cruise industry will be confronted with several challenges related to environmental issues in the future. These challenges relate to the activities in the oceans, especially in and around important nature protection areas. The international Maritime Organization (IMO) recognized that issue and initiated counteractions, the so called Particular Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA). At present there exist 11 PSSA’s. The effective guidelines of these areas commit all the governments of the IMO member- states to ensure that cruise lines which drive under their flag have to keep the methods of protection.

The following 11 PSSA’s were arranged:

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia (1990)

The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago, Cuba (1996)

The Malpelo Island, Colombia (2002)

The Sea around the Florida Keys (2002)

The Wadden Sea, Denmark, Norway, Germanys (2002)

The Paracas National Reserve, Peru (2003)

The western European Waters (2004)

Enlargement of the existing PSSA of the Great Barrier Reef including the Torres Strait Islands (2005)

The Canary Islands, Spain (2005)

The Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador (2005)

The Baltic Sea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden (2005)

The MARPOL Convention arranges three complementary methods for the contamination management: Reduction of waste products, Recycling and disposal of waste. With the agreement of the MARPOL Convention a cruise ship can convert its waste and dispose it on its own as well as leave the waste on a harbor for disposal either by store it, burn it or recycle it.

6. Studies and scientific literature

In the more recent past only a small number of studies concerning the environmental impact of the cruise industry existed. For a considerable time a wide range of articles, reports, books, campaigns and websites occurred. The most informative subscription are scientific works (Cruise Ship Tourism, 2006, CABI), which interpret the concrete impacts of the cruise industry to the environment. The most considered researches were published by Ross Dowling and Ross Klein (Cruise Ship Blues – The Underside of the Cruise Industry, 2002, and Cruise Ship Squeeze – The New Pirates of the Seven Seas, 2005, New Society Publishers).

Furthermore, Klein also operates to websites (www.cruisejunkie.com and www.cruiseresearch.org) where the visitor can find a varies number of resources like detailed lists of diseases, cancellations, suicides, passengers who fell overboard, powertrain problems, environmental incidents, health issues and many more. Between 2002 and 2006 over one thousand facts were collected.

7. Conclusion

Although the cruise tourism has a huge negative impact on the environment there are still no homogenous regulations or laws to protect the ecological system. Even if some regions established such laws, regulations and awareness campaigns there are still huge areas of freedom to act in an environmentally harmful way.

Due to the magnitude of the seas the direct environmental impacts are not clearly recognizable in a short time but they cause long-term damages. The new cruise ships which are bigger than ever before and the increasing demand in this tourism branch won’t help to come to grips with this problem. In terms of achieving sustainable tourism it is, therefore, a sub-sector within which socio-economic, cultural and environmental considerations need to be continually analyzed, addressed and monitored. However, decision-makers in cruise tourism destinations, particularly those outside North America, need to work closely with operators to facilitate both integrated waste management and intergenerational and intra-societal equity rather than merely accept the prospect of short-term economic gain.

1. Introduction

Nowadays, cruise tourism plays an important role in the tourism industry. Cruise ships become newer, larger and more comfortable so that nearly every need of the customers can be satisfied on the high seas. Capabilities like theaters, cinemas, fitness clubs, discotheques, casinos, tennis courts and many others are common on most modern cruise ships. Moreover, that most of the named activities are already included in the price. Thereby the ships beat about all the seven oceans to the most beautiful places on earth like for instance the Caribbean. But all these glorious sounding features involve several negative environmental problems. Cruise ships contaminate the seas with tons of waste and sewage which causes decreases of biodiversity, coral reefs and of course the water quality. Mass tourism harms and destroys ecological systems like beaches and reefs. This examination is about the impacts of cruise tourism to the environment and contingencies how to make cruise tourism more sustainable.

2. Utilization of resources

Cruise tourism requires an abundance of resources and produces quantities of waste. A typical Caribbean cruise ship produces about 50tons of waste, 7.5 million liter potable water, 800.000 liter wastewater and 130.000 liter oleiferous water. Approximately 75% of all produced wastewater are caused by cruise ships. Between 1993 and 1998 over 100 cases of marine pollutions were investigated in the Caribbean. The estimate number of unknown cases might exceed this number many times over because the disposal of wastewater takes place in aquatic environments where environmental pollution is permitted on payment of a fee.

Furthermore the cruise industry requires a convenient super- and infrastructure at their destinations which often overwhelms the financial capability of the regions and causes a dependency to the cruise tourism.

3. General information about the impact of the cruise tourism industry

The entire tourism industry has positive as well as negative impacts on the economy, the culture and the environment. Thereby the cruise industry is no exception. Being an in Niche market the cruise industry’s impact is higher-than average. By establishing more than 450,000 employments with salaries of 15 billion US-Dollars in the whole and a turnover of some billion dollars above all the cruise industry in the USA has a great impact on the economy. Furthermore a big impact on the government’s revenues and expenditures is notable. The revenues of local governments consist like following:

Taxes paid on turnovers by cruise passenger, the crew and the cruise line

Temporarily taxes on accommodations that are paid by passengers

Revenues in fees paid by passengers as well as by the cruise line, including fees for calling at a port, cleaning and other expenditures on a harbor

Fees for recycling and the use of water

Fees for passengers, including admission charge and payments for medical provision

Tax payment of companies which distribute products and services to cruise lines passengers taxes paid by enterprises

Operational costs on- site

Secondary or indirect tax revenues like payment of property tax by employees of the cruise lines and their families

4. Possibilities to create sustainable cruise tourism

The Cruise tourism encompasses different segments and sub segments. Aspects of sustainability in the sense of ecological sustainability play in most of the sub-segments of cruise tourism a more or less important role. All indications are that the cruise industry, in its own interest, tries to eliminate these negative impacts as fast as possible.

Potential Reasons, as the fact that one of the most important subareas of cruise industry, the Caribbean, cannot comply the conception of sustainable tourism in the sense of the definition of sustainability mentioned in the Bruntland Report, have to be searched on the academic and socio-cultural level. To find concrete evidence on these levels seems to be difficult.

Although the cruise tourism initiate doubtless economical impulses on the destinations, the essentially effects on the long term local development remain to be unrealized. The relation between costs and benefits on the environmental level as well as on the socio- cultural level seems to be unbalanced what a disadvantage of the destinations is. A quantification of this context owes.

With the undersigning of a pioneering nature protection agreement on January 15th 2008, re-experienced the 12-month collaboration of Conservation International, the tourism agency of Cozumel, and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association its climax. Cruise industry representatives from the government, private enterprise association and cruise ship association were part of this contract. With the undersigning of this arrangement the contractual partners originated a significant nature conservancy initiative which should help to protect the vulnerable biodiversity of the most popular cruise destination on earth – Cozumel, Mexico.

In the year 2006 the island employed about 1000 workers for cruise ships, which brought an estimate number of 2.6 million cruise passengers to Cozumel. During peak times up to nine cruise ships with over 10.000 tourists reach the island’s harbor daily. The rapid growing of the cruise tourism industry led to a heavy burden for the environment.

The agreement composes the fundament for sustainable cruise tourism which will be achieved with the following projects:

The creation of more awareness for environmental problems among the cruise tourists, tour operators and within the local community

Improvement of the infrastructure of the island (especially the transportation- and waste-management)

Increased security for the coral reef

Indemnity of the strict observance of current laws

These projects were developed during a range of workshops by groups of different stakeholders. Hereby over 80 leading representatives of the cruise tourism were brought together in order to pinpoint important environmental aspects and to achieve a common accomplishment for these projects. This common planning process is worldwide the first of its kind in the cruise tourism. Therefore Cozumel is the only cruise ship destination which helps to prevent its nature and biodiversity.

Leading representatives of the cruise tourism established the so-called Stewardship Working Group which is supposed to implement objectives mentioned in the environment protection agreement. Following objectives are on the agenda:

Every cruise ship passenger will see a 30 second information-movie in which he will appealed to handle sustainable in order to protect the nature

In a photo exhibition, nearby the landing stage, the passengers will see the unspoilt districts of the island

All tour-boats on the island have their own recycling system

In the next step the representatives will evolve awareness campaigns which involve not only the cruise tourists but also the tour operator and hosts. Approximately over 500.000 cruise tourists will be involved in such campaigns.

5. Particular sensitive sea area

The cruise industry will be confronted with several challenges related to environmental issues in the future. These challenges relate to the activities in the oceans, especially in and around important nature protection areas. The international Maritime Organization (IMO) recognized that issue and initiated counteractions, the so called Particular Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA). At present there exist 11 PSSA’s. The effective guidelines of these areas commit all the governments of the IMO member- states to ensure that cruise lines which drive under their flag have to keep the methods of protection.

The following 11 PSSA’s were arranged:

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia (1990)

The Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago, Cuba (1996)

The Malpelo Island, Colombia (2002)

The Sea around the Florida Keys (2002)

The Wadden Sea, Denmark, Norway, Germanys (2002)

The Paracas National Reserve, Peru (2003)

The western European Waters (2004)

Enlargement of the existing PSSA of the Great Barrier Reef including the Torres Strait Islands (2005)

The Canary Islands, Spain (2005)

The Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador (2005)

The Baltic Sea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden (2005)

The MARPOL Convention arranges three complementary methods for the contamination management: Reduction of waste products, Recycling and disposal of waste. With the agreement of the MARPOL Convention a cruise ship can convert its waste and dispose it on its own as well as leave the waste on a harbor for disposal either by store it, burn it or recycle it.

6. Studies and scientific literature

In the more recent past only a small number of studies concerning the environmental impact of the cruise industry existed. For a considerable time a wide range of articles, reports, books, campaigns and websites occurred. The most informative subscription are scientific works (Cruise Ship Tourism, 2006, CABI), which interpret the concrete impacts of the cruise industry to the environment. The most considered researches were published by Ross Dowling and Ross Klein (Cruise Ship Blues – The Underside of the Cruise Industry, 2002, and Cruise Ship Squeeze – The New Pirates of the Seven Seas, 2005, New Society Publishers).

Furthermore, Klein also operates to websites (www.cruisejunkie.com and www.cruiseresearch.org) where the visitor can find a varies number of resources like detailed lists of diseases, cancellations, suicides, passengers who fell overboard, powertrain problems, environmental incidents, health issues and many more. Between 2002 and 2006 over one thousand facts were collected.

7. Conclusion

Although the cruise tourism has a huge negative impact on the environment there are still no homogenous regulations or laws to protect the ecological system. Even if some regions established such laws, regulations and awareness campaigns there are still huge areas of freedom to act in an environmentally harmful way.

Due to the magnitude of the seas the direct environmental impacts are not clearly recognizable in a short time but they cause long-term damages. The new cruise ships which are bigger than ever before and the increasing demand in this tourism branch won’t help to come to grips with this problem. In terms of achieving sustainable tourism it is, therefore, a sub-sector within which socio-economic, cultural and environmental considerations need to be continually analyzed, addressed and monitored. However, decision-makers in cruise tourism destinations, particularly those outside North America, need to work closely with operators to facilitate both integrated waste management and intergenerational and intra-societal equity rather than merely accept the prospect of short-term economic gain.

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