The social impact of the cruise industry on the destination has a few positive effects. When cruise tourists arrive at ports of destination, interactions between local residents and cruise tourists benefits both parties. The cruise tourists can gain knowledge of the destinations lifestyle and culture. This is the same respect to the inhabitants. Locals can gain knowledge from people around the world. Residents can learn about lifestyles of their guest from around the world. However, a high interaction level between residents and cruise tourists has drawbacks by limiting the personal space of residents due to the high population of cruise tourists. Eventually, high interactions between cruise tourist and inhabitants would change their unique lifestyles. This brings the point of social damage in mind where social and cultural damage is one of the main arguments against tourism. In context of tourism, cruise tourists are evidently wealthier than locals from popular cruise destinations. This evidently creates social problems because it creates hierarchy which leads to tension between cruise tourists and locals. Furthermore, interactions between cruise tourists and residents show further negative impacts because new, unusual ideas brought in cruise tourists can make locals envious and would desire to copy the nature of tourists who seems so rich and stylish.
Further social damage caused by the cruise industry can be supported by the idea of “competition of space.” This is triggered when large amounts of cruise tourists, usually two or three cruise ships arrive at small ports. When large amounts of cruise ships arrive, the number of cruise tourist’s ratio to locals is large. According to Espinal, 2005, Bahamas has 11 cruise guests to 1 local; Aruba has 8 cruise guests to 1 local; Antigua and Barbuda, 7 to 1; and Dominica, 5 to 1. However, this ratio is only true to small parts. Large cities such as Miami, Barcelona, and European countries differ. In fact, highly populated cities have the opposite effect, because cruise tourist numbers are rather small compared to on-land tourists or residents. The competition of space enhances through the fight for cruise ships by neighbouring ports to attract cruise ships for economic benefits. The fight continues between the cruise ship industry and the cargo shipping industry to gain port space. Another dilemma of space continues between on land tourist and cruise tourists. When cruise tourist arrive at destinations, on land tourist are forced to wait in line for attractions such as monuments and museums, and they wonder why it is overcrowded at the beach. Finally, the idea of competition of space limits the transportation benefits, what hurts the transportation the most is when large amounts of cruise tourists arrive at destinations which cause volatile in the demand for taxis.
Environmental Impact of the Cruise Industry
The cruise industry is the fastest growing industry in the travel industry. With enormous growth in the number of passengers, the number of cruise ships at sea, and the increased variety of destinations, followed by bigger and more luxurious cruise ships to keep up with the increase of demand; the substantial growth in the industry follows with increasing impact on the environment. Like many hospitality and travel industries, the negative impacts on the environment outweigh the positive impacts. Even though the cruise industry is relatively small compared to the airline industry, cruise ships and their passengers generate more volume of waste and pollutant emissions while travelling and docked in port. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a one week voyage generates more than 50 tonnes of garbage. During that same week 3.785 million litres of waste water is produced. That is water that is harmful to the ocean life and cannot be dumped back into the ocean without it being treated. Furthermore, 794,850 litres of sewage, 95,000 litres of oil contaminated water, and 568 litres of hazardous waste is produced. These numbers are multiplied by more than 200 cruise ships sailing the world 365 days a year. In comparison to other travel industries, a cruise ship such as Queen Mary 2 emits 0.43 kg of Carbon dioxide per passenger mile, compared to 0.257 kg for a long-haul flight (Climate Care). In comparison to on-land tourists, cruise ship passengers generate 3.5 kg of garbage while 0.8 kg of garbage is generated by on-land tourists. (http://www.uneptie.org/pc/tourism/sust-tourism/env-3main.htm). In addition to pollution, coral reefs are taking a significant damage. According to ocean planet, there are 109 countries with coral reefs. In 90 of them, reefs are being damaged by cruise ship anchors and sewage. It is said 70% of cruise destinations are in these biodiversity hot spots.
However, it is not the amount of pollution and damages generated by cruise ships that most are concerned, but rather, the way cruise ships dispose their waste. Cruise ship waste disposal is highly unregulated, where waste can be dumped a few short miles off shore, which is later brought back to shore due to ocean currents. In the past, discharge from cruise ships exceeds the water quality standards set by National Authorities in relations to bacteria level, metals, and hydrocarbons and plastic. In most cases, there was no monitoring, no enforcements and no deprivation from local authorities if cruise ships violated the pollution standards. The cruise industry continues to promote itself as environmentally friendly, the truth is, there are many instances of cruise ships breaking the law. A single cruise company can accumulate hundreds of pollution violations, which have results in payments of millions of dollars in environmental fines. However, in some cases, environmental incidents has been accidental, due to simple human and mechanical error, such as fuel discharge from cruise ship loading fuel at ports
Since the increased harmful effects on the environment has come to light, cruse industries has done their part by improving their efforts in processing waste onboard. As technology increases, their ability to become more eco-friendly becomes a priority. Holland American Line has invested $1.5 million into a program called Seawater Scrubber Pilot. This program looks for opportunities to reduce engine emission on its ships. The Sea Water Scrubber system uses the natural chemistry of seawater to remove all sulphur oxide. The seawater is then treated to remove harmful components before dumping it overboard (world cruise industry review). Even though recycling and using green materials is only a small step, it makes a big difference. Take Crystal Cruises for example. They are introducing 100% recyclable coat hangers, which eliminates 9 billion wire and plastic hangers sent to landfills each year. They are also using washable and reusable garment bags instead of plastic laundry bags (world cruise industry review). On the major scale, most cruise ship companies are taking step to map out global routes where waste discharge will cause the least damage to delicate ecosystems. Other major efforts that some cruise ship companies are implementing are scheduling their arrival and departure time so cruise ships use less fuel while docking. Princess Cruises has invested $4.5 million to implement a cold-ironing program in Alaska. This is when ships plug into a ports electricity supply while docked in order to get hydroelectric power on board. This is the same concept as a hybrid car. The cost of equipping each ship is $500,000 where the benefits outweigh the costs. In California, 70% of cancer risk is due to the toxic air contaminants created by diesel. The biggest contribution to these toxins is cargo-handling equipment and the ships use of diesel engines while at port. With the use of the cold-ironing program, ships will not create this harmful pollutant that cause many environmental problems. Companies are taking the next step to keep their ships as cool as possible to eliminate excessive stress on air conditioners in addition to maintaining speeds at fuel efficient speeds. Crystal cruises has begun auditing it ships lighting and energy consumption. They are saving more than 960,000 kW/h, which is equivalent to nearly 200 tonnes of fuel a year.
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