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Impact of Tourism on the Environment

Impact of Tourism on the Environment (Negril) Negril is situated on the western end of the island of Jamaica. It is known as the 7 mile beach even though it is slightly longer than 6. 4 km in length.

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Negril is also called the tourism capital of Jamaica. Tourism is travel for business, leisure or recreational purposes and therefore has many impacts on the environment: as natural habitats both aquatic and terrestrial are being destroyed and damaged when hotels and roads are being built, causing pollution in many forms and also coral reefs are being destroyed in the process.The current model of tourism has a negative impact on the environment of Jamaica. This model is based on the construction of mega super inclusive resorts, which require engineering solutions such as dredging, construction and limestone blasting in order to create swimming beaches, and construct buildings a few meters away from the high water mark. Construction and operation of tourist facilities such as hotels and other attractions also result in significant alterations to the terrestrial environment, trees, insects, birds etc.Operation of these entities also results in the diversion of resources such as water and electricity which could have been used elsewhere in the society. Jamaica’s tourism product is also dependent on the coral reefs and their associated ecosystems such as sea grass beds and mangroves. These ecosystems are, however, threatened by natural causes and human behavior such as coastal pollution, rapid coastal development, over-fishing and global warming. Increased construction activity provides relatively short term and low-skilled employment.The alternating demand for this pool of labour often results in the increase of unplanned settlements and squatter communities that are established close to the resort areas. The creation of these communities results in the destruction of the watershed in these areas as well as inadequate sewage treatment and solid waste management. All of which contribute to reduced environmental quality; for example, reduced water quality as a result of increased nutrients and turbidity in the coastal water. STATEMENT OF TASKThe purpose of the project is to highlight the impacts of tourism on the environment both the negative and positive aspect. Tourism contributes to improper disposal of waste, pollution of air, water and beaches all of which are hazardous to the environment and pose a threat to our health. On the other hand, tourism also has a positive impact on environment as it contributes to foreign exchange. Although concern about environmental degradation started relatively late both the Government and international organizations working strongly acknowledged the problems and recommended measures to balance the environment.Their attention mainly rests on the preservation of endangered wild life fauna, plants and aquatic life and the prevention of further deforestation, which has triggered a host of other problems. Deforestation aggravates soil erosion and, in so doing, affects the agricultural livelihood of the population. Pollution is another alarming problem; it is visible on most routes. Its causes are many and multi-faceted, arising singularly or in combination with several factors such as the following: (a) Lack of hygiene (b) Lack of facilities for proper sanitation, particularly for local people, porters and guides (c) Lack of facilities for litter d) Lack of environmental awareness (e) Ineffective rules and regulations (f) And lack of monitoring of environmental health. While deforestation and pollution are the major causes of environmental degradation in Jamaica, tourism has become a boon for the survival of local people in terms of providing income for them. On the whole, the tourism sector has generated a living for the locals. However, it has also contributed to the disruption of the environment. In this light, the trade-off between environmental problems and economic gains created by tourism cannot be measured so easily.Tourism needs to be encouraged, but not without policies to improve and maintain the environment CONCLUSION Jamaica is primarily a ‘sun, sea and sand’ destination and, therefore, the primary recreational activities of visitors include sun and sea bathing on the beaches. Tourists who visit Jamaica are, therefore, primarily involved in activities such as going to the beach, snorkeling, scuba diving and glass-bottom boating. Jamaica’s tourism product is dependent on the coral reefs and their associated ecosystems such as seagrass beds and mangroves.These ecosystems are, however, threatened by natural causes and human behavior such as coastal pollution, rapid coastal development, over-fishing and global warming. The effects of tourism on the environment are felt in several ways: Resources are utilized to provide for the every-day comforts of visitors and utilization of materials to produce souvenirs and destruction of the natural environment caused by an influx of tourists. There is the pollution generated by tourists: discharge of untreated sewage into seas and rivers, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions from transport.There is also the impact of changes upon the social and cultural life of a country; the necessity to provide accommodation to support the tourism sector resulting in increased allocation of lands, sometimes in areas where the natural environment is irrevocably changed. Therefore it can be stated that tourism does have a negative impact on the environment. RECOMMENDATIONS ?Monitor beaches closely to prevent over population and thus reduce pollution of the beaches ?Prevent sewage from going out into the sea Carpool to reduce the amount of fumes from entering the atmosphere thereby preventing global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer by some extent. ?Educate the public more about the impacts of tourism on the environment. ?Take precautionary measures to reduce habitat destruction.BIBLIOGRAPHY http: www. geointeractive. co. uk/environmental impact of tourism http: www. jamaicaobserver. com/jamaicaobserver/20090104/leisure html “PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Economic, social impact of Tourism on the Environment. ” The Jamaica Gleaner. 4 Jan 2009 UNEP: Environmental Impact of Tourism. UNEP. 2001