“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
When we travel and spend time away from home in pursuit of recreation, relaxation and pleasure with or without utilization of commercially provided services, we say it “tourism”. The origin of tourism as an economic activity dates back to the birth of modern social set ups that began to appear soon after the spread of the Industrial Revolution from Europe to other parts of the world.
Today, we cannot deny the fact that modern tourism which is increasingly intensive has become the biggest industry in the world. Many of the Asian, African and European countries like Pakistan, India, China, Switzerland, Romania, Denmark, Morocco and Egypt etc. are the lucky ones to have excellent opportunities of flourishing and expanding this industry. These countries have a number of ideal and diverse landscapes where tourism has been growing fast. Transport innovations have always remained an active enabler of boosting local and foreign tourism in countries that have a wide range of geographically rich attractions.
However, one certainly negative impact of increasing tourism in Asian countries is environmental degradation. Destinations often attract tourists because of their environment. Tourism development is increasing pressure on natural resources when it increases consumption in areas where resources are already scarce. Minerals, fossil fuels, fertile soil, forests and wildlife often suffer negative effects of increased construction of tourism and recreational facilities. Development of a tourist resort as well as behavior of the tourists are the main ways that can impact any pleasant environment negatively. Infrastructure developments can be a source of weakening the naturally existing ecological habitats and practices like deforestation and overuse of resource may lead to deteriorated landscapes.
Furthermore, like all other industries, tourism is also contributing to various forms of pollution. Transport emissions, noise, solid waste and littering are a continuous source of degrading attractive landscapes and environment. A recent research report reveals that tourists cause about 40% spike in plastic entering Mediterranean Sea each summer which is quite alarming. Furthermore, the use of green spaces can also contribute to climate change in a really adverse manner.
Keeping in view the negative effects of unplanned tourism growth, the concerned public and private sectors in all countries with prosperous opportunities of tourism must work hand in hand to achieve fruitful results for our sustainable future. Creating awareness to ecotourism, supporting legislation and promoting sustainable tourism can be effective measures in this regard. Taking this issue as a matter of global concern, this is high time to channelize the growth of tourism industry which can be a huge source of earning and bringing prosperity to developing countries.