Tourism and Environmental Degradation

We cannot deny the fact that tourism is the biggest industry in the world. Countries like Pakistan are the lucky ones to have excellent opportunities of flourishing and expanding this industry. We have an ideal and diverse landscape from the lofty Himalayas to the dissected plateau of Potwar and the alluivial plains of the Indus where tourism is growing fast. However, one certainly negative impact of increasing tourism in Pakistan is environmental degradation. 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. 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. Keeping in view the adverse effects of our unplanned tourism growth, the public and private sector must work hand in hand to achieve fruitful results for our sustainable future. This is high time to channelize the growth of tourism industry which can be a huge source of earning and bringing prosperity to Pakistan.
Ismat Mustafa,