Tourism and Environment

Development of natural tourism in protected territories can cause the whole complex of various consequences, both positive and negative. On the one hand, tourism development in many parts of the world provides a strong incentive for the protection of rare species and unique ecosystems. On the other hand, tourism involves exhaustion and degradation of the environment. Thus, the problem of the negative impact of the international tourism on the environment has to be studied in more detail in order to identify the most effective methods of its solution.

Nowadays, unprecedented growth of the number of natural tourism adherents created the whole complex of problems. The excessive and uncontrollable flow of tourists often becomes the reason of environmental degradation as well as reduction of biological and cultural diversity. Negative effects of tourism can also extend out of limits of tourist zones affecting the interests of neighbouring settlements. It was thus noticed that those places, where the inflow of visitors has increased dramatically, can experience fast recession of travel business subsequently. Having been the cause of destruction of natural territories and recession of their appeal to the future visitors, powerful flows of tourists turn to other regions leaving polluted beaches, disappointed locals, and devastated local economy (Lickorish, & Jenkins, 2007).

Therefore, when planning the regional development including tourism, it is necessary to pay prime attention to the aspects of preservation of its natural base. Problems of bacterial pollution of reservoirs, for example, are common for those territories where a little attention is paid to the sewage removal system when building objects of infrastructure (cottages, camping, etc.). In order to maintain water quality when choosing a site for camping, it is necessary to define correctly the distance to water resources as well as take into account the potential impact on the soil. In areas with intensive use of water resources, it is necessary to periodically make analyses of water composition. However, it involves additional expenses for the maintenance and management of tourist water zones (Sunlu, 2003).

Tourist activities may have sufficiently rapid direct effects on plant species composition. The distribution of vacationers throughout the territory in accordance to standard admissible for local landscapes of recreational loadings is one of the most effective methods to solve the problem of the vegetable cover destruction in tourist zones. Improvement of tracks and parking places is also an important step. However, the approach to improvement of tracks must be very careful. In a mountain zone, for example, it is impossible to exceed the amount of various barriers, banners, etc. as it usually happens in national parks or forest parks (Sunlu, 2003). Such approach demands the involvement of additional experts.

Besides, it is recommended to make a strict ban on driving aside the roads designated for it and introduce high penalties for the violation of this ban. It is also advisable to create special tracks for supervision and ensure equal distribution of the flow of visitors within a year to reduce congestion during hot seasons. In addition, it is necessary to forbid the construction of tourist objects in places where the natural vegetation remained. Only the places with already destroyed vegetation (for example, as a result of agricultural use) or covered with the secondary vegetation, which was earlier exposed to anthropogenic influence, must be used for such construction. Finally, environmental degradation, pollution, loss of biodiversity, and other ecological problems caused by tourist activities can be solved by the reduction of the number of tourists (Lickorish, & Jenkins, 2007). However, such method is almost impossible since no tourist provider would want to lose his stable income received from tourists visiting natural attractions.

Taking into account all the abovementioned information, it should be noted that in order to plan and manage ecological impact of tourism, it is necessary to understand possible possible ecological consequences of a particular type of natural tourism. Nevertheless, some methods of environment protection have their weaknesses, which must be also considered when planning protection programs. However, being properly organized, the development of natural tourism can provide numerous benefits and even financial income for protection of natural ecosystems.