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Environmental Effects of Tourism

By Linda Tancs

Sometimes too much interest can be a bad thing.  For years now, conservationists have been bemoaning the effects of tourism on a wide range of treasures around the world.  Recently, a report indicated that the platforms harboring visitors at some of Cambodia’s ancient monuments are in danger of collapse because of the wear and tear from guests unloading from tour buses from sunrise to sunset.  This situation is hardly unique, and other countries have implemented measures to control the effects of tourism on the environment.  For instance, Egyptian authorities have long rotated the availability of tombs in the Valley of the Kings to offset the effects of rampant tourism.  With some nations realizing a substantial part of their GDP from travelers, a dilemma arises between accommodating those who contribute to the community coffers and preserving an ecosystem that grows ever more fragile by the day through human and industrial actions.  Ultimately, these nations must manage their tourism assets like a key player trying to effect change in a system, using goals that are strategic, measurable, agreed, realistic and timely.  Then maybe sustainable tourism can be achieved.

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