A hundred years ago tourism hardly existed. Very few people travelled abroad. Holidays are a wonderful chance to relax, have fun and explore new places. By the start of the twenty-first century, around three billion people will go on holidays each year.
Tourism creates new jobs and vital income for countries all over the world.
- Twenty-five per cent of all tourists visit countries in the Developing World
- Eighty percent of tourists come from just twenty countries
- At the moment, the Mediterranean coast has a population of roughly 130 million
- In many cases, 80 or 90 per cent of the profits from tourism don´t help local people in popular holiday restorts. Instead, they ago abroad to the owners of airlines and big international hotels.
There is also a dark side of tourism. Tourism is now a major cause of pullution in some of the world´s most beautiful countries. And it´s not just a question of litter, dirty beaches and polluted sea-water. There´s also the problem of air pollution from cars and coaches. In many places this is now so bad that it causes acid rain.
Famous historic buildings receive millions of visitors every year. The results are long queues and in many cases serious damage to the buildings themselves.
The tourist industry also affects birds and animals. This happens in two main ways. Firstly, many are killed so that their furs, skins or feathers can be sold as souvenirs. Second, their natural habitats are destroyed to make way for new hotels an apartments.
Many tourist areas, especially in developing countries, have limited water, food and electricity. Since visitors use large amounts of their resource, this often means that the local population has to suffer.
I like to travel. I am for soft tourism. The people shall adapt themselves to the country and shall not spoil the environment.