Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Environmental Impact of Marine Tourism

Sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, wave surfing and water skiing are some of the activities that tourists typically enjoy when they go to the beach. These activities can bring positive and negative impacts to marine environment. To reduce negative impacts of tourism activities on the environments, people who work in this industry need adequate knowledge about conservation and coastal management.
Marine tourism is a business that generates big revenues during holidays and special occasions. Being a part of the tourism industry is a great way to make money because life seems like one endless holiday. Yes, it does have its downs like any other business, but for the most part, the going is good especially if you are well-established and your customers come back to give you repeat business. Marine tourism has come into its own with the advances that have been made in the field of technology. Locations that were earlier inaccessible or unsafe are now well-known tourist spots in marine environments. The seas and the coastlines of the world are much sought after destinations for tourists all over the world, and this makes marine tourism a booming industry.
But all this interest in water sports, cruises, underwater explorations and other activities that involve the marine environment are definitely having an adverse effect on marine ecosystems and animal species that live on or near the coast.

• Natural habitats are destroyed when hotels, restaurants and other entertainment and hospitality facilities are built along the coastline.
• Surrounding areas are also destroyed in order to provide access to these facilities. With the advent of roads, airports and sea ports, people begin to populate the area and drive out the natural wildlife whose habitat the area was originally.
• The level of pollution increases with the increase in population
• Essential resources like water become critical and are sometimes in shortage.
• The coastline is destroyed due to erosion and the sea also becomes polluted with effluents from hotels and other establishments in the area.
• Cruise ships produce and dump waste in mid ocean, leading to pollution in the high seas too.
• Sewage causes algae to form over coral reefs and damages and destroys them.
With all these detrimental effects, we must adopt techniques to manage the pollution and the destruction of ecosystems, not just because we need to save the environment, but because we need to save the tourism industry itself. The environment and its quality are very important if tourism is to survive and thrive; with polluted beaches and diminishing wildlife, the tourists are going to be few and far between. And when this happens, it is the end of marine tourism as we know it.
For man and nature to coexist in peace and thrive, it is up to us to ensure that we do not wreak havoc on the environment; for if we do, it will come back to haunt us in the form of global warming and climate change.
This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of construction management degrees . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

No comments: