How Is Tourism Harming the Environment?

Tourism is harming the environment through activities that support it, such as the construction of tourism facilities, like resorts, hotels and golf courses, and general infrastructure like roads and airports. Its negative impacts gradually destroy resources in the environment. It also depletes natural resources including water and local resources.

Nature tourism is closely related to biodiversity. A rich and varied environment creates attractions that promote tourism. This leads to loss of biodiversity due to excessive use of land and resources. It affects coastal, marine, mountain and wildlife environments, particularly when water resources exceed their carrying capacity.

Tourists and suppliers also sometimes introduce exotic species that are not native to a specific local environment. These foreign species cause tremendous disruption or destruction of ecosystems. Moreover, tourists often dump garbage along the shores and in various tourist attractions. These trashes contribute to marine, land and air pollution.

The tourism industry also contributes to the depletion of ozone layer, through the construction of new developments that frequently use ozone-depleting substances, such as halons and chlorofluorocarbon, for daily operations. Aerosol spray cans, air conditioners and refrigerators are among the products and equipment that contain ozone-depleting substances.

Global tourism is also related to climate change because it involves transporting people to their destinations. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, it accounts for 50 percent of traffic movements and contributes about 2.5 percent of the production of carbon dioxide, which is a major factor that affects climate change.