Tourism is universally praised for countless benefits for host countries. The benefits span a broad range of economic, social, cultural, environmental, and political ones. The exponential growth in niche markets has also created a bloated sense of benefits tourism might being for a host country. Decades into actual practice show how tourism could be a mixed blessing for a host country.
The benefits gained from tourism are now under growing scrutiny. Typically, economic benefits are hyped as one major benefit gained from tourism. Dwyer and Forsyth examine the economic benefits of tourism to a host country based on “yield” concept. By comparing actual returns gained from tourism compared to real resources, services, and goods given up in a host country to provide for a hospitality infrastructure, Dwyer and Forsyth show that non-economic benefits outweigh economic benefits, namely, visitor expenditure.
This understanding of a mixed blessing of tourism is reflected in a mass media growing more conscious of the benefits and costs of tourism. For example, Farr offers what amounts to a checklist of economic, environmental, and social benefits and negative effects of tourism. Especially, while tourism might boost awareness of environmental stewardship, overtourism might lead to rapid degradation of a local environment by the irresponsible behavior of visitors. Tourism should not be accepted for granted as an all-benefit industry.
In balance, the benefits of tourism are universally emphasized. The costs of tourism need to be further examined in order to assess whether tourism is beneficial for all host countries or not. Tourism could, in fact, be one reason local residents might grow more intolerant to visitors. As new forms of tourism emerge, a closer examination of the costs and benefits of tourism is required.
Dwyer, Larry, and Peter Forsyth. “Measuring the Benefits and Yield from Foreign Tourism.” International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 24, no. 1-3, 1997, pp. 223-236. Emerald Insight, doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/03068299710161232. Accessed 26 Jun. 2018.
Farr, Laurie. “Positive & Negative Effects of Tourism.” USA Today, 25 Apr. 2018, http://traveltips.usatoday.com/positive-negative-effects-tourism-63336.html. Accessed 26 Jun. 2018.
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