The Negative Effects of Tourism

3591 words 15 pages
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF TOURISM on the ECOLOGY of JAMAICA

by
Elaina Kozyr

BLPR 101.51

Introduction

Tourism and the environment have a very complex and interdependent relationship. Today, tourism is one of the largest industries in today's world economy and is a great source of foreign exchange for many developing countries, whose major assets are their natural resources.1 At the same time, it is the environmental quality of a place that will determine the success of the tourism industry, since it is the main attraction for tourists. There have been a lot of arguments about whether tourism is beneficial or harmful to the environment. A lot of the developing countries whose main source of foreign exchange is tourism industry
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Jamaica's inadequate sewage disposal system has been the cause for worries for some time now, throughout the island. Even tough the large hotels generally have treatment plants, the effectiveness of such is very questionable. Studies indicate that the average tourist ingests ten times as much water and produces three times as much solid waste as the average resident.5 Discharges from the sewage systems are usually dumped into the ocean waters or nearby bay (as is the case in Ocho Rios).

Not only does this causes pollution, destroys the wildlife of the ocean, it also prohibits local population from using the bay and nearby waters. It also deposits fecal matter, nitrates and phosphates, thus polluting the coastal waters that are critical for both the area's ecology and for its tourism industry. These deposits also stimulate the overgrowth of algae that smothers coral reefs. Also, due to the deposits of disposals, there is an increase in nutrients in the water which cause fluctuations in the oxygen supply and distribution. This affects all aquatic life and is a source of various diseases through seafood.

The volume of waste that is being treated and the efficiency of the operators are factors that greatly affect the effectiveness of the treatment systems.6 Unfortunately, ocean waters are used as a dump, not only by resort areas, but also directly by both residents and tourists. The sea

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