Cultural, Environmental and Conservation Issues
the environment is challenging for developing countries that are trying
to maximise their tourism revenues. For example, many mountain communities in Morocco rely on village taps for
water, whilst golf tourism
uses gallons of water and pesticides. In Africa, many people walk miles
to collect water,
and irrigating their land is a huge challenge. In Ethiopia, for example,
whilst there are main waterpipes to towns which pass close to villages,
these are not linked up, so villager residents have to walk miles to collect
water from a river or lake.
Industrial and Tourism Developments, whether built in cities and towns or in stunning locations, all mpact on limited natural resources. Office buildings, accommodation, restaurants, swimming pools, golf courses, and lots more facilities take precedence for water supplies over the local population. They can also take precedence over location, with peoples losing their homes and land, displacing wildlife and habitats, the natural flora and fauna and reulting in trees being hacked down. The stunning landscapes and fascinating cultures that tempt us to a country can often be to the detriment of the local people, wildlife, nature, flora and fauna. In November 2012, Gail was concerned to hear a Director from one of the world's largest leisure travel organisations say that their 'primary objective as an organisation is not benefitting local community but to deliver to the customer'. This organisation operates in over 180 countries, takes over 30 million people on holiday and includes over 100 specialist and activity holiday brands.
Lots of tourism workers, many of whom are children, are exploited, experience poor working conditions and do not earn a fair wage. The answer is to plan, manage and develop tourism in a sustainable way that protects the environment and livelihoods for the future of both the local people and tourism. When you are travelling, please be respectful of local culture and traditions, responsible with local resources, dispose of rubbish and waste appropriately and if you are concerned by something you see, let Gail know.
Buying locally produced or crafted goods where the money goes directly to the people who made them, or buying from local markets and shops is one way that you can make sure 'local peoples' benefit from your holiday money, be that in the UK or overseas. In the UK an organisation called Tourism Concern actively campaigns on tourism and human rights issues - visit their website to become more informed on the issues and dilemmas facing the Tourism Industry. Participating on a Responsible Photography holiday or workshop you'll get the chance to visit projects and meet people who use their traditional skills, culture or initiative to generate income.