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Activity 2

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Table 1.1 on pages 3 and 4 sets out some of the problems and issues that have arisen in a few of the world's most famous tourism localities.

Complete a table similar to it for three tourist destinations mentioned in the articles you col­lected for Activity 1 on page 1.

What is a tourist?

In order to help sell their product, travel agents often present a restricted and romantic view of tourism and the nature of being a tourist. The tendency today is to use many terms other than 'tourist', which is a term that often evokes mass sharing of similar experiences. Some of these terms are 'backpacker', 'adventurer',


Table 1.1 The global importance of world tourism




North America The United States Yosemite Valley   North America The United States National parks

South America Ecuador Europe France Europe Italy Australia Australia


Australia Australia

Asia Japan Asia Nepal

Mount Fuji Mount Everest

The Taj Mahal in Agra




Hainan Island


Number of visitors Issues

Millions per year 60 million per year

In summer the valley floor is more densely populated than parts of America's major cities.

Bookings for campsites and requests for permits for rafting and so on open months in advance and sell out in a few hours.

The Galapagos Islands 35,000 per year

Protection of unique species of plants and animals first identified by Charles Darwin is not possible unless ecotourist numbers are restricted to 3500 per year.

The Lascaux Caves 200,000 per year in the Dordogne region

The breath exhaled by visitors and the bacteria they bring with them is destroying the ancient cave paintings.

12 million per year

Venice is a very popular tourist destination. As a result of the increasing numbers, restrictions by way of an entrance fee may have to be imposed in the future.

The Great Barrier Reef More than 500,000 -see Figure 1.3 on per year page 4

Dealing with the huge numbers of tourists, coping with the expanded facilities, and coping with the demands on marine environments made by visitors' activities, are all significant problems.

Kakadu National Park 250,000 per year


One significant concern is the preservation of cave art that is part of the Aboriginal heritage. Graffiti marking, vandalism, souveniring, touching, dust accumulation and rapid changes in humidity and temperature are all problems.

Thousands per day, especially on weekends and special days In 1992, tourist expeditions to the summit reached five in one day.

The physical presence of people climbing the 'sacred' mountain, and the litter generated by these large numbers, are both problems.

The cost to the Nepalese government for removal of rubbish and other items, including oxygen cylinders, food containers, mountain-climbing equipment, abandoned helicopters and corpses, is significant. Climbers are now charged an increased fee.

Thousands per day - India's most popular tourist site The potential exists to attract huge numbers comparable with those in Benidorm on Spain's Costa Blanca - 4 . million per year.

The white marble is yellowing. In an attempt to halt the process, the area's domestic cooking fires and factory pollution are being controlled.

In order to attract British package tourists on charter flights, a 7 kilometre crescent of beach is being concreted and restaurants introduced.



Table 1.1 continues.


Table 1.1(continued)

Continent Country


Number of visitors Issues


Victoria Falls





Thousands per day during the high season

The Great Pyramids Thousands per day

The Falls' popularity has attracted many other tourist facilities and recreational opportunities, for example many wildlife farms, white-water rafting, canoeing, air safaris and souvenir outlets. These have attracted even more visitors and have spoilt some of the atmosphere.

The views and atmosphere are spoilt by the thousands of other people viewing at the same time and the many cars, buses and souvenir sellers. Tourist 'hype' exists about their being one of the 'seven ancient wonders of the world'.


Figure 1.3 A tourist-operator pontoon near Hardy Reef in the Great Barrier Reef

'world traveller', 'globetrotter', 'expeditionist', 'imagi­
native traveller', 'visitor', 'escapee', 'trekker', 'tripper'
and 'thrill-seeker'. The terms suggest an individualis­
tic and exciting image of the person interested in being
a tourist. They have a lot to do with how we like to
see ourselves rather than what we actually do as

Tourism may be broadly defined as all travel with the exception of commuting, which is short-distance travel, especially to and from work. Tourists could therefore be defined as all travellers except commut­ers. All people do not necessarily agree on this defi­nition, however, and this points to one of the problems in discussing what a tourist is: the definition depends on the purpose of the person using the term. Tourists can have varying motivations, attitudes and impacts. The emphases placed on these three factors by peo­ple interested in various aspects of tourism will de­termine how the term is defined.

One useful way to define tourism is 'travel for a particular leisure or recreational purpose and for having a personal experience of a different place'. In defining tourism, some people put considerable

emphasis on the voluntary element, whereby people are tourists only when they voluntarily seek a variety of travel destinations and experiences. Others allow distant travel for work to be included within a defi­nition of tourism, because even if people are work­ing the whole time they are travelling, they are still experiencing different places and cultures. It is nbt possible to have a definition that covers every case. For example, people who tour for their jobs usually have the opportunity to undertake leisure activities, say, on weekends or outside normal working hours, which may involve sightseeing as well as recreation such as sport. By definition, work and leisure are always separate, but they both may occur while we are on tour.

A tourist is therefore a person who travels for leisure or recreation and in order to experience dif­ferent places and environments, even if this occurs while he/she is working away from home. This broad definition can include people who travel for an ex­tended period of time as well as people who spend only a few hours away from home.

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