Tourism is one of the major sources to provide income to a country because it helps them develop their country efficiently. However, tourism does bring positive and negative effects socially.
First of all, no one can foresee all tourists behave well in foreign places. Consequently, we may witness tourists behave badly because not all tourists respect the local culture or religion of the country in, for example: in 2007, a drunk Swiss tourist defacing several posters of the Thai King. And some western tourists in Muslim countries drink alcohol in the public and dress inappropriately.
Secondly, tourism can also attracts growth in drugs by western ‘Hippies’ because local citizens force their own children to leave school early or even quit school to sell drugs because children is a good tactic to ingratiate tourists buying their products. Therefore, it leads a trend that children have to leave school early to serve tourists such as Sherpa’s in Nepal. Being as a Sherpa is actually a very dangerous work because they have to help tourists carrying their bag packs when they are traveling on the mountains, which may have higher risks to fall off of the mountains. Always carrying heavy bags may also lead them suffering from their injured backbone. In addition, working as Sherpa’s are usually strong men, if they leave their village and migrate to major areas seeking jobs, they will leave women, children and the elderly behind the village and therefore women and children need to find jobs in rural areas such as working as farmers.
Nevertheless, tourism leads countries being westernized because it can attract firms to invest money in it such as opening franchise fast food shops and fashion stores. However, fast food stores usually sell food with plenty of oil and seasonings that harms our health and alters locals’ diet, therefore illnesses such as obesity, high blood pressure etc. occurs. Furthermore, depletion and diversion of resources such as water leaving less for the locals because large amount of water will be provided to hotels for swimming pools and golf courses. Consequently, shortage of clean water leads locals suffering from diarrhea and cholera.
In order to preserve their own culture, locals usually set up cultural villages or cultural stores to attract tourists. Yet, local carnivals are being commoditized because this is a good way to slow down or prevent the annexation of western culture such as aborigines performing traditional dances at cultural villages in Australia.
In my own judgment, I believe one of the most negative effects lead by tourism is the growth sex tourism. Women and children do want to finds jobs in urban areas because they can earn higher wages in urban areas relatively. Yet, as women and children are poorly educated in rural areas, they are unable to find proper jobs and end up being as a prostitute especially Bangkok. For example: after Goa was being discovered in 1960s by the hippies, scene of acid parties and raves increased, which lead the rising of woman and child prostitution. This enables them to have higher risk of obtaining AIDs and other sexual transmitted disease.
On the other hand, tourism can benefit country. As tourism can highly increase the income for the government, it can invest more money to improve the education system and enables the poor to receive formal education. In order to have better communication between locals and tourists, the government can encourage people to learn new languages or improve language standards in school. Prejudices can be reduced between the host and the tourists because we can understand each other’s culture by interaction.
Development of tourism can provide more job opportunities for women because women have stronger communication abilities compared to men, therefore they can work in hotels to answer customers’ enquires or apply jobs which requires very frequent communications between themselves and customers.
Increasing of income can also improve their infrastructure such as building higher quality roads, hospitals and providing better electricity and water to locals because they can invest more money to hire specialists to advice and guide workers to improve their infrastructure in better quality.
In conclusion, although tourism provides large amount of income to the country, in majority, tourism causes more negative impacts than positive impacts. Therefore, tourism may not be a good alternative for development.