Tourism Development's Constraint by Impact Management
Works Cited Not Included
Tourism is popularly described as the temporary movement of people
going to and staying places other than their normal environment.
Tourism is worldwide industry and there are developments and the
potential for developments in all varied environment. These include
beaches, mountains, cites, the list goes on. Modern planning and
development of tourism tends to consider more than just the economy.
In the past economic impacts were, the planners main concern. The
impacts of tourism are varied and complex and they can be both
positive and negative. Impact management
, is a useful tool in tourism
development, it is essential for planners. There are three main types
of impact that have to be considered at the planning stage. These are
social, economic and environmental impacts. These all need to be
constrained in different ways and to differing extents by impact
The case study I have chosen to incorporate into my discussion is that
of tourism in Upper Mustang, Nepal. “The stunning beauty of the
mountain environments in Nepal has been largely responsible for the
increasingly significant role
tourism plays in the Nepalese economy.”
Walder (2000). Upper Mustang lies on the Nepalese-Tibetan border, the
conditions there are extreme. “Mustang covers 2,563 square
kilometres…Over 6,000 people live in around 1,200 households in 32
villages and hamlets” Heredge (2003). It is an area that has many
threats and constraints socially, culturally, ecologically and
economically. Here most of the impacts tend to be negative. But
tourism provides new growth in developing countries like Nepal.
Regarding this there is a general fear the desire short-term profit,
could sell out Nepal.
The environment is an important constraint
in the study of tourism
today. Environmental impacts are sometimes referred to as physical
impacts. There are two types of environment, natural and man made. In
the 1970’s for tourism planners the main focus was on economic growth
this has changed over time to consider the environment. But since the
1980’s, a time of immense political correctness governments and
planner have become increasingly concerned with the environment. Many
“new” supposed politically viable forms of tourism or so have sprung
up in recent years they are, ethical, eco, green, alternative, and
probably most discussed in tourism sustainable. Constraints are put
in place to stop negative physical impacts. Some of these may be
obvious others not so noticeable. Examples of obvious environmental
impacts may comprise of sewerage washing up on beaches due to hotels
and resorts letting their waste into the ocean, or erosion of paths
and walkways caused in mountain areas by large volumes of tourists.
The less visible effects are damage to ecosystems and such like. In
saying this tourists are drawn to nice places as put in Mathieson and
Wall (1981) “Tourist behaviour patterns, although not necessarily
motivated solely by environmental conditions, are still clearly
influenced by them through choice of destination and length of stay”.
In the case of the Nepal ecological and sustainable tourism has been
used as a form of impact management. Tourism is apparent in mountain
environments worldwide, including places such as the Alps in Europe.
Many mountain areas have been criticised for over development.
Tourists and travellers trekking can have terrible effects on
ecosystems “Impacts of trekking become especially damaging in
high-altitude regions where the recovery rate of the environment is
slow, making them especially susceptible to impact. Furthermore,
littering and pollution area also associated with trekking tourism in
high mountain areas” Walder (2000). Other effects in Nepal include
deforestation. My recommendations to planners is that tourism must be
community based as the locals no how to look after there natural life
and land better as they have been farming and conserving the mountains
for centuries. Also, community based tourism when planning sustainable
eco-tourism in Nepal allows it to be kept a smaller scale where locals
keep the profits made.
Looking at the social and cultural impacts and what planners do to
constrain and manage them. This was once a neglected area of study.
There are three main concerns when researching social impacts, the
tourist, the host and the interrelationship between the host and
tourist. Tourists influence the host nation with the example they set.
There are different ways this can be done acculturation, the forming
of “world culture”, and the growing effect of globalisation. Tourism
brings about a lot of positive and negative social change. But as a
whole most conclusions are that social effects are negative. Negative
impacts are often discussed, especially crime, gambling and
prostitution. On the positive side tourism has rehabilitated cultures
and taught them to the rest of the world.
Nepal is a traditional Buddhist country where with great social and
cultural differences from western countries where most of the tourists
come from. The people there are simplistic and have little education
The final impact to be talked about is that of an economic nature.
Economic constraints are inevitable as there is a fixed amount of
money in the world. What is wanted by planners is to maximise economic
benefits, and as I talked about earlier minimise social and
environmental issues which are not beneficial to development. “Most
studies have emphasized the economic benefits which accrue to
destination areas. The development of tourist facilities and
recreational opportunities has frequently been viewed as a major
positive contribution to the national balance of payments, and as a
means of redressing regional disparities in incomes and employment.”
Mathieson and Wall (1981). Tourism tends to be part of broader
economic development. Positive economic impacts include foreign
exchange, cuts in quotas (limits imposed in quantities of goods), the
industry tends to be less polluting than others i.e. heavy industry.
Also, tourism growth can provide loans to areas needing services not
already provided examples could be hotels or an airport. Finally
because tourism is a growth industry and significant growth is
forecasted. Negative impacts include world recession in tourism,
caused by terrorism amongst other things.
Tourism in Nepal is generally seen as a great benefit as it has
created wealth and jobs. “With around 363,000 international tourists
visiting Nepal in 2001 alone, the industry is an essential part of the
country’s economy, contributing approximately 11.2 billion Nepali
Rupees to the national GDP (1998/1999).” Cited from UNESCAP (2004). On
the other hand figures have shown that just under 50% of Nepal lives
in poverty. Things are being done to combat poverty levels though.
Overall looking at the extent of constraint by impact management, I
have to say it depends on individual cases. Although Nepal is a
mountain region same as the Alps it has very different social,
economic and environmental constraints. The best suited tourism for
the Upper Mustang region is community based.