The Impact of International Tourism on Global Environmental Change

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Introduction International tourism can now be recognised as one of the biggest contributing sectors for many countries’ GDP. Moreover, it has transformed them in many aspects such as economic, socio-culture, and environment. International tourism involves activity of inbound and outbound tourist of a country and resident or non-resident visitors within the country (World Tourism Organisation 2014). The World Tourism Organisation has predicted the growth of tourism activities to increase by an average 3.3% up to the year 2030. Nowadays, people’s awareness on environmental sustainability is growing. Technology and regulations are developed in order to promote this issue and prevent further exploitation that could cause damages. This essay discusses the impact that international tourism has on the environment and its impact in the next 10 years. The subjects in this discussion will be climate change and natural resource depletion as an impact from rapidly growing tourism industry. Environmental Change Environmental change can be defined as changes in the physical and biogeochemical environment, either caused naturally or influenced by human activities (GECAFS 2008). Many impacts in the environmental change come from one of the biggest growing industry in the world, which is International tourism. However, the relation between environmental change and the growth of international tourism is twofold. Cooper and Hall (2013) stated that it is almost inevitable that the growth of global tourism have great cost to the environment. Similarly, Mitchell (2013) also mentioned that international tourism is growing globally relatively in a faster rate than the environment can be renewed in most destinations. This occurrence could happen due... ... middle of paper ... ...pillover Effects. Steer, A. (2013). Resource Depletion, Climate Change and Economic Growth. Global Citizen Foundation project “Towards a Better Global Economy. Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, (2008). The Carbon Footprints of Australian Tourism. Gold Coast. United Nation, (2007). Climate Change and Tourism: Responding to Global Challenges, Advanced Summary. Available at: World Resources Institute, (2013). World Resources Report 2013-14: Creating a Sustainable Food Future. World Tourism Organization, (2014). Annual Report 2013. Madrid: UNWTO. WTTC, (2014). Climate change - a danger to or saviour of tourism's future? | Global News | WTTC. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Apr. 2014].
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