Thursday, October 3, 2019
The Impacts Of Tourism On National Parks Tourism Essay
The Impacts Of Tourism On National Parks Tourism Essay Tourism is a growing industry, and may bring diverse impacts upon popular locations. The impacts of tourism can be positive or negative, affecting economic, social and environmental spheres in certain areas. Around the U.K there are 15 National Parks with beautiful areas of mountains, moorlands, woods and wetlands (National Parks 2011). A National park is an area of countryside protected by government (usually relating to the environment) that everyone can visit. Different, non-governmental organisations also look after the landscape, wildlife and assess impacts from tourism, serving to further achieve sustainability (outcomes of tourists). This includes the Environmental Act 1995, which stated two main purposes for National Parks in England: conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area and promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the environment. National Parks also aim to boots the economy of the area and social well being for the local community (Nationa l Parks 2011). Moreover, despite Government intervention, impacts on tourism are still greatly felt in National Parks especially in terms of (mainly) negative impacts on the environment. The most famous and largest National Park in the U.K would be The Lake District. The Lake District area contains 16 lakes, more than 150 high peaks and is the only National Park in England with over four 3000 foot mountains (Ledingham, 2007). The Lake District attracts more than 12 million visitors every year by the variety of different locations and natural beauty (Wyatt, 2009). However, tourism contains the seeds of it own destruction (Weaver, 2001: p24). Mass-tourism can have both positive and negative impacts on the landscape and upon local communities. As much as tourism brings many benefits to an area (especially for the economy), mass tourism is likely to cause environmental degradation (physical, social etc) on some level. This is the argument that tourism can essentially destroy itself in the over-use of relatively small areas. Therefore, this essay aims to demonstrate and critically analyse the economical, environmental and social impacts of tourism on the Lake District and to review past and present legislative measures designed to reduce the possibly negative effects of increased tourism in an area. Economic Impacts The main aims in developing Cumbria in terms of economic is to equip local authorities and partners with a common understanding of local economic conditions and economic geography and of the social and environmental factors that impacts on economic growth (Cumbria 2011). This shows that The Lake District is a key target to achieve economical growth whilst following the decree of sustainable development, to meet not only needs in terms of area development, but also to look for the right approach for the community in general. As Park (2007) stated: sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Park, 2007). Latest data from Cumbria Tourism indicate that in 2009 there were 5 million overnight visitors to Cumbria as well as 36 million day trippers (Peck, and Mulvey 2010). It is estimated that these visitors generate a total of Ã £2bn to the Cumbrian economy and support over 32,000 jobs (Peck, and Mulvey 2010). Tourism is the main creator of employment and economical stability in The Lake District, by creating tourist attractions and developing the infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants and different facilities. This creates a multiplier effect as increases in spending from tourists produces an increase in the economy of an area. Moreover, this increase in tourism in The Lake District helps to generate work for local people, however, this may create more low-skilled (and thus low paid) jobs such as car park attendants or waiters and many of these jobs are also seasonal. Nevertheless, unemployment in Cumbria reached a plateau at just over 2.5% in 2008, though latest figures for Octobe r 2010 indicate that there are 7,525 applicants on Job seeker allowance which represents 2.4% of total working population (Peck and Mulvey 2010). In some cases, this may be due to seasonality as more jobs are likely to be available during the summer months. The Lake District also generates much environmental interest in tourism. For example The Osprey has provided a formidable boost in tourism, and in 2007 attracted half a million visitors. Moreover, around 100,000 people visit ospreys each season generating Ã £1.68m, of which Ã £420,000 was re-invested in the osprey project (Kenmir, 2008) The Lake District projects protect the environment through tourist spending, which also boosts the economy of this particular area (e.g. creating new jobs). Conversely, tourism can have a negative impact upon The Lake district. Due to the amount of people visiting each year the local goods are becoming more expensive because tourists are able to pay more for products (National Parks 2011). Therefore, this impacts heavily upon the locals as their salaries may not cover the costs of the products this may lead to locals resenting large tourist influxes. Moreover, low wages levels have led to a gap between local incomes and house prices the average in the National Park Ã £314,730 which, as an mean, is fairly high (Lake District 2011). However, Government policy towards this issue is to balance environmental control and landscape capacity i.e. through constructing new accommodation and by meeting local needs by making living more affordable (Moss, 2010). Nevertheless, as much as the increase in the amount of visitors in The Lake District generates huge amounts of revenue, a lot of this income goes in refurbishment and in protecting the environment from daily visits. Environmental Impacts The Lake District is one of the biggest National Parks in the U.K and the outstanding natural environment brings in over 12 million tourists every year, with many of the visitors being international. In early 1883 whilst The Lake district was being developed, The Lake District Defence Society was created to protect the region from damaging human development in an age of railways and the emergence of mass tourism (Sutton, 2007). In recent years there has been an increase in the numbers of short breaks and off-season breaks in the Lake District, as more people take their main holidays abroad (LDNPA, 2005). Moreover, the visitors who are staying in the National Parks are seeking out different types of holidays and experiences (LDNPA, 2005). There has been a rise in active sports, for example water sports as shown in the case study of Windermere lake, however, power boats, jet skis etc. were causing damage to the natural environment through pollution of the lake and physical disturbance of the wildlife in the area. Therefore, one of the legislative measures put forward by the government was a 10mph limit on the lake to reduce this disturbance and reduce the environmental impact upon Lake Windermere (BBC 2005). However, this had negative impacts on the economy of The Lake District. When the speed limit was imposed, demand of tourists visiting this destination decreased specifically for this reason (i.e. water sp ort activities were therefore indirectly abolished). This specific facility was a high source of income for this area however, by reducing the willingness of tourists to visit this place, it has decreased the income generated less income may result in less funding for environmental projects. Due to the main form of transportation of visitors to the Lake District being the car, with limited parking areas and spaces, traffic congestion and pollution from cars is damaging the environment (Foulerton, 2009). Car use, and other road transport make up the largest single part of carbon emissions within the National Parks, and these emissions are growing 1% per year (Foulerton, 2009). The local transport system is poor which encourages the majority of residents and tourists get around by cars. However, the overall aim in the Lake District is to reduce the need to travel by cars by improving the transport system (Lake District, 2011b) For example, buses have less of an impact on the environment e.g. such as Oxfords hybrid Brookes buses which comply with the Euro 5 standard (EC, 2010). This may be achieved by encouraging services and goods to be available locally and reduce the need to travel throughout e.g. by promoting the public to cycle, walk and use The Lake District transport ation (Lake District, 2011b). Moreover, increases in parking spaces for tourists, as this can also generate more jobs. As an example from personal experience, in Zermatt, Switzerland, the government ordered a enormous car park located in TÃ ¤sch, 5km from the Matterhorn mountain, forcing tourists to use train services to reach the location. Moreover, the use of cars in this area was banned in order to protect the environment. Since 1947, only electric cars without a combustion engine were allowed to operate in the Zermatt (President of the Zermatt Tourist Board 2011). In addition the negative impact of tourism is damage to the landscape in terms of litter, erosion, fires and vandalism (Cumbria, 2011b). In order to protect the environment the government is increasing the amount of recycle bins place around the area and is setting up different educational events which promote good environmental practice e.g. repairing footpath erosion (LDNPA, 2005). Social Impacts Government is making decisions and are improving the area of the Lake District in term of economical benefits and environmental protection. However, all this impacts is experienced by the social community (i.e. people who actually living there all time, not just during the holidays). Therefore, Government outline on social inclusion, public participation and the new planning system or Local Development Framework are encouraging new audiences; young people, urban populations and minority groups including people with disabilities, finding new and better ways for actively involving people in decision-making (LDNPA, 2005). This strategy would help local citizens to share their opinion and ideas on how to improver or what should be done. Therefore, the aim is to enable local residents and tourism business, to have a greater say in the development of tourism in their own area (LDNPA, 2005). This means listening more carefully and engaging people more effectively. This is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in the review of The Lake District tourism development policies through the local development frameworks (LDNPA, 2005). Through the improvement of economic in the Lake District it has an impact upon the social community in negative and positive way. Tourism is a key attribute in the Lake District which producing a jobs to the locals. Moreover, economical benefits because of a cash- flow with in The Lake District area. However, generally it is low paid part-time and seasonal (Moss, 2010). In addition there is a lack of start up businesses and business premises, due to the low-skilled job, employers have problems recruiting locally (Moss, 2010). Government producing education programme, which enables to deliver the second purpose of National Park in terms of understanding and enjoyment of their special qualities (LDNPA, 2005). Therefore, this approach helps to produce the jobs in terms of tour guide as well as lectured and day course informing tourists about the are and heritage of the National Parks. In addition, the potential for WHS (Worlds Heritage sites) is to bring social and community benefits to Cumbria and Lake District (ERS, 2006). If the economical target will be achieved and managed in the right way, throughout attracting the tourists to the WHS areas, these would results in social and community benefits, particularly in increase in the quality of life for residents (ERS, 2006). Conclusion The essay has discussed an impact from tourism in the Lake district in terms of economic, environment and social. All the impacts are linked in order to stabilize each impact government is making different policies to protect the environment. Therefore, tourism is the main creator of employment and economical stability in The Lake District, in order to protect the environment the area should generate income. Moreover due to the 12 million of visitors each year The Lake District is developing in terms of infrastructure also through the tourists and projects for example The Osprey it helps to keep environment protected. However, due to increase in tourism the impact from cars (i.e. emission) it has an negative impact in the area, therefore, making the better transport system with eco-friendly transportation may facilitate and encourage visitors to travel through the public transport. Moreover, in terms of social impacts and low-skilled/paid jobs due to seasonality, local community faci ng a problem to start up local businesses because employers, have problems in recurring locally. Therefore, government should invest and support local businesses to increase the quality of life for particular areas. In order to develop the tourism attractions and places government should find new and better ways for actively involving people in decision-making.