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Tourism in LEDCs / MEDCs
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LEDC Tourist Areas

Tourism in LEDC’s continues to become more popular and this has both positive and negative effects on the countries involved. If we take the example of Kenya, we can see that there are several advantages and disadvantages to the rapid increase in visitor numbers.

Kenya has large safari parks and beautiful beaches which have become extremely popular places to visit. Unemployment in the country has declined as a result of the tourism industry and the industry also acts as a catalyst for other sectors, such as agriculture and transport to develop.

However, with large numbers of tourists there comes the problem of damage to the natural environment. On the coral reefs, boats drop their anchors and damage the fragile coral. In the game parks, tourist guides take visitors too close to the animals and this disturbs their natural habitat. They churn up the ground in large land rovers and this leads to an increase in erosion. There are also conflicts with the local people, as the Maasai people were driven out of their homelands by the government who wished to set up safari parks. This has led to local people and farm animals being killed by wild animals which they are legally not allowed to touch.

Socio-economic (MEDC’s)

Tourism leads to a drop in unemployment figures and brings a great deal of money to the economy.

However, local people in areas such as National Parks, can often no longer afford house prices as many people are choosing to buy holiday homes in the region.

Socio-economic (LEDC’s)

Tourism leads to a drop in unemployment figures and brings a great deal of money to the economy.

However, there is often great conflict between local people and the governments, due to the government treating local people with little respect. Much of the profits from tourism is taken out of the country rather than benefiting local people.

Environmental (MEDC’s)

Although certain areas can be improved due to the funding from tourism (e.g coastal management on the south coast), many areas actually suffer as a result of vast numbers of visitors which litter the area and increase footpath erosion.

Environmental (LEDC’s)

Although certain areas can be improved due to the funding from tourism, many areas actually suffer as a result of vast numbers of visitors which litter the area, damage habitats and increase footpath erosion. Animals in large safari parks are also affected due to tourists and guides getting too close to the animals.

Case Study - The impact of mass tourism in Spain

This video shows the Mediterranean is a leading tourist destination and tourism has dramatically changed the Spanish coastline. Fishing villages used to line the coast, but now high-rise hotels dominate. In the 1960s a tourism boom created visual pollution, loss of habitats and contamination of the surrounding sea water. Untreated sewage was pumped into the sea because the resorts had difficulty handling excess sewage in the summer months. This caused illnesses in humans and disruption to the marine environment. The European Union has introduced new guidelines to keep beaches healthy and improvements have been made to the beaches in Spain. The 'Blue Flag' is a guarantee of a clean beach and many have now reached this standard.

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