Tourism and the environment are largely dependent on each other. Tourism is one of the largest industries in today’s world economy and is responsible for bridging the gap between developed and developing countries. It acts as a source of foreign exchange for many developing countries like India, Thailand, Singapore etc. Conversely, it is the environmental quality of a place on which the success of the local tourism industry depends. So tourism and environmentally sustainable practices go hand in hand and both reinforce each other.
You might be thinking that why do a company that deals in aggregating Bed and Breakfast accommodations talk about environmental sustainability?
Well, if you see both the concepts are closely linked to each other. Would you like to go to a place that is filthy, gives a bad smell or more precisely a hotel that is located in a shady area? However, you would love to pay an extra penny to stay in a place that smells good, looks good and is hosted well and gives the feeling of being a home away from home isn’t it? This exactly what holds true on a macro level for a country and the environmental practices.
BnBs: An environmentally sustainable solution
Construction of hotels, recreation and other facilities often leads to increased pressure on sewage disposal facilities, in particular because many destinations have several times more inhabitants in the high season than in the low season. Waste water treatment facilities are often not built to cope with the dramatic rise in volume of waste water during the peak. Waste water has polluted seas and lakes surrounding tourist attractions, damaging flora and fauna. Sewage run off causes serious damage to coral reefs because it stimulates the growth of algae (bloom algae) and causing hypoxia (means low oxygen). In aquatic ecosystems, low oxygen means a concentration of less than 2-3 milligrams of oxygen per litre of water (mg/l).
The direct effects of hypoxia include fish kills, which not only deplete valuable fish stocks and damage the ecosystem, but are unpleasant for local residents and can harm local tourism. Hypoxia is primarily a problem in the estuaries and coastal waters, although it can be a problem in freshwater lakes. On the other hand, bloom algae as such also represent a huge problem.
Read more about BnBs in India: http://bnbnation.com/blog/indianbnbs2/
The ocean gets a red or green colour (depending on the kind of algae) and it is unpleasant to see the ocean like this while tourists and local residents are not allowed to swim. Changes in salinity and siltation can have wide-ranging impacts on coastal environments. Sewage pollution can also threaten the health of humans and animals.
Some tourist resorts empty their sewage and other wastes directly into water surrounding coral reefs and other sensitive marine habitats. Recreational activities also have a huge impact. For example, careless boating, diving, snorkeling, and fishing have substantially damaged coral reefs in many parts of the world, through people touching reefs, stirring up sediment, and dropping anchors. Marine animals such as whale sharks, seals, dugongs, dolphins, whales, and birds are also disturbed by increased numbers of boats, and by people approaching too closely. Tourism can also add to the consumption of seafood in an area, putting pressure on local fish populations and sometimes contributing to overfishing. Collection of corals, shells, and other marine souvenirs – either by individual tourists, or local people who then sell the souvenirs to tourists – also has a detrimental effect on the local environment.
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**This blog had been published earlier but due to server issues, the content was wiped out, so it is being published again