Essay on Environmental and Socio-cultural Impact of Tourism

Environmental and Socio-cultural Impact of Tourism

According to a study done by Clarke (2015), tourists come from different destinations. Clarke also notes that tourists are of different religions, cultures, and geographical areas. Moreso, they exhibit varying economic statuses. Tourists visit different destinations around the world. Often this gives native people in tourist destinations the opportunity to provide facilities such as food, accommodation, and social amenities to tourists, at a fee. This tourist-native people interaction is likely to have an environmental and socio-cultural impact on the host country. The current paper will address the environmental and socio-cultural impact of tourism based on three articles.

Article Summaries and Reflection

The article “Residents’ support for tourism development” by Stylidis, Biran and Szivas (2014) points out that tourism can have environmental  and socio-culture impact to the society. According to the authors, tourism can impact a host country either positively or negatively. For instance, the authors postulate that tourists entering a country might transfer good or bad morals to the people in that particular nation. Tourists with good morals contribute to a healthy environment as well as retention of good cultural values. On the other hand, tourists bring foreign cultures and behaviors that may be at conflict with local values. Tourism also contributes to pollution of the environment.

The authors observe that tourism contributes crucially to economies of some countries and that these monies are sometimes reinvested in the conservation of the environment. This way, therefore, tourism has the potential beneficial effects on the environment through the revenue earned (Stylidis, Biran & Szivas, 2014).

Clarke (2015) shares the same view in the article “Caribbean Tourism: an Analysis of the Economic, Socio-Cultural and Environmental Impacts of Tourism on the Caribbean”. The author notes that tourism positively influences the development of infrastructure and exploitation of natural resources. According to the author, the tourism industry needs a good transport system to facilitate movement of tourist. Therefore, governments are obligated to reinvest their tourism proceeds into transport system. Nonetheless, the author also acknowledges the negative effects on the environment such as environmental pollution. Tourism is often associated with pollution of the environment in terms of disposing of solid waste and other waste into rivers and land. This leads to water pollution and land degradation. He also notes that the pollution caused erodes the aesthetic beauty of the physical environment.

The article is current and proffers accurate and valid information regarding the impact caused by tourism to the economy. Various impacts are covered. For instance, the author notes that local people gain better education, new lifestyle, and new social activities when they interact with the tourism. Most significantly, the author notes that tourism creates employment opportunities to the citizens.

In the article “Evaluating the perceived social impacts of hosting large-scale sport tourism events,” Kim, Jun, Walker and Drane (2015), postulate that communities conserve their cultural heritage when entertaining the tourist. The authors note that some communities have unique architectural techniques and craft education. As people entertain the tourist, they earn income, which can be used to develop other sectors of the country; consequently leading to better social life.

This paper has explored the impact of tourism on host societies. Through the analysis of the two articles, this paper has found tourism to have both beneficial and adverse effects on local societies and their environment. For instance, the authors note that tourism results in the erosion of important cultural activities when tourists’ foreign influences are imposed on or emulated by natives of tourist destinations. Additionally, tourism indirectly leads to increased crime rate because they introduce the youths to immoral behaviors such as drug abuse. Some tourists are also involved in drug trafficking. Such aspects and behaviors have detrimental effects on host communities.


Clarke, L. (2015). Caribbean tourism: an analysis of the economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism on the Caribbean.

Kim, W., Jun, H. M., Walker, M., & Drane, D. (2015). Evaluating the perceived social impacts of hosting large-scale sport tourism events: Scale development and validation. Tourism Management48, 21-32.

Stylidis, D., Biran, A., Sit, J., & Szivas, E. M. (2014). Residents’ support for tourism development: The role of residents’ place image and perceived tourism impacts. Tourism Management45, 260-274