Negative environmental impacts of tourism


Number of tourist arrivals

Somewhere on Earth this year

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Number of tourist arrivals

Somewhere on Earth this year

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The negative environmental impacts of tourism...
are substantial. They include the depletion of local natural resources as well as pollution and waste problems. Eco-tourism offers a greener alternative.

Top 5 facts about tourists


We like vacations… but it’s not all fun

There are 1 billion tourist arrivals in the world every year. That’s 30 every single second. By 2020 the number will increase by 60 percent. Tourism often puts pressure on natural resources through over-consumption, often in places where resources are already scarce.


Tourism often leads to overuse of water

An average golf course in a tropical country, for example, uses as much water as 60,000 rural villagers. It also uses 1500 kilos of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides per year.


Other bad stuff

Tourism puts enormous stress on local land use, and can lead to soil erosion, increased pollution, natural habitat loss, and more pressure on endangered species. These effects can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which tourism itself depends.


Climate change

Tourism contributes to more than 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with transportation accounting for 90 percent of this.


The alternative: Eco-tourism

Eco-tourism is a rapidly growing industry, with potential benefits for both the environment and the economies of the tourist destinations.

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