Dilemmas

What is responsible tourism?          


What is responsible tourism?

A tourism company has received a licence to develop tourist activities near a beautiful lake in a mountainous area. What kind of activities do you think would be best for this development? Discuss the options presented below.

The area should be developed in order to attract as many visitors as possible. This will require the construction of hotels and restaurants, as well as infrastructure for activities such as jet skiing on the lake and skiing in the mountains.

Positive

Pros

This kind of development would bring plenty of people to the area, creating jobs and providing a source of income for the local population.

Negative

Cons

Intensive developments of this kind, which involve the urbanisation of rural areas, result in pressures on the environment due to increased waste, noise and traffic. This kind of pollution is precisely what tourists are trying to escape from in the first place!

Tourist activities should focus on villages, with accommodation provided on local farms. Opportunities for water sports would include sailing and canoeing, and a network of hiking paths would also be created.

Positive

Pros

Village-based tourism attracts fewer visitors, thus the demand for infrastructure is lower. The leisure activities pursued are less polluting, resulting in less environmental degradation.

Negative

Cons

Local people may try to attract more visitors by offering a bigger variety of activities in order to increase their income.

The focus should be on local natural and cultural values. Visitors would travel to the area to admire the beautiful scenery and learn about the traditional way of life of the rural population.

Positive

Pros

This approach requires the development and maintenance of a unique tourist product, ensuring the survival of natural values and of local customs.

Negative

Cons

In what might be regarded as "elitist" tourism, the culture on offer may be merely superficial.