Industry is the backbone of everything that happens in our world today. It is the defining factor between wealth and poverty. A country simply could not exist without industry, for it would have no means to create wealth. There are all many different types of industry, ranging from farming (primary sector of industry) to selling computers (tertiary sector of industry). Tourism has become the world’s fastest-growing industry. It forms a large part of the economies of most developed countries and is seen by many developing countries as the one possible way to obtain income, create jobs and to improve their standard of living.
It has grown rapidly in the last 50 years, mostly due to the easier movement of people around the world – by plane or by train. This meant that people for the first time could visit places abroad for more affordable costs, which then meant that those countries’ economies benefitted from tourism for the first time. The West Indies have become a prized holiday location, visited by people all over the globe. Their hot winters (25°C) and summers (28°C), attractive scenery and varied wildlife mean that it has established a reputation of being one of the nicest places to visit in the world.
There are many advantages of this type of industry. It created an income greater than that which would have been created by exporting the few raw materials naturally found. Also it creates enormous amounts of jobs – whether in hotels or restaurants, or making souvenirs for tourists to buy. Also tourism can jumpstart development in the area. Transport links are developed and amenities are created which the natural people can take advantage of. Using the profits of tourism, schools, hospitals, housing, water and electricity supplies can be improved. But with tourism, comes a lot of disadvantages.
The once idyllic place has been ruined by airports and roads which spoil the visual appeal and create noise, air pollution and litter. Also the building of all these amenities means that local people lose their homes, land and traditional means of livelihood. Farming economy is damaged as land is sold to developers. Much of the food eaten by tourists is imported either because local production is insufficient or to meet the demands for European-style fruits. Local cultures and traditions are also destroyed. The jobs are mostly seasonal, so for most of the time, the people are out of work.
Also overseas workers are sometimes brought in to fill the better paid jobs. In LEDCs, I think that despite all these disadvantages, tourism is extremely advantageous as it provides an economy for countries which otherwise would be extremely poor. In the Alps, there are many different ski resorts, such as the Courmayeur in Italy. It is located near the head of the scenic Val d’Aosta and lies at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is attractive because beautiful ski runs and links to Chamonix, the local Aosta specialities such as fontina cheese or beefsteak Valdostan.
Also it is a village full of charm and there are opportunities for walking, climbing and horse-riding. The increase in tourism has brought many social and economic benefits. There are more and better paid jobs, and improved accessibility due to better roads. Also the provision of electricity, a water supply and sewage supply has been improved. Amenities have been added which can be used by local people and the success of tourism means that other forms of economic development and creates more jobs. However the traditional village is swamped by new buildings, such as hotels.
Many of these new buildings, together with ski lifts and ski-runs, are unsightly and create visual pollution. This is ironic because they spoil the attractive scenery that first attracted tourists. Hillsides are deforested to create new and longer ski-runs. This destroys the fragile alpine ecosystem (vegetation is damaged, wildlife is frightened away) and increases the risk of soil erosion and avalanches. The increase in traffic has been blamed for the increase in acid rain that is killing local vegetation. Also house prices have risen causing them to become too expensive for the local people.
There is seasonal unemployment because many of the jobs are linked to the winter skiing season, such as ski-instructors. Tourism is an industry which has the potential to do much good, such as the provision of wealth and jobs into an area. But also you can find that it brings more disadvantages to the local people and the surrounding ecosystem than it does advantages. So, for tourism to be most advantageous, I think it is necessary to strike a balance between tourism and other industries, so the country can keep all the advantages, and minimise the disadvantages.