Munaza Kazmi

Tourism is one of the most incredible socio-economic phenomena of the twentieth century. It singly started from an action “enjoyed by only a small group of relatively well-off people” during the first half of the last century, it gradually became a mass popular during the post- World War II, particularly from the 1970s and onwards. It now reaches wider scale and larger numbers of people throughout the worldand is a source of employment for a significant segmentofthe labor force.

Tourism can contribute as the major service sector in a country as well as in the globe as a whole. Furthermore, in this sector there is ample scope for cultural exchange, views and philosophy, in this regard it may contribute to peace through improved cross-cultural understanding.

Rather than export earnings, international tourism also generates an increasingly significant share of government tax revenues throughout the world. In addition, the development of tourism as a whole is usually accompanied by considerable investments in infrastructure, such as airports, roads, water, sewerage facilities, telecommunications and other public utilities. Such improvements not only generate benefits to tourists but can also contribute to the local area and thus be crucial to regional economic development. 

Moreover, tourism provides a substantial amount of jobs for women and unskilled workers, tourism can appreciably contribute to empowering women and lighten poverty. Even so, it is now generally accepted that tourism can make an imperative role to employment, export receipts and national income in most countries and regions. Furthermore, tourism is often identified as the most promising driving force for economic development of under developed countries and regions endowed with areas of natural beauty because it offers them a valuable opportunity for economic diversification.

Likewise, if it goes uncontrolled it can be a threat for natural resources, including fresh water, marine resources, endanger species, and forests. Since, tourism can also lead to the indiscriminate clearance of native vegetation for the development of new facilities, increased demand for fuel wood and even forest fires. In many countries, coastlines are becoming overbuilt due to tourism development until the damage caused by environmental degradation – and the eventual loss of revenues arising from a collapse in tourism arrivals – becomes irreversible. As intensive tourism development and recreational activities in coastal areas can not only lead to beach destruction and coastal degradation but can also threaten coral reefs and other marine ecosystems. Other major problems arising from tourist activities in mountain regions include disruption of animal migration by road and tourist facilities, sewage pollution of rivers, excessive water withdrawals from streams to supply resorts and accumulation of solid waste on trails. 

Here the solution could be offered by the government through making environmental policies, management measures and technologies that can surely reduce these negative impacts byproposing the foundation of sustainability in tourism, that is commonly known as ecotourism. Since only Sustainable tourism can take care about the environment through ecological development by attempting to make as low impact on the environment and local culture as possible, while helping to generate future employment for local people, with the aimto ensure that development brings a positive experiencefor local people,tourism companies and the tourists themselves. Moreover, it facilitates in protection of natural and heritage assets.