Impact of tourism on environment in United Arabs Emirates
Does the increased tourism activity in United Arab Emirates have any impact on the environment? Increased tourism activities are affecting environment negatively. Though increased tourism activities act as source of revenue to the economy, infrastructures that are developed to facilitate tourisms are having great impacts to the environment. Construction of airports, roads, hotels and many other facilities for tourists have contributed to the destruction of the environment especially in the developing countries.
IMPACTS OF TOURISM ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Developments of tourism facilities have become an issue of concern among the environmentalists. This has been raised by UNESCO where developments of hotels, golf course, roads, airports (Tourism goes Green, 2010, p.1) have led to physical destruction of forests in order to create space for the construction of these facilities. The destruction of forests in order to create room for tourism facilities have exposed human lives to storms that have become common nowadays(Pacific, 2009, p.1). United Arab Emirates is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to tourism. Development of modern hotels to accommodate tourists who are coming to watch sand dunes and other desert features have contributed negatively to its environment.
Water pollution is also on the increase in many countries where tourism activities such as sun bathing are common. Water pollution may affect lives of people as well as those of aquatic animals. This will make the tourisms benefits to be less than its costs (Teresa et al. 2011, p.155). Thus in order to ensure tourism activities does affect the environment, water bodies must be protected from such activities (Jim, 2010, pp.26). United Arab Emirates has many water bodies which are used as source of attraction to the tourist and they must be protected if the tourisms activities have to bring more benefits than costs (Tribune business news, 2011).
Marine developments such as breakwaters and marinas have also affected the environment. These activities have changed coastlines and currents which in turn have affected the climate of the surrounding area. This will in turn lead to destruction effects such as rising water levels (Yuval, 2011). United Arab Emirates has also undertaken marine development which may also affect the surrounding climate as the tourism activities continues to increase. Marine developments have continued to destroy natural water habitats where aquatic organisms which attract tourists lives. Through water development, these natural habitats have continued to be interfered with which has forced these aquatic organisms either to migrate or die. These submarine activities have continued to deplete natural resources (Judith, 2010, p.10).
Tourism activities cannot be maintained with increased environmental destruction. Increased environmental degradation will lead to declining tourism activities as the natural sceneries that attract tourists continue to be destroyed (Immacolata & Alessandra, 2010, p.2201). Tourists are usually attracted by natural features such as forest, water bodies, and natural land features such as sand dunes in the United Arab Emirates which can only be found in the natural environment.
From the study it is evident that increased tourism activities have continued to impact environment negatively. Activities that promote tourisms have seriously affected the environment. These include development of infrastructures such as road, airports, golf course and hotels which have contributed greatly to the destruction of the environment. Thus sustainable tourism will require environment to be well preserved.
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Yuval Azulai, 2011. Israel Chemicals won’t pay to save Dead Sea Hotels
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