Essay On Dangers Of Tourism

1810 Words 8 Pages
The Terrors of Tourism: Economic and Cultural Consequences Tourism is a practice observed all across the globe and is defined as “the activity of travelling to a place for pleasure” (“Tourism”). As people decide to visit new places to relax and get away, often-unrealized impacts can destroy tourist locations. Tourism obstructs the economic opportunity of its destinations for both the overall region and the individual citizens, and the idea of commercial travel tarnishes the culture of a region while commoditizing the traditions in order to suit the expectations of tourists. The idea that tourism benefits an economy is a common misconception; rather, a tourism-based economy leaves a community too dependent upon the industry. When a destination …show more content…
Mass tourism has contaminated the heritage of places such as Bali and Vietnam. In Bali, for example, “the diversity of local cultures and the specificity of rituals is being unified, homogenized” (Philip); the cultural legitimacy of the actions of tourist guides has declined as well, for customs such as flower garlands are flaunted as being Balinese when they are in fact Polynesian (Philip). In order to market a region, the true heritage of regions is being compromised and combined into one convenient package for busy tourists. While tourism should be an opportunity for people to experience new outlooks on life, the industry has transformed to fit the mold of what visitors expect – five-star resorts and stereotypes. Similar actions are present in Vietnam, where “To Ngoc Thanh, chairman of the Viet Nam Folk Arts Association...is upset [that] don ca tai tu (talented instrumental music and singing)...is performed to entertain tourists while they eat” (“Can Tourism Destroy Heritage”). Rather than seeing performances on stages and in concert halls, tourists squeeze into their busy itineraries a show during a meal, where travelers are often distracted, talking, and unable to appreciate the art and beauty of the Vietnamese culture. Many tourists are currently incapable of taking the time to appreciate heritage in its proper place, so they instead opt for quick glimpses that inaccurately represent the genuine traditions of a society. In addition, commodification is an inherent danger of tourism that can bruise the culture of a tourism-based region when it reduces “religious rituals, ethnic rites and festivals...to conform to tourist expectations” (UNEP, “Socio-Cultural Impacts”). This sense of foreign conformity further fuels global stereotypes – such as incorrectly associating flower garlands with Bali – and

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