The impacts of tourism

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The positive and negative impacts of tourism

Making tourism sustainable

The positive and negative impacts of tourism

National parks have to conserve the landscape and wildlife, let people visit and enjoy the area and help support local people.

See national park aims

These different aims can sometimes conflict, and tourism is one of the biggest challenges in national parks, as tourists have both positive and negative impacts on the landscape and local communities:

Positive impacts of tourism:

  • Jobs for local people
  • Income for the local economy
  • Helps preserve rural services like buses, village shops and post offices
  • Increased demand for local food and crafts
  • Tourists mainly come to see the scenery and wildlife, so there is pressure to conserve habitats and wildlife

Negative impacts of tourism:

  • Damage to the landscape: litter, erosion, fires, disturbance to livestock, vandalism
  • Traffic congestion and pollution
  • Local goods can become expensive because tourists will pay more
  • Shops stock products for tourists and not everyday goods needed by locals
  • Demand for holiday homes makes housing too expensive for local people
  • Demand for development of more shops and hotels
  • Jobs are mainly seasonal, low paid with long hours

Case Study: Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

fires site left with litter by irresponsible visitors
Litter and fire site left by irresponsible visitors ©LLTNPA

Ranger Alison Wilkie talks about tourism in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and what the national park authority has done to help reduce the problems.

What are the main conflicts in Loch Lomond?

Link to audio

What solutions have you come up with?
How successful are these campaigns?

Link to audio

Making tourism sustainable

Aerial photograph of the Oriel Y Parc building
Oriel y Parc Visitor Centre has grass on its roof and wool to insulate the walls.

National park authorities work with local communities and other organisations to try and make tourism more sustainable. Here are just some of the things we do:

  • Show visitors how they can be responsible tourists with events, leaflets, information centres, guided walks and events, signs and websites.
  • Encourage visitors to leave their cars behind and use greener travel, like bikes, buses, boats and trains.
  • Support outdoor activities that don't damage the countryside or harm wildlife.
  • Encourage visitors to buy local products and food.
  • Run green business schemes to encourage businesses to recycle, reduce energy, conserve water and be sustainable.
  • Ask local communities for their views and ideas by setting up forums, groups and consultations.
  • Reduce erosion caused by visitors, by creating and repairing footpaths.
  • Use planning policies to control the spread of buildings in built-up areas development.
  • Encourage green energy-efficient buildings with planning policies and grant funding.
  • Encourage small-scale renewable energy schemes, like woodchip boilers and solar panels, with planning policies and grant funding.