How many of you have been tourists? I bet most of you, if not all, can be considered to have been tourists at some point. Now…how many of you have left the country the past six months? I know I have. Tourism is one of the largest industry in today’s increasingly globalized world, accounting for millions of travelers each year. This is due to the increased accessibility of travel and the decreasing oil prices, which makes it so much more affordable for adventurous people to take off, and that is, in my opinion, a very promising trend. But what many are unaware of are the underlying dangers that tourism brings to the environment, whether in one’s own country, or the one to be visited.
What is this danger I speak of, you may ask? Well in short… global warming! Global warming is real and the pollution that welcomes it is occurring worldwide. Tourism contributes to this disaster in many ways and, sadly, this often gets lost amidst the fun of packing one’s backpack. From deforestation, to pollution, to littering, we can often witness the very direct contributors and symptoms of global warming, and these issues will continue to multiply with the yearly increase of tourism each year.
Infrastructures such as hotels, bars, roads and bridges are needed to support the ever-growing number of people visiting the country, which in turn means more pollution, garbage and sewage, which then leads to mass dumping. Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to stop travelling, because I myself love to travel. What I am trying to do is to get you all to become aware of the consequences of travelling, which many of us are responsible for. We may not mean to cause harm, but nonetheless, we are to blame indirectly. Therefore, it is our duty to fix it, or at the very least, to reduce our destruction to our environment, as it isn’t just our lives, which are affected, but those of the generations to come as well. There are, of course, several positive aspects, which comes with tourism. One of which is the money that comes with tourism, which allows for unlimited possibilities, such as the restoration of ancient sites, reforestation, the creating and maintaining of reserves, the investment for future renewable means of acquiring energy and many more.
Therefore, in the hope that you will join the many, in the struggles to help shape our world towards a better tomorrow, I bid you all a happy EARTH DAY!
– Vithya Arthur Say