Impact of mass tourism

Positive impact on people

  • Local people are employed to build tourist facilities and serve tourists, eg in hotels, restaurants and shops, allowing them to improve their standard of living.
  • Residents can also enjoy tourist facilities, eg restaurants, theme parks, ski resorts and water parks.
  • Increased employment enables the local tax income to increase so the local government/council can invest in schools, healthcare and social services.
  • Residents in the host country can experience foreign languages and a variety of cultures – this increases cultural understanding.
  • Local people can benefit from improvements in infrastructure, eg electricity, roads and airports.

Negative impact on people

  • Jobs can often be seasonal, especially in beach and ski resorts, so some people may have no income for several months.
  • Tourists can be noisy and upset the tranquillity of the area.
  • Tourist facilities can be too expensive for local people.
  • Different cultures can clash and tourists can come into conflict with local people.

Positive impact on the environment

  • Modern tourist facilities can upgrade the appearance of run-down areas.
  • Many tourists are more environmentally conscious and can have a positive impact on the landscape by donating money to local nature reserves.
  • Beaches can be cleaned up to ensure they are safe enough for tourists to use, through initiatives like Blue Flag.
  • Seas, eg the Mediterranean, become less polluted as more sewage treatment plants are built.

Negative impact on the environment

  • Traditional landscapes are ruined by developments, eg Spanish fishing villages being overdeveloped with hotels and tourist facilities.
  • Land is lost from farming for tourist developments.
  • Increased air travel contributes to global warming.
  • Traffic congestion increases air and noise pollution.
  • Many tourist facilities spoil the look of the natural environment.
  • Increased sewage pollutes seas and increases the risk of diseases like typhoid.
  • Polluted water damages marine habitats and aquatic life.
  • Litter and rubbish spoil the appearance of areas.