Brief overview of the chosen issue
Tourism and hospitality industry is witnessing a steep growth in the current era, though there are different challenges and issues emerging alongside the expansion (Michailidou et al. 2016). The authors argue that environmental degradation due to the rapid expansion of tourism and hospitality is one of the most crucial challenges faced by the industry today. This issue is noteworthy since sustainability of the industry is at stake across sectors. Though tourism has a positive impact on the country in terms of economic growth, foreign exchange earnings and employment opportunities, the pressure exerted on the environment cannot be denied.
According to Hiltunen et al. (2016) unrestrained traditional tourism imposes major threats to the natural resources of the country. A wide array of problems emerge since considerable harm is done to the environment, such a loss of natural habitat, soil erosion, increased pollution and depletion of natural resources like water. Important land resources such as fossil fuels, forests, fertile soil and wildlife are among the natural resources upon which pressure is created due to recreational facilities and tourism. Direct brunt on renewable and non-renewable natural resources can be caused due to the use of land for infrastructure provision. Further, tourism leads to pollution in the form of air emissions, solid waste production, noise pollution, releases of sewage and visual pollution. The ecosystems threatened with degradation are ecologically fragile areas like wetlands, mangroves, rain forests, and coral reefs. The threats to these ecosystems are drastic since these places are eye-catching to tourists and developers alike (Ouattara, P?rez-Barahona and Strobl 2016).
The physical impact of growth on tourism on the environment had been explained by (Mason 2015). Trampling impacts on vegetation include reduced regeneration, reduced plant vigour, loss of groud cover, change in the composition of species. Impacts on the soil include a decrease in water and air permeability, accelerated erosion, increase in run off. Further, alteration in the ecosystem by activities in tourism are noteworthy.
Critical analysis of the significance of the chosen issue for future growth and development of the Tourism and Hospitality Industries
Mohammed (2017) points out that rapid degradation of natural resources and environmental degradation restricts further expansion of tourism and hospitality industries across the globe. The depletion of resources and similar negative impact has drawn the attention of environmentalists who have cme forward to restrict tourism activities. Actions are now being taken up against the ignorant tourism and hospitality organisations that have been blatantly ignoring environmental effects of their activities. Reforms are now being made in policies that are setting new procedures for the functioning of such organisations. Policies are now governed by the association of the proposed tourism project and potential environmental impact. This has made it difficult to set of tourism projects in different major tourism hotspots in the country, such as the Great Barrier Reef, one of the most attractive natural wonder of the country, as well as the world.
Tourism and hospitality industries are now facing immense pressure to abide by legislations supporting sustainable environmental activities that do not allow harm caused to the natural resources. The ecological importance of the area in which the proposed tourism project would be set up is first to be adjudged before commencing on the project. The government of Australia has also contributed to such approaches wherein all industry organisations are to adhere to the newly formed regulation and rules articulated over time (Zaman et al. 2016). Organisations have reported they have are on the verge of suffering economic losses due to such regulations and conflicts have commonly emerged on this ground. While the aim of the movements supported by the government is to establish a framework for the ecologically sustainable development of conservation of the natural resources, the justification provided by the industry is that tourism is not always able to integrate philanthropy into business (Font 2017). The authors state that tourism industry wants the government to plan a flexible managing approach so that the mentioned sector is in a position to endure innovations and site-specific outcomes.
Recommendations that may solve the chose issue
Adequate environmental management and planning can be the way in which tourism can contribute effectively to conservation. Poor environment management complex the tourism and hospitality industry to damage the resources and defer from conservation value. Tourist development needs to focus on those activities that permit conservation while supporting recreation. Management authorities of respective tourism organisations must implement sound planning tools and policies that help in achieving such aims. While the tourism industry, on the whole, has taken initiatives to protect the environment, the same is not applicable for individual operators and developers in the short erm. Research indicates that there are analogies to the industry, where degradation of the environment is now widespread (George et al. 2016).
As cited by Luthe and Wyss (2014) tourism companies must have managers putting emphasis on environmental impact data. Information is to be critically analysed and processed for pointing out the needs of the future in relation to environmental sustainability. Information needs at this juncture include environmental sensitivities to tourist-related impacts; indicators of environmental change as a result of tourist impacts; environmental baseline data; and audit of actual impact. These are to be linked with the timing, type, location and intensity of tourist activities. Economic information is to be obtained on conservation values, economies of tourism industries and option costs of damage done to the environment. Briassoulis and Van der Straaten (2013) in this regard stated that evolution is to be brought about in the standardised environmental impact assessment tool though it is widely used the tool. The reason is that it is not suited to environmental planning in the present era. Cumulative impacts on the social front and economic front are noteworthy, and thus companies must focus on assessing such cumulative impacts in the near future.
Tourism and hospitality companies must consider utilisation of policy management tools and policy instruments for the betterment in terms of environmental impact. Such tools and instruments are to encompass three major aspects: multiple use strategies, intensity and zoning. These are to again fall under different categories of incentives and disincentives; regulation and surveillance; education; physical protection and hardening; and information collection and dissemination (Mson 2015).
Further, environmental planning for industries can only be made possible when a broad perceptive is taken that covers domestic as well as international destinations, tourists, competition and costs. Efforts to construct guidelines on national environmental for tourist development would be highly praiseworthy. However, these ar to be integrated into comprehensive national tourist strategies. These are also to consider controls on foreign investment in land and tourist development, with the objective of countering the increase in vertical integration in foreign-owned tourist operations. Managers can abide by mechanisms for the generation of financial returns from the public environmental capital which tourist operators from the private sector use. One must keep in mind that these mechanisms are subject to risk and therefore conflicts on interests might arise in due course. Avoiding such conflicts would remain at the core of environmental protection. Strategies must also be particularly considering aspects of social equity. Lastly, tax instrumentations can be used for controlling tourist development by overseas interests (Dredge and Jamal 2015). There is a global need for conservation of natural areas of the earth. Environmental planning in a careful manner can be useful for the tourism industry as they would be able to generate profits without giving rise to any environmental challenge. Damage of environment is extensive, and thus, such measures would combat the indirect and direct impacts on human life on the whole.
Briassoulis, H. and Van der Straaten, J. eds., 2013. Tourism and the environment: regional, economic, cultural and policy issues (Vol. 6). Springer Science & Business Media.
Dredge, D. and Jamal, T., 2015. Progress in tourism planning and policy: A post-structural perspective on knowledge production. Tourism Management, 51, pp.285-297.
Font, X., 2017. Sustainability in the hospitality industry: Principles of sustainable operations. Tourism Management. 63. P.10.
George, R., Barben, T., Chivaka, R., van Vuuren, M.J., Knott, B., Lehmann, S., Mulder, M., Nel, J., Nieuwenhuizen, C., Saunders, C. and Swart, K., 2016. Managing tourism in South Africa (No. Ed. 2). Oxford University Press.
Hiltunen, M.J., Pitk?nen, K. and Halseth, G., 2016. Environmental perceptions of second home tourism impacts in Finland. Local Environment, 21(10), pp.1198-1214.
Lew, A.A. and Cheer, J.M. eds., 2017. Tourism resilience and adaptation to environmental change: Definitions and frameworks. Routledge.
Luthe, T. and Wyss, R., 2014. Assessing and planning resilience in tourism. Tourism Management, 44, pp.161-163.
Mason, P., 2015. Tourism impacts, planning and management. Routledge.
Michailidou, A.V., Vlachokostas, C., Moussiopoulos, ?. and Maleka, D., 2016. Life Cycle Thinking used for assessing the environmental impacts of tourism activity for a Greek tourism destination. Journal of Cleaner Production, 111, pp.499-510.
Mohammed, A.K., 2017. An Assessment of Tourism’s Environmental Impact on the Lake Bosomtwe Basin. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, pp.1-30.
Ouattara, B., P?rez-Barahona, A. and Strobl, E., 2016. The dynamic implications of tourism and environmental quality. Journal of Economics Literature, 44, p.R11.
Zaman, K., Shahbaz, M., Loganathan, N. and Raza, S.A., 2016. Tourism development, energy consumption and Environmental Kuznets Curve: Trivariate analysis in the panel of developed and developing countries. Tourism Management, 54, pp.275-283.