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Environmental Impacts of Tourism

  • By: Keith Bosak
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Tourism is defined by the United Nations World Tourism Organization as the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes. Tourism can also be viewed as a form of development that depends on natural resources and the built environment. The environment is at the core of tourism because tourism depends on maintaining the scenic attractiveness of a destination that people want to see and experience. However, as soon as tourism begins to occur, it changes the environment to facilitate its own development.

At one time, tourism was seen as a clean industry, causing few environmental impacts. Although it is the world's largest industry by employment and is acknowledged ...

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