Perhaps the most important element to be considered in tourism is the establishment of the carrying capacity of an area. Although tourism growth is normally an asset, it soon becomes a liability if the infrastructure, including the communications, water, transportation, and sanitation facilities, is exceeded. There is always the threat that increasing numbers of tourists will exceed the human carrying capacity of unique areas, eventually destroying the diversity that brought the visitors in the first place. Similarly, there are cultural impacts that can result from tourism as well as other forms of contact between outsiders and native people.

While ecological damages are theoretically irreversible, the loss of cultural substance and identity is not. Excessive tourism can adversely affect the cultural and ecological balance of remote regions ...

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