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Environmental Implications of the Tourism Industry

Environmental Implications of the Tourism Industry

Environmental Implications of the Tourism Industry Terry Davies Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 March 2000 Resources for the Future 1616 P Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone 202-328-5000 Fax 202-939-3460 Internet: http://www. rff. org © 2000 Resources for the Future. All rights reserved. No portion of this paper may be reproduced without permission of the authors. Discussion papers are research materials circulated by their authors for purposes of information and discussion. They have not undergone formal peer review or the editorial treatment accorded RFF books and other publications. Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill

Discussion Paper 00-14 Environmental Implications of the Tourism Industry Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Abstract This report analyzes the environmental impacts of the tourism industry, which is the third largest retail industry in the United States, behind only automotive dealers and food stores. In 1998, travel and tourism contributed $91 billion to the U. S. economy, supporting 16. 2 million jobs directly and indirectly. While extensive research has documented the significant economic impact of such service industries as tourism, little has been written about their effect on environmental quality.

This study uses a framework developed from the industrial ecology literature to assess the impacts of the tourism industry on the environment. Three categories of impact are discussed: direct impacts, including impacts from the travel to a destination, the tourist activities in and of themselves at that destination, such as hiking or boating, and from the creation, operation, and maintenance of facilities that cater to the tourist; “upstream” impacts, resulting from travel service providers’ ability to influence suppliers; and “downstream” impacts, where ervice providers can influence the behavior or consumption patterns of customers. We have identified impacts from tourist-related transportation, including aircraft, automobiles, and recreational land and marine vehicles; tourist-related development, tourist activities, and direct impacts of the lodging and cruise industries. Although the direct impacts of the lodging and cruise industries and impacts of tourist-related transportation were not very significant, we found on the other hand that tourist activities can have significant impacts, depending on the type and location of activity.

Tourist-related development can also have significant cumulative impacts on water quality and the aesthetics of host communities. Opportunity for upstream and downstream leverage within the tourism industry is considerable. Hotels can exert upstream influence on their suppliers to provide environmentally sound products, such as recyclable toiletries. Similarly, the cruise industry can use its leverage to convince suppliers to improve the environmental quality of shipboard products. Opportunity for downstream influence exists as well.

Travel agents can influence where and how a tourist travels, and tour operators can educate tourists about ways to minimize their impact on the environment. The fragmented nature of the tourism industry is not conducive to regulation that encompasses all aspects of the industry. Therefore, educational efforts aimed at supporting existing regulations and encouraging environmentally responsible behavior where no regulations exist seem most promising as a management scheme. These educational efforts should be framed in accordance with the targeted audience (i. e. , tourists and industry sectors).

Tourists may be more receptive to educational initiatives that focus on the environmental benefits of altering their behavior, while industry sectors are more likely to be responsive to educational efforts that emphasize cost savings and an improved public image. Key Words: tourism, environmental impact, upstream and downstream leverage, service sector, sector environmental profile II Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 TABLE OF CONTENTS S. Summary……………………………………………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………….. v S. 1 Definition of Tourism…………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………. v S. 2 Direct Environmental Impacts ……………………………………………….. ……………………………………………. v S. 2. 1 Resource Use …………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………. v S. 2. 2 Pollution and Waste Outputs………………………………………… ………………………………………….. vi S. 2. 3 Habitat/Ecosystem Alteration and Fragmentation…………… ………………………………………….. vii S. 2. 4 Impacts on Wildlife………………………………………………………. ………………………………………….. vii S. 2. 5 Aesthetic and Cultural Impacts …………………………………….. ………………………………………….. vii S. 2. 6 Impact on Gateway Communities Outside National Parks and Other Host Communities… vii S. . 7 Positive Impacts………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. vii S. 3 Upstream and Downstream Impacts ……………………………………… …………………………………………. viii S. 4 Impact of Technology on Travel Services ………………………………. …………………………………………. viii S. 4. 1 Regulation of Industry Activities……………………………………. …………………………………………. viii S. Policy Implications ……………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………… ix 1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………….. ……………………….. ………………………………………………… 1 2. Environmental Impacts of Tourism…………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………… 2 2. 1 Definition of Tourism …………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………… 2 2. 1. 1 Transportation …………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………. 3 2. 2 Development and Land Use ………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………. 8 2. 2. 1 Impacts on National Park Gateway Communities and Other Host Communities……………. 11 2. 3 Direct Impacts of the Lodging Industry …………………………………… ………………………………………….. 2 2. 3. 1 Energy Use…………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………….. 12 2. 3. 2 Water Use…………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 12 2. 3. 4 Solid Waste Generation……………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. 12 2. 4 Direct Impacts of the Cruise Industry……………………………………… ………………………………………….. 13 2. 4. Solid Waste ………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 13 2. 4. 2 Air Pollution ………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 13 2. 4. 3 Oil and Chemical Effluent …………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. 14 2. 4. 4 Introduced Species ……………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 14 2. 4. Regulatory Framework of the Cruise Industry ………………… ………………………………………….. 14 2. 4. 6 Positive Impacts of the Cruise Industry………………………….. ………………………………………….. 15 2. 5 Tourist Activities …………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 15 2. 5. 1 Hiking, Snorkeling and Diving……………………………………….. ………………………………………….. 15 2. 5. 2 Recreational Boating……………………………………………………. …………………………………………. 16 2. 6 Tourist Activities Within National Parks ………………………………….. ………………………………………….. 18 2. 6. 1 Visitor and Traffic Congestion ………………………………………. ………………………………………….. 18 3. Upstream And Downstream Influence ………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………. 19 3. 1 Structure of Selected Components of the Industry…………………… …………………………………………. 19 3. 1. 1 The Lodging Industry …………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 21 3. 1. 2 The Cruise Industry……………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 21 3. 1. 3 Travel Agents ……………………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 21 3. 1. 4 Tour Operators ……………………………………………………………. …………………………………………. 22 3. 1. 5 Other Organizations Functioning as Travel Agents/Tour Operators ……………………………… 22 3. 2 Upstream and Downstream Influence……………………………………. ………………………………………….. 22 3. 2. 1 Supplier Relations ………………………………………………………. ………………………………………….. 23 3. 2. 2 Channeling of Activity …………………………………………………. ………………………………………….. 5 3. 2. 3 Education…………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 27 3. 2. 4 Problems with Ecotourism …………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 29 3. 2. 5 Impact of Technology on Travel Services……………………… ………………………………………….. 30 4. Steps to Lessen Adverse Impacts …………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………. 31 4. Voluntary Efforts by Industry Sectors and Government Initiatives ………………………………………….. 31 4. 1. 1. Examples of Development that Minimizes Environmental Impact…………………………………. 32 4. 1. 2 Nonprofit Groups………………………………………………………… ………………………………………….. 33 References…………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………. 34 III Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Table 1. Air Pollutant Emissions of Tourism-Related Air Transportation in 1997 ……………………………………………………. 4 Table 2. 1997 Air Pollutant Emissions of Light-Duty Gas and Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles ……………………………………. 6 Table 3. Air Pollutant Emissions of Recreational Land Vehicles in 1997………… …………………………………………………….. 6 Table 4. Air Pollutant Emissions of Recreational Marine Vehicles in 1997 …….. …………………………………………………….. 8 Figure 1.

Relationships among selected sectors of the tourism industry………… …………………………………………………… 20 Figure 2. Percent of tourists seeking travel agent advice based on travel product type………………………………………… 27 IV Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 S. SUMMARY S. 1 Definition of Tourism Tourism is the United States’ third-largest retail industry, behind only automotive dealers and food stores. Although tourism was once thought of as a “smokeless” industry with few, if any, environmental impacts, recognition of its potential for adverse impacts is growing.

Tourism consists of the activities undertaken during travel from home or work for the pleasure and enjoyment of certain destinations, and the facilities that cater to the needs of the tourist (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 1; Power, 1996, p. 214). It is often difficult to distinguish between tourism and recreation, as they are interrelated. Tourism implies traveling a distance from home, while recreation is defined as the activities undertaken during leisure time (McIntosh & Goeldner, 1990, p. 10). Outdoor recreation is even more closely related to tourism.

The overlap is partly dependent upon the length of time of the recreational activity. For example, recreational boating is both a recreational activity and a tourist activity, depending on the duration and location of the trip. A boater who uses his or her boat for a day can be considered to be participating in a recreational activity, while a boater who takes a longer trip can also be considered a tourist (if visiting other destinations). Therefore while tourism is the primary focus of discussion, selected recreational activities and their impacts are considered as well.

This discussion paper presents environmental impacts of tourism in three categories: direct impacts, including impacts from the travel to a destination, the tourist activities in and of themselves at that destination, such as hiking or boating, and from the creation, operation and maintenance of facilities that cater to the tourist; “upstream” impacts, resulting from service providers’ ability to influence suppliers; and “downstream” impacts, where service providers can influence the behavior or consumption patterns of customers. S. 2 Direct Environmental Impacts S. 2. Resource Use Energy Consumption Preliminary figures from a draft Sustainable Tourism Roundtable Report indicate that the tourism industry uses 72. 1 Gwhours of energy per year (International Institute of Tourism Studies, George Washington University, 1999, p. 7). This amount is only a very small percentage of total U. S. energy consumption? approximately 0. 3% in 1997 (Energy Information Administration, U. S. Department of Energy (EIA/DOE), 1998, p. 112). Water Consumption The preliminary figures from the above-mentioned report indicate that the tourism industry in the aggregate uses 93. billion gallons of water per year. This amount is 4. 0% of total U. S. commercial consumption (including the chemical, pulp and paper, primary metals, and the textiles industries) (International Institute of Tourism Studies, George Washington University, V Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 1999, pp. 7 and 42). Tourism-related water use in the lodging industry accounts for approximately 46. 2 billion gallons of water per year. In 1995, total freshwater withdrawals in the United States for offstream uses ( e. g. withdrawal of surface and groundwater for public supply; domestic use; agriculture, including irrigation and livestock watering; industry, including mining; and thermoelectric power uses) was 340 billion gallons per day. By contrast, tourismrelated hotel water use accounted for under . 04% of the total (Solley, 1997, p. 1). S. 2. 2 Pollution and Waste Outputs Water Quality The tourism industry impacts water quality through construction and maintenance of tourist infrastructure, recreational boating, and certain activities of the cruise industry.

Tourist infrastructure increases the pressure on existing sewage treatment plants and can lead to overflows during peak tourist times. A more gradual impact is the leaching of nutrients from septic systems of tourists’ waterfront homes, accelerating eutrophication of adjacent waterbodies, and depleting dissolved oxygen supplies. The construction of tourist facilities and infrastructure also increases the amount of impervious surfaces, which in turn increases the amount of polluted runoff reaching waterbodies.

The most significant problem from the standpoint of human health associated with recreational boating and water quality is the discharge of sewage into waterbodies with limited flushing, where the discharge occurs near the location of shellfish beds. Diseases that can be potentially transmitted through human contact with fecal discharge and/or ingestion of contaminated shellfish include typhoid fever, dysentery, infectious hepatitis, and nonspecific gastroenteritis (Seabloom, Plews, & Cox, 1989, p. 1).

Spills and discharges of oil and toxic chemicals are other impacts that recreational boats and the cruise industry can have, although such impacts are not necessarily significant. In 1997, recreational vessels were responsible for 535 reported oil spills, comprising 6. 2% of the total spill incidents in U. S. waters. The cruise industry was responsible for an even smaller percentage, at 1. 6% of total spills in U. S. waters (U. S. House of Representatives, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, 1998, p. 2).

Air Quality Most tourism-related air pollution comes from automobiles (Andereck, 1993, p. 27). Automobiles emit by far the most carbon monoxide of all transportation modes. In 1997, they emitted 26 million short tons of carbon monoxide, compared with 1. 7 million short tons from recreational marine vehicles, and 1 million from aircraft (U. S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA],1998, December, Table A-1). Specific information on tour bus emissions was not available, but all heavy-duty diesel vehicles (most tour buses fall into this category) emitted 1. million short tons in 1997. VI Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 S. 2. 3 Habitat/Ecosystem Alteration and Fragmentation Ecosystems and natural habitat can be damaged by tourist infrastructure, tourist activities, recreational boating, and the cruise industry. Recreational boats and cruise vessels can damage aquatic vegetation by cutting it with their propellers or otherwise damaging it when running aground. Wetlands have been destroyed in order to build tourist-related infrastructure, such as airports, roads, and marinas (Andereck, 1993, p. 9). For example, in Jamaica over 700 acres of wetlands have been destroyed since the 1960s for tourism development (Bacon, 1987, pp. 105-6). When snorkeling and hiking, tourists can damage ecosystems by littering, and trampling coral and vegetation. This type of damage is cumulative in nature. One or two tourists may not cause visible harm, but hundreds over time can do substantial damage. S. 2. 4 Impacts on Wildlife Wildlife can be adversely affected by the construction and maintenance of tourist infrastructure, and by tourist activities.

Impacts from tourist infrastructure can be direct, such as when development in lower elevations of mountain resorts restricts the migratory range of certain wildlife, or indirect, such as when marine turtles are disoriented by automobile headlights and resort illumination (Gartner, 1996, p. 125). The two primary ways in which tourist activities disturb wildlife are by altering their eating habits and feeding patterns, and by altering their habitat.

Feeding patterns are altered directly by tourists feeding animals, and indirectly by littering, which encourages wildlife to scrounge for food (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 109). Wildlife habitat is altered by tourists’ trampling and by the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs). S. 2. 5 Aesthetic and Cultural Impacts Tourism can diminish the aesthetic appeal of a destination through the construction of buildings that clash with the surrounding environment, creating “architectural” or “visual” pollution (Andereck, 1993, p. 30; Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 121). ).

The high-rise hotels along the coastal zone of Atlantic City and Miami are examples, as are several high-rise hotels in Jerusalem, whose construction arguably damaged the city’s architectural beauty (Bosselman, 1978, pp. 26-7). S. 2. 6 Impact on Gateway Communities Outside National Parks and Other Host Communities Tourism affects the natural landscape and character of “gateway communities,” which are adjacent to national parks, and other significant tourist destinations. Development related to tourist activity can be detrimental to cultural and aesthetic aspects of these communities if undertaken in an indiscriminate and/or scattered manner.

For example, Tusayan, the town near the south rim of the Grand Canyon is “dominated by a gaggle of fast-food restaurants, motels, and trinket shops along the highway, [and] has been likened to a strip mall on the way to the Vatican” (Whitman, 1999, p. 19). S. 2. 7 Positive Impacts Despite its many adverse impacts, tourism can have positive impacts on both natural and artificially constructed environments, as well as on destination communities. In fact, tourism has motivated the preservation of such sensitive ecosystems as the Everglades National Park in Florida (Andereck, 1993, p. 30).

Furthermore, tourism that focuses on cultural and historic sites (sometimes referred to as “heritage” tourism) can be the impetus for the preservation and rehabilitation of existing historic sites, buildings, and monuments. For example, historic lighthouses and piers in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and historic buildings in Williamsburg, Virginia have been transformed and preserved for the purpose of tourism (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 98). VII Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 In addition, the economic benefits of tourism partially balance its negative environmental impacts.

For example, gateway communities adjacent to national parks exist primarily because of the economic benefits of tourism. The parks attract more visitors to these communities, resulting in increased employment opportunities and an improved standard of living. S. 3 Upstream and Downstream Impacts In addition to direct environmental impacts, impacts from tourism occur at every point along the supply chain. The “supply chain” with respect to service industries refers to all the actors involved in the provision of a service, including the consumer.

The supply chain in the tourism industry consists of those industries that provide accommodations, provide transportation, make arrangements for travelers, and supply equipment. It also includes the tourists themselves. The degree of environmental impact of tourism can be influenced by actors along the supply chain. (The reader is referred to figure 1 on page 20 for a visual presentation of this relationship. ) For example, a hotel can exert “upstream” influence on its suppliers to provide products that minimize environmental impacts, such as recyclable toiletries.

There are several existing initiatives within the private and nonprofit sectors to work with the lodging industry to reduce environmental impacts through supplier relations. The extent to which a hotel can leverage its suppliers depends upon several factors, including type of hotel (e. g. , large chain or small independent) and type of supplies. Similarly, travel service providers can have “downstream” impacts by influencing tourists through education and provision of options to reduce resource use.

For example, hotels can give guests the option not to have their linens washed daily, and cruise lines can limit the number of tourists that go ashore at sensitive destinations. Downstream influence through tourist education is seen most clearly with ecotourism, defined as travel and tourism that attempts to minimize impacts on the environment. Tour operators specializing in ecotourism influence their customers through provision of environmental guidelines before and during trips. S. 4 Impact of Technology on Travel Services The growth of the Internet has begun to influence the interactions among travel agents, suppliers, and consumers.

The sophistication of information technology has already begun to allow tourists to bypass traditional methods of making travel arrangements. For example, Southwest Airlines now sells most of its tickets without the use of travel agents, using the Internet instead (Lewis, Semeijn & Talalayevsky, 1998, p. 21). The full impact of this technological change has yet to be realized. However, it has the potential to effect significant changes. The interactive nature of the Internet allows for the values of tourists to register directly with providers of tourist services.

If there is a strong demand for environmentally sensitive services, it is likely that the demand will be met. S. 4. 1 Regulation of Industry Activities Regulation of the tourism industry reflects its fragmented nature. Different aspects of the industry are regulated by different (primarily federal) agencies, with some overlap. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U. S. Coast Guard regulate oil and sewage discharges from recreational marine vessels. The EPA under the Clean Air Act (CAA) amendments now regulates air emissions from selected marine engines.

Emissions from land vehicles are regulated under the Clean Air Act. The EPA also regulates smoke, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide from aircraft engines. The Federal Aviation Administration VIII Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 (FAA) in the Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for enforcing those emission standards. The FAA is also responsible for regulating noise pollution from aircraft under the 1990 Airport Noise and Capacity Act. The cruise industry is regulated by both international and federal regulations.

The primary international regulatory framework for the cruise industry is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, commonly referred to as MARPOL 73/78. Three relevant annexes regulate the discharge of sewage, oil, and solid wastes. The U. S. Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing these regulations in the United States. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has requirements for solid waste generation and incineration on board cruise vessels, NOx emission limits, and guidelines to minimize transfer of non-native species.

Regulation of the development of tourist infrastructure occurs at the state or local level, through planning and zoning laws. The efficacy of these regulations varies depending on location. S. 5 Policy Implications As indicated by the regulatory framework highlighted above, the fragmented nature of the tourism industry is not conducive to integrated, holistic regulation that encompasses all aspects of the industry. The dispersed nature of the tourism industry produces diffuse impacts that fall under the jurisdictions of different federal, state, and local agencies.

Moreover, enforcement and compliance problems make it particularly difficult to regulate tourist activities. For these reasons educational efforts seem more promising than regulation to minimize many of the environmental impacts of tourism that are not now regulated. Education can be used to support existing regulations, and to encourage environmentally responsible behavior where no regulations exist. Educational efforts to promote environmentally responsible tourism should be framed in accordance with the targeted audience (e. g. tourists, industry sectors). Tourists may be more receptive to educational efforts that focus on the environmental benefits of altering their behavior than to regulatory prohibitions per se. For example, a sign that prohibits anchoring in a sensitive marine ecosystem could be more effective if accompanied by an explanation of the potential damage a boat can do to the ecosystem. However, educational efforts geared towards industry sectors seem most effective when cost savings and the marketing benefits of “being green” are emphasized.

A study of 13 corporate executives of hotel chains found that the two most important factors that contributed to their decision to implement a solid waste program were waste disposal fees and the betterment of public image (Shanklin, Petrillose, & Pettay, 1991, p. 67). Some hotels have found that their environmental initiatives have resulted in an increase in business. Although environmental awareness has had an important impact on the tourism industry, economic motives are still primary.

Therefore, educational programs aimed at tourism service providers should emphasize the potential economic and marketing benefits of environmental stewardship. IX ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE TOURISM INDUSTRY Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill* 1. INTRODUCTION Environmental management in the United States over the past several decades has focused on regulating production industries, such as manufacturing and mining. However, there has been increasing interest in the environmental effects of the service industry. Generally speaking, a service is as an activity done for others (Goedkoop, van Halen, te Riele, & Rommens, 1998, p. ). A perhaps even broader definition of a service is “anything sold in trade that cannot be dropped on your foot” (Rejeski, 1997, p. 27). The service industry therefore comprises a variety of activities, from restaurants to hospitals to financial institutions. It accounts for 75% of the U. S. gross domestic product ($3. 8 trillion in 1997) (U. S. Census Bureau, 1998) and 80% of U. S. employment (Guile & Cohon, 1997, p. 76). The service industry merits attention because of its large size and consequently its potential for environmental impacts (both negative and positive).

There is a small but growing body of literature discussing the influence of the service sector on environmental quality (Allenby, 1997; Graedel, 1997; Guile & Cohon, 1997; Rejeski, 1997). Three categories of influence have evolved from these discussions: 1) 2) 3) direct impacts of the service itself, upstream impacts, arising from the service provider’s ability to influence its suppliers, and downstream impacts, where the service provider can influence its customers’ behavioral or consumption patterns.

It is necessary to look at all three categories to develop a complete picture of the influence of the service sector on environmental quality. The tourism industry is one of the largest components of the service sector, and has considerable ability to influence environmental quality. Travel and tourism contributed $91 billion in revenue into the U. S. economy in 1998 (World Airline News, 1999), supporting 16. 2 million jobs directly and indirectly (Travel Industry Association of America, 1998, p. 1). Over forty-three million tourists visited the United States in 1998 (U. S.

Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, 1999). Furthermore, the tourism industry is projected to be the largest U. S. private employer by 2000, and now represents 10% of the national private gross domestic product (Goeldner, 1997, p. 58). Tourist destinations tend to be places of the highest amenities, whether the amenities are social, cultural, or natural. These destinations, due in part to their high quality, are often in short supply relative to demand (Robert Healy, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, personal communication via email, November 28, 1999).

This scarcity leads to the potential for degradation of tourist areas, as they reach and in some cases exceed their carrying capacity. *The authors are, respectively, Senior Fellow and Director, and Research Assistant, Center for Risk Management, Resources for the Future. 1 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 The tourism industry is complex; being fragmented into several industries that, taken together, constitute what is commonly referred to as the travel and tourism industry (McIntosh & Goeldner, 1990, p. 16).

It comprises components of other industries that do not cater exclusively to tourists (Power, 1996, p. 215); therefore a discussion of the environmental impacts of tourism needs to consider what percentage of use is related to tourism in each industry. Sectors of the tourism industry include transportation (e. g. , airlines, buses, automobiles), lodging, restaurants, the cruise industry, amusement parks and resorts, and general retail and merchandise stores (Johnson, 1994, pp. 41-42). Included in the definition of the tourism industry is the associated development (e. . , tourist infrastructure) of tourist destinations, and tourist activities. We have identified impacts from tourist-related transportation, tourist-related development, tourist activities including some recreational activities such as boating, and direct impacts of the lodging and cruise industries. Quantitative data help to illustrate impacts where available; otherwise qualitative data supported by relevant examples are used. Although this discussion focuses on environmental impacts in the United States, some international examples are drawn upon when applicable.

After presenting these impacts, we analyze the influence that providers of tourism services can have on their suppliers as well as the tourist. While there are many more industries that provide services to tourists, this discussion focuses on the upstream and downstream leveraging potential of four service providers: the lodging industry, the cruise industry, travel agents, and tour operators. Section 1 presents both beneficial and adverse environmental impacts of tourism, including tourist activities, development, transportation, and direct impacts of the lodging and cruise industries.

Section 2 explores the relationships among travel agents, tour operators, and service providers, and tourists. The structure of selected components of the tourism industry is presented, and opportunities for upstream leverage on suppliers and downstream leverage on tourists are discussed. Finally, this section briefly analyzes the impact of technology on travel services. Section 3 discusses steps within the tourism industry as well as government to lessen the adverse environmental impacts of tourism. This section concludes with a brief presentation of the benefits of educational efforts to minimize impacts. . ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TOURISM 2. 1 Definition of Tourism Tourism is “the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destinations, and the facilities created to cater to their needs” (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 1). It is often difficult to distinguish between tourism and recreation, as they are interrelated. Tourism involves traveling a distance from home, while recreation is defined as the activities undertaken during leisure time (McIntosh & Goeldner, 1990, p. 10).

Outdoor recreation is even more closely related to tourism. The extent of the overlap depends in part on the length of time of the activity and its location. For example, a boater who uses his or her boat for one day and who stays near his or her home may be considered a recreational boater; while a boater who travels on his or her boat overnight to a destination may be considered a tourist. Therefore while this discussion paper focuses primarily on tourism, selected recreational activities and their impacts are considered as well. 2 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14

The degree of environmental impact varies, depending on the type of tourist and the intensity of site use (Gartner, 1996, p. 117). There are day tourists, who visit a destination for a day and then leave; summer residents who are in effect tourists for a season; and tourists on bus tours and other trips that may visit a location for a few minutes or a number of days. Day tourists have an impact on the environment through their transportation to their destination as well as their activities once there. This is true for summer residents, but these tourists also have a cumulative impact, as they are in one place for a longer period of time.

For example, nutrients leaching from the septic systems of tourists’ waterfront homes can accelerate eutrophication and contribute to depletion of dissolved oxygen supply of the adjacent water body. On the other hand, summer residents often are an important force in preserving the natural beauty of an area (e. g. , the Adirondacks). Tourists who visit an area for longer than a day and choose to stay in hotels contribute to the impacts that the lodging industry has on the environment. In addition to the length of stay, tourist impacts depend on the type of activity undertaken.

Passive activities such as birdwatching have different impacts than more active pursuits, such as snowmobiling or boating. There are environmental impacts from the travel to a destination, the tourist activities in and of themselves at that destination, such as hiking or boating, and from the creation, operation, and maintenance of facilities that cater to the tourist, such as hotels (May, 1991, p. 113). This discussion addresses impacts from tourism-related transportation, development, the lodging and cruise industries, and tourist activities including selected forms of recreation. . 1. 1 Transportation Airlines In 1995, twenty percent of U. S. commercial air travel was attributed to leisure, including rest and relaxation, sightseeing, and outdoor recreation (U. S. Department of Transportation, 1997, p. 5). Table 1 illustrates the total and tourism-related contribution of air pollutants from the air transportation industry. Aircraft emit the most carbon monoxide of any of the five listed air pollutants, but it is a small amount relative to other modes of transportation.

In total, aircraft are responsible for approximately one percent of the total ground-level emissions from mobile sources (EPA, 1997, December, Tables 3-1? 3-6); therefore tourism-related air travel is responsible for only . 2% of total ground-level emissions. Furthermore, tourism-related air travel contributes less than 1% of total U. S. emissions of each of the listed criteria pollutants. 3 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 TABLE 1. AIR POLLUTANT EMISSIONS OF TOURISM-RELATED AIR TRANSPORTATION IN 1997 Pollutant Total Aircraft Emissions (in million short tons, or mst) . 78 1. 012 . 187 . 012 . 041 Tourism-Related Aircraft Emissions (20% of total air emissions in mst) . 0356 . 202 . 0374 . 0024 . 0082 Total U. S. Emissions (in ? mst)? TourismRelated Aircraft Emissions % of U. S. Total . 15% . 23% . 19% . 01% .02% Nitrogen Oxide Carbon Monoxide Volatile Organic Compounds Sulfur Dioxide Particulate Matter (PM-10) 23. 582 87. 451 19. 214 20. 369 33. 581 Source: National Air Pollutant Emission Trends Update, 1970-1997, (EPA, 1998, Tables A-1-A-5); and the 1995 American Travel Survey (DOT 1997, p. 5). ?Total U. S. missions include emissions from fuel combustion, chemical and allied production, metals processing, petroleum and related industries, other industrial processes, storage and transport, waste disposal and recycling, onroad vehicles, non-road engines and vehicles (including aircraft), natural sources, solvent utilization, and miscellaneous. Although aircraft contribute only a small amount to total air pollution, emissions from this source is increasing. Between 1970 and1995, hydrocarbon and NOx emissions from aircraft sources have grown 53% (EPA, 1999, April, p. 1-1).

Projections to 2010 indicate that aircraft emissions will continue to increase. Aircraft emissions in nonattainment areas with large airport facilities in particular are projected to represent a growing percentage of regional sources of air pollutants (EPA, 1999, April, p. 4-1). The projections indicate an increase in the aircraft component of total regional emissions between 1990 and 2010 in ten metropolitan regions (nine of which are currently not in attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone; the tenth city has attained the ozone standard, but is considered an ozone “maintenance” area) (EPA, 1999, April, p. -2). The 2010 percentages are still relatively low, ranging from 0. 2% volatile organic compounds (VOC) in Philadelphia to 5. 1% VOC in Charlotte; and 1. 8% NOx in Philadelphia to 7. 6% in Charlotte (EPA, 1999, April, p. 4-3). The percentages are higher in Charlotte in part because other sources contribute less. The EPA has had regulations for smoke and hydrocarbon emissions from aircraft engines in place since 1984. In 1997, the agency promulgated new emission standards for nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.

This rule was adopted to codify the existing voluntary emission standards of the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (EPA, 1997, April, p. 1). The DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for enforcing these aircraft emissions standards. 4 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 Noise Pollution In addition to air pollution, aircraft contribute to noise pollution. (Mathieson & Wall 1982, p. 105). The FAA is responsible for addressing the noise abatement issue.

The 1990 Airport Noise and Capacity Act authorized the FAA to reduce aircraft noise by requiring replacement of louder planes with quieter aircraft (EPA, 1998, October, p. 7). In fact, airlines have spent billions of dollars to address this problem. Stage 2 aircraft are now being replaced by Stage 3 aircraft, which are 50% quieter; and the goal was to have only Stage 3 planes flying by 2000 (Air Transport Association, 1997, p. 3). There are also noise impacts from air tour operators, such as those that take 800,000 passengers a year on scenic overflights of the Grand Canyon.

In an effort to reduce unnatural noise, the FAA proposed new rules in August 1999 that would cap the number of overflights in the Grand Canyon (“A Cramped Grand Canyon,” 1993). However, again, as tourism-related travel represents only 20% of commercial air travel, and airplanes are only one source of noise pollution, tourism’s contribution to total noise pollution is minor. Ground Transportation Much of the tourism-related air pollution comes from automobiles (Andereck, 1993, p. 27). Thirty-five percent of people traveling for leisure in 1995 used personal automobiles as their means of travel (DOT, 1997, p. ). Four-hundred million leisure trips are taken in automobiles per year in the United States; 80% of those trips are 250 miles or less (Goeldner, 1997, p. 60). In 1997, light duty vehicles (passenger cars up to 6,000 lbs. G. V. W. ) emitted an average of 1. 53 grams of exhaust hydrocarbons per mile, 19. 86 grams of carbon monoxide per mile, and 1. 51 grams of nitrogen oxide per mile (DOT, 1998, Table 4-33). Automobiles emit by far the most carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and volatile organic compounds in comparison to other transportation.

Personal automobiles emit 32% percent of the total national carbon monoxide emissions, and 12% of total national nitrogen oxide emissions (in 1996) (EPA, 1997, p. 3-2; EPA, 1998, December, Table A-1). However, it is difficult to separate the amount of tourismrelated automobile travel from all automobile travel. One area where it is possible to distinguish between tourism-related automobile travel and other travel is within national parks. Exhaust from tourists’ cars affects air quality and vegetation in some national parks. Adverse impacts on vegetation have been attributed to automobile exhausts in Yosemite (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 04). Almost three-quarters of n national park superintendents surveyed cited exhaust from tourists’ cars as a significant factor affecting air quality within the parks (Wang & Miko, 1997, p. 34). Indeed, one national park report noted that “the impact of automobiles (air and noise pollution, acreage for roads, gasoline stations) may be more significant than the impact of the visitors themselves. ” (U. S. National Park Service Steering Committee, 1992, p. 91). Tour buses have an impact on air quality as well. Often referred to as the motorcoach industry, the tour bus industry includes 3,000 companies and 25,000 vehicles.

Companies are classified as inter-city or charter-tour. The latter constitutes more than 50% of the market (Gee, Makens, & Choy, 1989, p. 254). Charter-tour bus trips have increased, while inter-city trips have declined. Specific emissions data on tour buses are not available, but most tour buses belong in the category of heavy-duty diesel vehicles. In 1997, these vehicles emitted 1. 468 million short tons (mst) of carbon monoxide, and 1. 886 mst of nitrogen oxide. Table 2 presents pollutant emissions from automobiles and heavy-duty diesel vehicles. 5 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 TABLE 2. 997 AIR POLLUTANT EMISSIONS OF LIGHT-DUTY GAS AND HEAVY DUTY DIESEL VEHICLES Pollutant Light-Duty Gas Vehicles (automobiles) in million short tons (mst) 2. 863 26. 847 2. 719 . 128 . 056 Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles (in million short tons) 1. 886 1. 468 . 221 . 084 . 154 Nitrogen Oxide Carbon Monoxide Volatile Organic Compounds Sulfur Dioxide Particulate Matter (PM-10) Source: National Air Pollutant Emission Trends Update, 1970-1997, (EPA 1998, Tables A-1-A-5). Another form of ground transportation that has grown in the past twenty years is the recreational vehicle (RV) and off-road recreational vehicle (ORV) sector.

Table 3 illustrates the amount of air pollutant emissions from these vehicles (labeled in the data as “non-road” recreational vehicles). These non-road recreational vehicles do not include sport utility vehicles, or SUVs. These data suggest that this segment of tourism-related transportation does not contribute significantly to air quality problems, as land recreational vehicles contribute less than 1% of U. S. total emissions of each listed pollutant. TABLE 3. AIR POLLUTANT EMISSIONS OF RECREATIONAL LAND VEHICLES IN 1997 Pollutant Recreational Land Vehicle Emissions ( “non? road”? asoline and diesel, in million short . 009 . 392 . 137 N/A . 004 ? % of Total U. S. Emissions?? Nitrogen Oxide Carbon Monoxide Volatile Organic Compounds Sulfur Dioxide Particulate Matter (PM-10) .04 % . 45% . 71% N/A . 01% Source: National Air Pollutant Emission Trends Update, 1970-1997, (EPA 1998, Table A-1-A-5). ?This non-road designation does not include recreational marine vehicles, which constitute a separate category. ?? Refer to Table 1. for a listing of total U. S. emissions. Ground transportation can also have an impact on natural habitat. This impact occurs primarily through road construction.

However, some vehicles such as ORVs can have a direct impact. As noted earlier, the distinction between tourism and recreation is a difficult one to make. While ORVs can be considered to be primarily recreational, some ORV users travel significant distances (e. g. , from New Jersey to Cape Cod, Massachusetts) to participate in a 6 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 recreational activity. When ORV use occurs during a trip away from home (as part of a larger tourist trip), it can be considered a tourist activity as well as a recreational one.

Off-road vehicles have damaged dune systems and salt marshes in Barnstable, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. A study done by the National Park Service Cooperative Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts found that even low-level use can cause severe environmental degradation. (Willard, 1980, p. 323). Only 50 passes of an ORV at the foot of dunes halted growth of beach grass that stabilizes the dune. This causes erosion of the dunes, which in turn increases the risk of damage from flooding, as dunes provide natural flood protection.

In addition, the use of ORVs by tourists has proven destructive to wildlife in some areas. Cape Cod National Seashore has had to initiate seasonal and spatial permits for ORV users to protect Piping Plovers during their nesting period. An ORV race across the deserts of California and Nevada has been permanently cancelled as a result of the damage the vehicles were doing to the desert tortoise populations (Gartner, 1996, p. 127). Recreational Marine Vehicles Recreational marine vehicles are included in this discussion because their use can be considered tourism when part of a longer trip.

For example, recreational boaters who take their boats to Block Island from the coast of Connecticut can be considered tourists (because they are visiting a destination away from home). The impact of this activity occurs in transit to a tourist destination. Recreational marine vehicles, can, therefore, affect air quality during transit to a destination and while their owners boat in and around that destination. Table 4 presents air pollutant emissions from this vehicular category. Recreational marine vehicles do not emit as much carbon monoxide as automobiles, but they do emit significantly ore of it than recreational land vehicles (such as off-road vehicles) and aircraft. The EPA found that nonroad hydrocarbon emissions represent 10% of urban summertime HC emissions. Recreational marine engines were responsible for 30% of the nonroad engine emissions (EPA, 1996, August, p. 2). In addition, two-stroke engines, such as those found on personal watercraft, are rather inefficient and typically release 25-30% of oil and gas into the surrounding water (Robert Healy, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, personal communication via email, November 28, 1999).

However, emissions from marine recreational vehicles represent only a small percentage of total national emissions; therefore their effects are less pronounced than with automobiles (EPA, 1996, October, pp. 201-203). 7 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 TABLE 4. AIR POLLUTANT EMISSIONS OF RECREATIONAL MARINE VEHICLES IN 1997 Pollutant Recreational Marine Vehicle Emissions (gas and diesel, in million short tons) . 066 1. 793 . 467 N/A . 032 % of Total U. S. ? Emission? .28% 2. 1% 2. 4% N/A . 10% Nitrogen Oxide Carbon Monoxide Volatile Organic Compounds Sulfur Dioxide Particulate Matter (PM-10)

Source: National Air Pollutant Emission trends Update, 1970-1997, (EPA 1998, Tables A-1-A-5). ?Refer to Table 1 for a listing of total U. S. emissions. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 gave the EPA authority for the first time to regulate emissions from nonroad engines and vehicles (EPA, 1996, August, p. 2). The EPA set emissions standards for new spark-ignition gasoline marine engines in 1996, including outboard engines, personal watercraft engines, and jet boat engines. These are designed to reduce hydrocarbon emissions from these types of engines 75% by 2025 (EPA, 1996, October, p. 1).

These emissions standards do not apply to inboard motors, as they emit fewer pollutants, but they do apply to outboard engines sold starting in 1998, and to personal watercraft (such as jetskis) engines sold starting in 1999 (64 Federal Register 62293, 1999). 2. 2 Development and Land Use The environmental impacts of the construction and development of facilities needed to support the industry are both immediate and gradual. Development associated with tourism includes accommodations, roads, retail stores and restaurants, tourist attractions, tourists’ seasonal waterfront homes, water supplies, and waste disposal facilities.

Cumulative effects over time are particularly problematic because the developer in question is often out of the picture before impacts become obvious (Gartner, 1996, p. 115). An example of a gradual impact is the leaching of nutrients from septic systems of tourists’ waterfront homes into the waterbody, accelerating eutrophication and depleting dissolved oxygen supplies. Tourist infrastructure can also adversely impact water quality because more wastewater is created in one place and reduced someplace else, putting more pressure on sewage treatment plants or septic systems in the tourist destination.

When a sewage treatment plant receives more effluent than it can treat, the excess can flow directly into water bodies untreated, creating a potential health hazard. The sewage problem with tourist facilities is further exacerbated by the seasonal nature of many tourist areas. An area which off-season may have the capacity (either through septic systems or treatment plants) to properly treat sewage may be overburdened during the tourist season. Sewage effluent can damage coral reefs because it stimulates the growth of algae, which cover the filter-feeding corals, hampering their ability to get food.

Furthermore, the algae impede 8 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 the transmission of sunlight to the plant cells (zooxanthellae) living within the corals’ tissue, hindering their ability to grow and provide the coral with needed nutrition (Edington & Edington, 1986, pp. 175-76). This damage has occurred on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, where the discharge of partially treated sewage effluent stimulated the growth of a particular algae, destroying parts of the reef (Laws, 1993, pp. 92-93).

However, it is difficult to separate the effects of rapid urbanization of Oahu on the sewage treatment plants with the effects of an increase in tourists to the area. An area where the degradation of coral reefs due to sewage discharge can be attributed to tourism is in Jamaica. Damage to the corals there resulting from sewage discharge from tourist resorts along a 160-kilometer stretch of coastline was observed as early as 1973 (Barnes, 1973, p. 102). Tourist facilities increase the amount of impervious surfaces, causing more runoff to reach water bodies.

This runoff contains nutrients, suspended particles, and oil and gas. Excess nutrients added to a water body can accelerate the process of eutrophication, causing an overgrowth of algae, which in turn uses up excess dissolved oxygen as the algae decays, causing fish kills. The overgrowth of algae is also a nuisance to swimmers. Furthermore, if masses of algae wash up on shore, they can create a foul-smelling area and a breeding ground for biting flies (Edington & Edington, 1986, p. 173).

A relevant example is the accelerated eutrophication of Lake Tahoe since the 1950s (Goldman, 1989, p. 7). Increased development to accommodate tourism and recreation contributed to the degradation of water quality for two primary reasons: (1) the increase of impervious surface, which in turn led to increased runoff of nutrients into the lake, and (2) the destruction of wetlands needed to filter those pollutants (Goldman, 1989, p. 11). Construction of facilities supporting the tourism industry can damage wetlands, mangroves, coral reefs, and estuaries.

Wetlands have been destroyed to make way for roads, airports, marinas, sewage treatment plants, and recreational facilities (Andereck, 1993, p. 29). This destruction is problematic because wetlands provide many crucial functions, including acting as a nursery ground for a diverse aquatic community, and helping to buffer the impacts of pollutants to the water body. In Cancun, Mexico, the natural environment of mangrove wetlands was almost completely destroyed by the development of tourist hotels and their associated infrastructure (Bosselman, 1978, p. 2). Similarly, in Jamaica over 700 acres of wetlands have been destroyed since the 1960s for tourism development (Bacon, 1987, pp. 105-106). In the Rocky Mountain National Park, the construction of a high-level road increasing human accessibility led to the destruction of 95% of the vegetation cover in some areas close to the road (Edington & Edington, 1986, p. 78). Although tourism has been the impetus for much destructive development, it has also been the motivation for preserving sensitive ecosystems.

Some of this motivation stems from economic benefits, as natural parks serve as attractions for tourists. An example on an international level is the Parc des Volcans in Rwanda, which provides ecological benefits through protection of the local watershed, and economic benefits, as it is the country’s third largest source of foreign exchange (Boo, 1990, p. xiv). Everglades National Park in Florida is a domestic example of a sensitive wetland and estuarine environment where tourism has spurred preservation efforts (Andereck, 1993, p. 0 ). Tourism with an emphasis on cultural and historic sites has been called “heritage” or “cultural” tourism, and is one of the fastest growing trends in the industry (Cass & Jahrig, 1998, p. 9). Heritage tourism focuses on sharing the historical and cultural resources of an area with travelers, while still maintaining the integrity of each site (Cass & Jahrig, 1998, p. 14). This type of tourism has been the impetus for the rehabilitation of existing historic sites, buildings, and 9 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill

Discussion Paper 00-14 monuments, such as the facelift that historic houses, lighthouses, and piers received on Cape Cod in the name of tourism. Similarly, the 18th century capital of the former British colony of Virginia, Williamsburg, has been transformed from ruins to a thriving historic site and tourist destination (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 98). Renovations to the Custer House at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in North Dakota were completed in part to attract additional tourists (Schroeder, 1993, p. 92).

A final example where heritage tourism has been the catalyst for improvement is the rural, somewhat neglected farm town of Fort Benton, Montana. It was transformed into an international tourist attraction because of several historic sites that were restored, including a Lewis and Clark memorial, the Museum of the Northern Great Plains, and the Museum of the Upper Missouri (Cass & Jahrig, 1998, p. 8). A related benefit of tourism can be the revitalization of derelict urban areas. Two examples are the Gas Lamp District of San Diego and the South of Market Area (SOMA) in San Francisco.

The Gas Lamp District was transformed from an area resembling skid row to a thriving tourist area, thanks in part to municipal funding. City officials took advantage of the area’s prime location between downtown and the city’s convention center by building restaurants, clubs, and other tourist attractions that were subsequently also used by local residents. Similarly, in San Francisco’s South of Market Area, an area dominated by abandoned warehouses grew into a thriving tourist destination due in part to the construction of a convention center there in 1983.

The tourist development led to residential development, and now SOMA is considered a good place to live (Baltin, 1994, p. 16B). Other urban centers such as Washington, D. C. and New York City have also benefited from an expansion of tourism. The revenue generated from tourists and their activities allows these areas to maintain sites and buildings that would not otherwise be as well kept. Another benefit of tourism development is its role in fostering an appreciation and understanding of nature. Tourism development can facilitate an increasing awareness and appreciation of the natural world.

For example, the development of mountain railroads and athletic resorts in Switzerland made it possible for people to visit and appreciate the previously unknown area. Similarly, tours into the Canadian tundra have increased their visibility to people other than hunters and scientists (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 97). Development undertaken to cater to tourists in coastal areas can have adverse impacts. Jetties and breakwaters built to create artificial harbors can increase erosion of those areas on the downstream side of the littoral drift (i. e. the movement of sand along the nearshore underwater propelled by the prevailing current). In addition to their physical impacts, these structures can detract from the aesthetics of an area. The construction of marinas can alter water levels and nutrient concentrations, as well as destroy habitat (Mathieson & Wall, 1982, p. 114). However, tourism-related development can benefit a coastal zone as well as harm it. Public access, for example, often increases with tourism development, as some states have legislation requiring developers to maintain some public access with development.

Furthermore, tourism injects the resources along a coast and adjacent waters with political and economic value, helping to ensure their protection (Gartner, 1996, p. 124). The political value stems from the significant constituency of summer residents and day tourists who want to maintain their recreation area. Slightly more obvious are the economic benefits from fostering tourism along the coast, as revenue is generated from entrance, parking, and other fees, as well as from sales and employment. Tourism-related development has an impact on wildlife, also.

Development in the lower elevations of mountain resorts (where it usually is located) restricts the migratory winter range of 10 Terry Davies and Sarah Cahill Discussion Paper 00-14 certain wildlife (Gartner, 1996, p. 125). Impacts on wildlife associated with tourist development can be indirect as well as direct. For example, automobile headlights, streetlights, and resort illumination on beachside roads can disorient marine turtles. This disorientation causes them to head inland instead of towards the sea (MacFarlane, 1963, p. 153). The growth of tourist communities can affect wildlife habitat.

For example, residential subdivisions in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, adjacent to National Elk Refuge, have decreased the amount of habitat available for grazing by the elk (McMahon & Propst, 1998, p. 40). 2. 2. 1 Impacts on National Park Gateway Communities and Other Host Communities Communities adjacent to national parks that cater to tourists are called “gateway communities. ” Development of these areas is often undertaken without consideration of the natural landscape. Indiscriminate and scattered development tends to detract from the local character of such areas and homogenizes the experience for the visitor.

For example, Tusayan, the gateway town to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, is “dominated by a gaggle of fast-food restaurants, motels, and trinket shops along the highway, [and] has been likened to a strip mall on the entryway to the Vatican” (Whitman, 1999, p. 19). An example of new development that is not integrated into the natural landscape is a resort community currently being built around an IMAX theater in West Yellowstone (Culbertson, 1997). It is important to note that development adjacent to national parks is a trade-off for less development within the parks.

If it is a question of one or the other, then it is preferable to develop outside of the parks. However, there is no reason why areas adjacent to the parks cannot be developed in accordance with the natural environment and local character. Many resorts have ribbon or sprawl developments that are unattractive and are not well assimilated into the surrounding area. High-rise hotels along the coastal zones of Atlantic City and Miami are examples of visual pollution. Hawaii was one of the first tourist destinations in the United States to experience this problem, prompting articles about it as early as 1969.

Becker (1969, p. 501) noted that “statehood and the jet airliner have transformed the Hawaiian capital from a picturesque crossroads to something approaching an outpost of Southern California. ” The character and architectural beauty of Jerusalem was similarly marred by the construction of several high-rise hotels in an attempt to stimulate tourism (Bosselman, 1978, pp. 26-27). A more subtle impact of tourist facility development is the gradual yet persistent transformation from a natural to a built environment.

As the number of tourists in an area increases, the demand for facilities increases, and thus their supply. Eventually, the built environment almost wholly subsumes the natural environment, with contrived, artificial attractions becoming the focus of tourists. Relph (1976, p. 93) described this process as “the destruction of the local and regional landscape that v