Environmental Impacts of Tourism in Protected Areas

Josphat Belsoy, Jacqueline Korir, Jacob Yego


This paper examined negative and positive effects of tourism activities in protected areas. The positive effects include the creation of employment, the increase in the economic levels, promotion of conservation of natural spaces, minimizes the migration of the local population, and improvement in the economic and socio-cultural level of the local population, the commercialisation of the local products, exchange of ideas, costumes and the sensitization of the tourist and local population for protection of the environment. Tourism is an intensive sector of employment and is one of the few alternatives to the destruction of environment caused by the technological change, the globalisation process and the reduction of the working time. Negative effects include the rising of consumption of ground (space), water, energy, destruction of landscapes with the creations of new infrastructures, the rise in the production of disposals (wastes), the alteration of ecosystems, the introduction of exotic species of animals and plants, the loss of traditional habits (hard work to idleness), the increase in prostitution (sex tourism), the narcotic traffic, more forest fires and the increase in the prices of goods and services (e.g. houses, labour around tourist destination). Tourism affects the environment of a protected area in any destination either directly, indirectly or cumulatively which could determine the sustainability of tourism and its related activity in the protected area. Tourism activities can adversely affect the environment in case of mass tourism, pollution by lodges, human encroachment due to tourism activities. Relevant stakeholders in the tourism industry need to ensure that the environment is protected. Protected areas both marine and inland are facing numerous environmental challenges majority of which are caused by human activities.

Keywords: Environment, Impacts, Protected Area, Sustainability, Tourism

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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