Tourism – economic saviour or environment destroyer
Academics and industry experts have debated the economic and environmental effects of tourism at the annual Council of Australasian University Tourism and Hospitality Educators (CAUTHE) conference from the 10 to 13 February. Source = ETB News, T.N. On the other hand, Professor Stefan Gossling of Lund University Sweden argued that when resources such as oil, water, food and clean air were being depleted so quickly, perptually increasing tourism would acclerate the decrease of these environmental assets further. Despite this argument, most of the attendees agreed that managed tourism would have enormous benefits, especially for the developing world. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) secretary general Taleb Rifai argued strongly for tourism, saying that the large amount of tourists (1.087 billion in 2013) was empowering, enhancing the economies of developing countries. Dr Rifai also argued that the WTO and other tourism bodies were pursuing a policy of poverty alleviation through tourism. The biggest issue discussed at the conference was whether tourism was an economic booster or enouraged environmental destruction. The CAUTHE conference hosted over 200 speakers presenting different issues.