International travel and tourism makes people prejudiced rather than broad-minded. What are its causes and what measures can be taken to solve this problem
It is irrefutable that international travel and tourism has taken mammoth dimensions. Unfortunately, sometimes, international tourism creates tension rather than understanding between people from different cultures. In this essay I intend to delve into the causes of this situation and suggest some ways forward.
The most important reason why some are opposed to international tourism is that tourists may unknowingly show disrespect for local culture. For instance, we generally cover our heads in a religious place. A tourist may not do so or take his shoes inside a temple. This may offend the local people. Sometimes, youngsters may be attracted towards the western culture which the tourists bring with them and many may find this as a threat to the local culture.
Moreover, the tourist dollar may not be helping the local people. We all know that tourists stay in five star hotels and enjoy the best facilities. They may be taking two showers a day where as the local people may not have enough water to drink. This has been the case in Shimla which is a very popular hill station in Himachal Pradesh India. On top of that, when tourists buy souvenirs from local artisans, they bargain a lot. The poor artisans, who look up to tourists for their livelihood, end up earning the bare minimum. Finally, tourism creates pollution, which helps nobody. We are all suffering the consequences of global warming.
The solutions are not simple. We cannot discourage tourism. It is the backbone of many economies of the world. First of all, the tour operators should take the onus of guiding the tourists about the main things of local culture. Secondly, the tourists should stay with locals as paying guests. This would be a win-win situation for both. Local people would earn and the tourist would taste the local culture. Finally, ecotourism should be promoted. For example, if an elephant ride is possible, the tourist should avoid using car. After all a good tourist is one – who takes away nothing but photographs and leaves behind nothing but footprints.
Summing up, international travel and tourism do have a downside to it but many steps can be taken to lessen the negative effects.