he quality of the environment, both natural and man-made, is essential to tourism. However, tourism's relationship with the environment is complex. It involves many activities that can have adverse environmental effects. Many of these impacts are linked with the construction of general infrastructure such as roads and airports, and of tourism facilities, including resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, golf courses and marinas. The negative impacts of tourism development can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which it depends.

On the other hand, tourism has the potential to create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. It is a way to raise awareness of environmental values and it can serve as a tool to finance protection of natural areas and increase their economic importance.

  1. Three main impact areas: natural resources, pollution, and physical impacts
  2. Environmental impacts at the global level
  3. Other industry impacts on tourism
  4. How tourism can contribute to environmental conservation

Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2001
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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org