Tourism is developing unsustainably in many poorer nations and so is failing to deliver major economic gains, according to researchers speaking at a conference. The sector is often lauded as a valuable source of income for developing countries with beautiful environments. But it is not creating better infrastructure such as roads and clean water, as its representatives often claim, the audience heard last week at the annual international conference of the United Kingdom’s Royal Geographical Society.
- The conference heard that carbon dioxide emissions from tourists’ travel are expected to quadruple by 2100, making a significant contribution to climate change, which disproportionately affects developing countries.
- Paul Peeters, who researches sustainable tourism at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, said that tourism’s economic contribution is limited because it mainly offers basic jobs such as working in hotels or restaurants.