Whether it be a well anticipated trip to Peru, or a group trip to Thorpe Park, we are all guilty of thoughtlessly travelling to popular destinations. However, we do tend to overlook the impact of our adventures on the state of our planet.
Large masses of tourists travelling to specific destinations is detrimental to the environment, encouraging deforestation, water pollution and wasting of energy. Whilst some landmarks with cultural, historical or scientific significance across the world are protected by international treaties such as UNESCO, we should still be considerate of the environmental impact of our wanderlust.
“Travelling to this over-populated city will do far more damage to the environment than your wallet”
Not to say that we should cancel all our future trips, but we could start off with just being more wary of how bad for the environment the following holiday destinations are.
- London, UK
Nearby, yet an environmental tragedy: travelling to this over-populated city will do far more damage to the environment than your wallet. The increased demand for efficient transport has caused an entire new tube line to be built, called the Elizabeth Line. Travelling on the underground exposes you to eight times more air pollution than when using cars or buses. Such levels of air pollution are also a worry in other popular cities like Qatar.
“There is an endless list as to why visiting theme parks is harmful for our planet”
- Cornwall, UK
Country land suffers extreme environmental issues due to tourism, causing the erosion of land and soil, increased litter and damaged livestock. The ecosystem can also be affected negatively, for instance, in Cornwall there was a 45% rise in levels of waste because of the large quantity of tourists visiting.
Tourism also increases stress on freshwater supplies in all places similar to Peru, where water is in high demand already. This includes Central Asia, Oceania and Africa. It is predicted that 2/3 of the world’s population will be living with water shortages by 2025. Mass tourism destroys the beautiful natural and historical landmarks in Peru, such as Machu Picchu. So, when we plan on trekking the Inca trail, let’s be more careful regarding when we decide to travel and our surroundings.
Whilst a beautiful and cultured place, air pollution levels are increasingly causing pollution-related death in rural areas of India. The levels of trash and pollution, combined with waste production is at an all time high in India. The construction of hotels and recreation has also led to increased sewage pollution, polluting seas and lakes surrounding popular tourist attractions. Sewage run off damages coral reefs, ultimately threatening the survival of both humans and animals.
“When the beautiful places in our planet are suffering because of us, it only makes sense to educate ourselves”
- General theme parks
There is an endless list as to why visiting theme parks is harmful for our planet. To name a few things, food stalls that serve us in takeout containers typically throw out left-over food, and rarely recycle containers. There are also huge emissions for the shows, lights and entertainment, for just an average theme park, let alone the likes of Thorpe Park.
- Joyous road trips
We all look forward to a long road trip both with our friends or alone, and the freedom of travelling alone gives us the ability to make things more environmentally friendly. The reality is that driving a car over a long distance will inevitably increase your emission carbon footprint. Why not try inter-railing, the much more eco-friendly option?
Hopefully this brings to light some of the issues surrounding tourism, motivating you to be more thoughtful and wary when booking your next trip. When the beautiful places in our planet are suffering because of us, it only makes sense to educate ourselves regarding these issues and prevent further environmental damage.
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