Describe a tourist destination you have visited.
Kos is a wonderful island located in the Dodecanese island group of south eastern Greece. It's a small island having about 30.000 permanent residents who are split around the two main towns and several of the island's villages. The beauty of the island can already be seen from the airplane as it combines sea and mountains served in a wonderful green environment. Kos has wonderful organized sandy beaches around it's coast as well as countless breathtaking and secluded ones you can discover by yourself, for those interested in culture there are countless sites where ancient ruins lie like the Asclipion, the Roman Theatre, the Temple of Apollo the two medieval castles and the archaeological and cultural museums. But Kos is not all about beaches, exploring or culture there are plenty of things going on on the island also for the young and restless beach parties, concerts, discos, bars, restaurants and parties lasting all night long.
Assess the impact (positive and negative) of your visit on the environment.
People visiting an area contribute to its development and preservation, it is obvious tourists are attracted to an area because of the environment.
- Tourists like me can significantly contribute to environmental protection, conservation and restoration of biological adversity as well as sustainable use of natural resources because locals see the value of maintaining the natural beauty in order to attract tourists and as a consequence revenue. And as people come closer in contact with the environment they begin to realise the environmental problems that should be dealt with because they harm the natural resources.
- Money tourists pay in order to visit natural parks or ancient sites help in developing funds which can be committed in the preservation and care of maintaining the nature and wildlife intact. Such user fees, income taxes, taxes on sale or rental of recreation equipment and licence fees for activities such as hunting and fishing provides great revenues to the local community and the government and these funds can be further used for programs and activities like park ranger salaries and park maintenance.
- Many of the solutions for reducing the impacts of tourism as the number of people arriving at the destination rises are placed together under the label of 'ecotourism'.
Sometimes also called sustainable tourism tends to overlap with adventurous excursions, wildlife and nature travel. True ecotourism however has to simultaneously benefit the environment, local societies as well as tourists. Hotels and other outlets of the tourism industry begin to care for the environment as well using environmental friendly means to handle their waste, recycling and so on.
But tourism development can put great pressure on resources particularly in areas like remote islands like Kos where resources are already limited.
- The tourism industry generally overuses water resources for hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal use of water by tourists. This can result in water shortages and degradation of water supplies, as well as generating a greater volume of waste water. Particularly in drier regions like Kos Island, the issue of water scarcity is of particular concern. Because of the hot climate and the tendency of tourists to consume more water when on holiday than they do at home, the amount used can run up to 440 litres a day. This is almost double what the whole island's population uses.
- Tourism also creates great pressure on resources like power, food and other raw materials that are already limited. While greater extraction and transport of these resources causes the physical impacts associated with their exploitation to increase. Also because of the seasonal nature of the tourism industry Kos has a much greater population during the high season which departs after season is over but the increased seasonal population also contributed to the pressure of the resources.
- Tourism means building and developing, building needs space and space is 'free land'. And in most cases that free land used to build hotel complexes are forests, fertile soil, wetlands and wild life; landscapes vanish cement grows with each year.
- Tourism causes pollution like any other industry. Air pollution and noise come from tourism as well, air planes since tourism accounts for more than 60% of air travel, car rentals, buses motorbikes and the emission of CO2 produced by means of transport is more then doubled during the summer season not only on Kos but other islands as well. Not mentioning all the night clubs restaurants or parties which create enough noise to be heard for more than several meters around the actual area where the music originally comes from disturbing all life in the area. With increased population the number of waste also increases and carless tourists many times litter in places they should not because there are no trash cans or they didn't bother to look for one. Such solid waste can be found in forests, on the mountains where people leave or forget all kind of things or along the shore lines or even travel the waves to other islands. And with all the waste hotels create on daily bases even the landfield is overloaded with garbage they can't handle.
- Construction of hotels, recreation and other facilities often leads to increased sewage pollution. Wastewater has polluted seas and lakes surrounding the island, damaging the flora and fauna. Sewage pollution threatens the health of humans and animals as its one way for chemicals used in cleaning to enter the food chain as fish, plants and other basic sources of food are infected.
- Often tourism fails to integrate its structures with the natural features and indigenous architecture of the destination. Large, dominating resorts of complex design can look out of place in any natural environment and may clash with the native design and architecture. The lack of planning how to use the land available and building regulations in many of Greece's destinations, Kos being no exception, has facilitated sprawling developments along coastlines, valleys and scenic routes. The sprawl includes tourism facilities themselves and supporting infrastructure such as roads, employee housing, parking, service areas, and waste disposal.
Describe two actions that individuals could take in the future to maintain the sustainability of this environment.
- Tourists should not waste water because it's not their home so they don't have to care quite the opposite because they are in a foreign place they should be more careful and even more considerate regarding the quantity of water they use during their stay. So instead of taking a bubble bath, why not take a shower instead or use the controlled flush of the toilet depending on his needs and the same goes for tab water use it when you need it don't leave water running while not using it. The reason is that the water they might possibly miss from the locals who stay on the island all year round and need all the resources their home has to offer.
- Visitors should also take in mind that the environment is important both for them and the locals and for that reason they should not litter in places they would not in their own homes. While going on field trip, or walks in the city or in the countryside or in the forest or beach they should not leave trash behind or at least not throw it away just anywhere they like but look for a trash can or a place designated for that purpose, because if someone goes for a walk and sees the garbage scattered all around he won't like what he sees and won't care for his own litter either but if the place is clean he will think twice before leaving littering.
Describe two actions that destination managers could take in the future to maintain the sustainability of this environment.