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Earth Summit Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
What happens to our tourist dollar?
International travel has never been easier - every year nearly 700 million tourist trips are made abroad.

Developing countries are increasingly turning to tourism as a way of diversifying their economies, stimulating investment and generating earnings.

But the impact of millions of visitors a year to secluded beaches and undeveloped islands is rapidly taking its toll on fragile ecosystems and local cultures.

How do the developing countries preserve their environment and culture for future generations?

Is the developed world exploiting poorer countries in the tourism game? And who benefits from the tourist dollars? Tell us what you think?


This debate is now closed.

Your reaction

Citizens of other countries spend their summer vacations in their own country

Dr B. Vaughan, Adelaide, Australia
It is the British and other Northern Europeans who spend their summer vacations chasing the sun. Citizens of other countries spend their summer vacations in their own country and use their less frequent overseas travel to learn about other cultures, especially Europe.
Dr B. Vaughan, Adelaide, Australia

Tourism is so one-sided. People from developed countries can afford to visit developing countries but not the other way round. Most tourists visit countries such as the US, UK, Europe etc. These countries benefit immensely, so would developing countries.
Keith, Gillingham, UK

When visiting India last year, all the guidebooks advised us to stick to government run shops etc, as these were the best value and ensured the money was fairly distributed. What rubbish! We found that buying goods in markets and bartering (gently!) was much more fun, allowed us to meet people and learn more about Indian culture than any number of government enterprises. Go direct, you'll have more fun, you'll give money directly to those in need and you'll enrich your own experience, and possibly that of the people you meet.
Liz, UK

Tourist dollars are increasingly failing to reach the local population as tourists in exotic countries seek businesses run by people of their own ethnic group. English speaking companies who offer English/American standards of service triumph over struggling local firms who wish to gain a market share. Tourism is just another corporate takeover of the local economies of some of the poorest people on earth.
Paul Ramsay, England

I cannot believe what I have been reading! We are destroying our world because of the desire to be richer and more powerful than other countries in the World. What is the point if in the end nobody is going to be better of? Who want's to live in a World full of pollution, disease and ecological destruction? Nobody really wants that, so why don't all the Political leaders of the World finally do something constructive and put an end to war and really start fighting for something that matters - the World's future?
Katie, Glasgow, United Kingdom


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