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TTC Special: Mass tourism threatens

TTC Special: Mass tourism threatens

A tourism boom looms over Antarctica’s horizon. Photo: Dmitry Burlakov/123rf

By F.Martin
TTC Service.- A planetary phenomenon does not stop threatens tropical beaches, ancient and modern cities, mountainous regions, forests and the poles.

It is not the climate change but mass tourism.

Mass tourism involves tens of thousands of people going to the same resort often at the same time of year. Some experts estimates that these types of holiday are often the opposite to sustainable tourism and ecological tourism. They think as well that the development of mass tourism is parallel to the development and improvements of technology.

For example, they put some of the blame in transportation and internet making communication fast and easy. This allows tourist to research, find out, book and even pay for their holidays online, contributing to the rise of mass tourism.

The transportation industry helps large numbers of people to travel in a short space of time to places of leisure interest, so that greater numbers of people could begin to enjoy the benefits of leisure time.

Whatever the causes, the phenomenon is real and many specialists agree that it should not be taken lightly.

According to a recent article in the digital magazine Ozy, linked to the Financial Times of London, Antarctica has become from a very remote place only visited by researchers and adventurers in a big problem caused by mass tourism.

“A tourism boom looms over Antarctica’s horizon. Tens of thousands of additional sightseers a year, plus a growing number of thrill-seekers in yachts and aircraft, could tax a fragile environment already stressed by global warming” the digital magazine warned.

According to statistics two dozen of polar-class ships will debut in the next few years. For that reason tours operators expect visitor numbers to soar 40 percent above the record of 52,000 set during Antarctica’s most recent summer.

“Mass tourism creates intense environmental pressures due to the fact that such activity involves a large number of tourists in small areas.

An example is “Antarctica XXI” a Chilean company that is also building a vessel that can fly customers to the continent’s scenic South Shetland Islands on week-long air-cruise packages starting at $11,000.

For $84,000, another company White Desert can whisk you from Cape Town in a Gulfstream jet on an eight-day safari to the South Pole, stopping to see emperor penguins beyond the reach of most cruise ships the article added.

If mass tourism is considered a disease, sustainable tourism could be seen as medicine. Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy.

Will it be an effective medicine?