When a village in a coast al location has to pick the most convenient type of tourism to welcome, tourism can be tricky depending on the needs of that particular village. Unfortunately, there are only two methods available. These are mass tourism and alternative tourism. The most effective strategy is a combination of the two. This writing creates a fictional village referred to as “Katavalo” to showcase and analyze the best strategy to follow. It starts by discussing tourism in general before explaining mass and alternative tourism. It further explains sustainable or responsible tourism. The paper also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of tourism using case studies and comparison of the pros and cons of the two. Finally, the paper concludes with recommendations to Katavalo based on the literal evidence. The goal of this writing is to show, which is the most preferred system of tourism for a remote coastal village.
In general, tourism can be both a positive development in a coastal area and a negative development (Bricker et al, 2013). In the past tourism has been, known to bring in work, development, and foreign money to governments and local villages as well. These means that coastal regions that have welcomed tourism have seen their areas develop in terms of shipping, industrial development, aquaculture, and fisheries. However, the resulting problems have been many where clear thinking has not been, welcomed. Tourism has been, known to cause Loss of marine resources because of coral reef destruction caused by overfishing. These also include Soil degradation and loss of existing land resource. These are in addition to pollution of freshwater resource and marine (Bramwell, 2004). In some scenarios tourism also leads to limited access for the public, air pollution and the worst of all being social disruption and loss of cultural resource.
Mass tourism and Alternative tourism
Mass tourism involves thousands or even millions of people visiting a tourist destination at the same time of the year. Because of the high revenue received from mass tourism it is the most preferred in developing countries (Miller, & Ward, 2005). Companies and existing government organizations run mass tourism. Alternative tourism, on the other hand, involves a combination of individual tourist or tourist products. These are different in comparison to mass tourism in means of organization, human resource, and supply.
Sustainable or responsible Tourism
Leslie (2012), defines sustainable tourism as the adaptation and re- focusing of resources to create a balance between usage and limits. Sustainable tourism means changing, planning and monitoring tourism to ensure positive changes are experienced. Harrison (2001), define sustainable tourism as the concept of visiting a location and ensuring only positive impact is experienced by the society, economy and the environment. Keeping with this McCool and Moisey (2009), states that since tourism is closely linked to transportation sustainable tourism also includes factors of sustainable mobility. Sustainable tourism, therefore, demands informed participation of all stakeholders in addition to consensus building and strong political participation to ensure eco-friendly movement (Manente et al 2014).
In addition Manente et al (2014) states that sustainable tourism is a continuous process that introduces corrective and preventive measures whenever needed. Sustainable tourism maintains high tourism satisfaction while ensuring tourists are aware of the how to be a responsible tourist (Singh 2012).
In a village called Katavalo in southeastern Africa, the prospects of having becoming a tourist destination are enticing and encouraging. However, excited villagers should consider a few factors before committing to either mass tourism, alternative tourism or a combination of the two. In Kenya, tourism often combines a visit to the coastal areas of Mombasa, which are laden with white beautiful sand beaches closely guarded by a long coral reef. Communities along the tourism paths in Kenya have been, known to enjoy foreign exchange earnings, jobs, cultural understanding, and infrastructure development. Unfortunately, mass tourism has also been, known to cause unreliable seasonal employment in menial jobs. Alternative tourism also causes underdevelopment as people within this region expect too much than what is available Uysal et al (2012). In most scenarios as seen in Kenya, companies and the government stand to benefit most. Individuals usually stand to lose as the environment and local culture becomes polluted by the increased tourism activity. Unlike mass tourism, alternative tourism fosters more benefits to the local communities. The main reason behind this factor is alternative tourism encourages small companies created by the local communities to be involved thus directly employing the local communities. In a case study in Malaysia by Bramwell (2004), alternative tourism was introduced to solve many of the negative impacts of mass tourism. However, it was, realized that like mass tourism it created its set of problems. One problem, which was significant, was opening up of virgin areas for tourism. Katavalo residents should understand that while mass tourism and alternative tourism have many benefits both create dependency. These means, like in the case of Kenya coastal region, villages become too reliant on tourism, in that in case of a problematic situation; the region suffers economically and holistically. In some communities, mass tourism, and alternative tourism get combined to form one strategy however; this too has its benefits and disadvantages. The local communities tend to show more respect to the environment. It means that where local people are involved they show more respect to the environment. However, many tourists still prefer traditional mass tourism this means less income to the region where alternative tourism gets adapted alone. As observed in a cases study in Malaysia Bramwell (2004), the alternative methods of tourism lead to poor training and thus poor service and marketing capabilities. These led to poor skill training resulting in low tourist turnouts and investments.
Pros and Cons
Mass tourism has huge economic benefit to the region. It means that the governments where mass tourism takes place collect enough revenues to enable training and participation of the local staff. Unlike alternative tourism, mass tourism makes it possible for companies to invest huge amounts in the training of the local communities in skills that would later on benefit the community (William 2004). However, critics of mass tourism point at the impact it has on the local culture. One impact is the loss of vital structures that make the location attractive. These means with time mass tourism takes over and destroy cultural diversity in coastal regions resulting in desolate cultures (Miller and Ward 2005).
Alternative tourism, on the other hand, makes for a more convenient relationship between the tourist and the community resulting in building of the society and the environment alike. Unfortunately as (Robinson 2012), notes alternative tourism leads to poor infrastructure and skill development which in turn depletes the financial resources expected. The reason for this occurrence is luck of any direct investment to infrastructure, training, and accommodation. Even more worrying is the shift of benefits from governments to specific individual power forces in the local communities. These would mean only a few families stand to benefit acting as a replacement to companies and governments. While most would argue for a combined system, brings in some of the disadvantages in mass tourism and alternative tourism. However with good management a combined system can see that tourists continue to visit in mass responsibly benefiting communities directly (UN 2003). These however could only happen if the vested parties are ready to invest colossal amounts of money. This money would go to ensure training of the local communities on tourism skills; building needed infrastructure and accommodation in addition to preserving the environment (Sofield and Trevor 2003).
The only way for Katavalo to benefit is by following the path of mass tourism and alternative tourism. This way the businesspersons interested in investing in Katavalo benefit and the villagers benefit while at the same time ensure the preservation of their cultures. The role of the business men would be to provide investments for skill development and accommodation and infrastructure development. Singh (2012), Gautam (2008), notes that where the two approaches of mass and alternative tourism become, combined the local communities should encourage responsible tourism. These would mean that the business stakeholders would involve local communities in decisions that affect their life chances every time a change of policy is, invoked. Responsible tourism, unlike sustainable tourism, ensures that tourism is responsible to the local economy, environment, and culture (Ritchie and Crouch 2003). These would involve the minimizing of negative environmental, economic, and social impacts. Williams (2004), observes responsible tourism is sensitive to cultural traditions and encourages tourists and their hosts to ensure the continuation of local pride. Adding to this Saarinen (2009), Harrison (2001), notes that responsible tourism ensures the conservation of cultural and natural heritage. These involve ensuring that all people including those with physical challenges have an equal opportunity provided to them. Sustainable or responsible tourism also involves the preservation of surrounding flora and fauna. Katavalo village council should also consider the business aspect of tourism to ensure they offer as much assistance to the business stakeholders for a profitable venture. These would mean the villagers would participate in different occasions of a voluntary project. The purpose would be, to enhance the marketability of their coastal village in turn attracting more tourists who would then bring needed profits to their village. Katavalo village council should also put up systems to assist local people to create supporting businesses that would see them benefit from an individual level. Singh (2012)., notes that locals can benefit a lot working as tour guides, and getting involved in creation and selling of products to tourists. In addition Mowforth and Munt (2003) states a close relationship between the locals and the business society sees to it that the locals gain a lot from needed education
Tourism in the coastal regions brings in economic success. Unfortunately, in most cases the negative aspects of tourism are seen to overcome the positives. Mass tourism on its part acts as the main strategy for most tourism investors. However, this has serious impacts to the environments and is not as convenient to the local communities. As an option tourist destinations have turned to alternative tourism and while it is seen to reduce the negative impact of mass tourism. Alternative tourism fails to convincingly, replace mass tourism in terms of financial or economic benefits. These have left only one option, which is to combine the two to gain benefits from both while mitigating the negativities.
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