Impacts Of Businesses In Tourism Sector On Biodiversity

Focus Areas

Impacts of tourism in relation to the environment and biological diversity may include:

  • Use of land and resources for accommodation, tourism facilities and other infrastructure provision, including road networks, airports and seaports;
  • Extraction and use of building materials (e.g., use of sand from beaches, reef limestone and wood);
  • Damage to or destruction of ecosystems and habitats, including deforestation, draining of wetlands, and intensified or unsustainable use of land;
  • Increased risk of erosion;
  • Disturbance of wild species, disrupting normal behavior and potentially affecting mortality and reproductive success;
  • Alterations to habitats and ecosystems;
  • Increased risk of fires;
  • Unsustainable consumption of flora and fauna by tourists (e.g., through picking of plants; or purchase of souvenirs manufactured from wildlife, in particular such endangered species as corals and turtle shells; or through unregulated hunting, shooting and fishing);
  • Increased risk of introduction of alien species;
  • Intensive water demand from tourism;
  • Extraction of groundwater;
  • Deterioration in water quality (freshwater, coastal waters) and sewage pollution;
  • Eutrophication of aquatic habitats;
  • Introduction of pathogens;
  • Generation, handling and disposal of sewage and waste-water;
  • Chemical wastes, toxic substances and pollutants;
  • Solid waste (garbage or rubbish);
  • Contamination of land, freshwater and seawater resources;
  • Pollution and production of greenhouse gases, resulting from travel by air, road, rail, or sea, at local, national and global levels;
  • Noise Pollution

Source: Convention on Biological Diversity: Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development