Tourism: Pros and Cons
|Tourists watch a herd of buffalo cross the road in |
Moremi Game Reserve.
Throughout our journey, we've seen tourists – fishing in boats, hiking through the bush, at lodges built on remote islands accessible only by plane. I wondered about the affects of so many people using this fragile ecosystem.
Strong boat currents can damage the nests of aquatic birds; some tourist lodges have inadequate septic systems; and no one really knows what impact airplanes might have as they fly repeatedly in and out of the Delta. Some people claim that tourists have brought tomatoes to the Delta in their lunch boxes, and escaped seeds have enabled the plant to thrive here far from its native South America. The effects of this non-native species on the local ecosystem is unknown.
On the other hand, tourism provides jobs for local people who might otherwise make a living some other way – by poaching animals, perhaps. And the fact that tourists come here to see animals provides an incentive for them to be protected.
IN DEPTH: Learn more about ecotourism.
What do AquaRAP scientists think about the effects of tourism? Look for answers in our next report.
– Reported by Clare Nielsen
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