Paper Example. Tourism as a Human Right

Published: 2023-05-03
Paper Example. Tourism as a Human Right
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Tourism Human rights Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1844 words
16 min read

Tourists and various travel firms get upset and think that their rights are violated when travel restrictions are placed. Tourism is a human rights issue due to the impacts it has on the environment, the wellbeing of the cultures surrounding the various tourist sites, and the survival of indigenous people. There have been increasing cases of exploitation and inequalities that the poor face, with the rich portraying the worst types of tourism practices. It is also evident that the money earned from tourism does not reach the host communities. Regarding tourism as a human right is a hard task due to the conflicts that may arise between the hosts and the visiting tourists as well as the many negative effects that uncontrolled tourism will have on the host countries.

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Cultural Effects

Tourism has many benefits to a country and the host communities when the money acquired is equally shared and used to make the lives of the poor communities better. However, it has many disadvantages as well, which creates a need to regulate the number of tourists into an attraction site in a certain period of time (McCabe and Diekmann, 2015, pp. 194-204). Allowing tourism to be a human right will negatively affect the local communities in the host countries as they will face reduced wellbeing due to the inequality and exploitation that they will likely face.

Making tourism to be a human right with no restriction also most likely causes many people in the local communities to experience a negative change of their values and local identities. The loss of authenticity of the local communities is caused by standardization, commoditization and the adaptation forms to the demands of the increasing numbers of tourists (Breakey N. and Breakey H., 2013, pp. 739-748). Many local people will most likely forget their cultures and ways of life as more of them get assimilated into foreign cultures.

When tourism is regarded as a human right, it increases the number of tourists visiting various attraction sites, making it hard to control them. The local communities are faced with the task to meet the increasing demands of the tourists; hence they suffer the most (Zmyslony, 2011, pp. 299-312). The need to fulfill such needs increases relationships, most of which are unequal and exploitative. The poor communities become more vulnerable and suffer a lot from the negative effects that uncontrolled tourism has on them and their countries.

The money acquired from the increased tourism activities is rarely used for the development and benefits of the local people as it is taken by a few rich individuals in the host country (Holden, 2016, pp. 25-252). Local communities in many tourist destination countries feel that their basic human rights are violated when tourism is regarded as a human right mainly due to the leakage effect where the benefits never reach them.

The liberty of the local people that surround the tourist attraction sites would be negatively affected as they have no control over their local areas due to increased numbers of tourists. The tourists will have a right to travel to any place to travel to, leaving the local communities vulnerable to many problems as they cannot even buy different products from their local markets because they are filled up with tourists (Higgins-Desbiolles and Whyte, 2015, pp. 105-116). Most of the products' prices are hiked, making it hard for the local communities to afford them.

The increasing number of tourists due to tourism being made a human right also leads to loss of morals as many of them do not respect the cultural values and beliefs of the local communities. They get drunk in public and sexually exploit the locals in their areas of travel increasing risks of the spread of diseases among the community members (Simon et al., 2017, pp. 27-41). Most values and morals of the tourists and the local communities in the host countries differ, making it possible for conflicts to arise between them and can cause dangerous fights that may lead to death. Most locals like the Buddhists believe in the word right as the right thing to do and not something that people are demanding, which makes it hard for the controlling of fights between them and the increased number of tourists as they fight for what they believe.

Environmental Effects

A right to tourism will make the planning of tourism activities harder as the number of tourists increase and flock to certain places with no regulations because they have a right to visit them. A large number of tourists leads to environmental degradation, as most visitors generate pollution and waste (McCabe, 2018, pp. 29-41). The same natural attractions that make them visit an area can be easily jeopardized by the huge numbers through overuse as well as improper uses. The increasing need for countries to provide different services to the tourists will most likely cause an increase in demand for land in prime locations like special views, beachfront, and mountains, which lead to a loss of open space and natural landscapes.

The right to tourism will make the individuals destroy flora and fauna, especially when they remove animals, plants, fossils, and other cultural artifacts from their natural habitats. The inability to control the many tourists who feel that they have a right to visit any place at any time they feel like will lead to overuse, which degrades the sites and landscapes (Ghahremani, 2018, pp. 39-48). The constant streaming in and out of visitors in various sites can disrupt wildlife by disturbing the cycles they breed in and altering their natural behaviors.

A right to tourism increases the rate of global warming across countries around the globe as an increase in the number of people traveling is realized. Global warming is mainly realized from the rate of pollution realized as more planes travel from one tourist site to another across the world (Perkumiene and Pranskuniene, 2019, p. 2138). The amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by planes increases rapidly due to the increase in tourists traveling from one country to another, and the detrimental causes it has on the environment is irreversible. The planes and the vehicles that carry tourists emit harmful gases to the atmosphere, which interfere with the protective layer making the earth vulnerable to hot rays from the sun. The rays affect the climate and may lead to more natural calamities in various parts of the earth, such as floods, drought, and famine.

Economic Effects

Rights to tourism increase the number of casual employees required to satisfy the needs of the many tourists who visit an area. Tourism also brings in a lot of income to the host countries, but leakages also increase increasing corruption rates (Goodwin, 2016, pp. 1-30). Many travel agencies and different service providers are owned by foreign investors, so the host countries do not benefit a lot from the money brought by the tourists. The foreign companies, therefore, take the money to their home countries and develop them instead of using it to develop the tourism areas as well as the local communities.

The increased number of tourists also means that the host countries neglect other sectors when the tourism industry is doing well. The right to tourism makes the government use all its major resources to build the tourism sector and neglect other sectors, which diminishes them (Goodwin, 2016, pp. 1-30). In the case of natural disasters or political unrest, the tourism sector suddenly reduces its activities, leaving the country vulnerable because it ignored other sectors.

The sudden growth in the employment sector also may create chances of major downfalls because the jobs are sometimes seasonal and inconsistent making the local people work for few months each year with no room for growth and frequent hiring and firing depending on seasons and the numbers of tourists that visit an area (McCabe, 2018, pp. 29-41). The job also comes with a lack of security as it does not come with any package or benefits which easily leave the employees vulnerable to lack of jobs after a certain period, which affects their daily livelihoods and may cause poverty. The sudden lack of jobs may cause rising cases of insecurity in the country as the workers search for an alternative to feed their families and maintain their past living standards.

The huge number of tourists traveling to a tourism site creates a lot of damage to the same things that they come to see. Some of them carry invasive vegetation that becomes a threat to the natural beauty of an area. The government of the host country is therefore left with the burden to clear such invasive vegetation and try to rectify the damaged sites (McCabe and Diekmann, 2015, pp. 194-204). These activities to restore a tourist attraction site to its former state before it is damaged costs the government a lot of money that would have otherwise been used for other development purposes if the number of tourists visiting an area for a certain period is regulated.


The idea that all people have the right to travel to whichever places they want with no restrictions is wrong. The increase of tourists visiting a country has many disadvantages which affect the local communities and the economy at large. Instead of people focusing on being given a right to tourism, they should focus more on doing the right thing and reduce chances of excess tourism activities in an area which reduces the beauty of the tourist attraction sites and increases chances of pollution that degrades the environment and causes many adverse effects most of which are irreversible.


Breakey, N., and Breakey, H., 2013. Is there a right to tourism? Tourism Analysis, 18(6), pp.739-748.

Ghahremani, D., 2018. Tourism Development and Human Rights. Journal of Tourism Hospitality Research, 6(3), pp.39-48.

Goodwin, H., 2016. Responsible tourism: Using tourism for sustainable development. Goodfellow Publishers Ltd.

Higgins-Desbiolles, F., and Whyte, K.P., 2015. Tourism and human rights. The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Sustainability. Oxon: Routledge, pp.105-116.

Holden, A., 2016. Environment And Tourism. 2nd ed. Routledge, pp.25-252.

McCabe, S., and Diekmann, A., 2015. The rights to tourism: reflections on social tourism and human rights. Tourism Recreation Research, 40(2), pp.194-204.

McCabe, S., 2018. Social tourism and its contribution to sustainable tourism. Cuadernos Economicos de Informacion Comercial Espanola, 93, pp. 29-41.

Perkumiene, D., and Pranskuniene, R., 2019. Overtourism: Between the right to travel and residents' rights. Sustainability, 11(7), p.2138.

Simon, T., Busuioc, M.F., Niculescu, A.C., and Radulescu, A., 2017. Current Issues of Social Tourism In Romania. Romanian Economic and Business Review, 12(4), pp.27-41.

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