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Negative economic impacts

The economic impacts of tourism are not always positive. In fact, it is possible for tourism to have a devastating effect on local, regional, and national economies.

The introduction of tourism to an area may cause the cost of living to rise for locals as the demand for goods, services, and property rise.

The potential seasonality of tourism, particularly when the focus for the tourism is natural and/or rural, leads to job uncertainty as well as high unemployment in the off season.

The infrastructure associated with tourism may be expensive and come at the cost of local investments in sectors like health and education when governments offer subsidies and tax breaks that the local economy cannot support either with or without tourism (Sharpley, 2008; Sharpley & Telfer, 2014).

Finally, any combination of these factors may lead to an economic dependence on tourism for some or all of the local population. What then happens if, for any reason, the tourists stop coming?

Your task

Conduct a short investigation on destinations that have been negatively affected economically by tourism. Are these effects long lasting? What attempts have been made to mitigate the negative economic effects?


Sharpley, R. (2008). Tourism, Tourists and Society (4th ed). Elm Publications

Sharpley, R., and Telfer, D. J. (2014). Tourism and development: Concepts and issues. Channel View Publications.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Impacts of Tourism

Coventry University