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Costs and Benefits of Tourism

Tourism can bring both benefits and negative impacts on destination communities. Among the main positive effects are revenues, taxes, jobs, investments, and infrastructure (Johnson et al., 1994; Seetanah, 2011). At the same time, the costs of tourism are associated with the depletion of resources, air and water pollution, increased noise, traffic congestion, and many other consequences (Hadinejad et al., 2019; Scott et al., 2019). In addition, the tourism industry has recently had to confront new challenges relating to economic and social instability, global pandemic, terrorism, environmental issues, and popular anti-tourism protests in many destinations (Uysal et al., 2016; Fotiadis et al., 2021). As the number of visitors increases and the destination reaches its capacity, the negative impacts from receiving additional visitors overweight the economic benefits from tourism.

The numbers of tourist arrivals have grown significantly for the last decades bringing both positive and negative outcomes for the host destinations. More than 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals and US$1.7 trillion of international tourism receipts were recorded in 2019 (UNWTO, 2021). The number of international tourist arrivals has increased by a factor of five since the 1980s (UNWTO, 2021). At the same time, the transportation system, social infrastructure, attractions, and many other services in tourist destinations were initially created for local people and are not designed for the increasing numbers of visitors (Koens et al., 2018). As a result, this dramatic growth of international visitors led to overcrowding and overtourism that significantly affected residents’ wellbeing (Milano et al., 2018).

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