Where did you spend your last holidays? Did you sunbathe on a foreign beach or go sightseeing in some historic city? It seems we have all become tourists, rushing off on weekend excursions and package holidays. The tourist industry is booming, but should we be pleased or worried about its effects?
Let’s begin with the positive side. First of all, surely nobody would disagree with the statement that tourism benefits both the holiday maker and the host country. Travel broadens the mind, encouraging tolerance and understanding between peoples. Second, tourism provides employment and can contribute significantly to the economy of a country. This is of particular importance in poor developing countries. The income generated by tourism helps to pay for education, hospitals, roads and airports. Finally, tourism can benefit wildlife. When local people realise that tourists will pay to see animals in their natural habitats, they are more inclined to protect these creatures rather than hunt and kill them.
If there are so many benefits to tourism, what's the problem? Well, it is certainly true that the effects of tourism can be unpredictable. To begin with, tourism can ruin an area of beauty, especially when over-development is allowed. We have all heard of resorts that are overrun with rowdy, unpleasant holiday makers. In some cases, the yearly invasion can be so bad that local people have had to move away. Another concern is the effect of tourism on wildlife. We are disrupting the lives of animals in many ways, whether by noise, disturbance or pollution. Think, for example, of the beaches used by turtles over thousands of years that have now been ruined by developers.
So is tourism a blessing or a curse? The answer must be that it is both. Part of the problem is that the results of tourist activity are sometimes unpredictable. The fact that developers do not mean to wipe out an endangered species from the face of the earth does not make the event any less tragic. Perhaps we need to become more responsible as tourists and subscribe to the spread of eco-tourism. If we give more consideration to the impact of our activities on the places we visit, we can go some way to lessening the worst effects of tourism.
● Find words and phrases in the article which mean the same as the words in italics.
1. The tourist industry is flourishing.
2. It’s a thrill to see animals in the places where they live naturally.
3. Some tourists are unwelcome because they are very badly-behaved and noisy.
4. Tourism is disturbing the lives of people in many small communities.
5. Developers may cause an endangered species to become extinct.
6. People are becoming aware of the need to support eco-tourism.
7. Large-scale tourism can have an unpredictable effect on a small community.
8. We can go some way to decreasing the worst effects of tourism.
10.3. Match the words to form collocations. Sometimes there is more than one answer.
1. weekend a) excursion
2. endangered b) habitat
3. holiday c) holiday
4. host d) activity
5. developing e) country
6. natural f) industry
7. package g) resort
8. tourist h) species
9. foreign i) market
10. poor j) beach
10.4. Match the two parts of the words.
1. sun a) end
2. sight b) development
3. week c) bathe
4. wild d) tourism
5. over e) run
6. over f) seeing
7. eco g) life
10.5. Answer the following questions.
1. How do you think tourism benefits holiday makers? Make a list, e.g. It offers the chance of rest and relaxation.
2. What benefits does tourism bring to host countries? Make a list, e.g. It brings in money.
3. In what ways can tourism benefit wildlife?
4. What negative effects can it have on wildlife?
5. In what ways can tourism benefit local communities?
6. What negative effects can it have on local communities? (Think of local people living in or near a big, new resort.)
7. In what way can the effects of tourism be ‘unpredictable’? Can you think of some concrete examples?
8. Do you think that tourism on its present scale is a blessing or a curse?
10.6. Explain the following phrases in bold from the article with your own words.
1. “…rushing off on weekend excursions…”
2. “…the host country”.
3. “Travel broadens the mind.”
4. “…tourism can benefit wildlife.”
5. “…by developers.”
6. “…subscribe to the spread of ecotourism.”
10.7. The leaflet below is trying to make readers aware of the problem that is threatening the wildlife in the UK.
● Which paragraph gives:
1. a definition of habitat?
2. an explanation of what is happening in the wildlife and why?
3. an explanation of what we can do to help endangered species?
4. a definition of wildlife?
UK WILDLIFE – SOS!
What is wildlife?
‘Wildlife’ means all the plants, animals and other living things found in the wild.These can be mammals such as squirrels,reptiles like the sand lizard,fish, insects, and tinylittle animals that you can’t see easily.
What are habitats?
Habitats are the places where plants and animals live. They are all around us – on the land, in the water, in the city and in the countryside. Habitats can be large, like woodlandsand farmlands,or small, like pondsand hedgerows.Some animals live in really tiny places, like the space between sand grains!
What is happening?
In the UK alone, there are about 37,000 different species of animals and 65,000 different species of plants. Sadly, though, over the last 100 years more than 170 plant and animal species have completely disappeared. Today, about 15% of all British wildlife is still at risk,especially animals such as the otter and the brown hare. Unless we do something to help, things will only get worse.
The main reason why some types of plants and animals are becoming endangered speciesis that their habitats are lost or have changed. Animals like moths,birds and batshave lost their homes as people have cut down the hedgerows they live in. Also, a lot of ponds are no longersuitable for the animals and plants to live in because they are polluted, or people have filled them in.
What can we do?
We need to save many species of endangered British wildlife from extinctionbefore it is too late. You can help by supporting environmental groupslike the Environment Agency that are working to protect our rarewildlife and habitats from the danger of disappearing forever. You can even create a small wildlife habitat yourself, by making a pond in your garden.
10.8. Match the words and phrases in bold with their definitions and synonyms.
1. small furry animals (red, grey and black)
2. not in captivity
3. small reptile with a long tail
4. small lakes
5. area where there are many farms, fields
6. very small
7. small pieces of sand
9. facing danger
10. animals and plants that are about to die out
11. long rows of bushes, trees or shrubs
12. insects that are like butterflies
13. not any more
14. not common
15. organisations that help nature
16. the death of a species
17. mammals that look like mice with wings
10.9. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)?
1. The UK is a very big country and it has a wide range of wildlife.
2. Many wildlife habitats are disappearing so that many species are left without homes.
3. Forests cover a little part of the UK.
4. People pollute rivers and lakes so that this habitat is not spoiled.
5. Otters, hares, deer are not at risk.
6. A lot of ponds aresuitable for the animals and plants to live in.
7. People are becoming more aware of what is happening to British wildlife.
10.10. Read the two passages below and do the activities after them.
Nearly one-third of the coastline of England and Wales has been defined as Heritage Coast – 850 miles of some of the finest coastal scenery to be found anywhere in Europe.
In 1965 the National Trust launched a fund-raising campaign to protect the best natural coastal scenery in England and Wales (Scotland has its own coastal conservation scheme) and to encourage people to enjoy it without changing its character.
Most of the 40 or so Heritage Coasts originally planned have now been defined, and the first stage of the project is virtually complete. The future of some sections of Heritage Coast is reasonably well assured because they coincide with National Parks, nature reserves, National Trust land, etc. But in other areas everything depends on the continuinggoodwill and support of landowners and local authorities, and on the co-operation of the public when visiting the coast. Many conflicting interests are involved, and resolving them all is no easy task.