Tourist attractions Tourist attractions are either naturally-occuring physical resources - the beach for example - or man-made human resources, such as the Eiffel Tower in France. Tourism is an important contributor to many countries' economies - but it can have negative impacts unless it is properly managed, and the conflicting needs of different interest groups kept in balance. LEDCs in particular can become highly dependent on tourism, which is dangerous if the tourists suddenly stop coming. Ecotourism is a type of sustainable development which tries to. 1. Human and physical attractions 2. Human resources 3. Physical resources 4. Tourism in an MEDC: National Parks 5. Case study: sustainability in a National Park 6. Tourism in a LEDC : advantages and disadvantages 7. Extreme causes of tourism decline 8. Ecotourism 9. Case study: ecotourism at Ayres Rock Human and physical attractions Tourism to a particular destination is often influenced by the human and physical resources found in a particular place. Human resources are tourist attractions that have been made by man, the physical resources are the attractions that have been made by nature. The National Portrait Gallery is a human resource (left) and a walker enjoying the countryside, a physical resource According to a recent survey of British people travelling within the UK, the activity that people like to do the most while on holiday is walking. Walking allows people to enjoy the physical resources of the countryside such as hills, rivers and lakes. The second most popular activity was visiting heritage sites. This includes historical buildings and places where important things happened in the past. These are human resources. The third most popular activity was swimming. People like to swim at the beach or in lakes (physical resources) or swimming pools (human resources). Other popular activities were viewing artistic exhibits, watching performing arts and visiting theme parks (all human resources). Human resources Man-made tourist attractions include: art architecture cultural monuments museums local traditions food and drink music and drama important historical or political sites. The Eiffel Tower in Paris is an example of a cultural monument and a place of architectural interest. As well as admiring it from grond level, tourists can go to the top of the tower and get a great view of Paris, with its River Seine (physical resource) and many beautiful buildings (human resources). Human attractions: The Eiffel Tower in Paris (left) and Robben Island in South Africa Robben Island in South Africa is an example of a historical site or political site. Many people who visit South Africa go to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years in prison. People are interested because Nelson Mandela's struggle and sacrifice helped end Apartheid in South Africa. The table below shows that tourists in the UK are attracted to many different types of man-made tourist attractions. All of these attractions, apart from the London Eye and the Tower of London, are free to enter (though you may have to pay for some activities inside). Physical resources 'Physical resources' refers to the naturally-occurring features of an area which might attract tourists. They include: the physical relief of the landscape, such as beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes and glaciers ecosystems such as rainforest or tropical grasslands, and weather and climate; most tourists seem to like it warm and dry! Physical resource: a beach in Malaysia Managing tourism When an area has resources which attract large numbers of tourists, the tourism needs to be managed if it is not to damage local environments and communities. There needs to be a supporting infrastructure of resources and services for the tourists - roads and paths, airports, hotels, guides etc. This is just as true for MEDCs as for LEDCs. Honeypot is the term given to a tourist site that attracts a lot more tourists than the local infrastructure can cater for. This may occur at a site of natural beauty or historical significance. Over-tourism at a honeypot site can lead to problems such as littering, congestion on roads, lack of parking facilities and footpath erosion. Two UK sites where these problems can be found are Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales and Keswick in the Lake District.
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