GOOD GOLF GRIEF!
Tourism, which sells luxury and indulgence, can be a profligate consumer of natural resources.
Worldwide, 50 million people play golf. Each year, up to 5,000 hectares of the Earth’s land surface – an area the size of Paris – is cleared for golf courses. The planet’s 25,000 golf courses use large areas of land and require huge amounts of water (an 18-hole course can consume more than 2.3 million liters of water daily), fertilizer and pesticides to produce the smooth, green surfaces that golfers demand.
A study in the Philippines found water used on the 19 golf courses it surveyed could have irrigated 1,500 small holdings or supplied 330,000 Manila residents (Social Cost of Golf Courses, Omi Royandoyan, Philippine Peasants Institute, 1997). Another Philippines study found that the average golf course uses 24 million gallons of water per month – enough to irrigate 65 hectares of farmland or to supply a 2,000-room 4-star hotel.
Perhaps the greatest environmental problem of tourism is the contribution of air travel to global warming. Passenger jets are overtaking cars as the primary means of tourist travel. An estimated 43 percent of international tourists now fly to their destinations, while 42 percent travel by road and 15 percent use either rail or ship.
A large hotel in Egypt uses as much electricity as 3,600 families.
The water used by tourist in 3.6 days could produce enough rice to feed a villager in the South for a year.
A Philippines study found that a hotel guest uses as much water in 18 days as a rural family does in a year. Daily consumption per guest was 2,720 liters (including cooking, laundry, swimming pools, showers and watering lawns).
A tourist in Spain uses 880 liters of water a day, compared with 250 by a local.
In 1997, along 2 kilometers of beach in Goa, India, there were 50 swimming pools within 300 meters of the sea.
Do you know?
Every year in the Himalayas, 250,000 pilgrims, 25,000 trekkers, 75 mountaineering expeditions climb to the Gangotri Glaciers. They deplete forests for firewood trample riparian vegetation and strew litter. Cruise ships ships in the Caribbean produce more than 70.000 tonnes of waste a year. Fresh water use for 10 big hotels in phuket equals the water used by the whole local population of phuket. Some trails in the Peruvian Andes and in Nepal frequently visisted by tourists have been nicknamed —
Coca-Cola trail & Toilet paper trail