Some Potential Benefits and Costs to
the Community From Tourism
Brings in outside dollars to support community facilities and services
that otherwise might not be developed.
Encourages civic involvement and pride.
Provides cultural exchange between hosts and guests.
Encourages the preservation and celebration of local festivals and
Facilities and infrastructure supported by tourism (e.g. the
railway) can also benefit residents.
Encourages the learning of new languages and skills.
Inca burial site excavation
May attract visitors whose lifestyles and ideas conflict with the
May change individual behaviour and family relationships.
Overloading of porters leads to health problems
May lead to the loss of traditional values and culture through
imitation of visitor behaviour or cultural diffusion resulting from normal,
Crowding and congestion on the roads, footpaths and in the narrow
Tourists compete with residents for available services and
facilities. Backpackers use the local train rather than the much more luxurious
and expensive tourist train.
Leads to an increase in crime in the area.
Desecration of burial sites and the removal and display of human
remains from Machu Picchu to further stimulate tourism. This has contributed to
the destruction of the Indian spiritual heritage.
Fosters conservation and preservation of natural, cultural and
Could be considered a clean industry.
Tourists on the Inca Trail
Plastic water bottles litter the route
Up to 2,000 people visit the Machu Picchu citadel every day, with
visitor numbers growing at 6 percent a year. The site is being slowly eroded by
Machu Picchu is located among steep slopes that are constantly
being eroded by heavy rains and landslides are common. Although the recovery of
the original terraces, many of which are still buried under the vegetation,
helps to stabilise the slopes and ensure conservation, it is a costly
Timber has been cut along the Inca trail for fuel for cooking and
forest fires in the vicinity have threatened Machu Picchu on several occasions.
Until now, the influx of visitors has been kept under control to
the extent that the only way of reaching the site was by railway. But plans to
build a road from Cuzco and a cable car running from the valley to the top of
Machu Picchu could lead to irreparable harm being done.
The number of people hiking along the Inca Trail rose from 6,000 in
1984 to 82,000 in 2000. The trail is being eroded and tea bags and water bottles
litter the route, where campsites are scarce.
Unorganized urban growth in the area with human waste pumped direct
into the Urubamba river. Aguas Calientes has mushroomed in size as more hotels
and restaurants have been built to accommodate the needs of tourists, and the
burden is evident in the heaps of garbage piled along the banks of the Urubamba
Helicopters have been allowed to fly in tourists and operate
low-flying tours, thereby disturbing not only the peaceful quality of the ruins,
but potentially damaging them. Peru's Institute of Natural Resources said those
flights led to the disappearance of a rare species of orchid and the Andean
Condor from the area.
Attracts high-spending tourists from higher socio-economic groups.
Provides governments with extra tax revenues each year through
accommodation and restaurant taxes, airport taxes, sales taxes, Inca trail and
Machu Picchu entrance fees, employee income tax etc.. At $20 an entrance ticket,
Machu Picchu generates $6 million a year for Peru, while the Inca trail brings
in another $3 million, according to Machu Picchu Management.
Creates local jobs and business opportunities. These include those
jobs directly related to tourism (hotel and tour services) and those that
indirectly support tourism (such as food production and housing construction).
The multiplier effect:
Brings new money into the economy. Tourist money is returned to the local
economy as it is spent over and over again.
Helps attract additional businesses and services to support the tourist
Earns valuable foreign exchange.
Inflates property values and prices of goods and services.
Employment tends to be seasonal. Workers are laid off in the low season.
Tourist numbers can be adversely affected by events beyond the control of
the destination e.g. terrorism, economic recession. This is a problem in
Peru for the country is over-dependent upon tourism. Tourism dependency
leakage- the money earned by tourism does not stay in the country but is
used to pay for imports required by tourists.