GCSE Geography: Extreme tourism

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  • Created on: 19-03-13 17:59
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EXTREME TOURISM
Why are tourists attracted to extreme environments?
o Ideal settings for adventure holiday activities e.g. jeep tours, river rafting etc.
o People want to do something different and exciting. People enjoy an element of risk and
danger in their leisure time.
o Some wildlife can only be seen in these areas. E.g. penguins in Antarctica.
o Some scenery can only be seen in these areas. E.g. icebergs in cold environments.
Why is tourism increasing in extreme environments?
o Improvements in transport made it quicker and easier to get to these places. E.g. the
Qinghai-Tibet railway that links China and Tibet ( an extreme mountain environment) opened
in 2006.
o People are keen to see places like Antarctica before the ice melts due to global warming.
o People have more disposable incomes so more people can afford it.
o They are becoming more popular due to Tv programmes and advertising.
Antarctic
A continent at the Earths south pole. Covers an area of 14 million km2 and 98% is covered with
Ice.
Number of tourists is increasing: there were 7413 in the 1996/1997 season, but 46 000 in the
2007/2008 season.
Tourists are attracted to stunning scenery (icebergs) and the wildlife (penguins and whales). Extreme
sports e.g. ice cliff climbing and there are increasing Antarctic cruise ship tours.
Environmental impacts:
The land ecosystems on Antarctica are very fragile ­ it takes them a long time to recover. The sea
ecosystem is also delicately balanced. This means that tourists have a big impact on the environment:
Tourists trample plants, disturb wildlife and drop litter.
Tourists could accidentally non-native species and diseases that wipe out existing species.
Spillage of oil from ships e.g. after the sinking of the MS Explorer in 2007, this kills molluscs
which disrupts the food chain.
How to cope with the tourists:
A maximum of only 100 tourists are allowed on the land at a time. The
international Association of Antarctic tour operators has created a voluntary code of conduct:
Wildlife must not be disturbed when being observed. There
are specially protected areas which are off limits to tourists. Litter ­
nothing can be left behind by tourists and smoking is banned.
Tourists must not walk on fragile plant life. Tourists
must always be supervised by a qualified guide preventing them from disturbing wildlife.
Sewage must be treated biologically.

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