Negative Effects of Tourism on Women

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Globalization has enhanced the increase in the level of tourism globally. The activities of tourists have increased both in quantity and frequency with the establishment of computer and internet technology. Tourists can identify their desired tourism destinations in the comfort of their homes using their internet devices. Booking and planning can also be made online and thus the rapid increase in the number of tourists who visit various global destinations annually. The increase in the level of tourism has presented both positive and negative impacts to the economy of the host country. Tourism is significant because it earns the host country with foreign exchange which is substantial in fostering development activities in the country (Frent, 2016, 88). However, there are also a number of negative impacts that are associated with tourism. The negative effects of tourism can be broken down into the impacts of tourism on the environment and the impacts that this economic activity has on the social lifestyle of the communities who inhabit the host countries. The socio-cultural effects of tourism are the impacts that arise as a result of local communities interacting with the tourists. The interaction between the two groups of individuals leads to cross-cultural differences that affect the culture of women in the society (Sabiote et al., 2016, 35) Women who come from communities that practice high levels of international tourism are therefore negatively affected by the economic activity of tourism. Some of the negative impacts of tourism on the women representation in the community include overdependence on tourist for funds, negligence of gender roles in the society, indulgence in drug abuse and even the cause of marriage break-ups. This paper analyzes some of the negative effects of tourism on women in the host countries. Understanding the effects of tourism can enable the international tourism and management department to ascertain strategies that are aimed at reducing the negative effects of tourism.

Over-dependence on Tourists for Funds

The over-dependence on tourist for funds by the women representation in the community is a primary adverse effect of tourism. International tourist often requires the services of the local residents to maneuver comfortably in their country. Most women engage in the tourism services without adequate education and skills of conducting the activity. The tourist appreciates the services of locals through various tokens and money. Women in the tourism community have thus developed a dependence on the money from tourists. Over depending on the tokens given by the tourist have prevented a majority of the women from engaging in any other form of economic activity. The economy of a country can not grow and develop if the residents of the country depend on a single economic activity as their source of income. Money given as free token is also not a form of income and should be excluded when calculating the gross domestic product of a country (Feldstein, 2017, 145). Personal income should be earned from an economic activity where a service or product is exchanged for compensation. Over-dependence on the tokens from tourist has also lead to congestion of women who take part in the escort services. Women are mostly associated with this form of generating income because of the ease at which they received free money from the tourists. The international tourism and management department should educate women on the significance of earning real income from entrepreneurial ventures as opposed to free tokens given by the tourists. The government should also establish employment opportunities for the women and skills development that can enable them to produce products which can be sold to the tourists.

Negligence of Gender Roles

Negligence of gender roles is a negative effect of tourism on the women representation in the community. Gender roles can be described as the code of conduct that is generally accepted from both the male and female individuals in the community. There are different gender roles that are attributed to both the male and females in the society. Tourism has affected the gender role responsibility among the women who neglect these roles to engage in the economic activities in the tourism industry. Women play a significant role in tourism including the tour guide responsibilities, the production of indigenous products of the host country and also work in the hotel and accommodation industry. Gender roles, on the other hand, expect women in the community to take care of the family and ensure the household is in a good condition. Women are also expected by the society to take care of the children by cooking for them and maintaining a healthy lifestyle at home (Oakley, 2016). The women who come from regions with a high level of international tourism have neglected the gender roles that are expected of them by the society. Tourism has affected the ability of women to bring up their families because of the limited time and expectations of the hotel and accommodation industry. Women, therefore, remain single for a better part of their life to enable them to cope up with the expectations of the tourism industry and earn a living. International tourism and management should, therefore, educate the women about the significance of bringing up a family in the society. According to Andall (2017), Gender roles are important in the community because they create a sense of belonging and determines the character and behavior of the community members.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination is a negative effect of women who come from communities that practice tourism. Discrimination is the act of treating an individual differently based on their race, ethnicity, religion or sex. Discrimination against individuals based on their sex is known as gender discrimination. The women are the individuals who are at high risk of experiencing discriminatory practices. Gender discrimination in the international tourism sector is portrayed through the employment opportunities that are often attributed to the women. Women representatives in the hotel industry have been associated with low paying employment opportunities in the hotel and service industry while the men are accorded with managerial responsibility in the tourism department. The women are therefore discriminated through employment opportunities which created a gender wage gap between the male and female in the community (Blau & Kahn, 2017). Tourism has also caused emotional discrimination against successful women in the tourism industry. Emotional discrimination is caused when people associate a woman's wealth with the tokens given by the tourists. There are many women who work really hard in the tourism industry and have made fortunes from their entrepreneurial activities. These women often feel emotionally discriminated against when their wealth is associated with gifts and tokens from the visitors. There is a need for the international tourism and management to ensure that women are allocated equal chances and resources to engage in the production process of the tourism industry. Empowering more women in the tourism community would increase the number of successful women and reduce the wage gap that exists between the male and female representatives in the tourism community.

Corrosion of Native Culture

Corrosion of the indigenous culture of the women in the host country is a negative impact of tourism. Culture can be defined as the ways and practices that are performed by a specific community. There are various diverse cultures in the world. International tourism has enabled the interaction of different individuals with various cultural attributes. The interaction of cultures leads to the assimilation of unique cultures and thus cultural exchange among the communities. The exchange and assimilation of cultures often affect the individuals who are lower in the economic social class (Sowers, 2015). The tourists are often considered to be on a higher social class compared to the local citizens of the country. The locals, therefore, tend to imitate the tourists' cultures and in turn abandons their own culture. Women are mostly affected by the imitation of foreign cultures compared to the men. Some of the cultural attributes that are often imitated include the mode of dressing, the style of communication and even the taste and preference for various products and services offered in the market (Crawford, 2017). The imitation of the foreign cultures by the host women corrodes the indigenous culture of the community. Culture is very significant in the community because it is the way through which a specific community can be identified as unique. The language of a community can be used to identify a specific individuals background. The increase in tourism, however, has corroded the cultures of various communities thus affecting the culture of the women in the society. International tourism management should ensure the host citizens of the country understand the significance of preserving their culture as it is one of the reasons the tourist get attracted to a specific destination. Preserving the native culture of a community is important because it will ensure the level of tourism in the country further increases and thus improve the lifestyle of the locals.

Exposure to Social Evil Practices

Finally, tourism has also negatively impacted on the lives of women in the society through exposing the women to acts of social evil. Every community often has their ethical codes of conduct which maintain harmony among the members of the community. The invasion of foreigners in a community leads to exposure of women to social evil practices that are practiced by the tourist. Women are mostly affected by these acts because they spend more time interacting with the visitors as compared to the male. The women have also been considered as individuals who can be easily convinced and swayed to take part in the evil practices (Slaughter, 2015, 90). The abuse of hard drugs is a social evil which women in the tourism industry and exposed. Drug abuse is a practice of using illegal drugs or medication not used for its right full purpose. The effects of drugs in the body of an individual is the altering of the normal body functioning. Drugs are also associated with various addiction levels that make the user become dependent on the drugs (Volkow, 2014). Exposure to drug abuse is, therefore, a social evil that affects women in the tourism industry. Drugs have a negative effect both on the health, lifestyle and economic status of an individual. Over-dependence on drugs is costly and leads to the wastage of resources that could have otherwise been channeled to a more effective course. The indulgence in sex escort activities is also a social evil that affects women in the tourism industry. Women who engage in escort services portray an unethical character that is not socially accepted in the cultures of various communities. Escort services have led to the break up of marriages and exposed the women to deadly infections like HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted infections. The international tourism management should ensure that the tourists do not traffic illegal drugs into a foreign country. The women in the tourism industry are also encouraged to uphold their moral standards and prevent themselves from engaging in activities that would cause a negative impact on their future lives and their family.


In conclusion, international tourism is a significant economic activity in a country because it generates income for the development of the country. However, international tourism presents various negative impacts on the women in the society. Some of the negative effects of tourism on women include overdependence on tokens from tourist, gender discrimination in the tourism sector, negligence of gender roles, and the exposure and indulgence in various social evils. The international tourism and management should ensure the women are given equal chances in the industry to reduce discrimination and encourage the government to create more income-generating opportunities for the women in the tourism industry.


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October 30, 2023
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