Economic environmental and culture impacts of tourism

In light of the increasingly competitive day visit market and concern about the keeping of wild animals in captivity for human amusement, the national Zoo of Bangladesh must balance carefully the demands of the paying visitor with those of maintaining credibility as conservation and education-oriented organisations. Utilising the model of the product life cycle this paper analyses the current position of national Zoo of Bangladesh in the visitor attraction market. The major tourism issues are discussed in this paper and it also emphasises the integration of the social economic and environmental for effective tourism and development.


Tourism has become the greatest tool of this present century to achieve international mutual understanding. It is a travel particularly for leisure or recreational purposes. It is now a global industry that involves millions of domestic and international tourists travel every year. Tourism works as a bridge among the people through out the world who are from different languages, cultures, race and so on. Tourism is basically based on tourists not the economy and the developing countries can be greatly benefited by this industry. It not only brings the nations closer together but also keeps great international relationship. Tourism is both entertaining and educative. People can get enormous information and can see the unseen through it. However it can have major impacts and these impacts can be both positive and negative. These impacts can be presented under the headings of economy, socio-cultural and environmental impacts.

Dhaka zoo is largest zoo in Bangladesh situated in Mirpur, Dhaka. It is the national zoo under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. The total number of vertebrate fauna in the zoo is about 2, 150 in 191 species. Included in these animals, are about 551 mammals under 64 species, 1, 543 birds under 90 species, 73 reptiles under 15 species, and about 104 aquarium fishes under 23 species. To attract visitors besides many fascinating animals, there are 15 tigers, 21 lions, 9 hippopotamus, about 200 monkeys, and 33 pythons. Moreover, some rare and interesting animals such as the rhea, peacock, zebra, elephant, African grey parrot, water buck, impala, emus, baboon, chimpanzee, gayal, black bear, tapir, mandrill, and estuarine crocodile provide additional entertainment to the visitors.

The zoo has a captive breeding programme and successfully bred the Royal Bengal Tiger, lion, leopard, primates, deer, and many birds. It has animal exchange programmes with many zoos of the world. As gifts Bangladesh government presented about 300 zoo animals to different organisations and personalities of different countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Iraq. The zoo regularly organizes various education programmes for students. The various ornamental features of the garden provides an aesthetic background to the animal houses, enclosures and aviaries, scattered all over the area, exhibiting indigenous fauna of Bangladesh as well as exotic specimens collected from different countries of the world.

Methodology, findings and analysis

Economic Impacts

Economic impacts are the most significant field for tourism. The impacts can be positive and negative. It can be especially marked on developing countries. People of this country can easily make foreign exchange like dollars, francs, pound and so on through tourism. The economic impacts of tourism represent the most important facets of tourism from a development viewpoint. It can bring a great economic benefit for a country. Tourism can also contribute greatly to gross national product because the success of countries and governments are frequently explained through the percentage of annual growths in GNP. Moreover it can play a significant part for extra expenditure in the economy on goods and services. The economic impact of the Zoo has grown significantly beyond the growth of the national and regional economies. This implies that the national Zoo of Bangladesh is a growth industry for the local economy. Visitor spending by Zoo patrons contributes significantly to the economic impact of the Zoo. The Zoo has an economic development impact that was not quantified in this analysis. The presence of the Zoo has a positive impact on the attendance levels of other Greater Bangladeshi amusement parks and events, and vice-versa. The presence of the Zoo enhances the overall attraction of Bangladesh.

Economic Impact Results

We have determined that since 1992, construction by the Zoo has led to

One-time economic impacts ranging from $1. 6 million to $12. 8 million in

the Greater Cincinnati economy. The largest construction impact occurred from 1992 construction expenditures, which totaled $5. 7 million. In 1996, the construction impact of the Zoo was $2. 7 million, of which $836, 362 went to area households in the form of wages. Zoo construction led to the creation and retention of a total of 35 Bangladeshi jobs in 1996.

The on-going economic impacts associated with the Zoo’s operation

expenditures have been steadily increasing since 1992. The total

economic impact of operations increased 52 percent over this period, to

reach $29. 2 million in 1996. The economic impact on household earnings

increased 33 percent from 1992 to 1996, reaching $10. 7 million in 1996.

The employment impact increased from 491 jobs in 1992 to 580 in 1996 –an 18 percent increase. (http://www. grips. ac. jp/alumni/UzbekistanTourism(2). pdf)

Again tourism expenditure into an economy is not completely based on direct expenditure rather it is based on multiply of income. For instance, The money that is given by tourists can have multi uses. Employee will receive wages and they will also spend in local market for their daily necessities. Some of the money can pass through banking institution. Perhaps this money can be paid for repaying their banking debts and sometimes they can save the money and invest as well in the local market. The government will also be benefited through taxation. Therefore, the money runs into the local market through investment, savings and taxation. ( peter M. Burns and Andrew Holden)

Significant numbers of jobs can be created through tourism. The employers can engage themselves as hotel workers, bar staff and can also engage themselves in other areas such as boat hire, cycle hire and repair, car and motorcycle hire, food and drink selling and so on. Furthermore the local people who are involved in craft activities of painting, wood carving and boutique making can get great economic profit (Mason, 1995).

In addition, government can earn a huge amount of revenues from tourist. Government expenditure can be collected from the increased tourism expenditure at both central and local levels. The revenues can be taken through employee taxation and in some cases direct taxation placed on the tourist. For example, Government can earn from the arrival taxes and from the departure taxes.

Additionally tourism is very helpful for infrastructure development of the host country. By getting revenues from tourists the government can use it for the developments of country’s airport, roads, electricity, and water and for sewerage disposal. As the government can use the revenues for the development of the country thus they need not to take loan from other sources.

The socio-cultural impacts of the zoo

Culture is about how people observe social interactions. Actually cultures consist with behavioural patterns that have been acquired through generations. Culture also includes belief, art, moral low, knowledge and so on. Culture attraction in relation to tourism includes; leisure activities, educational system, dress, languages, art and music, handicrafts, religion, tradition, food, architecture and so on.

Visitors and host population both are very important in relation to socio-cultural impacts of tourism. The impacts will be greatest when the contrast will be shown between receiving society and origin culture. Tourism can encourage social mobility in the developing country like Bangladesh through changes in employment from traditional agriculture and may result in higher wages and better job prospects. There are some more benefits of socio-cultural tourism impacts. These are creation of job employment, the rebirth of local arts and revival of social cultural life of the local people. However tourism can cause over crowding at the zoo of Bangladesh. The overcrowding can cause stress for both tourists and the local people of Bangladesh. Although the remarkable impacts are over dependency on tourism and consequently the traditional activities of the local farmers like firming has reduced.

Another socio-cultural impact of tourism is demonstration effect. The demonstration effect depends on tourist and on hosts. Some local people changes themselves behaviorically particularly the young generation are greatly affected by demonstration effect. It is very obvious that the host countries people are very much interested towards the life style of tourists. The demonstration effect also has economic implication. The local people of Bangladesh are interested towards western products. For instance, it is very common picture of the local people at the zoo area that they wear jeans, t-shirt instead of traditional dress, in the same time they become interested to imported drinks like coke rather than lemonade.

In addition, in many developing areas tourism has contributed to an incensement of prostitution. Although it is very difficult to determine exactly how much probably the most famous and documented sex tourism destinations are Thailand and Philippines. Sex tourism often involves both sexes, male or female tourists looking for female or male prostitutes. Bangladesh is a Muslim religious based country where most of the people are religious minded. Although sex tourism is not a common picture in Bangladesh. However, many tourists go into holidays with the inner hope of finding a partner for sexual relationship. The partner may or may not be the resident of the host country; it is often a fellow tourist. Many evidence show how many women are involved in open ended prostitution may able to establish longer term relationships with several foreigners through facking romantic involvement. The scare of AIDS had a dramatic effect on prostitution. Although Bangladesh is not completely out threaten of sex tourism.

Furthermore, tourism can have tremendous effect on culture and these are both positive and negative. A changing culture means a changing composition with respect to income earners in family. This modification has a tremendous impact on family structure and the society as a whole. Bangladesh is basically a male dominated country and when women get financial independence; their whole perspective of life and marriage is prone to change. Most of the local people at the zoo who are involved in tourism related business are questioned and the replied who have got from them suggest that most of the families are related to tourism business. The main results of the questionnaire from the local people at the zoo are as follows: ‘ most of the local people at the zoo understand that tourists are different from them’. ‘ According to local people of the zoo the benefits that can be got tourists are vandalism, sexual harassment, drag addiction and prostitution and crime in general’. Again, most of the local young are in favour in tourism. They prefer to accept the culture of the tourists which is considered as a great threat of host culture.

Therefore, there is both positive and negative socio- cultural impacts of tourism. The negative impacts includes: demonstration effect, cultural damage and specific issues for example incensement in drag taking, prostitution, crime and so on. Actually the negative consequences are mostly seen where there is a cultural difference between tourists and hosts.

Environmental Impacts of tourism at the Zoo

Developed on behalf of the national zoo of Bangladesh-based environmental consultancy, Carbon Plan, the system was designed for the Zoo to measure and report its environmental impact. The Zoo has now been short listed for an environmental excellence are awarded, for developing this project. The awards were established last year to recognize the good work done by environmental consultancies as part of the wider efforts to reduce our global impact. SALOME is one of the first environmental accounting strategy tools specifically designed for business. As a result of its implementation, Bangladesh Zoo has reduced its carbon footprint by 39. 6 per cent since 2006, a reduction of 370 tonnes of carbon per year. The Director of Bangladeshi Zoo Gardens, Dr M mofizar Rahman, said: “ This nomination is fantastic news for Bangladesh Zoo and for Carbon Plan, and demonstrates the Zoo’s commitment to environmental sustainability.” CarbonPlan has also worked with Bangladeshi Zoo Gardens to develop a set of Sustainable Development Guidelines for its National Wildlife Conservation Park . The nomination comes as the national Zoo of Bangladesh became the first zoo in the country to achieve the ISO14001 certification – the international standard for environmental management systems.

The environment is a key resource for tourism. Generally visitors are attracted by the natural beauty of the country. On the other hand, damage of environment can reduce a great number of visitors. Sometimes tourism has a indirect impact on physical environment. The natural environment includes the landscape, rivers, rock outcrops, beaches, plants and animals. There are five aspects of environment. The natural environment includes: mountainous areas, seas, rivers and lakes, caves, beaches, natural woodland and so on. Again the wild life includes: Land based animals and reptiles, flora, birds, insects and so on. The framed environment includes: man made forests, fish firms. The built environment includes: individual building and structures, villages and townscapes, transport and infrastructure.

‘ Where’ is very important factor for tourism environment impact because an urban areas are used more by the tourists than the rural areas. This is because of roads, structure and proper planning process. Therefore the national zoo of Bangladesh are potentially far greater than small number of walkers in the beach of Bangladesh.

Tourism is a seasonal activity in Bangladesh. Thus the environment of the can be affected by the tourism only a part of year and the rest of the year the nature is recovering itself. Although it not always possible for the nature to recover itself for instance, in winter season a large number domestic tourists visit the zoo which is out of control for the environment to recover. Ecology is very significant for tourism. Ecology refers human, animal and plants and each of the elements are related to each other if there any ecological imbalance happens the whole environment will be heavily affected.

The national Zoo of Bangladesh is actually a seasonal tourist attraction. The peak season is December to May and time 10amto 4pm is busiest time of the day. The domestic people are the main visitors furthermore, visitor also come from India, Pakistan, Burma, especially from the south Asian countries. A large number of visitors visit the zoo everyday. There is no accurate measurement of the visitor number at the Zoo however evidence suggests that mire than 200 visitors visit at the Zoo for per hour. Although the zoo is unaffected by the visitors yet the great number flashing photography may change the behavior of the wild animal.

Tourism planning and management

There are number of aims and objectives for tourism planning. Tourism planning is particularly based on ideas on future tourism and the intention of tourism planning is derive maximum benefits and derives minimum negative effects. There are also some key players of tourism planning and management. Tourism management requires consideration of a number of factors including ‘ Who is managing?’ ‘ What is being managed?’ ‘ How is it being managed?’ ‘ Where is it happening?’ and ‘ when is it happening?’ These question are clearly integral and it very difficult to separate. The major players are tourists themselves, members of the host communities, government agencies and representative of travel agency. In relation to tourism planning and management NGOs and media can play a significant role.

Although tourists are undeniably very important part yet they are often blamed for rights responsibilities. The right and responsibilities of tourists are as follows:

Tourists need to obey the local law and in the time they cannot take part in any illegal activities. They need to respect the religion and the cultures of host countries. They should not make any harm for natural environment. Again protecting wild animals and contributing in local economy is also their responsibility.

Education can be used as an important technique in tourism management within the content of interpretation. It is educational process that involves the transfer of knowledge and the development of values to environment and culture. Tour guides act as site interpreter a zoo keepers are specific form of interpreter used by the zoo to help manage, the educational experience for visitors. In addition codes an conduct and guide lines are very significant to regulate tourism codes of conduct have a range of authors including government, NGOs And other representatives.

Moreover, it has a great importance in tourism planning and management. GIS is a computer based system that can handle and process geographical data. In the widest sense of the activity is sustainable. The activity has been concerned with socio-cultural and economic factors. According to the sustainable sense the activity shows that tourism should be recognized as positive factor with the potential to the benefit of the community and place as well as the visitors. The relationship between tourism environments must be managed so that environment is sustainable in the long term.


This paper shows variety of tourism effects under the heading of socio-cultural, economic and environmental impacts. The paper also represents a number of different organizations, groups and individuals which have a significant role to play in tourism management and planning. The role both tourists and hosts are very remarkable for tourism management and planning. The paper shows that the national zoo of Bangladesh has the potential to create successful tourism industry. It also indicates that there is likelihood of well-planned and management tourism in which environmetal factors and socio cultural aspects are well integrated.