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Tourism like any other industry has its own ethics that every player should observe. Whether it is domestic or foreign tourism there is a cogent need to practice ethics. Ethics assist effective and responsible tourism like maintaining and conserving the environment and getting along with the people of the host country being visited. Ethics should not only be practiced by a particular people, it should be considered by all the stakeholders in the tourism industry. Since tourism is a service industry, all the staff members must have ethics as well as customers. Employers should treat the employees well so that they give quality services to the customers (Malloy & Fennell 2007, 156).
Some organizations like the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism have come up with specific codes of conducts for tourists. These codes must always be observed since they result in creating a suitable environment for the tourists and the citizens of the host country. Some of these codes of ethics include: When visiting places, one is expected to be humble and conscious about other peoples' cultures, religious orientations, and feelings among to avoid patronage and undue treatment which may end up hurting both the tourist and the citizens of the host country. It calls for tourists to listen and observe keenly, don't just to be there to see and hear. The citizens of the host country might do things differently and therefore one must try to adjust to changes (Holden 2005, p. 186).
It is advised that visitors must learn to appreciate what is present in that country and not to start wishing or looking for things which are preferable to them. Familiarizing with the norms, customs language and culture of the host country is advisable as well. It is an exciting experience to learn the different customs and way of doing things of the different countries. Listening and asking questions facilitates a good visit since it is a learning experience and one should not expect any special treatment because it would be uncalled for. It would be unwise to promise the hosts things which one cannot fulfill. Most of all the visitors should try to internalize what they learn because it is one of the main objectives of tourism (Malloy & Fennell 2007, 159).
The tourism sector has experienced environmental degradation from tourists until it had to come up with rules and regulations that require tourists to observe as they enjoy the flora and fauna of the host nation. For example, the American Society of Travel Agents argued that all people must respect and conserve the beauty of the earth because descendants will have nothing to enjoy. It also stipulated that tourists should avoid uncalled for interference like littering or altering natural sites. Tourists and tourism providers should honor the people they meet as they travel. It is also wise to familiarize with the area intended to be visited. It also discourages purchase of illegal products or dealing with products from endangered species. Similarly, tourists and service providers are required to be kind and always avoid mistreating the wildlife and mishandling plants. There are various community support programs existing in most tourist destinations which seek to conserve the environment (Holden 2005, p. 188).
These are some of the code of ethics that are practiced in other industries as well and applicable in tourism. Ethics are not only applied in the outdoor places which tourists visit or use to travel. It likewise applies in the service delivery of those who catering for and accommodate the tourists. These places are hotels, tour agencies, airlines, suppliers and any other parties which are constituents of the industry. Waiters, waitresses, room keepers should have etiquette when communicating to and serving the tourists. All employers should be exemplary in practicing ethics as this is a clear pointer for their employees and the tourists. The employees should be well paid as this would minimize the chances of them asking tourists for favors. This way, the employees will be motivated to serve the tourists diligently.
Tourism is a major contributor in building the economy of countries especially those which are developing. It therefore means that citizens have an obligation of preserving and conserving sites and environment so that tourism is perpetual. Those who go against rules and ethics of tourism should be dealt with legally and the entire citizenry be taught the importance of being ethical (Holden 2005, p. 189).
Ecology of tourism
Ecology of tourism is also known as ecotourism. It comprises of keeping natural places from being polluted. The International Ecotourism Society describes it as traveling responsibly to places that are natural and conserving the surroundings as well as improving the living standards of the people, who live nearby, without depleting or misusing the natural resources. For one to understand ecotourism there has to be several features to look out for. These include: visiting natural places, lowering negative impact on the place, creating awareness of the surrounding, empowering people and creating economic advantage for the, honoring the culture in the area because it is a pillar for humanity and democracy (Singh 2008, p.162).
Ecotourism is not only an exercise which promotes the protection of the environment but also contributes to the growth of any given economy. This is realizable when the local people use the environment for economic purpose and ensure that they do not deplete it. Ecotourism has been misinterpreted to be natural tourism. This has made people to engage in practices that are harmful in the name of creating ecotourism, for example, clearing natural land to build hotels. This amounts to degrading the environment and not being eco-friendly. There has been a controversy about the definition of an ecotourists and also there is not much statistics that show the number of ecotourists. But it has been argued that most of them are from the western part of the world (Harris, Griffin & Williams 2002, p. 50).
Efforts are being made to expand awareness of ecotourism through programs which have been started by countries that commonly practice it. This helps the people to understand what ecotourism is and not confuse it with green washing or jungle tourism. The countries that have embarked on these programs are: Australia, Kenya, Sweden and Costa Rica (Singh 2008, p. 238).
One of the units of tourism that have developed swiftly over time is ecotourism. However this unit is facing several challenges. According to the description of ecotourism, most projects are not measuring up to the requirements. Some of the challenges faced are displacing people, going against basic human rights and endangering the environment. These disadvantages are said to surpass the advantages albeit the fact that more finances and resources are being directed to ecotourism yet it has proved to fail. These resources should be directed to other projects that are fruitful. Ecotourism seems to cause unnecessary friction between freedoms and rights pertaining land, because it does not meet benefits of the community, destroys the environment and it carries on with many more negative implications. Some people have even concluded that ecotourism is absolutely non-beneficial (Harris, Griffin & Williams 2002, p. 54).
Most tourist activities have done cause damage to the immediate environment. For example developing infrastructure in places where there are natural settings. This has affected the habitat where wildlife lives. Littering and other types of pollution ruin the surroundings, especially by contaminating the sources of water that are used by the wildlife. Some tourists are not conscious of taking care of the environment hence not careful in how they dispose their waste. Ecotourists believe that when they visit nature places and just take a walk as they take photos, they are being harmless to the flora and fauna. On the contrary, they could be disturbing the plants and animals.
Since ecotourism has both advantages and disadvantages, it is wise to capitalize on the advantages and strive to minimize the disadvantages. The cons seem to solely lie on environmental degradation, therefore this tell that everyone should put an effort in preserving the environment as tourism benefits are continuous and expanding over time.
Ethnicity and Culture
Ethnicity is being a member of a group that shares common characteristics, such as country of origin, speaking same language, having common religion, same ancestors and similar culture. Ethnicity is more biological and historical and is not determined by the culture a person decides to adopt. Culture elaborates the practices people come up with to enable them to adjust to life on earth. Such as language, actions, devices, customs and traditions, religious beliefs and, and mode of grooming, and music (Rath 2007, p. 25).
Various approaches have been used to explain ethnicity. Different people have tried to argue that ethnicity is a determinant in life and community. The following are the various approaches: primordialism, essentialism, perennialism, constructivism, modernism and instrumentalism. Primordialism postulates that ethnicity has been present since the history of mankind. Modern ethnic groups have been thought to have evolved from the past primitive man. Ethnicity is related to the idea of countries and based in the pre-Weber concept of humanity that is basically based on kinship and heritage.
Essentialist primordialism is describes ethnicity as a precedence of human existence. Ethnicity comes before any human social interaction and is unchangeable. This theory views ethnic groups as natural and not just as historical. The concept fails to elaborate how and why nations and ethnic groups seem to appear, disappear and appear again through history. There is also a limitation of dealing with result of intermarriage, migration and colonization of the modern ethnic groups.
Kinship primordialism maintains that ethnic communities are continuation of kinship units, coming from kinship or clans where the choices of cultural orientations are created to show this biological aspect. This explains the belief having common biological ancestry as a main feature of ethnic communities. Geertz's primordialism states that in general, people contribute greatly to the features of primordial human such as blood ties, language, region, and cultural differences. In Geertz' view, ethnicity is not primordial but people see it as such due to how it is connected to their experience on earth (Donald 2010, p. 100).
Perennialism on the other hand states that ethnicity is dynamic and has been there all the time. Ethnicity lasts for a short time then the territories change. However an opposing idea claims that ethnicity is not natural. Situational perennialism has the view that ethnic groups come up, change and disappear through the course of history. This view shows that the concept of ethnicity is a way used by political groups to manipulate resources in their particular groups' interests. Instrumentalist perennialism, describes ethnicity as a tool of social units showing that ethnicity is the foundation for an arrangement of persons. According to Donald Noel, a sociologist, it is a system of stratifying the society and some group characteristics are used to determine social positions (O%u201FDell 2001, 14).
Tourism is related to ethnicity and culture difference. In fact this aspect makes it very interesting because tourists visit different places where they get to learn about different cultures and ethnic groups that they have never met before (Skelton 1999, p. 50). The world has become enriched by the various cultures and ethnic groups that make life interesting. However, there has been challenges of ethnic and culture discrimination but efforts are being made to curb this vice. The countries that have diverse ethnic groups and cultures are mostly in Africa. These countries have really benefited from the tourists who come to appreciate this phenomenon.
Gender barriers are fundamentally the hindrances brought about by the being a male or a female. Usually, the people who are faced with gender barriers are usually women. They are discriminated in many areas yet they did not choose to be born women. For example in Bhutan, India, the Tourism Minister once admitted that there are more males than females especially in the tour guide department. Also in the agriculture sector, there are more females than males and it seems it is because it is lowest income sector. This discrimination is not only experienced in the tourism sector but also in other sections of the society. In the past years there was a belief that there some jobs meant for the women and others for the men (Sinclair 1997, p. 150).
Those meant for men were the technical types and well paying. The man worked as engineers, police, drivers, pilots, politicians and as leaders as well as in other high ranking jobs. The women worked as secretaries, baby sitters, housekeepers and in other low paying jobs. This was unfair because women did not fully exploit their potentials and is wrong to undermine women. Nowadays, women have proved to be equally prolific or even better than men and so the idea of discrimination and creating gender barriers is just but a tool of retrogression.
Employer are said to prefer men to women because of some natural circumstances like giving birth. Employers consider this as a negative impact to the output that organizations strive to achieve. This happens when women go for maternal leaves and when they have to be pardoned incase their children fell ill and need doctors' attention. At other times it has been noted that a woman who does work but lack concentration has a sick baby at home and will tend to be more absent minded hence the possibility of ending up making errors or performing very poorly (Aitchison 2005, 10).
There are also barriers exist as far as remuneration is concerned. Some employers pay less to women than men despite the fact that they are doing the same job and giving the same output. Reports show that women in employment earn on average 17 per cent less than their male colleagues. This shows that women are compensated less than men after doing similar jobs (Swain and Moseim 2002, p. 35). The previous year's National Management Salary Survey discovered that while women comprise of a third of management positions, they are still paid less than their male counterparts despite the fact that there is a fast pay growth.
Since time immemorial there have been known gender barriers in sports. Again it affected the females. There are certain sporting activities meant for women and others are meant for men. When men or women engage in a non-traditional sport for their gender, it is not appreciated. However, there are a few outstanding athletes that are creating a way for the others and finally our society will change and embrace the new ideas in sports. Some people will always criticize or comment about the athletes who cross that gender barrier as well as those who will honor and look up to these athletes as exemplary people who they will one day imitate.
We are now in a generation that is modern and should be shedding off the vices of gender barriers. They have proved to be of no help therefore no one should believe in them again. The minister of tourism in Bhutan has assured the people that he will carry out an operation in the ministry, which will ensure that there is a balance between the male and female employees (Pitchard 2007, p. 67). Both men and women have equal chances of carrying out any duties, as long as they are trained and willing to work.
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