Visitors to Bali, the Gambia and Goa use 16 times as much water as local residents. Such disproportionate use of fresh water by tourists in developing world destinations is causing local conflict, exacerbating poverty and helping to spread disease, says NGO Tourism Concern in a new report .
The report examined five coastal destinations popular with international tourists – the Gambia, Bali in Indonesia, the islands of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania, and Goa and Kerala in India.
“While hotels may have the money and resources to ensure their guests enjoy several showers a day, swimming pools, a round of golf, and lush landscaped gardens, neighbouring households, small businesses and agricultural producers can regularly endure severe water scarcity,” says the report.
Some hotels in Zanzibar hotels employ security guards to prevent sabotage of water pipes by angry locals who claim they are facing extreme water shortages. A deadly cholera outbreak in 2010 was partly blamed on groundwater contaminated by sewage from hotels.
Tourism Concern is calling on the international tourism industry, destination governments and tourists to urgently address this problem of “massive inequality”. Their report offers nine Principles of Water Equity in Tourism for governments, the tourism sector and civil society, as well as detailed recommendations for each set of stakeholders.
] Noble, R., Smith, P. and Pattullo, P. (eds), 2012. Water equity in tourism : a human right, a global responsibility. London, UK, Tourism Concern. 31 p. Available at: <www.tourismconcern.org.uk/uploads/Campaigns/WET%20Report.pdf>
Related web site: Tourism Concern – Water Equity in Tourism