The ocean and the marine environment have become one of the new frontiers and fastest growing sector of the world’s tourism industry (Hall, 2001: 601).Tourism meets demands tourists have for recreational, educational, and instrumental contrasts not met at home (Dilton & Miller, 1986: 11-12). Hall (2001:601) writes that marine and coastal tourism is a concept that includes a variety of tourism, leisure and recreationally oriented activities which occur in coastal zones and close offshore coastal waters. While tourism development results in the modification of coastal environments, it can also flourish where such environments are left untouched as the pristine nature of the environments attract visitors (Chau & Marafa, 2014: 3).
Coastal tourism is becoming more harmful for the fragile natural and marine and costal events, as those areas are mostly preferred by the tourists (Gill, Fennell & Dobell, 2003:233).Alternatively, in order for marine and coastal tourism to develop and continue to attract tourists, there is the need for an integrated approach that can be translated into a sustainable coastal tourism development Chau and Marafa (2014:1).
However, in 1987, the Brundtland Commission defined that the sustainable development means meeting the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This paper aims at looking at the effects of coastal and marine tourism development and also the pillars of sustainability in relation to coastal and marine tourism development.
Marine and coastal tourist activities in fragile ecosystems, as a result, tourism developments result in direct degradation of marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, and subsequent impacts on coastal protection and fisheries (Hall, 2001:615).
Tourism development such as construction of hotels, recreation and other facilities leads to increased sewage pollution (Attri, 2018). Land degradation and land use change, results habitat and biodiversity loss, directly from the construction of tourist facilities and infrastructure through the clearing of mangroves, wetlands, and beaches, and the extraction of building materials (Gill & Fennell et al,2003:236).Wastewater from marine and costal tourist attractions pollutes and damages marine and costal ecosystem (Attri, 2018:slide 5).
Sewage runoff results in serious damage to coral reefs because it contains lots of nutrients and it stimulates the growth of algae, which cover the filter feeding corals, hindering their ability to survive (Attri, 2018:slide 5). Solid waste and littering damage the physical appearance of the marine and coastal environment resulting in the death of marine life and marine ecosystem (Sunlu, 2003:263). Furthermore, Gill & Fennell et al (2003: 236) write that considerable amount of the pollution affecting the marine environment originates from land based human activities in tourism developments and enters the oceans and coastal zones of the region as either direct release, through the drainage of the region’s rivers and goes downstream to the ocean.
Additionally, Attri (2018:slide 6) state that noise pollution from airplanes, cars, and buses, as well as recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles and jet skis, is a problem in marine and coastal environment, as it harms marine life. Air pollution as a result of tourist transportation has effects on global level, particularly from carbon dioxide (CO) emissions connected to transportation energy use and contributes to severe local air pollution (Sunlu, 2003:263). Moreover, Sunlu (2003:264) argues that development of marinas and breakwaters can cause changes in currents and coastlines. Furthermore, extraction of building materials such as sand affects coral reefs, mangroves, leading to erosion and destruction of habitats (Sunlu, 2003:264). In the Philippines and the Maldives, dynamiting and mining of coral for resort building materials has damaged fragile coral reefs and depleted the fisheries (Hall, 2001:617).
Sustainable marine and coastal development can be achieved through a concept known as ecotourism. Ecotourism is a concept that lies within the ever demanding sustainable coastal tourism (Dilton & Miller, 1985:239). It is based on natural resources and recognised as not obstructing the fragile physical environment but improving the life span of marine and coastal resources (Dilton & Miller, 1985:239). Akpabio, Eniang & Egwali (2006:260) in theory ecotourism results in a positive outcome for the community by diminishing impact of tourism, through environmental and cultural respect, providing financial benefits to the local population. Through necessary financial input for conservation and restoration activities some important tools essential for successful ecotourism include impact assessments before the development of an activity, product, or service, auditing of key variables to ensure sustainability, and establishing a tourism carrying capacity (Akpabio, Eniang & Egwali, 2006:260)
Marine and coastal tourism environmental sustainability of principles provide development that is compatible with the maintenance of critical ecological processes, biodiversity, and biological resources (Dilton & Miller, 1986:12). The tourism carrying capacity of a tourist destination is a concept that is necessary for a sustainable tourism industry and is a tool which is vital to ecotourism (Dilton & Miller, 1986: 12). A tourist attraction site carrying capacity defines the maximum limit to an acceptable tourist population within which sustainability is maintained (Ghosh, 2012:165). Further than this, resources are overexploited, infrastructure is stressed, and the future of the community is at risk (Ghosh, 2012:165). Sustainable coastal and marine tourism can contribute to environmental protection and restoration of biological and ecosystem diversity though the sustainable use of natural resources and increased designation of protected areas (Ghosh, 2012:165).
Sound and efficient environmental management of marine and coastal tourism development in terms of tourism facilities such as waste minimization, use of environmentally friendly material can decrease the environmental impact of marine and coastal tourism (Akpabio, & Eniang, 2006:250). Through planning of sustainable tourism development strategies at an early stage prevents damage and expensive coastal and marine environment mistakes, thereby avoiding the gradual deterioration of the quality of environmental goods and services (UN Atlas of the Oceans, 2004). Sustainable marine and coastal development can be developed in a sustainable way through improving control and enforcement of environmental standards (waste-water treatment),prohibition of environmentally harmful sports and strict application of environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment on all coastal and marine tourism related projects and programs(UN Atlas of the Oceans, 2004).
Economic sustainability of coastal and marine tourism is concerned with benefits of coastal tourism development. The focus is on the use of existing marine and coastal resources efficiently so that it can sustainably generate operating profit (Akpabio, & Eniang, 2006:250). Coastal and marine sustainable tourism results an increase in employment opportunities and that can be an economic benefit, even attracting job seekers from outside the local community. But in lean seasons and other tourism crisis can see mass scale unemployment leading to social consequences (UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, 2006).
Local fish stocks can become severely threatened by tourists who wish to indulge on local cuisine, resulting market competition with the local community (UN Atlas of the Oceans, 2004).Economic sustainability encompasses rich content such as benefits, economic growth, economic development, market structure and consumption levels (Akpabio & Eniang, 2006:265). Government revenues from the tourism industry and user and entrance fees collected can certainly be invested in environmental programmes and the development of environmentally friendly technology to ensure the environment’s long term sustainability which is a lure for tourists (UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, 2006).
Social sustainable coastal tourism adds to the vitality of communities in many ways. Educating the local population about the attraction of tourists to natural environments, and thus the economic value of ecosystem products and services, will encourage community based sustainable management of the environment as the locals will have financial incentives to protect their natural resources (Ghosh,2012: 164). Furthermore, educating the tourists about the natural landscapes they enjoy and the risks from tourism will make them aware of the choices they have when planning activities, accommodation, meals, and other elements of their stay (Ghosh, 2012:164). Additionally, training people involved in coastal tourism about the value of environmental management, training protected area management staff and also raising environmental awareness.
In conclusion, coastal and marine tourism cannot be developed in a sustainable way because coastal tourism and costal tourism development will hinder marine resources in a negative way regardless of how it is painted. Any developments will cause harm to marine and coastal resources because tourism affects marine ecosystems and its entire environment. The only aim of marine and coastal tourism is to make a profit and attractive tourists regardless of any environmental implications. The only way to achieve sustainability is not have any kinds of marine and coastal developments. Altering human behaviour does not make any difference because people still practice things they know they should not be practicing. For example, society has been made aware of HIV/AIDS but from the time it was identified till know the amount of people infected with HIV/AIDS have increased. Beaches have information boards but tourists both domestic and international, as well as the local communities still perform activities which they know will destroy marine and coastal resources. Policies and acts are implemented to achieve sustainable management of resources but marine and coastal resources are increasingly being exploited.