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Blake Cote

These two articles give light to the important connection between the natural world and the economy. The article Ocean and Coastal Management states that in 2014 10% of the global GDP was contributed by travel and tourism, and the industry employed more than 277 million people. The article also points out that the Caribbean is the most tourism dependent region in the world, and that Barbados is specifically a very important country in terms of travel and tourism. The vast majority of tourism areas in Barbados are coastal and marine environments with 70% of all hotels are located on the coastline. Effects due to climate change such as beach erosion and coral reef destruction are clearly devastating for the environment and natural world but also damage economic activity as no one wants to pay to go snorkeling around a bleached coral reef. As populations rise and desire to travel continues to increase these problems will only intensify. As we have experienced some relief from the chaos of the pandemic and travel becomes safe again, I wonder if the influx of people eager to get out and travel will affect these already fragile environments. The idea of increasing exit fees sounds like a good idea to me and peoples’ compliance to pay them in order to travel and take advantage of the land and resources is a good start. Perhaps it would be helpful to acknowledge and let the public know where the exit fee is specifically aiding. I think that the authors of both articles do a good job of appealing to a wide audience, because perhaps if more people acknowledge and understand just how much degradation and environmental damage hurt the economy, people will care more and try harder to treat the Earth respectfully.

Carter Dummett

Although I found both articles to be interesting in their regard to protecting the environment and various ecosystems economically the article about Belize really stood out to me. The main reason was the outcry from the individuals who work in the tourist industry in Belize. For starters tourists who travel to Belize usually from quite some distance aren't going to be worried enough about a 20$ that they are charged when they are leaving the country. If I had to guess that charge is not on their minds when they are planning their. trip. I really doubt that it would be enough to make people not come and that is exactly what can be inferred from the survey data. It even takes it s a step further saying that the fee could be raised to around 34$ and people would still go. It seems like a gross oversight on the side of the tourism business owners especially when the money would be going towards protecting the environment that they themselves profit from. the other point that i found to be quite impoirtant and connected to class was the fact that visitors pay the fee when they leave. I think that it all comes back to what we discussed in class on Thursday about swimming with the whale sharks and how much you would pay to swim with them before you have done it vs. Afterwards. I see parallels between these two instances. People would be much more likely to pay a high fee after having experienced the beauty of Belize as opposed to before just like the whale sharks as the fee seems cheaper after having gone through and experienced non market goods like sunrises, beaches etc.

Izzy Koziol

Both of these pieces brought to light the effectiveness of a simple solution to environmental issues in tropical areas. They both ironically argue for the utilization of the main cause of the problems themselves, tourists, to help finance conservation efforts. According to the ocean and coastal management study, the amount of litter on beaches is linked to visitor density and tourism activities, and in the marine policy article, it is stated that the greatest use of the Belize Barrier Reef ecosystem is by tourism, which threatens its well being. However, the articles do not conclude that tourism should be eliminated in order to conserve these places, because wiping out the tourism industry would destroy their economies. Instead, they relay evidence that tourists can provide finances for conservation efforts and are actually overwhelmingly willing to do so. In the cases of litter elimination in Barbados and conservation in Belize, tourism taxes and exit fees are mutually beneficial and subject tourists to the insignificant tradeoff of a small fee in exchange for the conservation of their beautiful destination. In comparison to the costs of a vacation to Belize, for example, which would include airfare, food, lodging, and activity costs, the increase of the exit fee from $3.75 to $20 is minor for the tourists, but very significant for Belize. Thus, using tourists to fund conservation efforts is a clear and simple solution for these places that are tourist destinations. This leaves me with the question of how can developing countries without a strong tourism industry finance conservation efforts?

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