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Tourism in Saint Tropez
Saint Tropez is a medieval resort town known for various tourist attractions and the ultramodern facilities. Yachting activities that are held along the coastline are a major tourist attraction. The town has modern hotels and restaurants with various recreational facilities like discos for the fun-loving tourist. Examples of hotels at Saint Tropez include; Gassin and the Cogolin hotels which are world-class hotels.
The residents engage in festivals, like the Fete de la Bravade. This is a festival held in honor of the town’s patron saint and it dates back to the 15th century. During this festival, people carry the bust of the patron saint around while singing and dancing. This is a tourist attraction particularly to those tourists who visit the place because of its medieval history (Arfin 2011, p.33).
Saint Tropez town is also characterized by attractive beaches and the surrounding hills that add to the town’s scenic beauty. The outskirts of the town have various vineyards. The tourists visiting the town can engage in wine tasting events at the Gassin hotel (Novakovich 2012, p.44-46). Various sporting activities like cycling are also held here. The cycling paths are along the coastline and by the roadside. Bicycles and motorbikes are usually rented for competitions. Hiking activities are also common.
This is a major tourist attraction particularly to those who love hiking. The town has roads that go up to the forested hillside, making it suitable for hiking. Saint Tropez has trails which around the peninsula, along the beaches and the capes, forming short loops that are best suited for hiking. Yachting activities are also common and tourists hire motorboats so as engage in pleasure trips and competition. Skiing is another activity held at Saint Tropez. The town has world-class hotels that make it attractive to tourists (Porter 2007, p.100).
With an influx in the number of tourists visiting the area, the culture of the Saint Tropez residents is likely to be degraded. Tourists might introduce their foreign cultures that in some cases entail the topless fashion where they engage in topless sunbathing. Many of them might be seen along the beaches while they are nude and this might significantly erode the moral values of the residents’ culture. In some cases, tourists might engage in erotic ventures that are contrary to the moral values of the natives. The influx of tourists might also result in environmental degradation hence interfering with the ecological balance (Facaros 2006, p.201-209).
On the other hand, an influx of tourists to the town can have some positive effects on the society in Saint Tropez. For instance, tourism can lead to improved infrastructure and other social amenities. The recreation facilities can be improved due to the blossoming industry. Health facilities and schools can also be built from the revenue earned from the tourism sector. Tourism can enable world-class libraries, cinemas halls as well as discotheques to be constructed owing to the blossoming tourism industry.
To minimize the negative effects of tourism, it is important to ensure that the indigenous culture of the people is preserved to maintain their moral values. Responsible and value-based tourism should be encouraged. Laws should be enacted and those found to be engaging in erotic behavior should be prosecuted. Constant patrols and surveys have to be carried out to ensure that tourists do not engage in detestable acts. There is a need to preserve and protect endangered species of trees and animals to keep a balance on the ecosystem. The natives need to be mobilized to engage in environmental conservation and preserving the existing tourist attraction sites (McPhee 2010, p.25-30).
The town has a small population and an influx in the number of tourists visiting the place is likely to result in environmental degradation. During the peak season, the beaches are might be full of people beyond their capacity. This might adversely affect the environment. An influx in the number of tourists visiting the area might lead to an increase in traffic and the result is environmental degradation. The town might be prone to greenhouse emissions and hence have adverse effects on the environment.
The influx is likely to strain the waste management system and if this is not well taken care of, it might result in an environmental disaster (Swarbrooke 2009, p.39-40). Some tourists might not engage in responsible tourism and their activities are likely to increase the carbon footprint. They might litter the streets, beaches, and forested areas with garbage and hence negatively affect the environment. Numerous construction projects and an increase in emissions due to the influx of tourists are likely to increase the levels of air pollution. Increased traffic, as well as discotheques, might increase the levels of noise pollution. Water pollution might also increase due to the oil leakages from vessels along the coastline and this can adversely affect aquatic life. Most trees might be in danger of being destroyed as a result leading to the destruction of other tourist attraction sites (Thomson 2008, p.88).
On the other hand, tourism might have some positive effects on the environment. Ecotourism, for instance, might contribute significantly to the protection of wildlife, aquatic animals as well as trees which are major tourism assets. Through tourism, the authorities are in a position to get funding for their environmental conservation projects. Tourism can also contribute to the creation of jobs at Saint Tropez. Through this, people do not solely rely on fishing and deforestation for their survival and this helps in ensuring environmental conservation (Ferguson-Kosinski 2009, 57).
To maximize the positive impact of tourism on the environment, there is a need to educate the natives on the significance of environmental conservation. The reduction of carbon emissions is quite important. The authority must engage in energy and water conservation. This can be achieved by employing the appropriate technology to conserve energy, as the use of the Variable Frequency Drives (VFD), and encourage the use of energy-saving bulbs. Occupancy sensors should be used in most buildings.
This will help to automatically switch off the lights whenever there is no one in the respective rooms. Efforts to recycle water and should be encouraged. The construction of green buildings will enhance the conservation of energy. Recycling and waste management is quite important. There is a need to encourage reuse and recycling policy. There is a need to enhance the recycling programs by encouraging the recycling of paper, plastics, metals, bulbs, and other products. The natives, venders, and visitors should be educated concerning environmental conservation (Courter 2010, p. 44-46.
The Contribution of Tourism to the GDP of France
|Tourism Contribution to the GDP in US$ billion||90.91||91.39||96.53||108.19||115.14||103.44||100.00||97.07||95.79|
|International Tourism||Previous Numbers||Last Numbers|
|Arrival numbers in France||80853000.0||79218000.0|
|Number of departures in France||22226000.0||21080000.0|
|Receipts (US dollar) in France||63771000000.0||67116000000.0|
|Receipts (% of total exports) in France||9.1||8.7|
|Receipts for passenger transport items (USD) in France||9492000000.0||10551000000.0|
|Expenditures for passenger transport items (USD) in France||7768000000.0||8744000000.0|
|Receipts for travel items (US dollar) in France||54279000000.0||56565000000.0|
|Expenditures for travel items (USD) in France||38238000000.0||41067000000.0|
|Expenditures (US dollar) in France||46006000000.0||49811000000.0|
|Expenditures (% of total imports) in France||6.3||6.0|
From the above statistics, it is quite evident that tourism contributes significantly to the country’s GDP. From 2004 the country has been receiving more than US$ 90.00 billion annually from this sector. This can be attributed to the various tourist attractions like in the country, with Saint Tropez being the best example.
France Travel and Tourism Indicators
% of Total
|Direct contribution to GDP||77.7||3.8||0.7|
|Total contribution to GDP||197.6||9.7||1.1|
|Direct contribution to Employment||1189||4.4||0.1|
|Total contribution to employment||2925||10.9||0.4|
Tourism in Saint Tropez can contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth hence earning the country the much needed foreign exchange. The money earned in the sector can be put in developing other sectors like the education and medical sector. The appropriate facilities can be bought or put in place and the existing infrastructure improved, hence raising the living standards of its people (Apostolopulos 2001, p. 99).
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Tourism can also significantly contribute to the propensity of Saint Tropez to import those goods that are not produced locally yet are required by the tourists. They vary from foodstuffs and other equipment like cameras that enhance the comfort of the tourist. This might strain the country’s budget at the expense of other significant projects. There might also be a tendency to sideline other economic activities, and this might lead to overdependence on tourism and other economic activities might be sidelined. Most projects might be geared towards improving the tourism sector while other sectors are not given much attention (Jackson 2003,p 14).
To minimize economic leakages, there is a need for the authorities to focus on improving the local industries. This ensures that they produce most goods needed by the tourists locally to reduce the cost of importing most of these goods hence benefiting the country’s economy. The authorities should also allocate a significant percentage of the money earned from tourism into benefiting the natives by improving their infrastructure and other amenities.
Tourism Demand and Supply
Being a medieval town, Saint Tropez is a preferred tourism destination by most people in Europe and beyond. The town witnesses an influx of tourists. This has made France a major tourist destination. The tourism generating countries are mostly from Europe and they include; Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal. There are also other tourism generating countries beyond this region and they include the United States of America and Japan. This has posed a challenge to the transport sector given that the major access point to the town is by water using the ferry and other water vessels.
The town does not have an airport and it is mostly accessed by helicopter. There is a need to construct airports to facilitate this. The nearest airport, Saint Tropez Airport, is at La Mole and it is 15 Km from the town. There is a need to have more airports and have air transport service providers. The nearest railway station is 39KM from Saint Tropez. To facilitate the ease of tourists visiting the area, there is a need to enhance air transport from different countries to Saint Tropez.
Political stability can affect tourism in Saint Tropez in different ways. Political stability is quite vital for the flourishing of the sector. Even though tourism is a large industry, it is quite volatile. Political instability shows that the concerned authorities are unable to take charge of the events that happen. This tends to dent the image of the country. This can in turn affect the tourism sector and economy. With political instability, wars, or terrorism activities, tourists are likely to shun the area and hence the town might lose the needed foreign exchange.
A reduction in the number of tourists visiting the area can result in the loss of jobs especially those in the hospitality industry. This might in turn result in a reduction of funds allocated to the vital areas of the economy like the medical and education sector as well as the funds allocated to other social amenities. This might result in people living under deplorable conditions. Political stability on the other hand results in the town witnessing an influx in the number of tourists visiting. The money earned here can be used for the development of other sectors of the economy and hence the people’s living standards are improved. There is a need for the authorities to aim at ensuring political stability at all times.
List of References
Apostolopulos, G. 2001, Mediterranean tourism, London, Routledge.
Arfin, F. 2011, The French Riviera Adventure Guide, Madison, Hunter Publishing, Inc.
Courter, G. 2010, Code Ezra, New York, Gay Courter.
Facaros, D. 2006, Cadogan Guide Cote D’azur, Auckland, New Holland Publishers.
Ferguson-Kosinski, L. 2009, Europe by Eurail: Touring Europe by Trail, Connecticut, Globe Pequot.
Jackson, R. 2003, Geography of travel and tourism, New York, Cengage Learning.
McPhee, L. 2010, A Journey Into Matisse’s South of France, London, Macmillan.
Novakovich, M. 2012, Frommer’s Provence and the Riviera, New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons.
Porter, D. 2007, France For Dummies. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons.
Turner R. 2013, International Tourism number of Arrivals in France.
Turner R. 2013, Travel & Tourism Economic impact 2013 France.
Swarbrooke, J. 2009, Sustainable tourism management, London, Macmillan.
Thomson, R. 2008, Framing France, Manchester, Manchester University Press.