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Socio-Cultural Effects of Tourism Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Nov 23rd, 2019


Tourists affect the host countries in socio-cultural ways. They affect the values of the values, family structure and relationships, behaviour, art forms, community organizations, traditional ceremonies and lifestyle. The socio-cultural effects came about due to host-tourist interaction when the tourist is purchasing a product, exchanging ideas and information and when socializing at different locations.

Bali Island

A recent article published in the Guardian, showed the huge influence tourists have on the social life of the residents. Bali, one of the most beautiful locations in the Sundra islands has been facing a high increase in tourism in the recent years. They have gained financially however the authorities are noting that they are paying a high price for these financial gains.

Apart from the environment degradation as the investors build hotels on the land and dispose waste irresponsible, the culture and religion activities of the island have been adversely affected (Philip, 2012).The Balinese used to be people who are deeply entrenched in their culture, especially the observance of religious rituals.

They would spend a significant amount of time in the temples. However, this has reduced as people concentrate on making money and interacting with the tourists. If the youths do not attend daily rituals, they are required to pay some money to the village. They are fed up with religious meetings and do not want to pay any money either.

The use of the Balinese language is also decreasing as the people use more of the official language of Indonesia. The level of art engagement of the people has also been affected. The music ensembles are dying in the region. The people are not noticing the change in their culture since their living standards have improved and they are better off economically.

Petra in Jordan

Jordan has also been affected socially and culturally by the tourist activities in the region. It is located in the Middle East and tourism is a significant contributor to the economy. There have been positive and negative effects in the region. In Petra, there are locals who have started learning foreign languages.

The money earned from tourism has helped the local residents finance their education. The local residents usually work in the hotels, restaurants, tour guide companies and travel agencies. Others are earning their living by investing in tourism (Alhasant, 2010). However, there are negative effects of the host-tourist interaction. There are locals who have started to take alcohol and there are sexual relationships between them and the tourists. The sex tourism especially where young children are affected is disheartening.

Some are also losing their own identity and culture as they imitate the behaviours of the tourists. They have western dressing styles and some live beyond their means. They are young people who drop out of school due to the allure of getting easy money when they interact with tourists.

Cyprus: In Cyprus, there have also been changes in the residents’ behaviour as a result of tourism. There has been an increase in drug trafficking and other crimes and young people are smoking at an early age. There are young people who have reduced the amount of time they spend with their families and in community activities in order to interact with the tourists more. They are spending considerable time clubbing in the bars. They have also been young people who have dropped out of school.

Tourism has also affected the area positively. Apart from the rise in standard of living, there has been a lot of infrastructure development. There has been an increase in the building of roads, airports and restaurants. The tourists have also made the local residents increase their activities in art trade and festivals.

There is more involvement in embroidery, weaving, wood crafting and pottery. Tourism has actually helped the residents to get more in touch with their culture. The local residents have noted that the tourists love old architecture and instead of allowing eager real estate developers to devour the buildings, they have renovated them and reserved them as tourist attractions.

The people are torn however over the introduction of a casino in the area. There are concerns that gambling will become a social problem while others feel every tourist attraction usually has one and the region will be losing money if they do not introduce one (Spanou, 2007).


In the Caribbean, there has been a renewed interest in their culture due to the high tourist interests. There has been an increase in the art festivals and cultural events. The monuments are also being renovated and preserved. The people however feel the increase of wealth in residents has been limited as most of the returns accrue to the foreign investors who have set up hotels, communication and transport systems in the area.

In fact, they contend that tourism has increased the wage differentials in the indigenous people between the ones who are able to get great jobs in the tourism industries and those who get menial jobs. All these case studies show that tourism affects the social-cultural life of residents both positively and negatively (TransAfrica Forum, 2000).


The tourist-host interaction and the influence on the resident’s social and cultural activities in Bali, Cyprus, Jordan and the Caribbean show that tourism has a significant influence on the residents.

There are positive effects such as increase in income for the residents and increased development in infrastructure. However, the youth are affected negatively as they drop out of school and engage in drinking and smoking and other vices. The government and other authorities should put up strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of tourist-host interaction.


Alhasant, S. (2010). Sociocultural Impacts of Tourism on the Local Community at Petra, Jordan. European Journal of Scientific Research, 44(3), 374-386.

Philip, B. (2012). Beauty of Bali under threat from pressures of mass tourism. Retrieved from:

Spanou, E. (2007). The Impact of Tourism on the Sociocultural Structure of Cyprus. Tourismos, 2(1):145-162.

TransAfrica Forum (2000).The Impact of Tourism in the Caribbean. Washington: TransAfrica Forum.

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