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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Backpacker Tourism Tourism Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Tourism
Wordcount: 3037 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Back packer tourists are tourists who spent more money traveling a lot and stay for longer periods in their journeys than other travelers despite their reputation as tourists working on budgets that are tight. They prefer to spend little on accommodation costs and spent most of their funds on some other important activities. They usually settle on the value for their money. They want services that are good and worth paying for. This paper explores the extent to which destinations that backpacker tourists visit benefit from backpacker tourism.


Every year backpackers go on with expanding their exploration throughout the world, and as a result the amount and diversity of backpacker research and literature has gone on growing. Backpacking tourism in the modern day been linked with travel forms from as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries. Backpacker tourism has been more associated with youths what range from the age of 18 years to 35 years. The motive behind backpacker tourism is to meet with other travelers. The tourists involved usually take this as an opportunity to learn new traveling tips and concepts. They are attracted to adventure tour and other activities that need them to participate actively.

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The term backpacker came in to survival in the early 1990`s in academic work. At this point, a wide variety of research started to come out ranging from studies dealing with what inspire backpackers to travel, backpacking as a culture and the backpacker awareness to the impacts which backpackers present on their host surroundings and communities and how their control has the latent to interfere with and or aid development. The concept of backpacking has been defined and re-defined through this literature.

This kind of tourists normally originates from developed countries and travel not to one particular destination but to a couple of destinations that they are attracted to. They have the view that while conventional tourists observe their destination

Backpackers’ hard work to plunge themselves amongst the local population present a more real experience. Often at a turning point in their lives, backpackers have enough money to expend time away from home and often think about their time abroad as an opportunity for self-reflection and augmentation. Backpackers prefer only to make necessary travel arrangements and avoid utilizing institutionalized travel services.

Backpacker tourism has effects on destinations reached ranging from economic, environmental, technological, socio cultural and political benefits among others. The backpacker tourist touch on the areas of their destiny they reach in a variety of ways and differently too (Hannam & Ateljevic, 2007).

Backpacker tourism provides knowledge and expertise to destinations traveled. When those tourists stop in certain destinations, they tend to share their experience and knowledge of how things are handled and ways of doing them. They expose this knowledge to the people in their destinations helping them to learn new ideas and concepts of how things are supposed to be done. These travelers also travel with equipment and facilities that may have not reached the places where they visit. In their visits, they teach the locals the uses and the manner in which those equipment and facilities are operated. In essence they teach people new technologies and how those technologies are supposed to be used to the locals advantage. This knowledge may in turn help the locals with an idea of acquiring such equipment that helps them transform their lives. The knowledge that they pass to the destinations may be used as forms of cultural capital. Cultural capital if used properly may be changed into economic capital when carrier and opportunities of employment are used (Fennell, 2006).

Backpackers pass on social and representative capital that they acquire from the relationships and contacts that they encounter in the course of their travel. While they pick some aspects of social capital from the destinations that they reach, they live others that they have acquired in other destinations.

Back packer tourism expenses generate considerable employment for most countries. They normally spend what they have. This is because they boast of the time and normally self-drive transportation; they are more probable to travel to local areas thus disbursing their funds more broadly than other tourists. Their spending has significant influence on businesses concerned with transportation, food, trade, petroleum, housing and tourism industry (Richards & Wilson, 2004).

Backpacker tourists spread global awareness throughout the places that they visit. Backpackers most often come from the developed worlds and they may not have firsthand experience on issues that may be affecting other parts of the world that they travel to visit. Issues such as poverty, poor health conditions, lack of education, environmental degradation, inadequate clean drinking water and many more issues can be solved partly through backpacking tourism. Backpacking tourists, who reach to destinations where problems such as those listed above exist, can help by giving information of how such conditions are dealt with back at their homes. If the information they give are taken in to account and strategies for their implementation are made, then those problems can be alienated partly if not wholly. They provide activism that channel towards change. The level of awareness that backpacker tourists give out do have long lasting effects if taken with seriousness that is needed (Hannam, 2010).

In the modern past few years it has been exposed that backpacking tourism influences progress in the destinations they arrive at specifically host countries and communities. Backpacker tourists help to empower local communities for the reason that their concern in becoming well-known with the genuine other, gives them reason to stay, eat and purchase things in establishments that are run locally. Particularly, this is to women who are frequently marginalized from proper economic opportunities, can fruitfully aim backpackers and make them their customers to their informal businesses such as food and handicraft stalls. In addition, since backpackers more often than not try to visit locations that are marginalized and interior they are able to share out the revenue they offer to the host inhabitants more evenly than the archetypal tourist.

Financial benefits that are obtained from luxurious tourists mostly do not reach people at the grassroots. This is not usually the case with backpacker tourists. The backpackers spend their nights at cheap places, eat food from ordinary food joints as opposes to luxurious tourists who spent their time in big five star and seven star hotels. In doing this, the backpacker tourists channel the financial benefits to the people at the grassroots level in their destinations.

Backpacker tourism benefits its destinations environmentally in number of ways. This is attributed to a concept that is referred to as eco-tourism that many backpacker tourists like. Eco-tourism means travel that is environmentally affable. It could also be said to be ethical and responsible manner of travel (Diamantis, 2004).

Backpacking has diminutive impact on the environment as possible; this compliments local culture and contributes in promoting livelihoods. Individuals surrounded by a tourist destination community who use the same amenities and services as the tourists assess the benefits and expenses of tourism in a different way than non-users do. For example, neighboring fishermen and water skiers are extra worried about an enlargement in the figure of people who use the regional water-based reserve than those who have no concern in water sports (Hannam & Knox, 2010).

The sightseeing resource user weighs the positive and negative results of increasing the number of populace who utilize the same resources with his/her personal interests in mind. The more probable they consider that a swell in tourism will result in enhanced facilities, the more they will sustain it. When they analyze tourists as rivalry for a limited resource, they may resist new development unless their interests are secured (Bennett, Jooste, & Strydom, 2005.

Backpackers sleep in local villages as opposed to international resorts. This contributes in helping the economy and linking with local people. They visit national parks arboretum areas their charges helping to support park preservation. They buy things made by local craftswomen promoting originality.

They get from one town to the next passing through a forest or over a mountain instead of driving, or plying public transportation rather than a car. This in essence protects the environment by saving on the fuel that brings carbon monoxide and noise pollution from cars.

When the backpackers travel, they do so encouraging the people in their destination areas to preserve the environment. People preserve the environment in the sense that they take good care of the attractive things that make those tourists want to visit those areas. They do this with the believe that if they destroy the environment then the tourists will not come back. In this way the environments well-being is secured (Goeldner & Brent 2006).

This type of tourism can undoubtedly make significant contributions to conservation by creating awareness of the animals and natural resources observed and their habitats, by generating revenues for maintenance, and by generating jobs for area communities.

Backpacker tourism has an array of economic forces. Tourists add more to jobs, levy revenues, trades, profits, and proceeds in a region of destination. The most direct outcome occurs within the key tourism sectors that are, accommodation, transportation, enjoyment, eating places and retail trade. Through derived outcome, tourism affects the majority sectors of the economy. An economic impact study of tourism goings-on usually centers on changes in trades, revenue, and employment in a region resulting from tourism movement (Burns, Palmer, & Lester, 2010).

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Direct effects of backpacker tourism to destinations are manufacture changes associated with the instant effects of changes in sightseeing spending. For instance, an add to the number of tourists residing for the night in hotels would openly capitulate increased sales in the hotel sector. The extra hotel sales and related changes in hotel expenditure for earnings and salaries, levy, and provisions and services are straight effects of the tourist costs (Benckendorff & Prendergast, 2010).

Indirect effects are the fabrication changes ensuing from various rounds of spending of the hotel industry’s in other backward connected industries for example industries providing products and services to hotels.

Financial impacts of Tourism inspire effects that are the variation in financial activity resulting from domestic expenditure of earnings earned candidly or indirectly as a result of tourism expenses. For example, hotel and linen supply human capital supported openly or obliquely by tourism, use their income in the local area for housing, foodstuff, transport, and the usual display of household merchandise and service needs. The sales, proceeds, and jobs that result from domestic spending of extra pay, salary, or owner’s income are stimulated effects (Burns & Novelli, 2008).

By way of slanting and stimulated effects, changes in tourist expenses can impact nearly every segment of the financial system in a way or the other. The height of minor things relies on the tendency of businesses and homes in the area to buy merchandise and services from home suppliers. Stimulated effects are mostly noticed when a huge company in a region closes a lodge. Not only supporting industries oblique effects contribute, but the entire local economy gains due to the decrease in family income in the region. Trade stores open and outflows of money from the area swells as customers go outside the area for more and more goods and services (Weaver, 2006).

Several rural communities that are situated close to park and leisure areas are developing tourism to refresh their economies. Tourism growth is often promoted for its prospect to create jobs, tax revenues and earnings for these local communities previously subsidized by natural income. Most planning approaches focus on increasing physical resources and facilities with the assurance of local venture and employment chances. Development strategies generally tackle carrying capability and numerous use issues and comprise strategies which center on park and leisure areas (Weaver, 2006, 2001). Less renowned are tourism’s non-economic profits. Expansion plans have regularly failed to regard these other paybacks as well as the anxiety of citizens who are not probable to benefit reasonably from tourism growth. The appreciation and promotion of the non-economic returns of tourism may be a significant to developing the hold up of the area community which is critical to the long-term achievement of tourism growth. Planning a maintainable tourism business also requires the recognition of those features of tourism which needs sacrifice on the side of the residents (Font & Buckley, 2010).

Backpacking has been found to help people preserve the environment and nature. This is attributed to the fact that backpackers opt using tents that offer them privacy than cutting down trees or leaves in order to build shelter if they don’t want to hire lodgings. Back packer tourism provides for employment and offer higher profits in terms of agriculture, informal sector, fishing among other things. It calls for lower entry costs and ownership that is localized (Gunn, & Var, 2002).

Backpacker tourism has had social cultural impacts to destination areas. There has been a growing trend in which mass backpackers have sprouted together with hardcore and backpacker plus. The number of backpacking tourism has increased form a small number to a larger one. This has resulted in marriages between the locals and backpacker tourists (Mason, 2003).

There are also security issues concerning back packer tourist where some tourist may lose personal items. They may also get injured or even lose their lives. Tourism operators who provide activities which involve some risk are enforced to put in place general safety guidelines. They are also expected to trace missing back packer tourist and labor to recover stolen or lost properties (Bowen, & Clarke, 2009).

Inhabitants of tourist targets enjoy enhanced shopping and leisure facilities, augmented opportunities for get-together and interrelating with new people, the formation of an outlet for self-expression, the expansion of community pride, and developments to the physical good looks of the community as results of the local tourism business.

Backpacker tourism has aided people in lessening poverty. The people who profits so much from this type of tourism are those who vend the back packer tourists gears for traveling and additional souvenirs that they get involved to when roaming. People who provide food and accommodation to the back paper tourists have been helped to earn money. The money they earn from the back paper tourists helps them with their basic needs and other social and secondary needs (Pearce, 2005).

Backpackers provide destination areas with foreign exchange earnings. These earnings help communities and individuals to develop themselves better. It is although less than the foreign exchange obtained from mass tourism. It also provides linkage and connection with the local economy for the destination areas. Mass tourists usually want products and goods that are imported or better manufactured goods but backpackers usually consumer goods and products that have been produced locally. They don’t care so much about the quality of the goods and products they obtain but rather look at the cost. This is not to say that the backpackers consumer goods and products that have no quality but rather goods that are readily available to them. The services they get are provided by local people in local places as opposed to luxurious tourists who are keen in preferring services that are provided professionally and at high standardized and expensive quality. In essence they connect more strongly to the local economy while developing relations with the local people. Destination areas get the benefit of knowing the diverse cultures of the entire world (Mill, & Morrison, 2002).


With all the advantages that come with backpacking tourism, there are also the negative benefits that come with it. First backpacking tourist has been known to engage with the local people in the destination areas sexually. This act has contributed to the spread of dangerous diseases like HIV/AIDS. Contagious diseases have also been spread by the backpacking tourists. Most locals especially those in poverty prone areas are usually very ready to engage in sexual relations with the backpacking tourist without wanting to know of their status. All that most of the locals care for is the monetary value that they obtain from the relationship. So in fact the locals have to spend a considerable amount of funds in securing health facilities.

Backpacker tourism has contributed to the dumping of waste materials from developed countries to the developing and underdeveloped countries. This has created serious health and other life issues. There are also security concerns which come with it. Either way, the back packer tourist are exposed to security risk or the local community affected by the activity.

Thus both backpacker tourism and other forms should be encouraged because however minimal one type of tourism benefits the destination areas if put together they form a compact advantage more so to the economic well being of that place.


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