PATA VE Bulletin (Nov 2015)
Water and Tourism
Authored by EarthCheck
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The report highlights the imbalance between population and resource, stating that Asia Pacific is inhabited by some 60 percent of the world’s population and yet enjoys only 36 percent of global water resources.
Water resources in the Asia Pacific region face many complex challenges, resulting in regional hotspots – areas that face multiple issues including constrained access to water and sanitation, and increased exposure to climate change and disasters. Hotspots previously identified by the UN Documentation centre of Water and Sanitation include Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Punjab region of India, and the North China Plain. The report also notes that water-rich countries face challenges because of the deterioration in water quality and worryingly high levels of pollution from untreated sewage.
The report points out that daily water consumption by tourists in many destinations far exceeds the usage by local inhabitants. In Fiji and Sri Lanka, for example, visitors are tapping into the local water supply at more than eight times the rate of locals – and there are also major gaps in usage by tourists and local communities in China, India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The report calls for the tourism industry to take a leadership position in water management at the site, precinct and destination level.