TSEA Essay

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TSEA Essay

  1. 1. Last year 400,000 tourists visited Cambodia – many to see the temples of Ankor whichwere so long “out of bounds”. The kingdom of Cambodia which is also known as Cambodia is one of the countriesin the South East Asia bordering Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Gulf of Thailand. It has181,035 square kilometers of land and around 14 million people of population. It wascolonized by French until 1953 (Chheang). During Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia wasdestroyed both economically and socially (Chheang). However, Cambodia has temples thatthe ancient of Angkor once has owned from the 9th to 15th centuries. Those temples were builtby the Khmer Kings for showing religious shrines and political power that South-east Asiafrom Vietnam in the east to parts of Burma in the west were under the control of an empire(Fawthrop). Now, Cambodia is well known for temples, especially Angkor Wat in SiemReap and tourists are crowding to Cambodia which means tourism is helping Cambodiaeconomically. However, Even though tourism makes social and economic benefits forCambodia, it is true that tourism is not sustainable because of the social, economic andenvironmental damages it brings to Cambodia. Supporters of tourism in Cambodia state that it brings many social benefits. Sincetourism brings more people to country, it is better to make country look cleaner. As a resultof that, infrastructure has been improved such as roads (Admin). Even if roads are made fortourists, not only they are using those roads, but also Cambodians are using those. Thus,better roads for tourists mean better roads for Cambodians. Secondly, the kingdom andculture became to be preserved because people realized the importance them seeing theincreasing number of tourists to see that kingdom and culture (Admin). The number ofvisitors to Cambodia has been increased from 118,183 in 1993 to 2,015,128 in 2007 which isbig increases so that Cambodian found they need to react for that. So Cambodians started toperform Apsara dancing and puppet shows for both preserving culture and making money forshowing to the tourists (Admin). Either it is for preserving or making money, the results isthat the kingdom and culture are being preserved. Lastly, the tourism provides Cambodiansjobs. The growth is shown even during a year, from 2005 to 2006. The number of jobsincreased from 200000 to 250000 and as a prediction, there will be 1,121,000 jobs in 2018(Chheang). One of the big social problems in many countries is unemployment. However, asthe data showing, tourism helps Cambodia with that problem. Therefore, it is true thattourism benefits Cambodia socially. Despite of the fact that tourism brings social benefits to Cambodia, the truth of thematter is that not all Cambodians benefit from tourism equally. The first social problem thattourism causes is less opportunity for women to get jobs. Most people are using guides duringtheir travel to the Cambodia, so guides are as important as tourism in Cambodia. Because ofthe importance of guides, tourism education and training are getting attention from theCambodian government, private sector and NGOs (Chheang). There are many tourismprograms which have from vocational education to master degrees being supported by TheCambodian Ministry of Tourism (Chheang). However, although government supports this job,women do not have the same opportunities as men. For example, 984 tour guides working atAngkor Wat speak English (Chheang). However, most of them are men with the number of
  2. 2. 918 which means only 66 are females (Chheang). For guides who are speaking Japanese, thedifference also occurs with 489 of men and 164 of women (Chheang). The huge gap betweenthe number of male and female tour guides is found all over the language. Overall, there are2616 male tour guides and only 372 female tour guides (Chheang). Tourism harms not onlywomen but also children causing lack of education for them. The government’s ignorance isfound the number of high school and universities in Siem Reap. There are 363 elementaryschools, but only 13 high schools and no state universities (Boland). Instead concentrating oneducations, government invests in new scenic golf courses with a view of Angkor Wat whichis for tourism again (Fawthrop). Increasing number of uneducated children causes thesituation that illiteracy is very common among the population and this is related to the futureof country. In other words, the government does not put into their future but to only theirpresent. Tourism brings another social problem which is social tension. The social tensionfollows the fact that Cambodian cannot get into the temple complex after 6 pm (Boland)because the public road that stretches through the temple complex got used much. It ispossible that this issue can bring social tension because many Cambodian go to the templecomplex to pray which is important step of their day and they need to go around the complex(Boland). Thus, the tourism makes the Cambodian not to get benefits equally and createsnoticeable problems. The Cambodian government claims that tourism is a main source of income forCambodia. First of all, tourism is the 3rd largest part of the economy and 2nd incomecontributor which means it plays major role in Cambodia economy (Chheang). SinceCambodia became the most popular tourist sites among SEA countries, the number of touristsarriving to Cambodia increased which means the more money is spent in Cambodia. In 2005,the profits from tourism were US $832 million and in 2006, it was US $1,594 million withthe increasing percentage of the profits take place in GDP from 13% of the GDP to 16% ofthe GDP respectively (Chheang). It is predicted that the profits will be grown up to US$1,705.7 in 2018 (Chheang). However, some people are concerning about an issue that themoney might go out of the country which will be discussed later in this essay. Fortunately,there are some organizations being created these days. They are trying to get the profits backto community (Admin). Therefore, the worries about money leaving country might be solvedin some years. There is another effort to reduce the gap between the poor and the rich causedby the tourism. The government made National Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2003(Chheang). It includes strategies to give hope to the poor. One of the strategies that seem tohelp the poor efficiently is that working group should provide encourage tourism in beneficialway to the poor (Chheang). Another one is that reduction development zone for the poor needto be found which is expecting local economic growth (Chheang). And lastly, Public-privatepartnership is required to support enterprises whose the size is not big for access for the poorto opportunities of employment and benefit the community (Chheang). Consequently, it istrue that the economical benefits are cause by tourism in Cambodia. On the other hand, critics claim that economically tourism is not benefiting inCambodia, in actually. The biggest economical problem is that most money leaves thecountry. It is because of the package tour. The package tour is a set for tour including guides,
  3. 3. hotels, and restaurants and so on. It does not sound as any big problem at first, but peopleneed to look into this issue. The hotels that included into the package tour are internationalwhich is owned by the country that tourists are from (Fawthrop). Similarly, the tourist who iscoming through package tour comes by foreign airlines and the travel agencies and businesscompanies are also owned by the country that they are from because the tourists reserved forthe trip in their own country (Fawthrop). For instance, the most nationality that comes toCambodia is Korean. Most of them are staying in hotel which is owned by Korean and eatKorean food in the hotel having Korean-speaking guides which is creating the gap ofcommunication between them and Cambodian (Boland). As a result of that, 80%of profits aregoing out of the country and to the countries of tourists (Fawthrop). This also happens withother nationalities such as Japanese and so on causing the more money transferring to abroad.What makes this situation worse is that the rest of the money from tourism goes to only bigcompany (Boland). For example, a petroleum company called Sokimex owns the sightseeingballoon and gets the fee of entering temples (Boland). Sokimex also supplies the governmentwith military which means it is quite huge company in Cambodia (Boland). A state runningorganization for protection and maintenance of the temples named Apsara Authority receivesthe really rest of the profits (Boland). The last issue that tourism causes is that the gapbetween the urban and the rural gets bigger (Chheang). It is because the tourism site is inurban area and tourists go to that urban area which has tourists site. Thus, the rural keepsuffering from poverty while the urban keep growing and this enlarge the gap between therural and the urban. Therefore, the reality of the Cambodia is that tourism makes not only themoney for country but also economic problems. Even though advocates state that tourism benefits Cambodia both socially andeconomically, the reality is that tourism in Cambodia is causing environmental problems.While the number of people coming to Cambodia grows rapidly, the number of hotels is alsoincreasing and the needs of water gets bigger for showers and toilets. Because of that hotelsneed more water and they faced lack of water, they started to pump up water from theunderground (Fawthrop). If they keep pumping it up continuously and the water runs out, thenthe sand over it might sink down suddenly (Fawthrop). The worse fact is that the Angkor wasbuilt on the sand and surrounded by water which means it is easy to be weakened by anyimpact (Bandith). Therefore, the temples are in danger of collapsing (Fawthrop). The expertssaid that the famous Bayon temple might collapse, despite of the long term that it has endured.It is because it locates on sand which will suddenly sink down with the huge amount of waterbeing taken off from the underneath it (Fawthrop). If the temples collapse, then it means thatCambodia loses everything they have because the tourism is second most huge income source.There is another problem that mass of the tourists to Cambodia is making. Since there aremore people visiting to Cambodia, more flights are arriving and landing at airports. Theproblem is that the flights are too many and too near to the temples. It is followed byirrevocable strain and damage to the masonry, the way that the most temples are built by(Fawthrop). The crowded people also cause pollutions with waste disposal which is commonproblem between tourists sites (Bandith). However the different problems from other sites arethat contacts from people’s shoes and hands to the sculpture and temples create erosion oftemples and sculptures (Bandith). Cambodia is harming their own assets they have for their
  4. 4. money thinking that it is permanent. However, the assets will be gone with this lack ofprotection. This is why environmental problems are important for Angkor Wat and there aremany of them caused on the temples by people. Therefore, the tourism in Cambodia whichcalls the more people creates issues of environment. Despite of the fact that tourism brings social and economic benefits for Cambodia, butit is reality that tourism of Cambodia is unsustainable due to the social, economic andenvironmental damages that it brings to Cambodia through the tourism. Tourism providesdevastating effects to Cambodia social in that it causes discrimination against women, lack ofeducation for teens and social tension. It is also causing economic issues such that mostmoney leaves Cambodia, lets the rest goes to only big companies and enlarge the gapbetween the rural and the urban. The biggest problem is environmental one with pumpingwater which makes the temples in danger of collapsing, too many planes close to the templesand too much crowded people causing many pollution and erosion to temples. Tourism is areally good asset for Cambodians that their ancestors left in any case, but Cambodia isoverusing that wonderful asset without any strong protection and letting the problems stayaround that. They are ruining everything of their future while expecting profits only forpresent."Call to Action"/ solution/

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