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5 Ways Contaminated Water Can Adversely Impact Tourism

Water is an important factor for the tourism industry to thrive in any country. This is because tourists love to explore places that have access to clean water for drinking and other activities. But what happens when the water gets contaminated? It can have both health and economic effects that could eventually make tourists less satisfied. Contaminated water can affect local communities by making them less accessible to tourists, as well as increasing their risk of getting sick due to poor sanitation practices.  

These factors then lead to a decrease in tourism costs (both financially and environmentally) which results in less satisfied tourists who may not want to return again due to these issues. 

Moreover, there have been many cases of contaminated water in the past which led to the death and suffering of millions of affected people. One such incident was Camp Lejeune, where water was contaminated with harmful chemicals and affected children, adults, and elders alike. The incident inflicted suffering on a huge scale – compelling many to face lifetime disability and pain of the loss of close ones. To mitigate their suffering, many people choose to file a Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit to get their claim.

Untreated Water Can Be Dangerous for Tourists’ Health

The possibility of waterborne diseases is a very real one for tourists who visit areas with contaminated water.

In addition, contaminated water can lead to gastrointestinal illnesses, such as diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera. Waterborne diseases spread quickly and are easily transmitted from person to person. If left untreated, they can be deadly. In fact, WHO findings show that diarrhea alone is responsible for approximately 525,000 deaths of children under five per year worldwide.

The main culprits of contaminated drinking water are bacteria or viruses that live in human waste. The feces and urine of infected people get into the groundwater when they’ve flushed down toilets or disposed of improperly. When that liquid flows through streams or rivers into lakes and oceans, it may contain cells from these organisms which survive long enough to contaminate your glass at the beach bar.

Tourists Have Less Access to Water

In the first scenario, tourists would probably find their water supply contaminated and thus unusable. This means they won’t be able to drink or cook with it, nor will they be able to have a shower or wash their clothes. In such a situation, tourism may have a poor experience as they find themselves unable to access basic human necessities.

A second scenario could occur if an area experiences flooding due to contaminated water being released into rivers and lakes from industrial plants upstream. In these instances, tourists may have access to clean drinking water where they stay but not outside their accommodation.

The Local Economy Suffers

Tourism is a major source of income for many communities, thus a supporting pillar for a country’s economy. In fact, tourism can be the biggest source of income in cities that depend heavily on agriculture or manufacturing. When tourists resist going to a destination just because of contaminated water, the local economy suffers greatly – forcing the country’s economy to decline. 

Hotels and restaurants lose money, restaurants and shops close down, and people lose their jobs and move away from the region. Some residents may even become sick themselves as a result of drinking contaminated water for an extended period of time.

Environmental Damage Is Costly and Time-Consuming for Local Governments

A contaminated water supply can also have a drastic impact on tourism because of its ability to affect the environment negatively. Many tourists come for the natural beauty of a particular place, and they hardly see it when there is water pollution all around.

Some places are popular tourist destinations because they are surrounded by pristine nature. For example, Iceland’s Geysir hot spring is known worldwide for its geothermal activity and colorful sunsets over volcanic landscapes. If the environment were damaged or altered in any way, this would impact travelers’ experiences when visiting these unique locations.

Environmental damage can be costly and time-consuming to repair. Moreover, these damages can translate into long-term effects that weren’t initially considered when making decisions about how much investment was needed to repair damage caused by an incident like contamination of drinking water supplies.


I hope the article gave you some understanding of how contaminated water impacts tourism and the local economy. If you’re traveling to an area where there are signs of contaminated water, be sure to ask your hotel or hostel staff about their source of water supply before drinking from the tap. This will help ensure that any illnesses brought on by contaminated water won’t affect your trip.

The good news is that we can all contribute something to improve the situation and make the world a better place to live. 

Red Note: 30 September 2022

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