Compare how winter and summer holidays affect the environments in and around holiday resorts. Where in your opinion is the greater threat to the environment?

Essay by jcb309High School, 10th gradeA+, October 2006

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In the 21st century, tourism is booming, it is the fastest growing industry on the planet. No wonder, with big paychecks, cheap tickets, golden handshakes. With all this extra money, people can afford to go on holiday. Back in the 1900s, it was only the very wealthy who went away on holiday, now; vacations can be taken by millions, at affordable prices.

Every year huge numbers of people from all corners of the planet embark on winter-wonderland escapades in the mountains. Sometimes skiing, sometimes hiking, sometimes just relaxing, the visitors leave their trace.

Winter holidays are meant to be enjoyable times, yet many environmentalists fear the effect tourists will have in the mountains. One example of bad affects is deforestation. Trees are cleared to create space for ski-slopes, hotels, and access roads. In the case of an avalanche, trees naturally provide a slowing effect on it. The trees could be seen as saviours, because they catch snow in between the branches and around them; and therefore reducing the amount of snow coming down the mountain.

Their roots will also absorb water hindering slippage by creating more matted soil.

The natural environment of the mountain is further disturbed by the demand for higher and more difficult ski slopes, because the higher up the mountain the more delicate the vegetation.

Lack of trees and heavy snowfall are not a good combination. The snow will melt more quickly, and without trees slowing down the process, rapid water runoff could flood the residences and resorts below the slopes; these floods are known as 'flash floods'. Towns can be destroyed by floods, killing hundreds, destroying the infrastructure and houses of the people. It is proven that deforestation is a major reason for floods, which is a form of natural disaster.

Other than from floods, landslides...