MTI Strategic Reflections

The real cost of exports and tourism

In calculating the pollution level of a country, assign how much of it is due to domestic consumption and how much due to exports (including tourism). This can help us ascertain the ‘real’ cost of foreign exchange earnings to a country. Local populations (and their environments) can suffer in many ways due to ‘over tourism’ and excessive export production.

Interestingly, Bhutan’s tourism approach focuses on ‘high value – low impact’ tourism. By ‘low impact’ they refer to the environment. The economic price we pay for most products does not reflect the ecological cost i.e. the environmental impact of our consumption.