Tourism does not help the Great Barrier Reef at all, but can minimally hurt it in several ways. The problem with tourism comes with people walking on the reef, anchors dropped on the reef, and boat pollution. However, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park plays a large part in the difficult task of protecting the reef by limiting human use.
Although tourism definitely does not help the Great Barrier Reef and may harm it a little, negative impacts on the reef come mainly from other sources such as climate change. Warmer waters can kill the coral in the reef.
Tourism can go both ways. It often helps protect places, because people get to experience first hand the beauty of a place, making them want to conserve it. However, the other side is that the more people that travel to a certain area, the more they contribute to pollution, whether knowingly by litter or merely by using resources like electricity and fuel. Awareness is the first step to preserving anything, and tourism opens the door for many people to learn about the reef to help in conservation.
Aside from some of the negative aspects of tourismon the Great Barrier Reef, direct monetary contributions through park fees are put towards conservation and sustainable marine tourism. Without tourism, the conservation of the area would be at a great lack of funds.
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