MEDITERRANEAN AREA/URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Tourism leads to urban development because it needs facilities not only to host, feed and entertain tourists, but also to transport them, care for them (e.g. hospitals), treat their wastes etc.
Accommodation (80% of all tourism and leisure construction) has a major impact on water resources, land use and ecosystems:
The tourist industry requires efficient facilities to transport the huge amounts of goods (food and all types of merchandise that is sold to tourists) to tourist resorts and, of course, to bring tourists to their destination. The construction of transport infrastructures is yet another factor that often negatively affects the environment.
- in France almost 335,000 second homes have been built during the past two decades, covering more than 22 million m2 of land (EEA, 2000). The main disadvantage of second homes, which represent 73% of total tourist lodging capacity in France, is that they require far more land area to provide the same accommodation capacity and are used infrequently (often only 2 weeks a year compared to more than 20 weeks for hotels);
- second-house tourism has the greatest growth potential for the tourist industry of the Spanish southeast: of every 100 houses built in Alicante, 60 are for the second house market;
- according to a WWF analysis in Italy, over 43% of the 7,600-km-long coastline is completely urbanised, mainly linked to tourism development; 28% is partially urbanised and less than 29% is still free of construction.