Tourism impacts

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Our northern Cape Breton economy is greatly benefited by tourism but it's a mixed blessing - a balancing act between tourism infrastructure and habitat loss. Many visitors to northern Cape Breton come to see the scenery and natural beauty. To accommodate all the visitors, roads and buildings must be built but to build all these facilities, some of the beautiful natural environment which the tourists come to see must be lost!

It is important to have the infrastructure in place to support the numbers of visitors we receive every year. In Cape Breton Highlands National Park, if a trail is built to standards capable of sustaining 10,000 hikers a year, but it receives 50,000, the trail and the natural environment around it are going to suffer because of trampling, litter if there aren't enough garbage containers, and human waste if there aren't enough washroom facilities. The same holds true for Provincial Parks on Crown land and for privately owned campgrounds. So it's important to research the numbers of visitors that can be expected to use a facility and to plan accordingly.

Impacts also may arise because of all the traffic that comes through, touring the Cabot Trail. Increased traffic results in increased air pollution. It also may increase the possibility of non-native species being brought to our ecosystem.

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