BeMED 20. Tourism and its impact on the Environment

Tourism and its impact on the Environment
Audrey Gauci
Age Guide
Year 10-11
Subject Area
European Studies
Preparation Time Research on the impact of tourists on the environment – especially in relation to marine litter.

Preparation of interview / questionnaires to conduct an investigation in a touristic village

Estimated Duration 40 mins – reporting skills

40 mins – creation of investigation

40 mins – evaluation and reporting of investigation

Site Any touristic locality
Educational objectives Develop one of the European Studies projects by investigating and reporting on tourism and its impact on marine litter.

Project Titles

–        The Impact of Tourism on the Environment

Research, investigate and critically analyse themes:

Protection of the Environment

Candidates should be able to:

– identify and understand the sources of air, land, water, noise and light pollution.

– demonstrate some awareness of the possible environmental damage and solutions through the following case studies: the Mediterranean Sea and the Blue Plan.

– identify and explain preventive measures to lessen their impact.

– demonstrate an understanding of the extent to which modern farming practices, industry, tourism and transportation in Europe are responsible for environmental damage.

Sustainable Development

Candidates should be able to:

– identify and understand the conflict of interest inherent between conservation and development in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean regions.

Learning Outcomes Information management:

– I can define the term sustainable development and its three pillars: economic, social, environmental.

– I can analyse and explain the term biodiversity. I can discuss some of the threats it is experiencing, e.g. urbanisation, deforestation, over hunting/fishing.

– Through examples I can identify and list conflicts of interest between economic development and environmental conservation.

– I can discuss the concept of marine sustainability and pollution prevention giving examples drawn from the Mediterranean area, e.g. fisheries policy , Blue plan, Blue flags.

– I can define and discuss the concept of Blue flag in terms of sustainable development of beaches and marinas.

– I can analyse the benefits of having a sustainable fishing industry in the Mediterranean, drawing on examples of the bluefin tuna and swordfish.

–  I am aware of which sources I can consult to learn more about the EU’s environment and fisheries policies.

– I can actively participate in processes and encourage negotiations for alternative sustainable futures.

– I will challenge unsustainable practices across educational systems, including at the institutional level.

Link to SDGs SDG 4: Quality education for all

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Community

SDG 13: Climate Change

SDG 14: Life below water

SDG 15: Life on land

Educational resources required 1.     Video tutorials on reporting:

2.     Interview guide:

3.     Case study on Sustainable tourism:-

Remote preparation As part of their European Studies project work, student need to investigate and draw a report on one of 5 topics. One of the themes is Tourism and its impact on the Environment.

Since both investigation and reporting are required, a session on appropriate reporting skills is carried out before the students actually go outside the school. Informative tutorials can be accessed online (Educational resources 1), but a face to face workshop can be requested on [email protected], as part of the Young Reporters for the Environment programme.

Planning Considerations Students need to be aware that when taking photos / interviews they need to get the consent before publishing anything on the media.

Pre-visit contacts need to be made to make sure that interviewees are willing and available.

Consider transport issues to arrive on site.

Some interviews / investigations can be done online.

Method Introduction

The students are first introduced to the topic (tourism and its impact on the environment) by a brainstorming session.

Online videos can be used to highlight / discuss the problem of marine litter and how tourism leaves an impact:

Issues related to marine litter, tourism, and the different sectors that effect both:-

Discuss the presented video on the waste situation in Malta and Spain. How is tourism affecting both countries? (


Step 1

Students investigate the litter problem in Malta through online research and personal investigation such as the following articles. It is highly suggested to search for recent articles, as laws and regulations change continuously:



Students should be allowed to experiment how to conduct their own investigation. The following are some ideas but can be adapted freely. Group work is highly encouraged.

–    Visit a beach, road or public garden in the locality. How much of the litter lying around is derived from tourists and tourism – related activities?

–    Interview divers who conduct regular underwater clean-ups and ask them for data on trash collected. Specifically ask for litter that is tourist related.

–    Send queries to Cleansing Malta asking for data on the amount of waste collected weekly from the chosen locality.

–    Interview / send queries to WasteServ Malta or similar asking for data on recycled waste collected weekly, as compared to the target amount. ( )

Step 2

A touristic location for investigation is selected. Students discuss what questions to ask and who to interview. Appointments are set with individuals to be interviewed ( could be a selection of the local council, restaurant / hotel owners, fishermen, locals and tourists.

Students are encouraged to design the questions themselves. Samples are provided to guide them through: –

Local council:

–    Do you have a litter problem in your locality?

–    How much of this problem is derived from tourism?

–    What is the local council doing to help reduce the problem?

Restaurant owners:

–    How does your restaurant separate waste?

–    Does the establishment make use of disposable material?

–    What can be done to help reduce the waste / litter caused by tourism?


–   Do you think we have a litter problem in the sea? If yes – what kind of litter?

–   How much of it is caused by tourists, if any?

–   What are fishermen doing to help reduce the litter problem?


–    Do you think there is a litter problem in your locality?

–    If yes, how much of it is caused by tourists?

–    What can be done to help reduce the problem?


–    Do you think there is a litter problem in Malta?

–    If yes – how does Malta compare to other countries?

–    Do you think that tourism is contributing to the litter problem in Malta?

–    What is the biggest issue you have noticed? What can be done to help reduce the problem?

Step 3

Students get together to analyse the results of their interviews / surveys. Results should be presented in the form of data where possible. Multiple interviews / questionnaires will help to validate the results. The option to work in groups is highly encouraged.



Students draw up an article / video / photos to report on their findings, including suggested solutions proposed by authorities, locals and tourists. The end product is disseminated on the local media.

Follow-up activities Follow up from the local council, authorities, restaurant and hotel owners, and any other entity is highly encouraged. Check whether practices are being changed and follow up any implementation strategies by the government. Measures taken by any entity to reduce tourist impact on marine litter is disseminated.
Background information for educators Examples of past work done by students: –

Adaptations Students can opt to focus only on photography, with a title and a short description as caption – not necessarily as project work.
Extensions Students can opt to participate in the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme with multiple articles / photos / videos, focusing on various aspects of the problems and proposed solutions

More information about the YRE programme:

YRE also offers the possibility for collaboration with a foreign country where articles are compared and contrasted. Contacts of foreign schools can be obtained from the YRE National coordinator ([email protected]).