The Great Barrier Reef Is Dying, Increases Influx Of Tourists

First Posted: Sep 13, 2016 04:30 AM EDT

One of the biggest natural marvels in the world - the Great Barrier Reef, is on the verge of being extinct as the coral has been slowly vanishing since the past few decades. Due to the adverse effects of global warming and rising temperatures along the coastal line, coral bleaching has affected over 90 percent of the reef, in a report by Palm Beach Post.

The reef has since attracted even more tourists who have flocked to the spot to see it before it disappears. The tourism industry in Australia has seen an increase in traffic towards the popular sight-seeing spot. In 2015 alone, nearly 70 percent of the tourists who travelled to Australia went there with the intent of seeing the Great Barrier reef before it is gone.

This phenomenon of the sudden surge in tourist activities has been termed "last-chance tourism." A similar event has occurred in the past at other tourist destinations such as the Maldives and the Galapagos. Although it is good for the tourism industry, it also contributes to the ultimate demise of the natural phenomenon as more tourists also means more greenhouse gas emissions according to researchers.

Recovery of the reef has been growing steady as Australia has heavily invested in its rehabilitation, with a video indicating that from early September, a part of the reef has fully recovered from coral bleaching, as reported by WSB-TV.

More than four million people travel each year to the Great Barrier Reef. And some of the damage done to the reef has also been caused by tourist activities. However, cyclones and bleaching are the primary reason for the deterioration of the reef, according to Motherboard.

The coral death-toll within the Great Barrier Reef has been estimated at 35-percent along the northern and central sections of the reef. At this rate, researchers have estimated that it will take at least few hundred years for the Great Barrier Reef to regain its former glory.

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