Tourism and the environment have a very complex and interdependent relationship. Tourism is one of the largest industries in today's world economy and is a great source of foreign exchange for many developing countries, whose major assets are their natural resources. At the same time, it is the environmental quality of a place that will determine the success of the tourism industry, since it is the principal attraction. There have been disagreements on whether tourism in beneficial or harmful to the environment, and this paper lays out the arguments for both sides. This analysis will illustrate that tourism, if unplanned and unregulated, can be extremely harmful to the environment, and therefore needs a better, more sustainable alternative that involves the local population in the planning and management of tourism.