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Resource Center
Is India Trying to Subdue Kashmir Through Religious Tourism? 
July 17, 2018
The Indian state under the increasing influence of Hindu nationalism is using Hindu pilgrimage sites..
“Aswachh Bharat” marks Amarnath yatra 
July 15, 2018

Tourism and Plastic: Exploring the Contours 

June 04, 2018
The threat that plastic poses to the health of the planet has been raising alarm bells for some time..
As Women, Are We Really Economically Empowered A view from the point of view of Tourism 
April 10, 2018

Do we enjoy the same quality of life as our male counterparts? How can we, when the figures of women..

Meet the Majid Squad, a Group that Voluntarily Cleans Filth on Amarnath Yatra Routes 
January 29, 2018
Notwithstanding the National Green Tribunal directions, Governor N N Vohra recently decided that a 60-day-long..
We initiate campaigns and support people’s struggles, against unjust, undemocratic and unsustainable forms of tourism. We advocate people’s concerns with the local, regional and national government and lobby for change.  Our advocacy aims for decentralised democracy and believe that communities should have a decisive voice in the access, control and ownership over their livelihood, natural resources and common resources. We try to ensure people’s experience influence changes in tourism policies.

Find below our Campaign Letters and Statements in the context of tourism development. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective campaign material.

You can sort the campaign materials across the two filters available (Year and Thematic Areas).

Tourism Leave Our Coasts Alone! 
September 27, 2010
On World Tourism Day  2010, EQUATIONS calls for a re-examination of the claim that tourism and biodiversity are mutually dependent. Documenting numerous instances of  tourisms irresponsible development on the coast, we reiterate the urgent need  for stringent regulation to protect our coasts and the rights and livelihoods of coastal communities. To endorse this statement please send a mail to campaigns@equitabletourism.org.

IMPLICATING Tourism in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Delhi 
July 27, 2010
This is the Press Release from the Press Conference held in Delhi on 27 July 2010 on the release of our Report "Humanity-Equality-Destiny? - Implicating Tourism in the Commonwealth Games 2010".

Concerns Intensify as Government Proposes to Amend Kerala Tourism (Conservation & Preservation of Areas) Act 2005 
July 07, 2010
Equations has expressed concern over the Kerala Government’s move to amend the Kerala Tourism (Conservation & Preservation of Areas) Act 2005 through an Ordinance and later by a Bill in the Assembly in June 2010 on the grounds that it will usurp the powers and mandate of local self-governing institutions. We had raised concerns on the Kerala Tourism (Conservation & Preservation of Areas) Act 2005 on similar grounds in 2005 and 2007. The Ordinance route now taken by the government with hardly less than 15 days left for the Assembly session intend to exclude dialogue with people and their representatives and thereby evade public scrutiny. We have sent in appeals on our concerns on these developments to the Honourable Governor Shri. R.S. Gavai, Chief Minister Shri. V.S. Achuthanandan and Subject Committee Members on Tourism of the Legislative Assembly. We expect debate to be raised in the Assembly on the issue.

Oppose plan for Section 144 during CWG 2010 for the uninterrupted movement of the Commonwealth Games officials and athletes 
June 25, 2010
We are alarmed at this proposal of Delhi Traffic Police. Imposing Section 144 CrPC is unreasonable, unjustified and a disproportionate use of a provision that has been provided in the criminal justice system to deal with emergency/urgent situations like riots and arson. It is a complete mockery of the law that Delhi Traffic Police proposes to impose such a section for controlling traffic in Delhi during the CWG 2010.

Scrap the Islands Protection Zone Notification 
June 03, 2010
In the continuing saga on amendments to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) made public the draft Islands Protection Zone (IPZ) Notification, applicable to the Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands. This letter and the accompanying note with our concerns related to this proposed Notification, highlights the need to make the CRZ notification even stronger and ensure tourism is regulated in the fragile island ecosystems

Letter to Shri. Jairam Ramesh on Pre Draft CRZ Notification 2010 
May 28, 2010
This is our letter to Shri. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forest (MoEF), on our comments on the Pre Draft CRZ Notification 2010 in the context of tourism. We continue to demand for a comprehensive legislation and not a notification to regulate coastal activities, to protect coasts and the livelihoods of the coastal communities dependent on it.

EQUATIONS Comments to MoEF on Draft Summary Report of the World Bank assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project 
December 28, 2009
This is our letter to Shri. Senthil Vel, Additional Director, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), demanding that  proceedings on Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZM) should stop until the public consultations on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification are completed. The public consultations were started by the MoEF to strengthen the CRZ Notification following the lapse of the draft Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) Notification, 2008. The MoEF had invited public comments on the Draft Summary Report of (ICZM) Project to be piloted in three states of Gujarat, Orissa and West Bengal.The backdoor entry of the ICZM is unethical.

Letter against railways plan on exclusive coaches for foreigners 
November 02, 2009
The Economic Times, dated 27.10.09 and Times of India, Bangalore edition, dated 29.10.09 reported that the Ministry of Railways plans to add exclusive coaches for foreign tourists in normal trains. The idea of ‘exclusive’ coaches for foreigners, in our opinion, is deep rooted in imperialism, racism and casteism. We do not object to better facilities in general, but object to exclusive facilities on the basis of nationality and citizenship.

Demand for improving availability of information on environmental clearance letters on the Ministry of Environment & Forests website 
September 30, 2009
This is our letter to Shri. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment & Forests, demanding transparency and public access in environment clearance process. Media reports that the MoEF revamped its website in July 2009 to improve transparency in the environment clearance process. Reasons raised are: unavailability of  environmental clearance letters of projects cleared by the Ministry, data deficiency on ‘new construction projects and industrial estates’ project category on MoEF’s revamped website as on July 2009, no data on projects denied environmental clearance and inaccurate listing of projects cleared.

Our Culture is not for Sale! 
September 27, 2009
On World Tourism Day 2009, we call upon global tourism institutions like the UNWTO, National and State Tourism Boards and the Industry to comprehend and accept the existence of the negative impacts of tourism on host cultures. We urge bodies like the UNWTO not to so quickly celebrate tourism’s role as protector of culture…tourism has some serious soul searching to do before it awards itself that accolade!

Zones of Contestation - Call for a Moratorium on Mega Resorts 
February 24, 2009
Not only do "land grabs" by resort and real estate developers pose a rampant problem the world over, "sea grabs" for the development of commercial water-based tourism activities such as cruising, boating and diving, have also become common place. The rapid proliferation of mega-resorts that often include hotels, residential housing, golf courses, marinas, shopping centres, entertainment facilities and even landing strips for private jets, wreaks havoc on the natural environment, affects the lives and livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and fisher-folk around the world. It is time to demand an end to the global mega-resort and real estate boom. Land and natural resources are part of our collective commons and should belong to all people in a country. They must be preserved and used wisely to benefit local communities.

Demand for Public Hearing before Commencement of Work on Artificial Reef at Kovalam 
February 16, 2009
This is our letter to Shri. N. Mohana Kumar, The Chief Engineer, Harbour Engineering Dept., demanding a Public Hearing before commencement of work on artificial reef at Kovalam. Reasons raised are: inappropriate use of funds from Tsunami Rehabilitation Plan to promote a tourism product, loss of fisherfolk livelihood, and the basic question as to whether an artificial reef is of any protection against a Tsunami.

No More Holidays from Accountability! - We Need Stronger Environmental Regulation for Tourism 
September 27, 2008
On the World Tourism Day, 2008, we call for accountability by the tourism industry and stringent environmental regulation for tourism in India. Citing a series of examples to demonstrate the nexus between the industry pushing for a no regulation regime, we demand that the tourism and travel industry walk their talk on their commitment to environment.

The Proposal to Remove Restricted Area Permits and Inner Line Permits 
June 12, 2008
This is our letter to Shri Sitaram Yechury, Chairperson, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism & Culture. We highlight our concerns to him on the proposal to remove Restricted Area Permits (RAP) and Inner Line Permits (ILP) in the North East Region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Our concerns are around the following issues: The lack of clear tourism strategies and lack of data and data based analysis (economic, tourist profile and arrivals, employment and revenues based data) on which such plans and recommendations are made. The lack of consultation with local people prior to making these recommendations. Issues of carrying capacity and ecological sensitivity which needs inclusion if tourism is sustainable.  The fact that tourism plans take no cognisance of  long standing demands of the people on issues such as withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and go ahead with a denial of the realities political, social, economic, demographic of the region.

The Proposal of Promoting the Northeast as a Destination to Leave Travel Concession (LTC) Travelers 
June 12, 2008
This is a letter to Shri Mani Shankar Aiyer, Minister for Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India. We enumerate the concerns about the proposal of promoting the NorthEast as a destination to Leave Travel Concession (LTC) travellers. We base our concerns on the disastrous consequences that a similar move had on the Andaman Islands. Some of the consequences were (Based on the research ‘Building a base for advocating Sustainable Tourism in the Andamans’): A flood of “tourists who had less interest in visiting the region but more in availing a air travel facility”. This led to severe pressure on the existing water crisis, transport and connectivity crunch, travel agencies abusing the LTC system and negligible perceivable benefit to the local economy. We appeal against a similar quick fix  proposal for the NorthEast as positioning of tourism in any region must take into account a variety of factors - the nature of the tourism product, sustainability and impact, the aspirations and constraints of local communities, the availability of adequate capacity and clear tangible benefits to local communities and the local economy.

Wind Up the Trivandrum Golf Club 
June 06, 2008
This is a joint statement by Kerala Tourism Watch, Kabani, and EQUATIONS. It urges the Kerala government to wind up the Trivandrum Golf Club and abandon its golf course. The environmental and social impacts warrant a more fundamental approach of dissolution rather than changing the ownership from private to public. Massive ground water consumption and ensuing depletion and false arguments of golf courses promoting tourism are the major reasons for this stand.

Climate Change, Tourism and the Carbon Neutral Myth 
March 15, 2008
The tourism industry and policy makers have been getting away with false solutions such as carbon offsetting and carbon neutral initiatives. It is time the myth around these quick fixes is busted! The tourism industry is notorious for high per capita consumption of water and energy with poor efficiency in waste management. We call upon the tourism industry to take on the challenge of an authentic response to the climate change crisis by implementing in tourism establishments’ energy-efficient and appropriate green technologies. We recognize that this will require a significant transformation of current forms of mass tourism and we urge a serious engagement on this issue to reduce tourism's climate change footprint. We call upon governments to take serious and urgent steps for the implementation of conventions, protocols and resolutions related to climate change. We urge them to take cognisance of tourism linked transportation and aviation industries’ role in contributing to climate change, and factor it in to formulate international and domestic environmental regulatory mechanisms to mitigate climate change impacts. This is our statement issued at the ITB, March 2008.

A Call From the South: The North Needs to Cool It! 
December 31, 2007
Adaptation means promoting human development and social justice amongst those most affected while concurrently tackling the detrimental effects of global warming. The vulnerable are those already living on the edge, those who are excluded from various political practices and processes and hoodwinked in the manner that international policies and national mitigation practices and polices are being drafted and implemented. We call upon all governments, export credit agencies, corporations and international financial institutions that continue to support and finance fossil fuel exploration, extraction and forest destruction while dedicating only token sums to renewable energy, to discontinue their support with immediate effect. This is a Peoples’ Statement on Climate Change jointly issued by Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC) and EQUATIONS at the UNFCCC COP held at Bali, Indonesia, December 2007

Opening Doors is not Enough - Equality, Equity and Empowerment is What Women Seek in Tourism 
September 27, 2007
On World Tourism Day the UNWTO claimed that “Tourism Opens Doors for Women”. Challenging this claim, we call upon governments, policy makers, industry, civil society and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to engage in more systemic ways with the challenge of women’s empowerment in tourism. Perhaps it is time for the UNWTO to declare Tourism’s Decade for Women’s Rights and Empowerment as a move towards opening the doors to a more just and equitable world for women and men. This is a joint statement by Alternatives (Goa), Council for Social Justice and Peace (Goa), Sakhi Resource Centre for Women (Kerala) and us. This group is organising on World Tourism Day a series of round tables in Kerala and Goa on the theme of Women and Tourism.

Call for Change - Climate Change, Biodiversity and Tourism 
May 22, 2007
On World Biodiversity Day, we call upon governments to take serious and urgent steps for the implementation of conventions, protocols and resolutions related to climate change. We urge them to take cognisance of tourism linked transportation and aviation industries’ role in contributing to climate change, and factor it in to formulate international and domestic environmental regulatory mechanisms. There is need to recognise that the single-minded pursuance of unsustainable growth strategies puts our common future at peril. We call for climate justice!

Letter to National Commission for Children on Offences against Children Bill 
April 27, 2007
We learnt from newspaper reports in mid-March 2007 that the Offences against Children Bill was to be passed soon. This is our letter to the National Commission for Children to make the draft of the Bill public. We want the draft of the Bill public so that organizations and individuals who work on Child Rights and communities and people affected would be able to provide their suggestions to it. We feel such a consultative process is essential for policy formulation.

Appeal against Special Tourism Zones from Being Setup in Kerala 
March 30, 2007
In November 2006, there were several media reports indicating the Kerala Government’s interest in setting up Special Tourism Zones (STZs). The government’s rationale for STZs is that it will boost tourism and in turn boost investment, employment and infrastructure. But there is negligible empirical evidence to support these arguments - especially linking increased investment in tourism to employment and income benefit to local people. On the contrary, STZs could result in land grabbing and displacement, overruling of local government authority, immense cost of tax exemptions, marginalisation of vulnerable communities, enclavisation, ecosystem devastations and other negative impacts. We oppose STZs on our analysis of its impacts and believe its cost to the state and people offset its perceived benefit. This is our letter of appeal to Shri. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Minister for Home & Tourism, Government of Kerala, against STZs from being setup in the State.

International Letter of Protest Regarding the UNWTO'S Statement in the Context of the Middle-Eastern Crisis 
August 16, 2006
On 21st July 2006, during the Middle-East Crisis that had left 900 Lebanese dead, the UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation) issued a statement on the situation in the Middle-East and its impact on tourism. The UNWTO seeks consolation in the fact that tourist attractions in the region remained undamaged in the conflict. Its central concern seems to be on the growth of tourism. At a time when people’s lives are shattered and their homes destroyed, the statement of the UNWTO is conspicuously inhumane. This is our International Letter of Protest to such a statement being made by the UNWTO.

Statement of Protest Issued at the ADBs Orientation Workshop 
June 14, 2006
Since its founding, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been trampling on the democratic rights and aspirations of millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region. ADB has destroyed livelihoods, natural resources and ways of life through badly designed projects and misguided development policies. For years, civil society actors and ADB project affected people have been demanding accountability and information disclosures from the ADB towards those affected by their projects. Nothing substantial has been ever provided. Now, the ADB wants to organize a workshop in Bangalore on their accountability mechanism and public communications for non-governmental actors and agencies implementing their projects. However, no attempts have been made to involve those from the project towns in Karnataka who have been directly affected by ADB funded projects. No rationale has been provided for it either. We believe that such a workshop is a farce and will not result in any substantive change to the undemocratic policies of an institution that is beyond reform. Hence, along with other individuals, organizations and alliances, we state our protest against this workshop and choose not to participate in it.

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