The liberalisation of the Indian economy has shaped the tourism industry and its growth over the last three decades. The shifting economic policies and the service sector have been central to the unchecked growth of the tourism industry.
Many believe that opening up and deregulating trade in tourism and the rapid growth of the industry will lead to greater economic gains for all involved. It is important to critically question whether a deregulated and fully liberalised tourism economy can bring meaningful and sustainable gains to local communities and bridge the gap in democratic consultation before policies are made.
At EQUATIONS, we have studied the impact of globalisation, trade and investment policies on tourism development, International Trade Agreements (in particular the General Agreement on Trade in Services GATS), Special Economic Zone and other policies that affect the growth of the tourism economy favour private capital interests at the cost of local communities and livelihoods. We have initiated campaigns against the proposal of the Ministry of Tourism to have Special Tourism Zones (STZs) in line with SEZs in the country. We strive for a deeper understanding, scrutiny and critique of India’s domestic economic policies, regulatory regimes, industry interests and lobbying and underlying globalisation processes.
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