Sustainability is a choice – if we have the courage to make it. Declaring 2017 as the year of Sustainable Tourism has once again served to highlight how unsustainable mainstream tourism is. The peak tourism season this year, saw local residents from many “destinations” across Europe on the streets, protesting. The Venetians, the Spanish – resisting a tourism that was ruining their cities, resisting the knock-on effects of rising rent, over crowding and pollution. They were angry at the loss of a place that no longer felt like their own but one that is constantly changing to accommodate the demands of the burgeoning tourism industry.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has approved the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Our quest of probing tourism from the lens/ point of view of “Who Really Benefits from Tourism?” brings into the foreground certain realities, issues and concerns that makes us question - is tourism in the country actually moving towards sustainability or is sustainable tourism an oxymoron? Sustainable tourism, which has been chosen as the cornerstone to guide tourism development in the years to come is the step in the right direction. However, the concern is on how these ideas will be translated into actionable points. The fear is that in the absence of a clear understanding of what the framework, guidelines & action plan of sustainable tourism encompasses,, it then is left to be interpreted by each entity in the way they want it, to meet their interest and will continue to remain on paper unless given serious thought and delivered upon. Our concern stems from the way tourism has grown in this country, the dilution of regulatory frameworks to push tourism, the policies that are over loaded with the industry perspective of tourism development and negligible attention being given to the perspectives of local communities and looking into the wide impacts of tourism. To illustrate our point of view, we build the discussion based on two case studies that were adjudicated by the National Green Tribunal, one with respect to coastal tourism and the other hill tourism. The time is running out, unless “Sustainable Tourism” is not adopted in true spirit and practice, it is not long when even the concept of “Sustainable Development” will be up for sale.
The Bhopal International Conference on Sustainable Tourism 2013 organised by Ecotourism Society of India along with Madhya Pradesh Tourism was an effort to bring on one platform conservation experts, NGOs and hotel operators to focus on wide ranging issues related to sustainable tourism and community engagement
This Publication explores some of the realities, dilemmas and challenges in the understanding and implementation of ideas around corporate accountability and corporate social responsibility within the tourism sector in India. This is explored through a set of case studies of companies in the hospitality sector.
The brief publication is a Consultation materials on Globalisation, Trade and tourism: Impacts on Peoples Rights and Development and to assess the impacts of the GATS on sustainable tourism in developing countries.
Based on a community based tourism initiative in poverty-ridden areas in Ecuador, this study explores the link between tourism and local development. It argues that community based tourism can be an alternative to commercial tourism wherein there is socio-economic development of the local communities and greater control by local communities over their territories and its sustainable handling. It expresses that this would allow spaces for the local communities to articulate their demands with the local authorities and pave way for establishing strategic alliances with national and international organisations.
Community based tourism is an oft-quoted phrases used to emphasize that the community has been involved in and is benefiting from the tourism in a particular area. This is a compilation of papers and articles on different community based tourism initiatives from around the world. They explore the idea of community based tourism in a nuanced way, its positive and negative facets, and they critically analyse what local participation would actually mean.
The Spiti valley, a beautiful valley in the upper reaches of the Himalayan mountains, which was quite inaccessible until recently. The valley was thrown open to tourism and in a short span of time, it witnessed a huge growth of tourism.