Tourism throughout the world is promoted as a means to achieving development, and India is no exception. But the question is development for whom? Who are the winners and the losers? And at what cost? The Indian government touts tourism as a tool for poverty alleviation, sustainable development, and social stability. In reality, tourism rarely alleviates socio-economic inequalities and injustices. When combining already sensitive ‘conflict’ zones with tourism development, it is likely that more conflicts will surface. As tourism becomes increasingly globalized, many governments have put investor needs first while diluting, repealing, and changing policies and regulations related to environmental protection, social and democratic goals, and protection of the fundamental human rights. Using the specific cases of Arossim, Lavasa, Kevadia, Kullu and Kanha, this paper explores the relationship between tourism, peace, and conflict in India.
The promotional slogans and developmental promises around tourism facilitates assault on our natural resources and cultural heritage and puts at risk the principles of equity, sovereignty and democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution of India. This paper examines through numerous case studies how under the bandwagon of tourism development public property is being pillaged for private profits. It also indicates the collusion of policy makers and governments in this process.
In December 2007, the government tabled the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill (2007) and the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill (2007). According to the official note of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, both the Bills are an attempt to give statutory backing and amend the provisions of The National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy (2007) and The Land Acquisition Act (1894) and to strike a balance between statutorily acquiring land for development and protecting the interests of the people whose lands are acquired. Estimates indicate that since independence (1947), more than 40 million people have been displaced due to various development projects and a large majority have not been compensated. In this paper, we critique both these Bills, as they will determine the basis for land acquisition by the government in the future. Since much of our work is on the impacts of tourism on communities, our critique of these Bills highlights the issues from the perspective of tourism and tourism development linked displacement.
Tourism development in small islands is a risky proposition due to their exposure to periodical natural disasters. This media report covers the dangers of unregulated tourism development to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
‘The Tourist Welcomed – The Adivasi Exiled’ reflects on tourism’s impacts on indigenous communities in India. Using numerous cases and examples the paper illustrates the commodification of indigenous communities and their culture, the usurpation of their lands and the exploitation of their livelihood resources for tourism. While this benefits mass commercial tourism, the paper also explores cases and models of tourism that has benefited indigenous communities. The paper then moves to scrutinize the various international guidelines and codes that have come up in response to address this issue and their effectiveness in ensuring the meaningful and rightful participation of indigenous communities in processes that affect them. The latter part of the paper then debates the extent to which tourism policies in India recognises and addresses the concerns of indigenous communities. The paper depicts how tourism contributes to the displacement, exploitation and marginalisation of indigenous communities. It also provides glimpses of hope that tourism might transform itself into a tool for benefiting these communities – economically and culturally – without being exploitative.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are seen as tourist havens, even after being ravaged by the tsunami in December 2004. The tourism policy of Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2003 listed its objectives as large-scale resource intensive tourism, opening more islands for tourism, attracting private investment for high-end eco-tourist resorts and obtaining relaxation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (crz). The question however is; can islands like the Andaman and Nicobar Islands affected by tsunami and other natural disasters depend exclusively on tourism? The Commission on Sustainable Development had, in 1996, warned small island states in the Caribbean and Pacific about the perils of over reliance on tourism. Their warnings ring true for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well. This media article reflects our concerns with the expansionary tourism plans in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.