Ecotourism is a type of tourism that entails a person or a group of persons visiting natural areas that encourage the conservation of environment, ensures a sustainable living environment for the local people and also it involves education. The main reason behind ecotourism is the need to unite communities, conservation and well-managed travel. Ecotourism serves different purposes which include; provision of funds for conservation of ecology, encourages development economically and also benefits the local communities through political empowerment. It majorly focuses on the social travels, sustainable environment and personal growth. It brings out an insight to tourists on the effects that human beings have on the environment and also is intended to foster the appreciation of the natural resources.
Benefits of ecotourism to local communities
Most of the ecotourism enterprises involve management that is controlled at the local level. The members of a community get involved in all the steps and stages of ecotourism management and also help in empowering tourist and encourage them to the community. Ecotourism creates employment to the local communities, which helps to reduce rural-urban migration in search of jobs. Employment can be as a form of the locals working as tour guides, providing accommodation and food. It improves the living standards of community with facilities such as hospitals, electricity, clean working environment and improved roads. Ecotourism helps reduces poverty on a long-term solution, unlike the charitable handout. Ecotourism encourages cultural preservation since it provides a platform for cultural interaction between the locals and tourists. It brings the best on the social and political issues in a community since the community may not want the visitors to witness the ugly side of it.
Ecotourism and Displacement of People
In most cases, communities have been moved for the purpose of creation of a park. In most countries, communities have been displaced with about seventy percent of parks in pastoralist’s communities land. Most communities that have been displaced have been because of their ignorance and assumption of the situation. The ignorant communities mostly do not benefit from an economic gains and employment in the areas mostly favours the educated which is something that misses in that community. Displacement of people can occur as a result of government manipulating the local communities or even without the knowledge and consultation of the local people. In some cases, ecotourism has exploited and depleted the local people making it a tool that doesn’t empower the local community who ensure that it is satisfying and rich.
Tourism in India
Essay No. 01
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries of the world. It plays a vital role in the economic development of a country. India is one of the popular tourist destinations in Asia. Bounded by the Himalayan ranges in the north and surrounded, on three sides by water , India offers a wide array of places to see and things to do. The enchanting backwaters, hill stations and landscapes make India a beautiful country. They attract tourists from all over the world.
Tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner in India. The tourism industry employs a large number of people both skilled and unskilled. Tourism is the largest service industry in India with a contribution of 6.23 percent of the national GDP and 8,78 percent of the total employment in India. Hotels, travel agencies, transport including airlines benefit a lot from this industry. Tourism promotes national integration and international understanding. It generates foreign exchange. It promotes cultural activities.
India has a composite culture. There is a harmonious blend of art , religion and philosophy. Though India has been subjected to a series of invasions, she has retained her originality even after absorbing the best of the external influences. Religious like Christianity , Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism , Jainism , Sikhism and Zoroastrianism, etc. have co existed in India. India has fascinated people from all over the world with her secularism and her culture.
The diverse geographical locales of India delight the tourists. The monuments, museums, forts, sanctuaries , places of religious interest, palaces, etc. offer a treat to the eyes. Every region is identified with its handicrafts ,fairs, folk dances , music and its people.
Some of the places that attract a huge number of tourists are Agra, Jaipur jhansi , hyderabad, Nalanda, Mysore, Delhi , Mahabaleshwar , A urangabad , etc. Haridwar , Ujjain , Shirdi , V aransi , A llahabad , puri , Jammu , B adrinath etc. are famous hill resorts.
The Tourism Advisory Board recommends measures for promotion of tourist traffic in India. It reviews the tourist trends and suggests appropriate measures. Some of the palaces havelis and castles have been converted into heritage hotels. In these hotels the tourists get to experience the exotic lifestyle of a bygone era. The exotic train Palace on Wheels which travels through Rajasthan attracts a lot of foreign tourists. The Indian Tourism Development corporation organises entertainment programmes like folk dances and songs and provides shopping facilities. Today many private companies like Sita Travels, Club Mahindra , etc. arrange domestic as well as foreign tours.
With the growth of the urban professional middle class, tourism n India is flourishing. Many states have taken necessary steps to promote tourism. Goa promotes water sports like sailing scuba diving and rafting. Kashmir offers the pleasure of winter sports like skiing and mountaineering.
In2005 the Indian Tourism Development Corporation started a campaign called Incredible India to encourage tourism in India. The slogan of this campaign is Athithi Devoh Bhaboh. For a better growth the department divided different places in different sections like spiritual tourism spa tourism eco tourism and adventure tourism.
India’s performance in tourism sector has been quite impressive. During the period 2002 to 2009 India witnessed an increase in the Foreign Tourist Arrivals from 2.38 million to 5.11 million resulting in the average annual increase of about 11.5 percent. Domestic tourism has also got a big boost. The number of domestic tourist visits increased from 270 million in 2002 to 650 million in 2009 with an average annual growth rate of 13.4 percent.
India has a growing medical tourism sector. With an increasing number of foreign patients flocking to India for treatment, our country has become an attractive destination for medical tourism. Things have now started looking bright for the tourism industry.
On the negative side tourism may damage environment. In order to accommodate large number of tourists, sprawling resorts are built. The indiscriminate construction destroys local architectural styles and ecological balance. Arrangements as desired by tourists are provided in order to satisfy them.
The Indian tourism industry has been hit by pollution. The effluents emitted by the Mathura Refinery has led to the discolourization of the Taj Mahal is Agra. The condition of many of our monuments is deteriorating due to the negligence of the authorities concerned.
Terrorism now a days has become a global problem. Our country is also not an exception. The terrorist attacks agitations and separatist movements hinder the growth of tourism. Kashmir is the paradise for domestic and international tourists. The Skirmishes in this valley hamper the growth of tourism which is very important for the economy of the state.
The tourism infrastructure in India should be strengthened. Airports and railway stations should provide information to the tourists about the tourist destinations. Government owned hotels should be properly managed. The government should be taken to restore the ancient splendor of the monuments. Sincere efforts could help to further develop the Indian tourism industry.
Essay No. 02
Over the years, tourism has grown as a flourishing industry. Some countries, even small ones, like Singapore, the Carribean, Japan, Hong-Kong (now under China), Thailand and even Malaysia have made great progress with the earnings obtained from tourists.
In India, earnings to the government and people from tourism as compared to such countries are only fractional. There may be several reasons for this.
Tourism in India can become a viable industry if effective and concerted steps are taken. First of all, red-tapism should be ended. All bottlenecks and harassment to tourists that scare them should be removed. People at the helms of tourist affairs such as officials of ministry of tourism, hoteliers emporium-owners, etc. should be taught etiquette and given lessons in ideal behaviour that should be meted out to tourists.
India has innumerable attractions for tourists. Throughout the country there are numerous beauty and scenic spots. There are very good hotels in big cities and tourist complexes on highways. There are several places where the tourists can enjoy adventure games. There are so many ancient temples, mosques, forts and other historical places in India which the tourists from various countries would like to visit.
Our embassies should supply to the people and governments of other countries all the important information regarding objects and places which can attract the tourists. The coming of the tourists to India and their stay here should be made easier, smoother and more comfortable as far as possible.