Tourisms Impact On Indian Environment And People Tourism Essay

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Tourism has the potential to gradually destroy the environmental resources as well as to create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. The way to prevent or minimize the negative impacts and increase the positive effects is to make tourism sustainable.

Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.

In this project we have created a framework to analyze any tourism model in terms of its sustainability. We have then looked into some cases across the globe to test the framework.


We propose that different models of tourism can be analyzed using a common framework through the following steps.

Identify Stakeholders in Tourism

Tourists: Visitors who have planned international or domestic trips to achieve some combination of recreational, instrumental, and educational objectives

Locals: Long-tenured and new residents at destination areas who subsist or are employed outside the tourism sector

Brokers at tourist destinations: Directly engaged in planning relations linking tourists and locals. Brokers can be of two kinds

Private sector brokers: These have jobs which provide tourists with goods and services for example Hotel employees, vendors, and guides

Public sector brokers: Agencies which protect the interests of locals through design, economic development, transportation and other regulatory policies for example City planners and politicians

Identify the Impact on the stakeholders

While impact on tourists and the brokers is an important part of the whole tourism, it is taken care of and often prioritized by the policy making bodies. So, the focus of our framework is the impact on the local population. Benefits and costs of tourism are transmitted to the local population through

Direct effects: Income and non-financial livelihood changes such as improved infrastructure

Secondary effects: Induced effects, and indirect earnings in non-tourism sectors such as crafters and farmers

Dynamic effects: Long term changes in the economy and patterns of growth

To make the tourism model sustainable, all three effects on the locals have to be positive. This calls for a planned development of area with no over exploitation of resources. To ensure this, decision making and implementation authority should be given to locals.

Case 1: Tourism in Kumarakom

Kumarakom is a situated on the banks of Vembanad backwaters in Kerala and is known for its Kayal,Kuil and Karimeen (Backwaters, Birds and Fish). It has a bird sanctuary which is home to about 50 species of migratory birds and also has a number of mangrove trees. These mangrove trees act as feeding ground for fishes.

Stakeholders of ecotourism in Kumarakom are

Tourists: Natural charm and aesthetic beauty of the place attracts both local and foreign tourists

Brokers at tourist destinations: There has been rampant growth of resorts with the increase in tourism

Locals: The local people were involved in agriculture and farming

Short term impact of tourism on locals

The land prices went up with the rampant rise in tourism in Kumarakom. As a result the locals sold their land for huge profits and in the hope of employment in tourism but this job opportunity were short lived.

Long term impact of tourism on locals

They lost their livelihood once the construction of resorts was done. Agriculture was also affected as land was taken up for building resorts. Large scale cutting down of mangrove trees by resort owners lead to reduction in fish in the backwaters and also lead to decrease in earnings for fishermen. Exploitation also resulted in contamination of backwaters.

Resolving the problem

Locals then took up the cause and panchayat was asked to out in regulation for tourism. It was recognised that sustainable tourism is only possible by taking care of needs of the locals and conserving environment. So new regulations for use of backwaters were made and locals were also given jobs in tourism. This is a case where local panchayat helped set up conditions for sustainable tourism.

Case 2: Tourism in Thailand

Tourism is a booming industry in Thailand and also a major source of foreign exchange for Thai economy. But, tourism has also led to other problems for the country like prostitution, drug addiction, sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, erosion of cultural values, high cost of living, unequality in the society, increase in real estate prices in tourist destinations, pollution, environmental degradation etc.

Stakeholders in Thailand Tourism

Tourists: Natural charm and aesthetic beauty of the place attracts both local and foreign tourists

Brokers at tourist destinations: There has been rampant growth of resorts with the increase in tourism. Government and the big hotel companies are the major players in tourism industry. These foreigners have no vested interest in the grievances of local people or the environmental protection. They are driven by purely business motives and can freely leave the country if tourism industry fell.

Locals: The local people were involved in fishing and agriculture. They are adversely affected due to tourism.

Impact of tourism

Increase in tourism has led to destruction of coral and marine life by activities like excessive boating and scuba diving and dumping of waste and sewage by hotels. In some parts of North it has also resulted in the slavery of women and children for prostitutions. All these factors are slowly and steadily leading Thailand to a crisis situation. Poor Thai people are among the worst hit from the boom in the tourism industry. Local fishermen from coastal areas are evacuated from their land and forced to move to other parts, so as to gain more land for building hotel, restaurants etc.

Steps have been taken by the government in the past to protect the environment from degradation, like the National Environment Act which was passed on June 4 1992, but to no avail. These laws failed due to lack of proper implementation skills and inadequate law enforcement mechanism in place. Other prominent reasons attributed to the failed government regulation are the rampant corruption prevalent in the government and also foreign ownership of a majority of tourist facilities.

Case 3 â€" Tourism in Jaipur

JalMahal ("Water Palace") is a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. It is a picturesque monument built in red sandstone, a five storied building with a beautiful view of the lake and Nahargarh hills. It was in a strategic location, near several of the tourist spots of Jaipur.

Stakeholders of JalMahal

Tourists, who visit JalMahal and Jaipur

Brokers such as Government agencies, Tour guides and hotel owners

Locals: The involvement of locals is minimal in case of a heritage site such as JalMahal. It is limited to the revenue that they benefit by that is generated by tourism.

The problem that was being faced was that the sewage from Jaipur was flowing directly into the lake. The palace was uninhabited and was not maintained properly. Restoration measures were then undertaken, in 2004, after a detailed study by the Government of Rajasthan.

Impact of the project

As part of the project, drains were diverted from Jaipur city, new vegetation was introduced, sustainable fisheries were developed, and massive wildlife development was undertaken.

JalMahal became a sought after tourist spot after the restoration and generated high revenues for the tourism department. The locals and tourists benefitted immensely as the project guaranteed high employment opportunities for the locals. Tourists were better off due to integrated tourism projects by the Rajasthan government.

Case 4: Tourism in Yanagawa

Yanagawa is a city in Fukuoka prefecture, Japan. The city is also known as the “Venice of the east” due to its well interconnected canals sprawling around 470 km. It is one of the tourist places in Japan famous for its beautiful canals and castles.

Deterioration and restoration of canal:

Due to industrialization and crowding of the city, the wastes were being dumped into the canal which deteriorated its natural flora and fauna. The canal became breeding ground for mosquitoes and the foul smell from canal was unbearable.

The local government considered filling the canal with stones and mud making it a plain land but it was discarded due to ecological reasons. Then they chose to clean the canal and beautify the whole place but this required supports from the local people, so they called meeting with the local people seeking their help. The place was cleaned by local authorities and the people of the city, and trees were planted along the banks. The place was restored as tourist spot and each year certain days are marked as holidays for the purpose of cleaning activities carried out by the locals.


Different cases studied in the report show that for any tourism model to become sustainable it has to maintain the ecological balance and it has to benefit the local population in long term. At the least, it should not have any negative impact on the local population.

To bring about a change in the tourism model, the government should involve the local population in the decision making as well as the implementation of the schemes. This involvement can be brought about only if the local population sees the benefits of these schemes.

Learning from the Cases