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Volume 6 Issue 2 August 1998

For Pnvate Crculatron Only

Yet Another Tourism Day


ourisnt is considered as one of the zuorld's largest economic nctiaities today . TIrc Tourisnt Policy
'1.998 sees the enrcrgence of tourism as an important instrument
for sustainable lrumnn
deuelopment including poaerty alleaiatiorr, entployntent generation, enuironnrcnt regeneratiotr
and adpancentent of zoomen and otlrcr disndaantaged groups in the country. TIrc enrylnsis irr the
policy is also to see tourisnt ns a reason for better preseruation and protection of our nnturnl
resources, enaironnrcnt and ecology.

There haae been concerted efforts from the planners nnd policy makers to increase the growth of tourism by
deueloping tlrc infastructure and inaolving the participation of the priaate sector. It is expected thnt by tlrc
year 2000 the country shnll be eEtipped with infrastructure to nteet the targeted figure of 5 nilliorr foreign
tourists. The pressure for tlrc snme is alrendy felt m ecologically sensitiae regions like the forests and consts.
These are also regiotrs of liaelihood for conmumities. Although a lot of entphasis hns been Inid on tlrc
pronrotional aspects, the intpact of this kind of deaelopntent on the enaironment nnd people has trot been
ndequately nddressed.

Research nnd studies haae shozun that the host comrnunities haue not been consulted while their resources
are conaerted for tourism deaelopnrcnt . They haae been deprioed of their land, zuater and access to public
places. Deeper analyses haae nnde it eaident that the effect of these depriaatiotts exerts added pressure on
wonrcn. For instance, the diuersion of conunnity resources like water for suhnning pools, bathtubs, Inants
etc, the it{lntion that takes place when tourists begh paying higher prices for necessities, scarcity and nort-
aaailability of goods tlnt were once availnble etc. hnve direct irnpact ot7 rDonrcn zoho are the nurturers of the
children, family and caretakers of the household. Few attenrpts haae been nnde to exqmine tlrc partiuilar
experienceofwomenashosts,entrepreneurs,craftspeopleoreaenasobseraersof thetouristscene. Buttlrc
debate on inryact of tourism on rnonrcn generally is lirnited to seeing Tuonten as oictims, either in ternts of sex
work or nduertising, which picture them as sex objects.

In World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Iaunched the celebration of nn annual World


1980, the
Tourism Day, which was fixed for Septenfuer 27. The emphasis hhs been on the prontotional aspects of
tourisrn, in search of new ntodes and nezu regions. While the industry celebrates, concerned groups nnd
conmumities clrcose to highlight the impacts of mass tourism on this aery day. As yorr rend this issue of the
ANLetter, once nrcre a lot of ntoney would haae been spent on the celebratiotrs for this day, without n thought
to applying the ntonies to a constructiae debate in inuolaing peoples participation in what is nteant to
peoples deaelopment.

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MANAGING T'HE OTHER OF NATURE:
SUSTAINABILITY, SPECTACTE, AND
GLOBAL REGIMES OF CAPITAT IN ECO.TOURISM

JOE BANDY'

This article wiII be spread over four issues. This is the first of negotiated response to the imperatives of ecological preservation
the four parts. The following parts will appear in consecutive within an ecocidal system of global capital. On the other hand, it
issues of ANLetten is an insidious and largely unsuccessful attempt at articulating
the social misery of global capital with(in) distinct cultural and
Societies as well as incliaiduals display obsessiae traits. Those actiuities environmental limits. A critical understanding of the machinations
in which great collectiae lnpes are crystallized remain immwte from of global eco-tourism, with all of its immanent contradictions,
suspiciotr during tlte search for the causes of social decay. Elaborate assistsin relating it to widely varying practices of cultural and
rationalizations masquerade as statements of enlightened public policy.- environmental preservation or destruction, and in grasping
WiIIiam Leiss 1974:vii emergent forms of global power relations. Towards this end, this
essay begins with an analysis of ecotourist literature. This
A aieztt of nature can be seen as a projection of lnunnn perception of self requires addressing a basic epistemological question that frames
and society ottto the cosmos Carolyn Merchant 1980:69 both the efforts of this literature and our interests in these
- matters: what are the contemporary scenes of nature, the global
Contemporary societies are deaeloping less otr the basis of nrueillance political economy, and the cultures in which the phenomenon of
and the normalization of indiuiduals and nrcre on tlrc basis of the eco-tourism is now conceivable?
democratization of tlrc tourist gaze and tlrc spectacle-isatiotr of place.
John Uny 1990:155 The interdependent social forces that have converged to make
eco-tourism possible involve three key issues, each representing
In the literature on global economic and social development, the the contradictions within the discourses and institutions of both
sub-field of sustainable development has emerged over the past eco-tourism and sustainable development. First, we must
twenty years, attempting to provide solutions to an ever- investigate the explicit position of eco-tourism literattrre within
intensifying global crisis of environmental sustainability while environmentalist and political-economic organizations,
upholding the imperatives of growth and development. This movements, and ideologies. Here, eco-tourism appears as one
notion is at once exciting and terrifying. While it ostensibly emergent planning option for sustainable development in which
represents endeavors to protect and manage the sustainability of environment has become internal to economic strategizing, offering
our biosphere, it arguably serves as an increasingly efficient a more just political economy of nature. Simultaneously however,
means for rapacious and predatory social forces to retain cultural it may also represent the intensifying intrusion of capital into the
dominance and productive security in an age of environmental realm of nature, risking greater instrumental management,
panic. \Atrhether it is the formative texts of the Brundtland commodification, and marginalization of the peoples and
Commission (the UN initiated World Commission on Environment environments of the South (e.g., Boo 1990; Berle '1997; Cater 1993,
and Development), or work by eco-modernizationists such as 1994:9; Ardika in Giannecchini 7992:431). Secondly, eco-tourism
Pearce et al. (1990) and Jacobs (1990), sustainable development is an effect of cultural systems of the West which have been
strategies have acknowledged the need to alleviate poverty and influenced by several historical transformations, including the
to promote mutual cooperation between the North and the South popularization of nature, the politicization of consumption, and
as structural preconditions for environmental protection. But the rise of tourism as a mode of spectacularized and global
simultaneously, these influential texts have failed to challenge the consumer culture.
shifting structures of global capital that have been characterized
by fluid super exploitation, the expropriation and homogenization The production and consumption of nature tourism is thinkable
of nature, and intensifying crises of debt and sustainability only in an era in which nature has become both an unstable
(Escobar 1995:200-203). Instead, they have opted for various sphere of our panicked lifeworlds that is ever more at risk of total
forms of a contradictory eco-Keynesianism. annihilation, and a spectacle of a postmodern commoditv culhrre
of deferred aesthetic pleasure, leisure consumption. and virtual
Of the many solutions to the global crises of economic and adventure. Furthermore, the global economic context of eco-
environmental sustainability this literature has proposed, possibly tourism is one that has been constructed throughout long and
one of the more intriguing and representative is eco-tourism. violent histories of colonialism, imposed misery, and
Gaining popularity in the 1970s and burgeoning in the 1980s and ethnocentrism. Thus, rather than merely ratify the claim that eco-
1990s, this "green" tourism rapidly is becoming a large percentage tourism ensures local participation and global democracy, its
of the global tourist industry itself predicted to become the texts and subtexts need scrutiny to see if social and environmental
world's largest industry by the year 2000 (Whelan 1991,:4; Urry crises are not resolved but'merely rearticulated. Eco-tourism is a
1990:5). On the one hand, eco-tourism has been presented as a transformative policy of inclusion and democratization, as well
as a product of a racialized justification for modernization, in
*loe Bandy is a Ph.D. candidatein the Dept. of Sociology anil Program which marginalized peoples are subject to a new dependency
Coordinator of Global Peace and Security Program at the Uniaersity of and a new colonialism. An understanding of these complexities
California, Santa Barbara. of eco-tourism requires an examination of documentary
2
information and literature on eco-tourism planning, development, spectacle. Eco-tourism has come to represent not only
and interpretation.t This Iiterature reveals much not only about environmentalist and tourist desires, but also a potential solution
the phenomenon of eco-tourism, but also about the problems and to the political-economic problems of environmental decay
promises of sustainable development. throughout the world.

Eco-tourism: The Basic Elements of a Discursive Eco-tourism texts propose establishing nature preserves to enhance
Regime ecological preservation as well as to contribute to the vitality of
local economics, developing nations, and the rapidly expanding
Eco-tourism, often termed "nature tourism," is not new. John industry of global tourism. These proposals are written by the
Urry suggests that popularly available forms of tourism began in governments of over-and underdeveloped nations, tourism
the modern era, when rapid industrialization and urbanization operators, Western non-governmental organizations, and of course,
made many in the West subject to great anxieties, disenchantment, ecotourists. For most of its proponents, eco-tourism represents a
and increasing alienation from labot from local communities, body of economic and environmental planning for regions,
and from nature (Urry 1990:20,99; Merchant 1980). Modernity's nations, and local economies that offers a primary alternative to
great social and environmental upheavals were accompanied by more eco-logically or socially destru-ctive development. Its insti-
romantic longings for nature tutional and discursive
as a source of inspiration, origins are in the field oi
escape, and belonging, development studies,
whether it was in transcen- especially the branch of
dentalist philosophy, in the "sustainable develop-
literary glorification of the ments".r This branch has
American frontier, or in emerged rom thef
olierrtalist fascination with intermingling of different
subaltern peoples. For the theories of development -
wealthy, adventure tours - modernization, anti-
safaris, hunting trips, imperialism, dependency,
journeys through the great and world-systems - and the
American wilderness, excur- influence of new voices, a
sions to l'emote locations in of previous
rearticulation
the Far East, or sea voyages models that has been
to "exotic" regions - became facilitated by a nervlv
more frequent during the complex global economy,
late nineteenth and early waves of decolonization and
twentieth centuries. Mean- new social movements, the
while, volunteer organiza- decline of states vis-i-vrs
tions began to organize for capital, and environmental
the tourist demands of the cri tiques o f Wes tern
popular classes, resulting in a growing tourism industry which economic models (So 1990). Indeed, many development studies
made escape from urban life more affordable, and which was have gone "wild" or "green" by attempting to internalize the
dedicated to providing experiences of pristine nature for these often externalized costs of environmental destruction, e.g., in
classes. project siting, production planning, or tax incentives (Jacobs
1990: l).
This proliferation continued throughout the twentieth century,
and eventually, during the growth of ecological movements in One of the first comprehensive attempts to internalize nature
the 1970s, nature tourism became consonant with the new holistic within development strategies was the now (in) famous 1987
and scientific worldview. It was also part of the growing Brundtland Commission Report formed by the United Nations
consumer culture of the post-war boom, making eco-tourism a World Commission on Environment and Development.3 This
cultural and economic practice for those more sensitized to report defined sustainable development as "development that
heightened environmental destruction largely amongst the middle meets the needs of the present without comprornising the ability
classes. But the romanticism and nostalgia for sustainable living of future generations to meet their own needs" (Pearce et al.
and a widespread organicism became linked with the exciting 1990:ix; Jacobs 1990:2; Lindberg 7997: ix; WCED 1987). This
tourist experiences to be had in adventurous iourneys, breathtaking began a shift in sustainable development theory from mere
scenery, and often, trips to exotic lands. This represents more questions of futurity in resource use such as the World
than just a continuation of modernist alienation seeking Conservation Strategy to a more direct engagement with economic
reconnection; it signals the convergence of environmental agendas solutions to growing environmental injustices (e.9., toxification,
and a distinctly postmodern consumer culture of simulation and erosion, desertification, decreased biodiversity, global warming,
1 Sorne of this source material is the product of (non) governmental organization think tanks and research groups oriented towards policy and
plar-rning; some is the result of conservationist writing whose explicit aim is to promote environmental and social justice; and still others are nlore
independent assessments of eco-tourism's citects and goals.
2 The t-erm "sustainable development" has been described as "the best known and most commonly cited idea linking environment and development,
it is also the best worked-out, in that it is the capstone of the World Conservation Strategy and the Brundtland Report," global strategies of eco-
rnanagernent (Adams 1990:14).
3 In 1987 the WCED, chaired by Gro Brundtland the former Prime Minister of Norway, published Our Connnon Futurc, in response to the reqtrest made
in 1983 by the United Nations General Assembly for a 'global agenda for change' (WCED 1987:ix). Forming a global eco-Keynesianism, the
Brundtland commission stated that the UN's goals of sustainable development would require the renewal of international organizations such as
those that arose after World War ll, i.e., the Bretton Woods organizations, focused on environmental as well as economic welfare (WCED 1987:x).

3
acid rain) (IUCN 1980). Some attention was also given to issues (Cater 1993: 114). Meanwhile private enterprises investing in the
of culhrral and economic justice for populations throughout the tourist industry have been watching, and seeing the immense
Third World, although growth and investment were usually opportunities, have expressed economic and environmental
given precedence (Jacobs1.990 : ; WCED'1,987 :x; Escoba r 1995:201).
3
commitment to the idea of sustainable ecotourist development.
Indeed, many who have used the term "sustainable development" According to Erlet Cater of the Royal Geographical Society, "Eco-
have attempted to redefine development from processes of tourism is the fastest growing sector in the tourism industry"
modernization and growth, to the qualitative shift to more (7993:774), which itself soon will become the largest industry
equitable and sustainable forms of political ecology, often globally.s Thus, eco-tourism represents a growing share of the
proposing strategies of common property resources, incorporation burgeoning tourist industry globally, and is a significant
of indigenous local knowledge, and of course, eco-tourism (see cohtributor to the economic activity, if not wealth, of several
Ghai and Vivian 1992). Thus, proponents of different types of developing nations.
sustainable development propose that eco-tourism is an exemplary
case of simultaneously preserving economic growth, local However, within these depictions of the seamless convergence of
empowerment, and environmental health. capitalist economy and environmental health, there exist some
conflicts over the orientations, strategies, and purposes of eco-
Jon Kusler defines eco-tourism as "tourism based principally uporr tourism. These potential contradictions of eco-tourism are
nnturnl and arclueologicnl resoures . . . [and] it differs from mass intensified because of the immense economic, cultural, and
tor.rrism based upon man-created [sic] attractions such as night environmental impact of the burgeoning tourist inclrrstrv.
clubs, restaurants, shops, amusement parks, tennis parks, etc. or Conservationist NG0s often clisagree on the types of regulations,
partially man-created such as beach front hotels and associated incentives, and enforcement necessarv for managing ecoklur.tst
manicured beaches" (1,991.:2). More to the point, the travel forms of sustainable development. Consider the followirrg: "Natur-e
industry defines eco-tourism as "purposeful travel that creates an tourism is booming, as more and more travelers set out in search
understanding of cultural and natural history, while safeguarding of the unspoiled natural wonders and exotic cultural experiences
the integrity of the ecosystem and producing economic benefits the developing world has to offer. This boom can contribute to
that encourage conservation . . . The long-term survival of this "sustainable development."... Or its dark side can win out, ancl
special type of travel is inextricably linked to the existence of the eco-tourism can damage the natural assets on which it rests. The
natural resources that support it" (Ryel and Grasse 199'l:164). outcome depends on how it is managed" (Lindberg 1991:ix).
Due to various perceived successes, eco-tourism has been touted
as a form of sustainable development, which could encourage Conservationist organizations like the National Audubon Society
capital investment while maintaining nature, preserves, by making and the Sierra Club have found it difficult to Drotect nature with
the preserves themselves commodities. Its advocates argue that market mechanisms and fight for strict regulation, especially
eco-tourism provides incentives for continued conservation since debt-plagued national governments in the South and
because the source of value is pristine natuie itself, thus providing corporate profiteering find it unappealing to restrict eco-tourism
opportunities for both sustainability and development. investment. This sihration is complicated further by the internal
conflicts within these organizations, between research biologists
Some researchers claim that eco-tourism can provide both a fretting over ecotourist environmental impacts, and colporatist
much needed environmental education to make the tourist an leaders set on expanding travel programs and membel serl,ices
"ambassador for the environment" (Pederson 1991:61), and (Ashton't99'l:.45). Whether these organizations successfully
through the influx of tourist spending, the economic justice of negotiate a compromise between environmentalism arrd profit,
greater local autonoml (Boo 1990:xiii).{ Eco-tourism analyst Ray or, merely legitimate the imperatives of capital through krkt'n
Ashton suggests that "pure conservation" has not worked and inclusions of ecological planning, it is difficult to cletermine
that sustainable development planning is now our only option, without further discussion of the contradictions that eco-krurisn.r
of whiclr eco-tourism represents an "excellent form" (Boo'1991,:46). represents, the first of which lies in the contradiction beht,een
These claims have been confirmed in some extraordinarily sustainability and development.
profitable ecotourist areas such as Kenya, Costa Rica, and Ecuador

4 Elizabeth Boo is director of the 1990 World Wildlife Fund research project on eco-tourisrn
5 In 1988 the World Tourism Organization cited tourism as the second largest industry in the world with 7%, of world trade irr goods and services, 195
billion dollars in annual domestic and foreign receipts, and 390 million tourists, creating 74 million jobs (Whelan '199'l:4). Eco-torrrism shares of ihis
industry are not calculated, but the most direct calculation of its prominence suggests that nature tourism comprises 20-25'y" of the leisrrre iourism
market (which itself is 55-60 %, of tlre total global tourist industry) (Giannecehini 1993:429).

4
Nagarhole-Thi Issue-A Maior Leap Eco-tourism in Karnataka- People versus
At a very crucial moment, the Chief Conservator of Ministry of Government
Environment and Forests, Government of India Mr.Saxena, has As far as the eco-tourism scenario in Karnataka is concerned, the
rvritten to the Principal Chief Secretary, Department of lack of people's participation in the policy-making and decision
Environment, Ecology and Forests, Government of Karnataka. In making process about the tourism development in their own
this letter the Central Government has asked the Department to areas, a "government versus people" situation has been created.
reclaim the property leased out to the Taj group of Hotels for a
period of 18 years within 45 days. The letter has taken a very A resort in the midst of the rain forests of Agumbe
serious stance about the violations of laws like Forest Conservation A five star beach resort on the beach of Majhali, where it is
Act 1980 by the State Government. The letter also asks for a highly prone for soil erosion
report within 50 days, on the process through which this proiect Amega project amounting to Rs.5700 lakhs to convert Madikeri,
was sanctioned and the action taken on the officers involved.l the nerve centre of Kodagu district as a hill resorts taluk.
This is happening at a time when the Supreme Court has asked Unplanned growth of resorts which claim themselves as "eco-
the MoEF on its position on the issue. In a sense, it is the victory friendly" on the fringes of National Parks and wildlife
of the Adivasi community in Nagarhole. The Adivasi communities sanctuaries.
have welcomed this decision of the Central Government. Declaration of the entire stretch of Karnataka's coast as Special
Tourism Area, violating CIiZ Notification
Malpe
Nothing has been happening on the field for the last 3 months. AII the above are very clear indicators of the Government's
The local people are sitting with crossed fingers hoping that "industrv oriented policy" attitude. The Tourism Policy in the
some day some body will come to discuss State has become a policy in of revenue
the solution to the problem. Meanwhile, generation. A classical case is described.
a religious institution is planning the Mr.Mkram, the Madikeri District-in-
construction of a monument on the Charge Officer from Departrnent of
beaches where, according to history, Tourism's Office in Mysore had talked
Madhwacharya, one of the philosophers about the plans for investment of
and religious heads of South India got the Rs.5700 lakhs in Madikeri taluk alone.
idol of Krishna, which is now being -_ t This raised a heated debate among the
worshipped in the main temple. Thereb| 6fi audience of a workshop on eco-tourism
they are trying to. bring in more sanctity organised by CEE, Kodagu, where the
to the beaches, which is originally, the local people including the Panchayat
holy place for the fishing community members were there. One of the senior
celebration. citizens of the Madikeri taluk Air
rer^ rrrAtrgt Marshall Kariappa questioned the
Maravanthe authority to let the people know about
The construction work is going on the their decision in this regard. The
beaches in spite of the fact that it is a CRZ immediate answer from the officer was
violation. In fact, in the last ANletter &lrro-.cr "No, Gouenunent Ins already decided to
Karnataka Diary, we had printed a picture bring in the proiect and ue haae talkeil to
of one of the projects constiuction, which
is work in progress in violation of the
f '
the District ltt Charge Ministcr
Mr.M.C.Nanaiall'. Why doesn't the
CRZ. A copy of every issue of ANletter 1g Government officials come to Madikeri,
goes to the Director and Joint Director, sit and talk to the local people there?
Department of Tourism. It is a clear When this question was asked by
indication of the Government's attitude tg;3._ EQUATIONS, the Departmentsaid that
towards the construction work Negligence ' "No poitrt. People always say no forthis."
has become a routine thing here. We hope that atleast now they It is no wonder then that, all these issues, which could have been
will wake up to the fact and take necessary action on this. and can be sorted out by discussion between govemment and
local people, are getting converted into legal battles in the courts.
Gokarna It is very essential at this point of time for the Government of
With the rainy season on, the hippies vacate the beaches of Karnataka to re-look at its Tourism Policy. If the Government is
Gokarna and travel to Hampi. Even buses are arranged for them. really interested in the principles of democracy in this debate,
This is the only season Gokarna will be really a place on its own. they need to re-confirm that by talking to the local communities
But this is not a good season for the merchants there who feel about the kind of tourism the people want. It is high time, the
that this is the season of hibernation for them. This clearly shows government got rid of its habit of unilateral decision making
the dependency of commercial activities on the foreigners. about plans, projects or tourism promotions from its system.

rBased on the News Report in Indian Express, Bangalore Edition, 07 june 98

D
Another problem is policy making itself.. It is a known fact that Looking at all these, it is at this point, very essential that a
the state government tourism policies are the replica of central discussion needs to take place with the local people and their
govemment's tourism policies and these national policies have indigenous knowledge has to be taken into consideration.
been dictated by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). Unnecessary litigation only aggravates the situation and does not
Therefore, looking at the policy making process, the fundamentals solve the intricacies.
do not originate from the Government at all. Participation of the
local people is like reaching for a rainbow. The State Govemment We remember at this point, one of the slogans, a school kid wrote
even refuses to listen to the people or groups about the problems during the Narmada Bachao Andolan struggle.
of the policy formulation. A classical example is when
EQUATIONS, in a meeting in August l997,brought to light the It is not lor the people
violation of CIiZ notification of the tourism policy which declared It is far from the people
the complete coast of Karnataka as STA, showing tourism It is not g[ the people
development taking place within 1 km from the High Tide Line. It is off the people
The tourism authorities except for agreeing to the mistake that It is not by the people
they have done,have done nothing about it. As of today, the It is buy the people
policy statements remain the same. When the existing tourism
policy itself is causing lot of problems, the Minister of Tourism,
Government of Karnataka has come out with plans to make a This article is zuritten by MG. Ramesh, Progranune Coordinntor,
separate tourism policy for children. EQUATTONS.

Home Stay Accommodation: How about a'Saayipp'l taught to us that one should follow the example set by their
at home? leaders. Since this'Saayipp'at home is a new concept all together
The conditions are very simple. You should have a house with for Malayalees, the chief minister, tourism minister and tourism
good toilet facilities, good ventilation and a fan or air conditioner officials could begin this at their own home and set models.
is an additional advantage. The house should also be in a Surely they have atleast one home that fits into the yardstick set
position to provide catering requirements of the tourjst. If these for this scheme. Then the people shall follow!
conditions are met you are eligible, according to the tourism
department, to fall into the new category of facilitators of the Even if it is Bill Clintorg No Thank You!
tourist infrastructure starved, 'God's own country'. And whats While reacting to the home stay accommodation scheme of the
more, you are put on an lnternet Website, where you can be tourism department, writer K. Panoor said that even if Bill
surfed the world over for bookings. I do not know to whom all Clinton comes as a guest to his home he would not welcome him.
the Malayalees should be thankful - the left communist ministry, This scheme helps only in converting home in to hotels, lodges or
the innovative tourism department or the technological revolution! even brothels. He said he is against anything that will steal the
Interested Malayalees will have to.rush since the govemment happiness of the family atmosphere. Dollars may flow in but one
plans to have these facilities in only 1000 houses and the last cannot pretend not to see the degenerated culture also flowing
date to apply is April 10th. This does not seem very fair. This along with it.
wonderful opportunity for 'cultural exchange' (that is what
tourism is meant for) should be available to all Malayalees and Octogenarian poet Magnus of Keralam, Olappamanna said that
there should not be any deadlines. bringing home foreign cultures would only help in degrading
our own culture. Already the electronic media is propagating
There are more things the department could add to this. Aurvedic western components which are unacceptable to our culture. This
massage parlor is one such component. Since the govemment has new scheme will only hasten the already declining state's culture.
anyway decided to give awards to the best performing parlors, This scheme according to writer and orator Vanidas Elayavoor is
why not attach this additional tourist attraction to the house. the brainchild of sick minds that see tourism only as a money
After all this is one of the Malayalee traditions. Another major earner.
component could be a 'home bar' facility. As the state has relaxed
its alcohol policy to make it more attractive to tourist industry, The Youth League, which is the youth wing of the political party
and one can keep four litres of alcohol legally, then why not a bar Muslim League, urged the government to withdraw its home
at home. Once you have both these incorporated into this accommodation scheme. This is just a borrowing of foreign
'revolutionary' scheme more 'facilities' could follow that are an culture in the name of tourism, which would definitely lead to
integral part of indiscriminate mass tourism. the destruction of the Kerala tradition. The youth league also
urged people from all walks of life to register their protest
The only problem that worries the authorities is that there seem against this scheme.
to be not many takers for this scheme. As usual there are so-
called 'puritans' who are against this scheme in the name of Coastal Regulation Zone Notification: Full
traditional culture. implementation urged
In a landmark judgement the Kerala High Court urged the state
This could be overcome without much effort. It has always been government and panchayats to implement the coastal regulation
as per the 1991 notification. The judgement came in the wake of .

I For an average Malayalee any white skinned foreigner is a 'Saayipp' petitions filed by some coastal panchayats and individuals
6
(together five petitions) asking the court for directions to exempt public. With the overall debate on CRZ in the country the
the 100 meters construction prohibition along the rivers and authorities realised that they shall have no takers for land that
backwaters with'tidal influence. As the petition was pending for blatantly violated regulations and invited protests.
hearing and orders, many panchayats had permitted constructions
liberally along this prohibited area. Now the court has made it Secondly, successive governments and BRDC have underplayed
clear that only five petitioners are eligible for exemptions and peoples'protests against this project. People have questioned the
the 1991 notification is to be implemented in its fullest sense. The rationale behind this project and its impacts. They have also been
court also directed in another judgement that the Coastal Zone able to make this public through their consistent struggles. The
Management Plan of Kerala prepared by the Centre for Earth impact of mega projects on the local community and environment
Science Studies is made available for the public in all important is a well-debated issue in tourism circles. Perhaps the BRDC is
government offices and public libraries. And also to publish the not aware of the debate on tourism ethics the world over including
same in two important newspapers. the World Tourism Organisation (VVTO). While investors need
projects that are free of community protests tourists themselves
While the exemption grven to five petitioners need to be re-looked have started questioning prior to their trips, the history of their
at this judgement atleast for the time being puts a stop to the debate destinations. A large number of tourists will not step into
in the state about the govemmmts attitude towards the notification. destinations that have displaced local communities and their
Ever since the notification came into force the state govemments' occupation and destroyed the environment. They also ask
attitude was that the notification would hamner the industrial questions of how tourism is benefiting the local communities.
growth of the state. It also shed crocodile tears in th" nu-" of fishing May be it is worth while for BRDC and concerned ministers to
community regarding settlement rights. The govemment had also pay a little attention to these debates before venturing into
issued an official circular that said no new licenses should be mammoth projects.
granted for construction of community houses within five hundred
meters of the high tide line in compliance with the notification. This Bakel Proiect is Anti-Nature German Tour Director
was while the notification gave clear directions that the community In a press conference at Kozhikode, journalist and managing
could build houses within the 200 to 500 meters of the high tide line. director of German based tour operator Comtour, Mr.Hans Jorge
Now with this judgement things have become clearer. We will have Husong, expressed his views on the Bakel project. The coastline
to wait and watch what the next move of the govemment, industry, of the state has immense potential for tourism but that does not
and politician nexus will be. mean building five star hotels and huge constructions on the
beach as envisaged by the Bakel project. The crisis in the tourist
Bakel Tourism: Bakel Resort Development industry today is that the tourists have to pay for accommodation
Corporation (BRDC) in Fix and food that is many times higher than their travel costs. The
Newspaper reports states that responses from hotel groups thrust today among tourists is change, leisure and experiencing
towards this mega tourism project are lukewarm. None of the the unknown. They prefer low spending destinatiops. Attracting
promised activities that would attract the private sector to invest these new trends is not by building conglomerates of international
are even half way through. .Acquisition of land, drinking water hotels. What is planned in Bakel is this blunder was accompanied
schemes, sanitation facilities and roads everything are either by the director Mr.Husong and members of Comtour and their
undone or half-done. Of the 685 acres of land required, the local partner Tour India. The visit was to plan for a tourism
corporation had not been able to procure even 75 acres. According package for Malabar.
to the first master plan (which is no more valid) by the year 1995-
97 various regional development worth Rs.1241 crore should Bakel: Protests Taking More Fundamental Approach
have been completed. The BRDC says it is the revenue authorities Ever since Bakel was earmarked for tourism the local community
responsible for non-acquisition of land. But the revenue authorities had registered their protests in various capacities. They had written
also have their claims. They explain that to acquire land in the to the then prime Minster and state ministers, various departments
name of 'public purpose', while the intention of BRDC is to and filed cases for more information of what exactly was happening
transfer them to private hotel chains is against land acquisition to their land of livelihood. They have kept their protest alive all
laws. The several over-optimistic trips made abroad for in{estors these years hoping that elected gorr"ttr*etrts and authorities would
with lakhs of rupees spent (nobody knows how much) now give an ear to their pleas. They have been successful in forcing
seem to be wasted like the Rs.50 lakh plus spent for the first public hearings that unfortunately always turned into mockeries.
Master PIan. Astonished at the indifference of the authorities concemed the
Coordination Committee has decided last month to bring in all
The real huth according to the media is that the originally envisaged cultural and religious organisations of the region together. They
mega project worth thowands of crore rupees and more than a have also planned mone grassroots based activities and awareness
thousand acres of land has now been redraced to considerably prograrnmes. House to house campaigns, awarness programmes
smaller project for various reasons. And this does not interest the aimed at educational institutions and worshiping centers of all
investors. Which means fhe interest of private investors had been religions are part of the immediate action. Anti-tourism clubs at
to convert huge chunks of rich coastal land as their private schools are also part of this campaign. Earlier in June, 1998 Sunni
property. One could assurne the role of BRDC in this deal. Students Federation (SSF) organised a massive demonstration
against the newly inaugurated Tourist Facility Centre. Police and
The truth is the BRDC was forced to abandon the first master law and order authorities obstructed the demonstration. Issues like
plan. The master plan envisaged more than a thousand acres of the arrest of activists is considered as a violation of fundamental
land for resort development planned along the coastal region rights and the state unit of Peoples Union- for Civil Liberties
irrespective of the prohibitive and regulatory norms stipulated by (PUCL) is actively participating in the protests. There is a fresh
the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification. The authorities had case filed in the local court against the construction of the Tourism
presumed that this shall go unnoticed. The master plan had Facility Centre that has blatantly violated both CRZ and
remained as a secret document till peoples' groups made it archeological regulations.
While the protest against tourism mounts, the fishing community
is on a warpath of their own against the district authorities.
During May this year 'United Forum of Kasaragod District
Traditional Fish Workers'was launched and held a demonstration
at Collectorate of Kasaragod. They complain that while tourism
tops the agenda of any debate in the district the plight of the
fishing community is overlooked. For example, the government
has recently reduced the Kerosene oil quota for fishing activities.
Regular quota of Kerosene oil for out-board engines used to be
500 liters per month. This was cut down to 375 litres and further
to 175 litres per month. While the actual requirement is 40 litres.
per day which would be around 1200 litres. per month. No new
permits have been issued for owners who had acquired engines
in the last three to four years, which means they are lying idle.
The community feels that waiting for the mercy of the government
is over, instead the time has come for voicing their rights. The
struggle will help to preserve the community identity, tradition
Ku nmrokum Tor.r ism Vil I a g e
and culture in the wake of the proposed mega tourism project,
the forum leaders said. Vol.5 Issue 3 page 16,17). lawyer Smt. Daisy Tharnbi.said tl'rat the
present order is only temporary in nature. What is actually
Mangroves and backwatefs at Kumarakom: The required is constant vigil and monitoring. Smt. Daisy has taken
Coufi comes to aid immense interest in the case and took trouble to visit the area for
The mangroves and backwaters at Kumarakom will breath a sigh a personal experience of the situation at Kumarakom. Thank you,
of relief, atleast for the time being. In a petition filed against the Sridhar, Thank you, Daisy.
devastating destruction of the mangrove ecosystem, the Hon.
Justice CS Rajan of the high court of Kerala, Ernakulam, passed Foohrote
an interim direction 'from destroying the mangrove ecosystem at
& from reclaiming the adjoining wet lands, to an Keralam has been always fond of slogans. Jayakr,rmar of Nature Clr"rb
Kumarakom
Council, Thiruvananthapuram said the following while debating the
extent of 50 meters eastward from the eastern bank of Vembanad Home stay Accommodation. ln the 1970s the slogan was on family
estuary, till the disposal of the original petition, in the interest of planning " We two, ours one". In tire 80s it was more environment
justice'. The five respondents that include the Chairman, Kerala friendly "Every house, one teak tree". And now in the 90s "Every home,
Tourism Development Corporation are yet to respond in the case. one 'Saayipp' "!
Sri.Sridhar.R a member of Pravaham Nature Club, filed the Writ
petition as a last resort after repeated interventions to the tourism TIis article is zuritten by Hari Babu, Progratuttc Coordinntor, (Constnl
development in the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (See ANletter lsxrcs) EQUATIONS.

An Update on East Coast Road -Phase II statutory requirement for "public hearings" under the
In 1995, the Tamil Nadu State Highways Department having felt Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification.
the need to upgrade and strengthen some highways and roads in
Tamil Nadu prepared a paper identifying 3238 kilometres of road As of now the introductory meeting with the Collector and other
and submitted a proposal to the World Bank for funding. District officials have taken place in the districts of Cuddalore,
Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur and Pudukottai. Detailed
The Australian firm, M/s. Kinhill Pvt Ltd, was appointed as in-depth meetings with members of the public has been completed
Project Coordinating Consultant in the year 1997 to undertake in the district of Nagapattinam.
feasibility studies and prepare engineering designs for a total of
1500 Kilometres of road. The first phase of this project is a stretch The Highways Department and Project Consultants also held
of 375 kilometres between Cuddalore and Tuticorin. This 375 meetings with NGOs and citizens in Chennai. Their last meeting
kilometres stretch is what was previously conceived as East on April 23, 1998 agreed upon the fact that meetings are to be
Coast Road Phase II. held on a monthly basis in order to allow groups to effectively
monitor the progress of the project. Consumer Action Group,
The Highways Department have decided to consult local people Chennai and INTACH, Pondicherry have been part of the
(probably from the experience of the first phase) who are likely to discussions with the Highways Department. They have demanded
be affected by ECR - Phase II. The various ways by which they that the conditions laid down by the Union Ministry for
are to accomplish this at the District level are: introductory Environment and Forests for ECR Phase - I are to be strictly
meeting with the Collector and other District administration adhered to even during the implementation of the ECR Phase -II.
officials, detailed in-depth meeting with members of the public
on the component of the project relevant to that district, chaired In trying to start with fulfilling the MEF conditions, the Highways
by the District Collector; and at the state level: detailed meeting Department are to engage in massive avenue tree and grove
with State-level NGOs, concemed groups/individuals and; the plantation along the ECR - Phase I. A commitment to include
8
community participation in the Depriving an entire communitv
maintenance and protection of of its resources to satisfy the
these new trees have been made. greed of but a few has become
the order of the day. The need
The second phase thus having of the hour is to identify and
begun with a seemingly positive address issues of the people
approach from the Highways and environment. This could
Department tries to instil a ray
t be achieved only by the
of hope but it is for one to wait t coordinated efforts of the forest
and see if their commitment to I\ departments, NGOs, local
local participation is real. people and the scientific
community.
Excerpts from The East Coast
Road - Phase II by Bharath Nilgiris in the clutches
Jairaj, CAC Reports (May -June of 'Tourism'
1998 issue) A look at the utilisation of land
in the Nilgiris would reveal
Blame'V,lho'? that not much of the land is
The Pichavaram Mangrove area left for further destruction.
consists of 51 islets. which are According to the report The
traversed by numerous creeks, Ni/giris: An nrea in grent flux by
gullies, channels and canals. Narendra K. the total cropped
Being unique in comparison to area in the Nilgiris accounts
the other mangrove forests in for 24.7"/" of the geographic
India, about 30 plant species area of which plantation crops
have been identified here. account for 84"/" of the cropped
Pitchavaram falls under the area. Planting of tea began in
Killai Town Panchayat and ffiru, 1883, and at present tea
eleven villages surround the plantation accounts for 78.8%
Mangroves. The major benefits of the total plantation crop area.
to the community are fish, prawns and firewood The forest areas have reduced considerably during the last decade.
Tourism, which has placed an additional burden on the Nilgiris,
A visit to the site by EQUATIONS, Centre for Rural Education in the way it is presently, has completely taken over Ooty and
and Economic Development (CREED), Chidambaranr and Tamil Coonoor and is now spreading its tentacles into areas of
Nadu Environment Council, Dindigul was undertaken sometime Masinagudi and Gudalur. Unplanned constructions and roads
in February and again in )une. There has been continuous and along the hillsides have contributed to perpetual floods and
illegal felling of mangrove trees for wood and firewood. Grazing landslides haunting these regions in the last two decades.
of cattle has also been going on here. Prawn farms, which are According to a press note by Save Nilgiris Campaign, there have
currently not under operation, were noticed. The effluents from been more than 350 major and minor landslides in the
the prawn farms used to be directly let into the waters. It was Mettupalayam-Coonoor and Mettupalayam-Kotagiri sections.
said that earlier, people caught prawns manually but now they
are unable to do so. Commercial prawn farms have been blamed Ooty's population during the tourist seasons increases by four
for this. The Mangrove areas near the villages are noticeably times. According to a report on Tlrc Sustainability of Tourism in
different in their growth and structure. The members of the ecologically fragile hiII statiorts by Miriam, R. in 1991 the population
community complained that the land used for aquaculture have of Ooty taluk was 240,039 and of Ooty Municipality was 81,763.
now been rendered useless. They also informed that during the During the same year the tourists and excursionists totalled
recent past, fishing in this area has become difficult. Apart from 7,461.,000 with the month of May alone recording 385,000. In
the problems already mentioned, we were told that film shooting order to meet the demarrds of the tourists there has been an
is another activity which has been a threat to the Mangroves. The increase in the number of hotels, vehicles and other services
need to ban this was expressed by some members of the giving rise to increased pollution loads on the air, water and land
community. environments. To mention in particulat the average water
consumption in star hotels is 35 times more than the average use
Several scientific studies and research on Pichavaram Mangroves of water by a person living in an ordinary hotel or home.
are being undertaken on an ongoing basis. Social issues have not
been taken up or addressed adequateiy. With activities like EQUATIONS and NATURE'S EYELIDS in their efforts to caution
aquaculture taking over vast areas of land, people have not just the people on the ill-effects of unplanned promotion of tourism
lost their precious land, which they have been dependent upon organised an exhibition on environmental issues and in particular
for cultivation, but have also lost their other source of living like the impact of tourism on the environment on the 15th and 17th of
prawn and fish, which the mangroves provided. Although the May,'1,998 at the Botanical Gardens, Ooty. Photographs, posters
area has been declared a reserye forest, there has been continuous and models of Ooty in the past and present were displayed.
illegal felling of Mangroves trees. The people who collected dried Pamphlets in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and English on the
twigs to meet their everyday fuel needs stand condemned for impact of tourism on environment along with the code of conduct
this. for tourists were handed out to all visitors.

9
Temple Town into Tourist Resort
With beaches in the southem part of the country identified for
beach tourism, the temple town is also very much in the plans of
the Department of Tourism. Three areas that fall under the
category of Special Tourism Areas are Madras-Pondicherry coastal
belt, Kancheepuram and Thrangambadi. [n these areas, no industry
barring tourism is permitted.

Mammallapuram, one among the three Special Tourism Areas


has considerably changed through the centuries. Buses and trucks
bring hordes of tourists everyday. Hotels have sprung up
everywhere in this area and land prices are getting higher by the
day. With incentives to investors, like land being made available
for tourism related projects, prime land is lost to the land sharks.
Though this coastal town has a stable population of about 7000,
This temple town once known for its historical grandeur is now a the most shocking aspect is the lack of medical facilities. The only
haven for drug traffickers and prostitutes. According to news resemblance to a hospital is a Primary Health Centre. The nearest
magazine BLITZ, increased police surveillance and plenty of hospital is in Chengalpattu and in emergencies, such as accidents,
arrests have failed to check prostitution, or stop the roaring drug victims have no immediate relief. This tourist town also does not
trade in the seaside town. have a proper school.

According to reports (IE,9/L0/97), Mammallapuram is looking The question that arises here is whether tourism stimulates
for more funds to improve its ro4ds, power and water supply public services like public health, sanitation, housing, schools etc,
so that it
can measure up to being a world tourist centre. or it develops the five star hotels, swimming pools, casinos and
Provision of water taps in every house was among the first of other such recreational facilities only
many proposals and despite official teams coming for
inspections several times, funds for this project have not been TIis article is written by Ms. Slirley Susan, Programnte Coortlinator,
allocated. (Tamil Nadu) EQUATION S.

e EQUATIONS AND NATURE'S EYELIDS, Kotagiri organised


an exhibition on the impact of Tourism at the Flower Show,
Botanical Gardens, Ooty on the 15th and 17th of May 1998.
Pamphlets, posters and books on the Nilgiris formed part of
the exhibition which targeted tourists from Tamil Nadu,
Karnataka, Kerala and the nothern parts of the country.
The EQUATIONS team has been involved in a number of activities
over the last three months from April to fune 1998. We have been r Center for Environment Education (CEE) field office in Kodagu
involved in workshops, meetings and discussions connected to organised a workshop on "eco-tourism and its applicability in
different programmes that EQUATIONS is involved in Karnataka, Thlacauvery and Bhagmandala on 19th May'98. M.G. Ramesh
Tamil Nadu, and Kerala and at the national and international taked about eco-tourism with specific reference to Kodagu
levels. Here are some of the details: and the participation of local people in the policy-making and
decision-making process.
o Shirley Susan attended a one day Symposium on
"Environmental Laws for the Conservation of Nilgiris", r M.G. Ramesh attended a two day conference on eco-tourism
organised by C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre in April organised by Centre for Human Resource Development,
1998 at Ooty. The issues discussed were Enaironmental Laws Bangalore on 29 - 30 May 98.
and Danlopmental Dichotomies of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.
Documentation unit has been working on its internal needs to
o The Department of Education, Annamalai university invited have a more effective retrieval system in the last three months. In
Equations as resource persons to talk on Coast and Inland keeping up with the change process began an year ago, they have
water issues during April 1, 1998 as part of their Environmental been systematising their retrieval system.
Awareness Programme. Hari Babu and Shirley Susan
represented Equations. The programme addressed the staff During this period they had three students attached to the
and students of the B.Ed.,/M.Ed.,/ /MIhiI and Ph.D. documentation unit doing their internship at Equations, who
programmes and had about 250 participants. produced papers on different topics. In April Ms. Preeti Thomas
and Ms. Shabana Nalwala of TISS, Mumbai had conducted
r Hari Babu and Shirley Susan attended a Seminar on Oceans internal surveys and wrote on papers on "Issues in Marketing
organised by the United National Federation of Unesco Clubs and Promoting Tourism" and " An introduction to the globalised
and Associations (INFUCA) at Fatima Retreat House, economic system with reference to the Indian liberalization
Mangalore in May 1998. This seminar introduced the subject process". During May, Ellen de Groot, intern from NHTV The
on Oceans. Faculty from Fisheries College, Mangalore gave Netherlands had conducted a case study on the women workers
lectures on topics such as the Integrated Coastal Management in the informal tourism sector in Ooty. S.Padmaja assisted in
and Marine Pollution. The programme also included a shrdy conducting this case-study. She has also written papers titled
tour to the Mangalore Port. "Nagarahole" and "Tourism carrying Capacities".

10
Beyond 2000: The New Social Policy r White Papeg The Development and Promotion of Tourism
Agenda; Note by the Secretary-General; Pgs in South Africa; Dep. of environmental affairs & tourism; Pgs
7-20; 7997. l-49;1997

Tourism and the Environment Task Force, Guidelines for the r International Conference on Colonialism and Globalisation:
development of Tourism Management Programmes; Bryden Five Centuries after Vasco da Gama; Indian Social Institute;
Duncan; Pgs 1.-16; 1997. 1,998
r Dossier on Gender and the Economy, A; Visthar; Pgs 99; t997
International Centre of Bethlehem, Programme fot
Alternative Tourism Award Winner Contest Socially Ethical legal and regulatory aspects of
Responsible Tourism; Betz, Klaus; Pgs 1-7;1997. Books tourism business; Malik, Satyender
Singh; Pgs l-768; 1,997.
Global Village: Working for a fairer, greener world; 1998 Tourism is not an alien discipline, it
thus involves various subjects. The legislation for tourism has
Tourism Education Exchange; Association of Tourism Teachers not been made out distinctively in Indian Constitution. It covers
Trainers; Pgs 12;7998 almost every sphere of life. The rules and regulations, ethics and
The Association of Tourism Teachers and Trainers announces morals; their practices and management and other legislation
Tourism Education Exchange on 5 February. The event features which have been described in this book have only been selected
a tourism education conference to develop a focal point of on the basis of significance compered to other fields which covers
tourism education to increase interaction. tourism. This book is according to syllabi of various universities
offering covers on Tourism Administration. It will not only
Monthly Statistical Bulletin on Tourism: Ceylon Tourist prove beneficial to the students but also will be of great help to
Board; Ceylon Tourist Board; Pgs 1-7; L997 researchers and tourism professionals Rahul Publishing House,
Delhi.
-
Going Green, A handbook for Managers of Tourism Business;
Bryden, Duncan; Pgs 1-65;1997 o Development of tourism and travel industry-an Indian
perspective; Dhar, Premnath; Pgs 1-263;1997
Compilation on Girl Child in difficult circumstances; Centre The present collection of articles, papers, essays and excepts
for child and the law; Pgs 19;1.997 focus on the basies of the tourism industry - its concepts,
philosophy and content. Subjects included in the present collection
Workshop on Ecological and Economic Management of of readings cover, among others tourism industry in India and its
Coastal Zone; Sreekumar, T.T.; Pgs 1-20;1997 problems and prospects, touiism in India in World respective;
policy and prospects of tourism industry; culhrral and sociological
"Save the coast, save the Country" & "Save the cost, saver aspects of intemational tourism, tourism policy imperatives.and
the Continents"; INAUA; Pgs 1-1L3;1997 approches; state and regional perspectives in tourism promotion;
cost-benefit approach to tourism development; aviation and
DOSSIER: International Scientific S..rmposium on 'The airports; trappic and facilitation; ecological dimensions of tourism
Ecological Social Impacts of Industrial Aquaculture'; INUA/ and development and marketing strategies
RFSTE (org by); Pgs 1-254; 1997 Kanisl*a PtLblishers, Distibutors, New Delhi.
-
SHRIMR The Devastating Delicacy: The explosion of shrimp
o Tourism management and marketing: The business of travel
agency operations; Bhatia A K; Pgs 288;1997.
farming and the negative impacts on people and the
This is an attempt to sfudy the managenient and marketing
environmen! Hagler, Mike/ Gianni, M/ Cardenal; Pgs 1-28;
concept in the field of tourism with special reference to travel
't997
agency operations. The book delves into the evolution of
Revised master plan for development of tourism in Kamataka organised travel culminating in modern tourism, as we know
7997; Dept. of Tourism; Pgs l-89;7997 it today and the role of passanger transport with special
reference to air transport has also been coursed. The books
Environmental Thxes and Green Reform; OECD; Pgs l-46;
also explains how modem communication systems, with speciai
7997
reference to computer technology, have changed the concept
Economic Globalisation and the Environment; OECD; Pgs 1- of travel and tourism marketing.
68: 1997 Sterling Publishers Pritnte Limited, New Delhi.
-

LL
Pilgrimage, regarded by many scholars as a form of tourism, is
one of the basic principles or five pillars of Islam, on a equal
footing with belief in Allah and the prophet Mohammed, praye\
Attacks on fasting and the giving of charity. Although pilgrimage to Mecca
a a
or Haj is a ritual that involves only Muslims and is mainly a
religious rihral, it highlights the fact that Muslims accept and
deal with those belonging to different classes, races, nationalities
and culfures.

The Koran states that the pilgrimage is not simply religious


HEBA MIZ'
travel but that it is a cultural encounter bringing together Muslims
from all parts of the world. According to the Koran, pilglims or
Hajjis are encouraged to communicate and exchange experiences
his article analyses the relationship between tourism and as well as to trade. Accordingly to Islamic law, any traveller,
tlrc terrorkt attacks catied out by Muslim groups iluring regardless of race, colour, nationality or religion, once permitted
the past tzoo years in Egypt.The pnper examines the relatiotrship by the authority of the Islamic state to enter the territory, is
between lslam, lospitality and the notiotr of tourian - and fittds that entitled to all the rights enjoyed by the citizen, with secur.ity ior
lslam does not reject tourism per se. Hozueuer, tlrc nahre of tourism personal safety, family, income and house.
deoelopment in Egypt, and especinlly Upper Egypt, lllrrs led to acts of
aiolence by Muslim groups. In order to enaisage the scope of the Although in modern times this notion is not strictly followed, we
problem a profile of these groups is presented to assess wlrctlrcr touists are dealing herewith the main concepts of Islam as mentioned irr
ore the real targets of sttch attacks. TIrc tourism industry, the goaernnrent, the Koran and the Hadith (the sayings of the Plophet). Islam is a
the deaelopers and the tourists are as responsible for tlis undesirable comprehensive religion whose rules and codes organise the
sitttation ns the Muslim groups. Central to tlrc argument is tlnt details of the most minor aspects of everyday life; arnong them
uiolence is a reaction to irresponsible tourism development. Clnmphry are those organising the concept of travel and relations between
dotan on the Muslim groups is damage limitatiotr rather tlun problem hosts and guests, between tourists and those at the receiving end.
soloing. Terrorism in Egypt is att itrdicator of the problem ratlrcr than, The rules include allowing travellers to pursue the requirements
being a problem in its own capncity. of their religion without affecting the course of their journey; for
example, combining and shortening praying times, exemption
Over the past two years there has been intensive media coverage from fasting and so iorth. Islam also emphasises the dr.rt1, ef
of attacks by Muslim groups on tourism establishments and on hospitality by the hosts towards travellers who happen to pass
tourists themselves. According to a statement by the Ministry of by without making charges ol queries. Guests are also asked to
the Interior, 13 tourists and 125 members of the Egyptian security respect the privacy and culture of the hosts.
forces have been killed since 1991. If the victims of such violent
incidents were exclusively tourists, it could be interpreted as a In this respect, it is worth remembering the great Muslim travellers
sheer xenophobic attitude that sometimes occurs in destinations and their marvellous contribution to the field of travel writing as
completely swamped by tourism development. But in this case, well as to geography and the understanding of foreign culture
there are various parties involved in the problem the tourists, the and societies.t Muslims are encouraged to travel in order to tlade,
security forces representing the government, and the Muslim to keep in touch with relatives and friends, to seek knowledge, to
groups who are perceived by the international media as appreciate the greatness of God's creation.
representing Islam. This article attempts to shed some light on
the way all these parties relate and how this is resulting in an If Islam is in no way against travel, can one argue that it is
undesirable situation for the tourism industry. against western civilisation as represented in modern-day tourism?
Here one can examine the ideas of the Islamic reformists of the
It is important to note at the outset that there is no religion 19th century. In the work of Gamal el-Din el-Afghani and
against tourism. There may be people against it, who could be Mohammed Abdu, one can readily identify a sense of emerging
fews, Christians or Muslims or who belong to any other nationalism: their main objective was the renaissance of Islamic
denomination. Another important point to be made here is that, peoples, the regeneration of their civilisation and the struggle to
in Muslim countries, Islam is not just a religion separate from establish themselves in the modem world of nations. Above all,
everyday life. It is part of people's lives and culture since they wanted to shake off the yoke of European domination?
religion and culture are interwoven in Muslim society. According aiming for the independence and strength of Islamic states. In
to the Islam principle of not causing or suffering any harm, this sense they were politically against Europe. However,
lslam rejects that which could negatively affect the culture or the culturally they favoured European civilisation which provided
people. ideas and models for cultural regeneration, which were adopted
and followed by the reformists during the 19th and early 20th
Despite intensive media coverage in the western press of attacks centuries.
by Islamic groups in Egypt on tourist facilities and on tourists
themselves, Islam itself is not against tourism. On the contrary To understand the current attacks on tourists by Islamic groups,
there is much in Islam which implicitly and explicitly accepts the we should examine the perception of Islam in the West and in the
notion of travel and encourages it. Western media in particular. The persistent linkage of Islarn with
backwardness, oppression and terrorism in the western mind,
and the creation of Islam as a new enemy to replace the ex-soviet
+Lecturer in Tourism, Alexandria University, Egypt; and Department of bloc gives us an insight into the question. A content analysis
Sociology, Roehampton Institute, Southlands College, Wimbledon study of British media material published between 1989 ancl
Parkside, London SWl9 5NN 1991, featuring Egypt as a tourist destination, shows that Islam

L2
was usually mentioned negatively and was depicted as a religion of strict taboos,
such as enforcement of the veil and other elements certain to arouse the viewer's
or reader's mistrust and suspicion. According to the study, Islam, at best, was
mentioned as a repository of quaint old customs and traditions.l

From the above, it is clear that the problem lies neither in Islam as a religion not
in Muslim activists by virtue of belonging to Islam. Rather; the uneasy relationship
prevailing between foreign tourists and locals in Egypt and many other Muslims
countries, such as Algeria and Turkey, must be considered not just from a
religious angle but rather from a sociological and cultural one.

The first step is to shed some light on the tourism industry in Egypt. Just after
the Gulf War in 1991, tourism in Egypt made a huge recovery. The Egyptian
Ministry of Tourism regarded 1992 as a peak year for the tourism industry, with
3.2 million tourists visiting Egypt that year and tourism receipts of US$2029
million. However, from an international perspective, this represents only about
0.67"/,, of total international tourist arrivals, quite small compared with other
major tourists destinations. The following year (1993), after the attacks against
tourists, there was a drop of about 2'1..9"/" in the number of tourists and
corresponding decrease in receipts of about 42.5oh, according to tourism statistics
up to October 1993.4

Tourism is now regarded by the Egyptian government as a main source of


foreign currency since the cornpetitive status enjoyed by the tourism industry in
Egypt does not. exist in other export industries. The rapid pace of tourism
Cevelopment started in 1974 with Sadat's 'Open Door Policy'. Developments
talking place at the time mainly took the form of five-star hotels. Due to the
pressures exercised by the World Bank, a dramatic economic reform prograrn
was set up, in which tourism was a top priority sector. Massive developmerrt
started in three main areas in Egypt: the L,uxor-Aswan river corridor, the west
coast of the Red Sea, and the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula.s

Tourism development prolects now consist of about 126 five-star accommodation


units ranging between floating hotels, tourists villages and hotels, and 95 four-
star falling into the same categories. Among these, 91 five-star Nile cruisers
operate along the rivers between Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel.

What role have these developments played in recent events? As argued by many
tourism developers, among the benefits that could be enjoyed by locals, especially
rural areas, is the spill-over of infrastructure initially developed for the tourism
industry.

During the last few years, there has been a remarkable increase in the level and
the quality of the infrastructure designed to support the tourism industry, eg.
conference centres, the National Cultural Centre and so forth. Funds for tourism-
.r'elated infrastructure have been forthcoming while the real problem "lies in the
.>rovision of basic infrastrucfure-watet s€v.rg€, power, telecommunications and
community facilities. So the way tourism development is carried out largelv
depends on the establishment of luxury 'ghettos'. In the case of Nile cruisers to
Upper Egvpt, for example, locals living in the villages along the Luxor-Aswan
corridor have not benefited from the development of the tourism industry in
their areas with regard to infrastructure.

The essence behind choosing tourism as a developrnent option, as far as the


government is concerned, is that in addition to generating foreign currency,
tourism is capable of absorbing a large percentage of the workforce. Since the
assigned development areas lie mostly in rural areas, very few of the local
population find their way into such luxurv developments. Rather, the labour
force for tourism projects in such areas is usually importeci from urban centres,
the only exception being handicraft stalls which are sometimes owned by local
people.

The separation between tourists and locals is further manifest in the inability to
communicate in a vernacular language, forming a barrier between the two
groups, diminishing the argument that tourism is a form of cultural exchange.
't3
Thus, tourism remains within the limitations of an economic phenomenon that
generates foreign exchange which is directly injected into the macroeconomy or
into private investors' accounts, with little left over for the local economy.

Again with reference to Upper Egypt, the gap between tourism development as
represented in Nile cruises, and the low level of development in the area itself is
huge - a phenomenon presented by the industry's Promoters as an attraction!
The lifestyle of tourists on board a Nile cruiser and that of the indigenous
population along the banks of the Nile is a textbook example of the huge gap that
exists between locals and tourists in developing countries with all the repercussions
and consequences to which such a situation can lead. The atmosphere of
relaxation and indulgence further exaggerates the contrast between the two
groups. This was aptly described by Englisho as a form of tourism that 'injects
the behaviour of.a wasteful society in the midst of the society of want'.

According to academic studies on the impact of tourism on traditional societies,


especially on those with a strong set of social and religious values, a rejection of
this industry is expected. According to Mathieson and Wall,7 a dramatic feeling
of xenophobia could prevail and lead to violence. One may safely assume that
the situation will be more problematic if the locals are not involved, or if they do
not enjoy direct economic benefits from an industry which is, in addition,
violating the sphere of their social and religious values, and using (or abusing)
their land, heritage, culture and even their lifestyle as an exotic attraction.

The question remains: why is the xenophobic attitude in Egypt mostly expressecl
by Muslim groups? The first incident in the series of attacks on tourists and on
tourist establishments was in April 1986. A group of soldiers fulfilling their'
military service in a camp in Giza, which is close to the Pyramids and a rrumber
of luxury five-star hotels and night clubs, set fire to several tourist establishments
in the area. The soldiers in the camp were living in miserable conditions, side by
side with the luxurious facilities of the hotels. They were continually exposed to
the relaxed and indulgent lifestyle of the tourists and also of the Egyptian upper
class who frequent such establishments.

Thus, it was not the Islamic groups who started this series of attacks. The same
reasons that prompted this incident in 1986 also activated another organised
group in Egypt-the Muslim activists. For them, the problem is not just the huge
economic, developmental and social gap, but also the threat that an industry like
tourism represents in the sense of violating Islamic cultural values and traditions:
for example, the consumption of alcohol and pork, gambling, prostitution,
disrespect towards dress and codes of behaviour. The problem is that this
violation has not been accompanied by any obvious benefits for such groups in
terms of an increased level of development in their areas, availability of better job
opportunities, or additional sources of income.

To set the argument in context, a breakdown of the socioeconomic, educational and


ideological profile of this group is required. What should be made clear in this
respect is that the modem Islamic current in Egypt is not an extension of
traditional loyalties and pieties, but is a modern creation constructed in relation to
today's politics. These activists mainly come from rural families of minor
landowners and merchants, socially and economically threatened by current
processes of change; or they are the newly urbanised and educationally qualified,
but lacking the family connections, wealth and access to influential pahonage
which benefit their counterparts frcm more prosperous social strata.?

A large percentage of the Muslim activists are clustered in Upper Egypf 83.5%, of
the particularly militant activists are younger than 25 year olds and the mafority
belong to a low socio-economic group.

A certain confusion exists between the current Muslim activist groups and the
Muslim Brotherhood group, which was active from 1923 until 1954, and then
from l97l onwards. The Muslim Brotherhood are a highly intellectual group
who received significant popular support. This was illustrated by the fact that
they entered Parliament in the late 1980s from which they were able to air a lot of
ideas. They are now running a number of professional syndicates such as those
L4
of engineers and physicians. tn this respect they are freely elected by the public.
The Muslim Brotherhood has issued a number of statements in which they have
explicitly disapproved of the violent attacks on tourists and tourism establishments.

The recent attacks of violence carried out by Muslim activists came as reaction to
the government's program of attacks, capture and actual imprisonment directed
against these groups. This is a forceful application of the emergency law which
has been in force since the assassination of President Sadat in 1981.

In an article published in'Asharq Al-Atusat'e quoting a statement made by the


Egyptian Minister of the Interior, it was mentioned that, during the past 36
months, 12 tourists were killed - as opposed to 125 members of the security,
forces - owing to the violence exercised by Muslim activists. According to the
statistics provided by lbn Khaldoun Centre for Development Studies in Cairo,
111 members of the activist Muslim groups were killed during confrontations
between them and the government in 1993.

These figures reveal a completely different image from that portrayed by the
media, whether in Egypt or in the West. Comparing the number of victims from
the tourism sector to those of the governmental sector (security forces), it is clear
that tourists are not the main target. Tourists are used as a tool to attack the
government and to knock down one of the main pillars of the Egyptian economy.
These groups are likely to see the state's system as completely corrupt; hence, it
should be attacked via the very tool used for their economic prosperity. This can
be understood when the lack of development in the villages stretching along tht'
outes of the luxurious Nile cruises in Upper Egypt is compared with the level of
development undertaken to support the tourism industry. As mentionecl
previously, the majority of the Islamic activists come from Upper Egypt and thc
tourism industry, for them, is not the best means of development. They, as locals
from these villages, see very few opportunities (and get very few opportunities)
to get involved in an industry based on luxurious multinational hotels.

When a political or economic system declines or is seen as declining or becoming


corrupted, ideas of preserving and revitalising a cultural and/ or national identity
are evoked. In the case of Egypt what was evoked was a 'cultural' identity. The
people have tended to turn to the religion,/culture of Islam as a refuge. Moderrr
Islamic tendencies could be regarded as constituting in themselves a specific
form of cultural nationalism. Previously, the enemy of Islamic reformers was
backwardness, now it is foreignness.

The prevailing western imperialistic atmosphere (or foreignness) that appears in


the economy, in the culture, in the media and in many other facets, might have
led to two completely different reactions in Egyptian society. On the one hand
the elite, who were in a sense 'enjoying' the benefits of this western discourse,
not surprisingly accepted it and adapted to it. On the other hand, some,
especially those who were less able to take part in this overall process, felt a
-tirect and serious threat to their cultural ic.rentity.

After many years of Nasserite controls the issue of defence against foreign
cultural imports came to a head in the 1970s following Sadat's policy of itrfitalr'
the opening up of Egypt to national and international capital investment and
enterprises.z Consumerist symbols were increasingly the markets of status and
superiority at all levels, especially of urbanities. Conversely, poverty and
deprivation become even more visible. Hence the problem is not only East
versus West but also urban versus rural, poverty versus affluence, and all
overlaid and expressed through class conflict. This conflict manifests itself in
social 'banditry' (a la Robin Hood), rather than more serious violent attacks.
Although the behaviour and attitude of a upper class Egyptian is not that much
different from that of a western tourist, attacking an upper class, urbanised
Egyptian does not fit within a nationalistic ideology. The fact that the victims of
the more violent attacks are foreigners is used to justify the militants' actions and
shield them from community sanctions.

Among the other aspects of western domination in various developing countries


(such as multinationals, media and satellite dishes), tourism and tourists stand

1.5
out. Tourists are the most explicit and tangible Minister of the Interior stated that the government
representatives of the rich and comfortable, 'have' was no longer prepared to negotiate with the
societies, clustered together in luxurious ghettos, Muslim activists. This leaves us with an idea of
challenging all moral, religious and social values of the consequences of this policy if it continues in
the 'want' society. The nature of tourisrn the future.
development in Egypt could be seen as lacking a
social dimension; ie. meaning a lack of attempts to The same applies to the Ministry of Tourism. They
increase community involvement in rural areas have identified the, way out of the problem as
where the tourism industry is seen as a prime intensifying marketing initiatives in order to make
development option. Or even just realising that up for the losses of the past 36 months. In other
tourism, as an ecqnomic phenomenon, does have words they see it as simply'a structural and
social and cultural impacts, and that such impacts financial problem. The social and cultural
need to be assessed and weighed against the consequences of the tourism industry are not in
economic gains. Such a balance is difficult to the picture. In a recent unpublished report by the
achieve in any developing country. Ministry of Tourism,{ no mention was made about
community involvement of maximising tourism
It also lacks, a comprehensive sustainable perception injection into local economies, nor about ways of
of development, one in which tourism projects are altering the nature and scope of tourism
built in harmony with the surrounding development or the possibilities of moving towards
environment; and one in which the gap between a more sustainable path.
the facilities developed for the tourists and the
facilities available for the locals is not huge. The various parties bearing the responsibility of
solving the current crisis in Egypt have failed to
This lack of social consideration that epitomises comprehend the real scope of the situation.
government policy towards tourism development Terrorism and xenophobia in Egypt are symptoms
could easily lead to a complete rejection of this and indicators of a problem rather than the problem
industry and to the birth of a xenophobic attitude itself The point is not to eliminate Muslim activists
among the directly affected locals. Opposition to by attacking and imprisoning them, because the
the tourism industry and the government in Egypt causes behind this phenomenon will still be there,
can thus be understood in the light of the previous If the Muslim activists are controlled by the power
discussion. In a sense this opposition could be a of the government, other groups who feel the same
sign of a living and dynamic society. It could be threat to their cultural identity and who resent
argued that the fact that these incidents were mainly their rights being bypassed in their own homes
carried out by Muslim activists is incidental. will emerge wherever the tourism industry needs
Various regimes in Egypt have tried to eliminate to be confronted.
channels of opposition but have never managed to
do the same with the "religious institutions; the References
Islamic political forces were always better organised 1 Eickleman, D and Piscatort, l. Mttslim Trauellcrs,
Pilgrimagc Migration, nnd the Rcligious hnaginntion,
and better placed than any other appositional' Routledge, London (1990)
group.2 2 Ztrbaida, S. Islam. Ctrltural Nntionnlism nnd thc kft.
The Muslim activists turned to religion as a refuge Rniao ol Middle East Studies, Nntionalistn and lslnnisnt
and a way out of social, economic and political (1988)
problems and thus need to protect and defend 3 Aziz, H. 'The image of Egypt in the British media',
MSc thesis, University of Strathclyde. (1992)
their religion/culture against all threats. Those 4 Ministry of Tourism, Unpublished Report. Egypt (1993)
who feel strongly for their cultural identity defend Tourism in Figures, Egypt (1993)
itaccording to their own means. The Muslim 5 Economist Intelligence Unit, E3ypl Report No. 1., EIU,
activists use violence. London (1991)
6 English, E. P. The Great Escape? An Exmfination of
North-South Tourism, North-South hrstitute (1986)
Government policy towards this phenomenon has 7 Mathieson, A. and-,-ongman,
Wall, G. Tburisn, Econondc, Physicnl
led to more complications. Inter-family feuds are 8 Socinl lnpacts Harlow (1990)
still common in Upper Egypt. An escalation of 8 Kepel, G. The Prophet and Pharnoh, Muslim Extrenisnr
attacks and violence by the government in itr Egypt, A Sadqi Books (1986)
attempting to control 'terrorism' will of course,
9 Asharq Al-Azusat (17 April l99a)
lead to more casualties amongst the security forces Reprinted with permission from Tourism Managemen!
and tourists. ln Asharq Al-Azosate newspaper, the 16 (21, r99s

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