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EQUATIONS Publ ication on

Tourism Critique and Response

Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

The rcadless traveled. . .

The ANletter comes to you after a gap af two years. In this investing an amount of k. 5000 crores in infrastructure related to
intervening period, tourism development and the tourism debate tounsm.
have traversed paths, which at that time may have seemed
States in India that were hitherto not on the international tourist
implausible. The team at EQUATIONS has closely tracked these
map like Meghalaya and Nagaland are being opened up for
trajectories and the ANletter in its present form is intended to
intemational tourists. Nagaland was under the protected area
refl ect these shift s: in the way tourism has and is expanding, and in
regrne, and fcreign tourists are being allowed inside for the first
the multiple initiatives, intenentions, and
time after The Foreigners Order of 1958.
responses, of
govemments, policy makers,
The Meghalaya govemment, on the other
stakeholders, interest lobbies, concerned
hand, is creating a security squad for the
groups, and communities.
safety of their tourists. Rajasthan, it is
The process of reflecting on the role of the reported, has sought the help of
AN[etter in the past and our vision of its role in paramilitary forces for the protection of
the future was also an oppofiuniqr for us to their national pads and sanctuaries.
capture the sffis in the last couple of years in
Not to be left behind in this mad scramble,
the Cirection and pace oftourism development.
central and state tourism depafiments are
In parallel, we have attempted to follow the way
prolific in announcing new projects and
we have organized our own approach, analysis,
unique selling propositions. The Kashmir
and intenentions, within EQUMIONS and its
government is opening a new road to
networls, to respond to these shifts, These
krgil to cash in on the image of the Ihrgil
ch'anges are clearly reflected in the way the
war in 1999. A new 'palace on wheels'
Nletter is now stmctured and the priorities
train from Mumbai-Ratnagrri-Sindhudurg-
that we address through this very important
Goa-Kolhapur-Pune-Ajantha Ellora-Nasik
to Mumbai is planned by the Indian
The speed and unabashed vigor with which Railways. Vest Bengal's 'Tourism
tourism is being promoted all over the country Township in Midnapore, Uttar Pradesh's
is unprecedented. Peddled as the new hope, tourism through yoga, Maharashtra's
adventure tourism, Rajasthan's farm
tourism, the redefining of pilgrimage
prqmises of foreign exchange eamings, pover$r allelviation, circuits, and thc cnthusiasm with which monuments are being
employnent generation, regeneration of the environment, and declared as world heritage sites, are examples of the state's
empowering disadvantaged groups such as women, it is a mantra inventiveness.
that is presented as almost unquestionable in its efficacy Industrial consortia like CII and ASSOCHAM, and vested interest
The familiar boundaries are rapidly blurring. Kerala has a groups like the hotel associations and tour operators, are key
separate stall at the ITB, the global mega tourism-marketing determiners of the direction of tourism development. The Union
annual fair at Berlin. Karnataka's recent Global Investors Meet Tourism Minister Mr Ananth Kumar is reported to have assured
tied up l6 tourism projects that are to come up in the statewith an them that tourism will be accorded a status on par with the IT
expected investment of k.
1566.06 crores, Rajasthan and Kerala sector In its quest to chase the elusive figure of 5 million foreign
have forged partnerships with the Vodd Travel and Tourism tourist arivals in the year 2000, the lndian government has
Council, which opened its India chapter. The Andhra Pradesh signed tourism pacts with countries like Italy and Indonesia.
government has constituted a task force for tourism development In the global arena the action has not let up either The Economic
with members from Malaysia advising on it, and is reported to be ard Social Council of the LT'{ General Assemblv uroclaimed 2002
the International Year of Mountains (resolution 53/24 of l0
November 1998). The Assembly has called on governmerts,
national and internationd.organizations, NGOs, and the private
H ighlights
sector, to nake voluntary contributions 'and to lend other forms of Tourism Issues in India
supportto the Year. The Food andAgriculture Organization (IAO) For betler prospects - a workshop to review the

of the United Nations was invited to serve as the lead asencv for the
path oftourism in Kerala I
Year. On 15 Decenber 1998 (resolution 53/2001, the LlN
Tourism Issues - International
Ceneral Assemblv proclaimed 2002 u the International Year of
Tourism and sustainable development 6
Ecotourism, as recommended by the Economic and Social
Council. The Assembly stressed the need to integrate sustainable
Indigenous People, Wildlife Tourism,
development in the tourist industry in particular 'ecotourism in
and Ecotourism
developing countries'.
The government should put stricter regulations
In February 2000, member govenunenls of the World Trade in place:Jose Dominic l2
Organisation (WTO) have officially started new multilateral
negotiations in seruices, as mandated by the General Agreement Tourism and the Coast
on Trade in Services (GATS). Tourism will no doubt be a priority ECR - Lrtending the Peril 20

target in these negotiations: it is one of the world's biggest

industries and has acquired an imporlant position in world trade.
Cleaning up Tourism : 0n the campaign on
In our opinion, the GATS interveles deeply into areas of national
and sub-national autonomy ofthe countries. The effect of such
baruilng plastics in Kodaikanal 33

intrusion is accompanied with greater problems since the

structures Ihat zrevilal for the participation of all concerned are Bombay High Court at Goa Delivers Major
also lacking in most developing countries. Sbcondly, human EnvironmentVerdict 35
rights violations in the field of tourism pose a fundamental
question to the new wodd trade order, Thirdly, the Reviews
implementation of the commitments under ttre GATS could Iead to Towards Sustainable Tourism in the
a disregarding of the WIO-OMC's commitment to sustainable Everest Region ofNepal 39
development ard conservation of natural resources.

This is the contexl a"s we are ooised in this countrv to receive the geographical focus to understanding issues across boundaries.
next Tourism Policy document. Since the last draft policy You will notice that state diaries that were an integral part of
directive announced in 1998, the evidence has only been e'arlier ANleffers have now acceded space to theme based
mounting ofthe other, dark, face oftourism. sectious such as policv interventions, coastal issues, indigenous
o The usurping of the rights of local communities to resources, people, ecotourism, and wildlife tourism. Conspicuous by their
natural and material, and the diversion of these resources to absence are the debales on women and tourism, the child and
the "development " oftourism tourism, and alternatives in tourism. These will feature in future
Nletters, building for you a mosaic of issues that a complex zu:rd
o The shrinking space for political participation and abiiitv to peculiarly modern form of development such as tourism throws
influence decisions that imoact livelihood. and choices up.
about how and where to live.
The canvas of our interventions ha.s also expanded from primarilv
o The irreversible and thoughtless destruction of fragile the South Indian states to national and internafional arenzs. We
ecosystems hope in tirne, the ANletter will accurately capture and reflect this
o The increased peripheralisation of lulnerable groups like cnange.
children, women, indigenous people 1999 saw us bid sad farewell and pay homage to two remarkable
are some aspects of this dark side that the ANletter is witness too. individuals RR Sivaling'am (9''July) and Martin Staebler (24"'
It is also witness to effofis at the regional, national, and inter- November). As we go to print we would also record our
national levels to create spaces to dialogue and demand forms of condolences at the passing awav of Desmond DAbreo (25
development that are sustainable, equitable, and humane. October 2000). In their passing away we have lost not just
brilliant minds, but compassionate and visionary leaders zurd
The United Nations Commission for Sustainable Develoonent in indefzrtigable crusaders, Their lives and their contribution to our
its Seventh Session in April 1999 devoted its tilne to tourisrn. It work are a power{ul inspiration of what individuals do.
stressed that policy development and i mplementation should take
place in cooperation u,ith all interested parties, especially the As we bring this issue of the ANletter to you we feel both
private sector and local and indigerlous conmunities. The right to challenged and sobered at the terrain that lies ahead. As readers
resources and the need for multiple stakeholder approach was vou have in the past parlnered with us with vour contributions,
reiterated. EQUATIONS is the southern co-chair of the NGO responses, and crifique, and we look forward to pickng up the
Caucus. threads of that relationship. Your feedback to us on the ANletter
would be invaluable.
EQUATIONS workhop in collaboration with the Kerala Tourism
Depafiment, inJulv 2000, on the direction of the state's tourism KT Suresh
policv posited the role of panchavats in the tourism planning
process. You are welcome to reprOduce/translate any of the malerial in this newsletter Please
credit us approprately and send us a copy of the repr0duced material f0r our
To handle the range and complexiff of issues related to tourisrn, nformation The vews expressed n the articles are those of the authOrs and not
its manifestations and impacts, we have shifted from a necessarily of the publishers
For better prospects
- a workshop to review the path of tourism in Kerala
-J he workshop 'Kerala Exploring Futtre Frontiers in
Tourism Dcvelopment' orgonised by Department of'
Tottrism, Kerala, and EQLIATIOIVS, attemptecl at revieu'ing
lhe planning pntcess o.f touristn in the state and including
the diflerent stakeholder.s. The process, drawing front
globnl experient:es like the Commission for Sustainable
Development d' the LIN, was an efJbrt at looking Jor
: strstaintrble and eqttitable options in totrt'ism.

The decade oftourism in Kerala the people at tourism destinations that they are being left out
from the debate and the benefits and they now demand the
Kerala has shown a growing interest in tourism in the lasl creation of structures that would ensure their oarticioation in
decade Tourism is seen as one of the most important foreign tourism development.
exchange earners and as an instrument for economic growth
and development lt is trying to supplement the'industry From the macro lo the micro
starved' status of the state by tourism development. lt is
estimated that between 1 996-99, there has been an investment It has been realised globally that the presence of multiple
of Rs. 400 crore f rom various financial institutions into the stakeholders has to be acknowledged for smooth functioning
tourism sector. lt is envisaged by the state that such investments of tourism activity. The United Nations Commission for
and those from the private sector, while developing tourism, Sustainable Development can be seen as an outcome of the
would also contribute to the general infrastructure development need to include the various stakeholders in the planning
of the state The state also anticipates that it would be able to processes Attempts at regulation, for the proper functioning
supplement the diminishing repatriations f rom the Gulf through of tourism, is on with the WTO-OMT (World Tourism
tourism development Recently, the National Planning 0rganisation) preparing 'The Code of Ethics' Though with
Commission had remarked that tourism is the only dynamic pitfalls, this is an indication of the fact that the global bodies
activity in the state in terms of private investments The do realise that many of the practices in tourism as it is
investments from the central as well as the state budgets also conducted today are unethical The philosophy of
show an upward trend The current state budgetary figures for decentralisation of planning is not new to Kerala. The
tourism stand at Rs.36 crore. People's Plan process initiated in 1 996 has ensured that the
panchayats are given an impoftant space in the designing of
While these ambitious goals are visualized and attempts made to the development pattern of their areas This is not to say that
realise them, the state policy documents and planners are clear all is fine with the People's Plan process. But it certainly
that they want to avoid the pitfalls of the earlier unplanned allows thought on ensuring representation from various
t0urism development. There are increasing apprehensions from sections of the soclety in deciding the f uture. EQUATI0NS,

ANLetter Vol 7 No 'l November 2000

Tourism lssues in India

with its ten years of experience in research and networking in The workshop was designed in such a way that each
Kerala, could bring together the understandings from the macro participant represented the interests of a particular
and the micro processes to a single platform which enabled the stakeholding group. These objectives led to a design and
possibility of looking at the planning pr0cess from the point of invitation of speakers who represented major stake holders
view of sustainability and equity. The Depaftment of Tourism in and interests that influenced the terrain of tourism in the
Kerala, also realising the need to enlarge the debate including the state.Dr. VVenu (Director, Dept. of Tourism, Kerala), Aswini
various stakeholders, was readyto co-hostthe workshop. Lohani (Director, Ministry of Tourism, New Delhi), Thomas
lsaac & EM Sreedharan (members of the State Planning
lt was in this context that a workshop, ' Kerala: Exploring Future Board), TT Sreekumar (lMG, Thiruvananthapuram), Prof.
Frontiers in Tourism Developmenf was jointly organised by the Nina Rao (Delhi University), Dr. Alito Sequeira (Goa
Department of Tourism, Kerala and EOUATI0NS on the 4'n and 5'n B Vijayakumar (Kerala University), KT
University), Dr.
of July at the Kanakaku nnu Palace in Thiruvananthapu ram. Suresh, Haribabu (E0UATI0NS), KC Chandrappan
(Chairman, KTDC), U Kalanathan (President, Vallikunnu
The background ol the workshop Panchayat), PG Padmanabhan (Member, Kumarakom
Panchayat), Jayakumar (Thanal), Dr. PC Sinha (JNU, New
The objective of the workshop was to identify and place tourism Delhi), Jose Dominic (Casino Group of Hotels), Dr. A
in the larger economic development paradigm of the state. The Jayatilak (Managing Director, KTDC), C Subramanian ( Tata
various trends in today's tourism plans were to be closely Consultancy Services), KG Mohanlal (Director, Ecotourism)
examined along with possibilities of integrating tourism were the speakers forthe different sessions,
activities with the People's Plan process thus ensuring a multiple
stakeholder approach in planning and implementation. lt was felt The presenlalions in lhe workshop
that tourism planning should be site-specific, thus taking local
dynamics into consideration. The attempt was to bridge the TT Sreekumar presented a paper on 'Locating Tourism
distance between 'development' and welfare of communities. Development in Kerala Economy' and explained that the role
of tourism in the growth of the economy of the state was
'Sustainable' development, 'quality' tourist and 'eco' travel are minimal. Kerala's attempt at promoting tourism should be
the buzzwords of the tourism industry today. The use of these seen in the context of underdeveloped countries being forced
terms in variety of contexts has resulted in a situation where the to take up tourism as the only possible economic activity
meanings are not clear anymore. This is a time when allthe tour because of declining terms of trade to agricultural products
operators, tourists and others use these ideas, making it ditficult and a high level of protection given to theirfarmers. Inspite of
to put a finger on how exactly these terms are defined. The an increasing specialisation of the developing countries in
workshop attempted at (re)defining these terms to understand tourism, the share of developed countries in the travel sector
what these concepts are. Exploring these words, it was felt, continues to rise. The increase in the comparative advantage
would enable an understanding of where today's tourism of developing countries has not yet resulted in any signiflcant
development is headed. Defining these terms in the context of rise in their share in the global tourism arrivals and receipts
today's tourism development would help to understand the revealing the fragile and inconsiderable foundation of
strategies that work behind using them in marketing tourism tourism industry in these regions. He refuted the figures of
tourism given in'The Economic
The workshop attempted to Review' (published by the State
bring together antagonistic Planning Board) and said that the
viewooints to the same figures of tourism growth in
olatform to visualise the future Keralam are contradictory to the
pto@s: nls elsanng a mutttprc sa'kenotder the South Asian
J apprcacfi
tourism policy for the state. National and
Th e wo rks h o o had I in planningandimplemenbtion. ltwastelt figures. The spurious nature of the
bureaucrats, members of the hat burisn planning should be sib-specific, iltus data available on tourism is one of
Planning Board, members of i bkinglonldynanisinbnnsiderafion. the major hurdles in placing
panchayats, academicians. - t0urism in the right perspective. He
NG0s. the industrv and the appealed to the members of the
various arms of the government like financial institutions, urban Planning Board present to look into this matter immediately
planning bodies etc. The attempt on the part of the organisers so that any projection based on statistics will be grounded in
was to ensure an equitable share for the various stakeholders in reality.
t0urism activities 0f the state This coming together of various
players in tourism, at a point when the Tourism Department is Prof. Nina Rao presented a paper on 'Tourism as an
formulating its new policy was significant, as it would enable the Instrument of Growth'drawing heavily on global
incorporation of these varied viewpoints and aspirations into the exoeriences. She situated tourism in the context of
oolicv. liberalisation where, according t0 her, multipliers are

ANLetter Vol 7 No 'l November 2000

Iourism lssues in lndia

insignificant in comparison to the leakages. The impacts of been identified and need for a collective realised, the role of
liberalisation include reductions in export earnings, more the Department of Tourism in the f uture, is of a facilitator He
unequal terms of trade, less official development aid, higher said that the need of taking the multiple stakeholder process
external debt, greater poverty and underdevelopment, more in planning process seriously, is well realised and that no one
disease, hunger, and greater numbers marginalised In Latin could shy away from the process
America and Mexico, where an unidirectional approach to
t0urism was taken, studies pointed to negative findings 0bseruations on the proceedings
Referring to the People's Plan process in the state, she said that
in Kerala, following the "political instincts" of the people is the The workshop stressed the need for increased participation
best way to fight the onslaught of the global regime. of the local bodies in tourism develooment lt was felt that
tourism should be integrated with the ongoing People's Plan
Dr. B Vijayakumar discussed the 'Emerging Principles for the in the state The consensus emerged that the stress had to be
Evolution of a Tourism Policy for Kerala in Consonance with the on increasing the
Peoples'Planning Process'. Tourism being extremely site Eltective sysbms of quality of tourism,
specif ic and the commodity easily perishable, he said that it is and not its quantity
inplemenbtion, and more
imperative that the reins of control be with the local community
inporbntly n onibring, have Effective systems of
He said that the People's Plan process is an impoftant space for
b be aeabd hrough more implementation, and
this transfer of power. He described the existing role of the local
stingent laws. P egional more importantly
bodies in tourism as that of silent onlookers. The inability of the planning, the need for monitoring, have to
people to understand the complexities of tourism and to take
dialogue, and tansparency be created through
positions on it is
more stringent laws.
because of the lack of
Regional planning,
transparency in the
the need for dialogue,
and transparency were highlighted. The Planning Board and

Dr. Alito Sequeira

the Department of Tourism agreed that the available
government data is spurious and that the parameters for
discussed'The Role
of the Center in calculating it have to be thought out and made transparent.
Determining Tourism
Policy at the State The workshop recognised the need for a multi-stakeholder
Level- ACaseStudy approach in tourism lt was also clearly articulated that
of Goa'. He discussed conservation has to be the focus of all tourism development,
how centralised along with emphasis on sustainability, which needs t0
planning could affect defined in concrete terms. A strong view that emerged from
the local economy the workshop was that sustainability has to be defined in
and culture using Goa terms 0f 'sustainability of the environment and the
as an example. The community, guided by the principles of equity and human
burden of the rights in accordance with the political ethos and history of
international treaties Kerala'. The need for motivation on the part of the state in
that the central stricter enforcement 0f the existing laws ensuring the
government signs sustainability of the living conditrons and culture, which
has to be carried by emerged f rom the discussions as among the most important
the states where the tourism caoital ofthe state. was stressed
local realities are
different. He also mentioned how the'imaging'of Goa in the The possibilities emerging from the dialogue are of great
mediaand films has done a lotof harm to its culture He said he signif icance. The Kerala Tourism Department has recognised
was curious to see how People's Plan in Kerala would address the need for a multi-stakeholder aooroach to determine the
these issues effectively
future of t0urism development This in the long run would
help in ensuring an equitable share in participation in the
Dr V Venu presented paper 0n 'Development 0ptions for a planning process and in the benefits among the various
Sustainable Tourism Policy for Kerala' He explored the different players in tourism activity.
ways in which sustainability is understood in different parts of
the world. For him sustainable develooment is all about
conservation. He said that the formulation of the tourism policy,
though a long way ahead, is to be a consultative process. Forthis Balheesh R
a task force is to be constituted As the various olavers have Ca mpa i g n I nf o rmat io n Su p port, E1UATI 1NS

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism lssues in India

Stage set for giving tourism Creating spectacle out of tragedy

parity with lT industry
Jn early 2000, a startling decision to develop the
Jhe central government is currently preparing the Union Carbide gas tragedy site in Bhopal into a
draJifor anew National Tburism Policy, Report.s in the national park was announced by the central
new.spaper.s do not provide concrete information, but government. A decision that overlooks the human
are indicative of changes in the pace of tourism rights ofthe victims, it has received scathing criticism
development /rom activists. We reproduce a letter written by
Kalpavriksh (an environmental NGO based in Delhi)
to the Ministry of Tourism on 2 I st ofJanuary 2000.
The Government appears to have recognised the potential of
tourism, and made up its mind to accord all facilities at par with
Dear Madam,
Infotech industry. The Tourism Ministry is understood to have
prepared a blueprint f0r development of tourism as an engine 0f Re: Your Ministry's proposal to convert Union Carbide factory

economic growth and the second largest foreign exchange land into a National Park

earner. We have been informed that the Ministry of Tourism is inviting

proposals/suggestions for developing the land on which the
According t0 sources in the ministry, the areas with higher
tourism potential will be divided into tourism zones and Union Carbide factory stands into a "National Park The
developed as tourism cities on the lines of cyber cities. "The ministry's advertisement has been in the online version of The
Government has a definite olan to add another'T'to'lT'that Times of India. 0urfirst reaction to this was that 0f incredulous
means a combination of information technology and tourrsm 0utrage. We d id not expect ou r govern ment to mock the victims
(lTT)", the Union Tourism Minister, Ananth Kumar told the (who are even now reeling under the catastrophe that took
place 16 years ago) by inviting tourists to come and see one of
Financial Exoress. The olan will be announced after consultation
with potentialstates. world's worst industrial disaster sites.

The first step in the direction will be the launch of a major Far from seeing to it that the factory is cleaned up and all its

initiative aimed at providing specif ic city-based information to toxic remains disposed off safely, and ensuring that if anything,
tourists in tourism cities, Mr. Ananth Kumar affirmed. As part of the site becomes a monument against the tragic impacts of our

the initiative, passenger information kiosks will be set up at misplaced 'development' model, this government wants
major tourist destinations. The kiosks will have touch screen tourists t0 come and admire (?) the site, to enjoy it as an
'amusement park I When the victims are stillfighting to get the
facilities, which would provide the visitors information on
pittance that has been dubbed as "compensation", how can the
location of tourist spots, point to point taxi fares, road maps,
government even think of spending (or asking others to spend)
bus-routes, details oftrains and flights.
more money to build it into a tourism complex? lt would have
Similarly, the government is also chalking out a comprehensive
been more appropriate if the government accepted its failure in
policy to bring in uniformity of tax structure in the states. To
providing good health care and justice to the victims and asked
facilitate this, a state tourism ministers- level meet will be
the private sector to help it.
convened in order t0 reach a consensus on issues such as
Even the money that would go in constructing a memorial for
rationalisation of hotel tariff and free inter-state movement of
tourist vehicles. the dead would be far better utilised to save some of those who
are still dying from the effects of that fateful night of December
The issues were discussed at length during the recent meeting of
2nd, 1 984.
Indian Association of Tour 0perators (lAT0) wherein the
representatives from hospitality industry officials and the We demand that the advertisement be withdrawn immediately,

tourism ministers from Rajapthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and that the Government of India issues an apology for this
and Gujarat pafticipated.They made a strong pitch to puttourism insult, to those who were brutally killed on that night and.
on the concurrent lrst and to give a level-playing field to the continue to die or be maimed in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Tourism Ministry and bringing in synergy among state tourism And if the government is serious ab0ut an alternative
deoartments. development plan forthe site, it should listen t0 the Bhopal Gas
Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan and other organisations
A delegation of Hotel Association of India and lAT0 also met the
representing the victims, for they have far better ideas than the
Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha who in turn assured
ideologically bankrupt tourism ministry seems to have on this
consideration of rationalisation of hotel tariffs, service tax after
consultation with state finance ministers on the lines of uniform
sales tax through out the country.
Yours sincerely,

The article, written by Rakesh Sood, is reproduced from Roshni Kutty, Ashish Kothari,Neeraj Vagholikar,
The Financial Express, 30th August 2000. Biorn Rahm, Raini Kolhari

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Spain plans Europets firsl eco-tax on lourism
"{!,. ,.r3$;*

inorica in Spain is the./irst tourist destination to

levy eco-tax on its tourist,s. The regional government there
says that the money will he tts'ed for mttintenctnce of the
national parks and the damaged coastline.

0ne of Spain's major tourist destinations, the island of Minorca, 0uestioned about whether the tax might discourage tourists,
is to become the first place in Europe to experiment with a so- regional Finance Minister Joan Mesquida replied that, if they
called eco-tax on tourism Levied on holidaymakers, the tax will could not pay this sort of money, 'l'd rather fthey] didn't
aim to alleviate the eff ects of mass to u rism on the environ ment. c0me

The Balearic lslands' regional government first proposed such a A spokesoerson for the lVlinorcan hotel owners' association
measure when it came to power after elections in June. lt has said that the proposal is a way of responding 'to our clients
already moved more quickly than many observers expected, who are demanding a better quality environment. This is a
receiving enthusiastic backing last Friday from hotel owners 0n revolution in the tourist industry and one which we welcome
the islands of Minorca and Formentera.
The proposal has, however, met with opposition from other
A spokesperson for the Balearic Tourism Department confirmed sectors of the Balearics tourist industry, which fears that the
that, barring unforeseen legal difficulties, an eco-tax would be tax will impose an unfair burden on its business. 'There is no
introduced next year "as a pilot project' on Minorca. reason why hoteliers should assume responsibility for the
degradation of the environment, said a representative of
Full details have yet to be worked out, but the Balearics Revenue
hotel owners on Majorca, which is a designated UNESC0
Department said the tax would not exceed euros 1 2 (SPta 2,000)
World Biosohere Reserve
per head and would probably be levied on visitors either on
arrival at airports 0r p0rts, or when registering at hotels ' The twin problems of the destruction of coastline and of
waste disposal - both c0nnected to the growth of tourism -
Abo ut eu ros 1 8m a year wou ld be raised if it were extended to all
have moved to the top of the political agenda in the Balearics
the Balearic islands, Mallorca and lbiza as well as Minorca, the
in recent Vears.
department estimated.

The revenue will be earmarked for the maintenance of national

The write up is a reproduction
parks and the restoration of damaged coastline from the lnternet

AN Letter Vol Z No 1 November 2000

Tourism lssues - lnternalional

Tourism and sustainable development

he Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD), a consortium of the various stakeholders in the
development debatefollowsfrom United Nations Commission on Environment and Development and Rio
Earth Summil of 1992. One of the first attempts to include tourism in the debate on sustainable
development, it attempts to coordinate the various bodies of the UN to the principal focus of sustainable
development, to promote the implementation of Agenda 2I, and to keep track of development issues. This
paper,focussing on tourism, is the draft report submitted by the Wce-Chairman, Navid HaniJ (Pakistan), on
the basis of informal consultations during the seventh session of CSD in April I 999.

The Commission on Sustainable Development, 10 November '1998 oroclaimed 2002 also as the
I nternational Year of Mountains.
Recallinglhe 0utcome ofthe nineteenth special session ofthe
General Assembly for the overall review and appraisal of the Noting with appreciation the outcome of the multi-
implementation of
Agenda 21,' in
particular Assembly stakeholder dialogueat the current session of the
resolution S/19-2, annex, of 28 June '1997, in paragraph 69 of Commission and the progress made so far by major groups
which the Assembly requested the Commission on Sustainable in promoting sustainable tourism development,
Development to
develop an action-oriented international
pr0gramme of work on sustainable tourism development, to be 1 Decides to adopt an international work programme on
defined in co-operation with the World Tourism 0rganisation, sustainable tourism development, containing the
the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the elements outlined below and to begin its
United Nations Environment Programme, the Conference of the implementation with appropriate means and
Parlies to the Convention on Biological Diversity' and other resources, especlally for developing countries, which
relevant bodies; and stressed that policy development and will be reviewed in 2002, when the ten-year review of
imolementation should take olace in co-ooeration with all pr0gress achieved since the United Nations
interested pafiies, especially the private sector and local and Conference on Environment and Develooment will be
indigenous communities, carried out;

Recalling a/so that the General Assembly, in its resolution 2. UrgesGovernments:

53/200 of 1 5 December 1 998, proclaimed the year 2002 as the
lnternational Year of Ecotourism and in its resolution 53124 oI (a) To advance sustainable tourism development,
inter alia, through the development and
implementation of policies and national strategies
0r master nlans lor sustainable tourism
development based on Agenda 21, which will
encourage their tourism industry, assist in
attracting foreign direct investment and
appropriate environmentally sound technologies,
and also provide focus and direction for the active
pafticipation of major groups, including national
t0urism councils and, as appropriate, tourism
agencies and organisations, and the private sector
aswellas indigenous and local communities;

(b) To consult, as appropriate, with all major groups

and local communities in thetourism development

1 Rep0rt ol the United Nations Conference 0n Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, Vol I, Resolutions Ad0pted by the Conference (United
Nations publication, Sales No E, 93 | 8 and c0rrigendum), resolution l, annex ll
2 See United Nations Environment Programme, C0nvention on Biological Diversity (Envir0nment Law and Instituti0n Programme Aclivity Centre), June 1992

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism lssues - International

creation in the tourism sector, by reducing

administrative burdens, facilitating access t0
capital and providing training in management and
other skills, in recognition of the employment
potential of sustainable tou rism development;

(j) To take strong and appropriate action, through the

development and enforcement of specific
legislation/measure, against any kind of illegal,
abusive or exploitative tourist activity, including
sexual exploitation/abuse, in recognition ofthe fact
that such activities have particularly adverse
impacts and pose significant social, health and
process, including policy formulation, planning, cultural threats, and that all countries have a role to
management and sharing of benefits, which could play in the efforts to stamp them out;
ref lect the need to harmonise the relationship am0ng
the people, the co m m u nity and the envi ron ment; (k) To participate in international and regional
0r0cesses that address issues relevant to
(c) To work in partnership with major groups, especially sustainable tourism develooment: to consider the
at the local level, to ensure active pafticipation in ratification oradoption, and promote the
tourism-related planning and development; i m plementation and enforcement, as appr0p riate,

of standards or g uideli nes relevant to the travel and

(d) To undertake capacity-building work with indigenous tourism industry, such as in the labour and health
and local communities in order to facilitate their active f ields; and to supp0ft initiatives, especially through
participation, at all levels of the tourism development organizations like the International Labour
process, including transparent decision-making and Organization and the World Health Organization,
sharing of benefits, and to create awareness 0f the that would make an early and positive contribution
social, economic and environmental costs and to sustainable tourism develooment:
benefits thatthey are bearing;

(e) To create the appropriate institutional, legal

(l) To support appropriate measures to better inform
tourists about cultural, ecological and other values
economic, social and environmental framework by
arrd provide accurate information on the safety of
developing and applying a mix of instruments, as
tourist destinations, so as to enable consumers t0
appropriate, such as integrated land-use planning
make informed choices:
and c0astal z0ne management, ec0n0mic
instruments, social and environmental impact
assessment for tourist facilities, including gender 3. Calls uponlhelourism industry:
aspects, and voluntary initiatives and agreements;
(a) To develop environmentally, socially and culturally
(f) To maximise the potential of tourism for eradicating compatible forms of tourism and to continue the
poverty by developing appropriate strategies in c0- development and implementation of voluntary
operation with all major groups, and indigenous and initiatives in support of sustainable t0urism
local communities; development, bearing in mind that such forms of
tourism and initiatives should meet, or preferably
(s) To welcome the major gr0up's agreement t0 promote exceed, relevant local, national, regional or
sustainable t0urism development through music, art international standards:
and drama and to participate in such educational
activities; (b) To f urther commit itself to the goal of sustainable
t0urism development by working towards guiding
(h) To facilitate destination-specific in-f light educational principles and objectives for sustainable tourism
videos and other materials on sustainable development and information f0r t0urists on
development in relation to tourism, and to encourage ecological and cultural values in destination
airline carriers to routinely screen such videos on all reg r0ns;
international and long-haul domestic routes;
(c) To further develop voluntary eco-efficiency and
(i) To promoie a favourable framework for small and appropriate management systems to save costs
medium-sized enterprises, the major engine for job and to p romote sustainable f orms of tou rism;

AN Letter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism lssues - Internalional

(d) To take effective steps to reduce the volume of waste including environmental impact assessment and
associated with travel and tourism activities; management and ed ucation in the f ield of to u rism,

(e) To design with nature' in collaboration with planning (c) To encourage more responsible behaviour among
authorities, by using low impact designs, materials tourists through ensuring respect for national
and technologies, so as n0t to damage the laws, cultural values, social norms and tradition as
environmental or cultural assets that tourists seek to well as by increasing public awareness, in addition
experience and that sustain the local community, and to other measures;
to undertake measures t0 restore tourist destinations
with degraded environments; (d) To promote the application of integrated planning
approaches to tourism development at the local
(f) To distance itself publicly from illegal, abusive or level, including through encouraging the use of
exploitive forms of tourism; Local Agenda 21 as a process for planning,
implementing and monitoring sustainable tourism
(g) To meet or preferably exceed relevant national or development and recognizing the potential for
international labour standards; integratlon of Local Agenda 21 with Agenda 21 for
the Travel and Tourism Industrv as well as other
4. lnvites, as appropriate, governments and major groups, as such initiatives;
well as the Unjted Nations system, in close collaboration
with the World Tourism 0rganization, while building on To provide relevant direction on research activities,
relevant work carried out by the United Nati0ns and collect and disseminate information on best
Environment Programme, the United Nations Educational, practices and techniques, including an appropriate
Scientific and Cultural 0rganization, the United Nations mix of instruments to minimize negative and to
Conference on Trade and Develooment. the International pr0mote positive environmental, social and
Labour 0rganization and the United Nations Development cultural impacts from tourism in developed and
Programme and under the Convention on Biological developing countries and in countries with
Diversity and other relevant conventions and organizations, economies in transition;
and taking note of the Programme of Action for the
Sustainable Development of Small lsland Developing (f) To promote the exchange of informatron on
States," adopted at Barbados in
1994, to
consider transportation, accommodation and other
undertaking the following jnitiatives and to keep the services. public awareness raising pr0grammes
Commission on Sustainable Development informed on and education, and various voluntary initiatives
progress achieved: and ways to minimize the effects or natural
disasters on tourism Possible forms of this
(a) To promote sustainabie tourism development in order jnformation exchange should be explored in
to increase the benefits from the tourism resources for consultation with relevant partners, utilizing, inter
the oooulation in the host communities and maintain alia, such means as bilateral and multi-lateral
the cultural and environmental integrity of the host arrangements;
community; toencourage cooperation of major
groups at all levels with a view to facilitating Local (s) To undeftake studies on appropriate measures for
Agenda 21 initiatives and promoting linkages within promoting sustainable t0urism development, such
the local economy in order that benef its may be more as community planning in fragile ecosystems,
widely shared; to this end, greater efforts should be including in coastal areas, and to develop tools to
undertaken forthe employment of the local workforce, assist local authorities in determining appropriate
and the use of local products and skills; management regimes and their capacity for
tourism develooment:
(b) To suppoft national efforts by countries, especially
developing countries and countries with economies in (h) To further develop or support integrated injtiatives,
transition, and major groups towards sustainable preferably through pilot projects, to enhance the
t0urism development through relevant capacity- diffusion of innovations and to avoid, wherever
building activities and programmes as well as possible, duplication and waste of resources;
multilateral and bilateral financial and technical
assistance, and appropriate technologies in all (i) To undertake activities that would be suooortive of
aspects of sustainable tourism development, the 0re0arati0ns for both the International Year of

3 Rep0rtoftheGlobalCon{erenceontheSustainableDevel0pmenl0fSmalllslandDeveloprngStates,Bridgetown,Barbados,25April-61\4ay1994(UnitedNations
publicati0n, Sales No E 94 | 18 and corrigenda), chap l, resoluti0n 1, annex ll

ANLetter Vol 7 No I November l00O

Tourism lssues - Internalional

..i,'i.1, .
reduce environmental impacts associated with
travel and t0urism activities, in particular the
volume of packaging waste, especially in small
island developing states;

lnvites lhe World Tourism 0rganization to consider

informed major groups' participation, as appropriate, in
the development, implementation and monitoring of its
Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, including those
provisions relating to a code of conductfortourists;

Invi t e s relev ant agencies, particularly the I nternational

Maritime 0rganization, to evaluate whether existing
regulations on marine pollution and compliance with
them are sufficient to provide adequate protection to
fragile coastal zones from adverse impacts as a result ol
tourist vessel activities;

lnviteslhe Conference of the Parties to the Convention

on Biological Diversityto further consider, in the context
of the process of the exchange of experiences, existing
Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains, knowledge and best practice on sustainable tourism
as well as activities of the International Coral Reef development and biological diversity with a view to
Initiative; contributing to international guidelines for activities
related to sustainable t0urism develooment in
u) To clarify further the c0ncepts of sustainable t0urism vulnerable terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems
and ecotourism: and habitats of major impoftance for biological diversity
and protected areas, including fragile mountain
(k) To develoo core rndicators for sustainable tourism ecosystems,
development, taking into account the work of the
World Tourism 0rganization and other relevant c Welcones the work of major gr0ups, especially the
organizations, as well as the 0ngoing testing phase of
business community, trade and t0urism industry
indicators for sustainable develooment:
associations, non-governmental organizations and
other groups involved in travel and tourism, to
o To undertake a comprehensive survey and
contribute to efforls to achieve sustainable t0urism
assessment of the results of implementing existing
development, including through educational initiatives
voluntary initiatives and guidelines relating to the
and action plans based on Agenda 21 and other related
economic, sociocultural and environmental
sustainability of tourism, to be reported to the
documents, and particularly welcomes their
c0mmitment through the continuation of their work with
Commission on Sustainable Development in order to
identify best practices with respect toraising
all major groups, to do more, and to report to the
awareness of sustainable tourism develooment: Commission on Sustainable Develooment on therr
p r0g ress,

(m) To consider establishing a global network, taking into

account the work of the World Tourism 0rganization, 9. lnvites lie United Nations Secretariat and the World
regional mechanisms. and all major groups, as Tourism 0rganization, in consultation with major groups
appropriate, to promote an exchange of information and other relevant international organizations, to jointly
and views on sustainable tourism development, facilitate the establishment of an ad hoc informal ooen-
including on ecotourism; ended working group on tourism to assess financial
leakages and determine how to maximize benefits for
(n) To cooperate with the United Nations Environment indigenous and local communities; and to prepare a joint
Programme in further developing guiding principles initiative to improve information availability and
for sustainable tou rism develooment: capacity-building for pafticipation, and address other
matters relevant to the imolementation of the
(o) To encourage business and industry t0 take steps to international work programme on sustainable tourism
implement eco-efficiency approaches, in order to develooment

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism lssues - Inlernational

Iourism indu$try serucd climate waming

recent report b1t the lfttrld Wide FundJbr Nalttre Wf'l/F) has w'arned that fitture tourism
activity will be aflected due lo drctstic climate c'hanges that are erpected. The report says that it is
the island countries with their long coastline sen,sitive tourism industries, and sntall, undeveloped
economies (among them are some of the |{orth's ./avourite tourist destinations) will be the.first
among the c'asualties. It erhorts the tourisn industt"l.- to persuade we.glern indu,strialised
governments to lake more concerled action to reduce pollution.

The World Wide Fund For Nature has loined a long list of
environmental groups and scientists predicting that the
international tourist industry could face serious financial threats
from climate change. A new report released on Sunday by the
World Wide Fund For Nature's (WWF) Climate Change Campaign
says droughts, rising seas, flash floods, forest fires and diseases
could turn profitable destinations into holiday horror stories

The report, 'Climate Change and its lmpacts on Tourism', was

commissioned from the University of East Anglia's Climatic
Research Unit, one of the world's leading research centres on
climate change lt analyses the potential impact of increasing
global temperatures on ten of the world's favourite tourist
desti nations.

The report urges the tourist industry to persuade western

industrialised governments to take more concerted action to
reduce their nati0ns' carbon dioxide emissions - the main cause
of global warming.

Dr. Ute Colliel WWF's UK-based expert on climate change said,

People love their holidays and want to feel comfortable. But our
favourite destinations may soon be too hot for comfort " The
report says that more f requent periods of extreme heat will cause
discomfort in many eastern Mediterranean resorts, where the
number of days above 40 degrees centigrade is expected to
I n c rease

But researchers at the US Geological Survev released a study in governments on climate change, project that the Eadh will
January 1 999 that found no evidence that increases in flood or warm by two to six degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100 if
drought damage are due to drastic changes in weather patterns. emissions that traD the sun's heat are not reduced. Evldence
In a survey of 395 streams across the US, going back to 1914, suggeststhatthe shorterwinters; longer, driersummers; and
the scientists found streams are carrying m0re water 0n average, increased f requency of f looding, winter thaws, and summer
but there is "no signal of a trend toward increased flooding." droughts will be associated with global warming.

Climate models used by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on As far back as July 1997, an analysis of the economic impact
Climate Change, thousands of scientists worldwide who advise of global climate change on 184 countries indicates that

AN Letter l0 Vol 7 No I November 2000

Toulism lssues - International

some countries will win while others lose - by billions of dollars mild winters, warmer summers, and less precipitation over
per year. University of lllinois atmospheric scientist Michael the last decade, yet many of its glaciers have advanced during
Schlesinger concluded the countries that would suffer the most this time.
from global warming are island nati0ns. 'These countries have
long coastlines, sensitive t0urism industries and small, ln Seotember 1997. the Environmental Defense Fund
undeveloped economies," Schlesinger repofted 0n the potential impacts of global warming on
sard t0urism in the White Mountains region of New England. The
repoft, "Seasons of Change: Global Warming and New
The new WWF repoft says that climate change is also expected to England's White Mountains, based in paft on scientific data
increase the risk of illness in several parts of the world leading to published by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
a falling-off of tourism. A decline in cloud cover in Australia will Change (IPCC), found there is a substantial risk of disruption
increase exposure to the sun's harmf ul rays Malaria is likely to of the fallfoliage season, declines in maple syrup production,
re-emerge in Spain a shortened ski season, a dramatic decrease in trout habitat,
and changes i n the prod uctivity of the tim ber ind ustry.
Popular small island states, such as the Maldives in the Indian
0cean, will be particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. The White Mountains region is at risk of disruptive changes
as a result of global warming,' said Dr. Janine Bloomfield,
Tiny low-lying Caribbean islands, with economies based EDF scientist and author of the reoort "The economic
primarily on ag ricu ltu re and tou rism, are extremely vu Inerable to impoftance of the White Mountains relies in large paft on the
the impacts of potential global warming, Dr. Bhawan Singh, persistence of historical climate patterns, which are poised to
University of Montreal said in November of 1998. Dr. Singh was change substantially over the next century unless action is
reporting on the activities of two joint Eafthwatch/UNESC0 taken to slow global warming now,"she said.
teams who catalogued, measured, and analyzed suspected
impacts of global warming and sea-level rise on Trinidad and Global warming is expected t0 cause a substantial reduction
Tobago. The research established a baseline against which future in the duration of winter snow cover in Australia, according to

changes can be measured to inform policymakers about the government's Second National Repoft under the United
adapting to global warming. Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change released
in November of 1997. Possible effects on the tourism
Sea-level rise may also be of particular concern for Florida since industry in alpine regions are being studied.
many tourist activities are concentrated along the state's coasts,
"The tourism industry could be faced with huge costs as
beaches and islands.
global warming begins to influence decisions about when
Wintertourism may also be affected, as the Alps and other skiing and where people are going t0 go on holiday, WWF's Dr.
destinations experience less snowfall and shorter skiing Collier warned. "We must see real action from governments
seasons. These impacts will be especrally pronounced in lower- to confrontthe problem ofglobal climate change."
lying ski resorts, and where commercial ventures are already
marginal, such as the Scottish Highlands. But according to a 1997 survey of 36 state climatologists
commissioned by the Washington, DC based Citizens for a
Yet some scientists are not convinced that global warming is Sound Economy Foundation, most of them believe global
causing glaciers to retreat and the resulting melt water causing warming "is a largely natural phenomenon,' s0 reducing
sea levels rise. According to John Carlisle of the National Center greenhouse gas emissions would not affect it.
for Public Policy Research, glaciers are subject to many
inf luences which scientists don't fully grasp. Mountain glaciers
Still, the WWF says the tourism industry itself contributes to
are especially tricky d ue to the "com plex topog raphy of mou ntain
climate change. Air travel is the fastest growing source of
areas.' Carlisle quotes Alaska Geophysical Institute glaciologist
greenhouse gas emissions that increase the risk of continued
Keith Echelmeyer as saying,"to make a case that glaciers are
global warming, the WWF study found. From 594 million
retreating, and thatthe problem is global warming, is very hard to
international travelers in 1 996, numbers are forecast to leap
do ... The physics are very complex. There is much more involved
to 702 million by next year, 1 ,018 million by 2010 and 1 ,600
than just the climate response."
million in 2020.

Many Alaskan glaciers, for example, are advancing in the same

areas that others are retreating. Switzerland has experienced This report is reproduced from the Internet

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

The government should put stricter regulation in place : Jose Dominic

-J he interests oJ' the tourism industry and

conservation of nature have always seemed to be
in conJlict with each other. Jose Dominic oJ the
Casino Group oJ Hotels speaks on conser,-ation,
the role of the industryt and the government, and
the ne e d.fo r s trict er c on,e e rv ati on re g ul ati o ns.

0 What would be the incentive lot lhe tourism industy to action that is needed, so that when investment does take
participab in the proress of conservation of lhe place, it does not contradict the authenticity or quality of
environment" sine, as lou have said, proftt is fie only the inherent attractiveness of a desti nation.
motive tor lhe indusfl?
a Are you saying thatthe hasic premise is thatlhere is a
A Yes, profit is the long-term motive, (and it has t0 be regulafury mechanism hy lhe governnent, and the
sustained profits), for which, conservation is most industy would participaE by adheilng to he
important. There is profit in conservation, profit in a rcgulations?
pristine environment. The industry would be loolish to
think otherwise, if you look at a long-term situation. Yes, in fact one of the representations by the tourism
Therefore it is imperative that the industry and the industry, the hotel industry in Kerala, to the government
government put that at the forefront. Conservation of has been to put in place a strict regulatory mechanism,
resources is the very bedrock on which any policy must which will protect the resources on which tourism is
rest, whether it is conservation of the natural environment, built upon. lt has asked that building regulations in
or the cultural heritage Soon industry and government will particular tourism areas, for example height restrictions
realise that everything else can be created or developed, but in backwater regions, and certain other rules in the hill
not the inherent attractions of a place. Where will the regions be in place, going by the experience of other
money come from? The money will come from the destinations. Today when tourism is begrnning, we have
government, first and foremost when the government choices before it is too late. Industry needs, industry has
realises that they would rather spend it on
conservation asked for, and there is now a participative process where
than on creating more and more facilities when other regulations are being introduced, especially on
money is alreadyavailable There is no longerany necessity environmental protection.
for budgets for tourism to be spent on facilities, which are
of a commercial nature. So you can replace one investment 0 Is lhis not mntadicfrry? Is rl rb frlere are some
by the other. And industry too will come in to support fundanenhl regulabry provisions, like the CBZ
conservation, will happily contribute to local initiatives, in Euidelines, Environment PrcEction Ae't, and Wiltllile
its own limited sense. But more than money, it is regulatory ProEetion Auidelines. In a lot of situations. we tind

ANLetter Vol 7 No 'l November 2000

Indigen0us pe0ple, Wildlife T0urism and Ecolourism

that it is the hoEI owners or lhe burism industy lhat are nultinational hobl companies, who have inbrests in
direet violabrc of lhese laws, and in mntadidion with numeroas destinations all ovet lhe world. How nn
lhe govenment over lhe exisbne of lhe laws. How their accountability be ensured to achieve
valid is it b sappose that his kind of a regalabry env i ronm enbl an d cultural sushi nabil ily?
ftamework will work, when what aheady exisb is tailing
dismally? A: I agree that the need and acceptance of positive action
for conservation usually comes about when the
In terms of the regulations already existing, implementation entrepreneur or the business is based, or has some
is wanting. While the need forthe CRZ is appreciated, there connection, let us say, an ownership with the locality
is no agreement on the basis of CRZ and it is an enactment, For a so-called Drofessional transnational, where it is
which is top-down that is not appreciated. lts relevance is only a business 0pp0rtunity, they might not look at it
not understood by communities that are affected by it. strictly in that sense How do ensure that they do
What we really need is a conservation regulation Yes, there follow? Well, it has to be a body of opinion that is
are instances where hotel industry or hotel owners might created. For exam ple, a few years ago it was fashionable
have been responsible for breaking the regulations already to wear a mink coat, today, it is not. So, the body of
in place, butthat is notthe rule. By and large, there is a large agreement needs to be created that it is no longer
body of opinion from people asking for good conservation fashionable to be put up in offensive or exploitative
practices, and good regulations, because if one pafticular business, and that they must be in harmony with the
hotel or one particular area is following the regulation, and local community, this is something that is more easily
one is not, then the purpose of that one following becomes understood. At the same time, we need to certainly have
frustrated. regulations in place. The state's first priority in spending
its money is on conservation and its first role as the
0 In lhe mnExt of what you werc saying about burism arbiter is to put in place laws to prevent anyone who
industy wanting b Nnserve, it is sure lhat nnservation wo u ld be the rotte n ao p le.
will he done only in ases where a hobl has a very
detiniE inbrest in a particulat destination or lontion. Krishna Udayasankat
lhis nay not be tue of large hobl groups ol Coa sta I P rog ra mme, E1UATI 1NS

Managing the other of nature: sustainability, spectacle and

global regimes of capital in ecotourism

-J he firstpart oJ this article appeared in the prevtous

issue oJ the Al,lLetter. This is the second and

What is Ecotourism: Eco-logy or Eco-nomics? effects Nor is any negotiation of these opposites immune to
variation when applied to regional, national, or local contexts,
In the global political economy of nature, ecotourism stands as a making the formation of global ecotourism one with a diverse
complex and contradictory movement of capital, governments, capacity to empower and destroy, often simultaneously Yet,
and popular culture. In its discourses of instrumentality, the problems of sustainable development in general, and
resource management, and global expansionism, it could be read ecotourism in particular, resurface continually, as they are
as a potentially dangerous extension of the rationalized forces of constructed within the broader contradictions of
(post) modernity intothe realm of the natural. In its discourses of transnational capital regimes.
ecological sustainability and the empowerment of local
economies, ecotourism could be read as an opportunity for just Ecotourism is imbued with many liberal aspirations to
and decentralized social-natural relations. These elements of achieve sustainable and democratic social-natural relations,
ecotourism are not mutually exclusive because economic policy, it
and embraces neoclassical conceptions of regulated
like cultural production, can be multivocal and contradictory in its markets and modernization for the longevity of profitability

AN Letter 13 Vol 7 No I Norember 2000

Indigenous people, Wildlife Tourism and Ecotourism

Ecotourism literature f requently reminds us of potential tourism is a double-

successes, with discussions usually focusing upon the edged sword -- able
ecological benefits to be experienced when nature reserves are to save the day if
established and protected by ethically minded public and private skillfully wielded, but
bodies. The World Resources Institute suggests that, Although liable to cut one's leg
some 7,000 protected areas exist throughout the world, off it handled
comparatively few enjoy de facto protection, and most of those in carelessly" (Glick
developing countries that do, can attribute their survival to the 1991:72). Many
revenue they earn from tourism (Warner 1989:18). When nave expresse0
properly regulated by (inter) national law or market incentives, concern with the
ecotourism is said to yield several benefits: long-term minimal
sustainable resource conservation, the provision of a more environmental
environmentally and socially acceptable form of development protection practiced
(than agribusiness or heavy industry), the mobilization of at some of the world's largest and most popular ecotourist
employment and empowerment of local peoples, the creation of sites and nature reserves. Although ecotourism represents a
arenas for greater public-private cooperation, the estabilshment less destructive development alternative to mining,
of a local pride in natural resources, the formation of local and agriculture, ranching, or forestry, if uncontrolled, a growing
global environmentalist constituencies, and lastly, opportunities ecotourism industry could threaten wildlife, cause erosion,
for environmental education and scientific research (Kusler as wellas intensify pollution and overcrowding --business as
1991 :viii-3; Boo 1990;Wood in Kuslerl991'.75-77). usual (Kusler 1991:viii) 0ne analyst outlined three primary
problems in ecotourist developments: most ecological areas
After her research excursion to the highly profitable and privately are t00 inaccessible or unappealing t0 attract tourists or
owned Rara Avis ecotourist reserve in Costa Rica, Tensie Whelan support development, thus making many areas unqualified
issued these words of supporl: "Over and over again, I saw small for the conservation that ecotourism does offer, and
chunks of the environment being saved by people who had an subjecting developed sites to greater tourist influx;
economic interest in doing so, whether it was villagers saving unrestricted use of ecotourism sites will lead to overuse and
rain forest habitat in order to raise iguanas for sale, or private the destruction of natural areas and indeed the ecotourist
individuals preserving and maintaining virgin rain forest as an ,
industry itself which requires pristine nature for its
attraction for tourists lf we are t0 save any of our precious profitability; and, the host countries have been unable to
environment, we must provide oeoole with alternatives to appropriate enough revenue to regulate tourism and
destruction' (Whelan 1991 :3). Whelan voices a typical concern maintain the nature preserves (Lindberg 1 991:9).'
for the need to find sustainable methods of environmental
protection immediately within the context of global competition Taken together these problems increase environmental
and markets. In this free-market environmentalism the burden damage through litter, accidents, deforestation, excessive
lies upon both governments and conservationist NG0s to infrastructure, disruption of wildlife, increased waste
provide planning, market incentives, and regulation of problems, congestion, noise pollution, aesthetic blight, as
development, while the benevolence of industry is unquestioned, well as the cultural disruption of local peoples (Warner
Well-intentioned, innovative, and enterprising individuals or 1 989:1 8,20; Lindberg 1 991 :9; Boo 1 990: xv). And, although
corporations, prompted and enabled by government policy, are these problems could threaten the economic viability of
the harbingers of a new and just environmental world order. ecotourist ventures, the shorlsightedness of competitive
Here, capitalist modes of production and market dynamics are capital could cause these problems to go unanswered in
assumed to be necessary and beneficent, and any c0ntradiction favor of reaping large profits in one of the world's fastest
between sustainability and capitalism may be resolved via proper growing industries. One can begin to recognize the
management and ethics (Escobar 1995:193-195). This liberal contradictory impulses in ecotourism planning, as it
environmentalism is praised by its proponents as a moment of supports profit as a means to environmental protection
great refusal of the death of nature, when ecological within a political-economic structure that supports
sustainability will be neglected no longer, and when we realize a environ mental orotection as a means t0 orof it. even at the risk
democratic and green global political economy. This new eco- of destroying that profitability.
Keynesianism reads like a logic in which markets are opened by
moral bodies concerned with public good, and any rupture in the Indeed, the greatest threat to natural preserves and the
body of global capital that is caused by crises of environmental sustainability of ecotourism is the increasing influx of
(and economic) sustainability is sutured by strategic regulation. ecotourists, especially when accompanied by local or
national incentives for tourist exchange, which facilitates
However, these authors also acknowledge the problems greater infrastructure development and less regulation on
associated with ecotourism: "Conservationists have found that tourist access and behavior. Further, the sensitivitv ol

1 . Kraig Lind berg is Di rector o'f the Wold Resources I nstitute's study of natu re t0urism (1 991 )

ANLetter 14 Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Indigenous people, Wildlile Tourism and Ecotourism

tou rists to the goals 0f preservation is certain ly jeopardized when the park systems, or their destination countries, with
the tourist industry, in the attempt to reduce costs, sacrifices preservati0n supp0ft, and many park managers surveyed
spending on both tourist education and enforcement of throughout global ecotourist sites stated that the 0perators
regulations on tourist behavior.' These problems are magnified took the parks for granted (Boo 1 990:xvi; Cater and Lowman
in underdeveloped countries. The ability of local or national 1994:4). Although the ecotourism industry is growing
governments to mitigate these problems by regulating t0urism rapidly, it is notyet making substantial oreven clearly positive
through taxation, education, entry fees, and limiting capacity is contributions to nature conservation' (Kermath 1991:408)
stifled by either the expropriation of financial resources by In spite of the optimistic predictions, many have concluded
private interests in overdeveloped countries, or the inadequate that the dangers of ecotourism are m0re momentous than
planning of ecotour operators (predominantly Western) who was first recognized (Butler 1991:201; Whelan 1991:4;
have no competent knowledge or cultural investment in the areas Kusler 1991) Thus, if ecotourism is not managed
they use. Nations and cultures of the periphery find themselves successfully, through stronger regulation, higher entrance
in compromised positions, negotiating the need to attractforeign fees, limits on infrastructure and tourist influx, and a
investment for austerity and the desire to
maintain redistribution of profits t0 the local populations, all oJ its
cultural/natural heritages, which itself is a negotiation of local ootential environmental and economic benefits will fail to be
class and ethnic conf licts regarding development policy. Thus, achieved, and colonization of the natural sphere could
ecotourism appears, and continue in the gaze of ecotourist developers and their
indeed may be, a more viable c0nsumers But, even this logic is misleading, because the
option for economic difficulties of ecotourism do not rest in the lack of knowledge
development than or technologies of development (indigenous or imported),
agribusiness or export- but in the global strategies of underdevelopment and
oriented industrialization, yet environmental destruction that have been the modus
the extraction of profit, forced operandi of merchant, monopoly, and now late capitalism.
underdevelopment, and the
destruction of cultural/natural Joan Giannecchini summarizes this critique well by stating
heritage may continue that ecotourism is not merely a new form of the travel
relatively unchanged as industry sympathetic to the environment, but rather it is a
centuries of
(neo) colonial "powerful marketing device currently being employed to
development have left many nations with little power t0 regulate develop and sell an aspect of speciality travel. Conservation
new liberal forms of suoerexoloitation. ideals, including sustainable use of
resources and
development, are shared only in paft by the tour industry.
This has noticeable effects in several countries, including Costa Their customary goal of quick optimum profits is in direct
Rica which has not changed its ecotourism spending in ten years conflict with long-range goals of protection and
despite growing numbers of tourists, and in Kenya, only 2.3 conservation.... Therefore, if the tourist industry becomes
percent of the 300 million dollars earned by its national parks the principal force in the development of ecotourism, it will
each year return to the people 0r government cf Kenya (Whelan almost certainly be detrimental to long-range environmental
991 :1 1 )
Parks throughout underdeveloped countries charge c0ncerns" (Giannecchini 1993:430). And predictably, the
extremely low fees to foreign tourists, and are often unable to primary actors in this global arena are indeed members of the
invest the revenues in maintenance and preservation, the tourist industries of core nations with the support of
assessment of environmental impacts, the hiring and training of dependent national governments of the periphery, who, in an
personnel, tourist education materials, the planning of carrying anguished alliance based on long lasting political-economic
capacities, or regulatory boards or agencies (Whelan 1991:11- impositions, could stand to gain from higher employment,
14; Boo 1990:xv-xvii). The conditions of dependency and debt better infrastructure, less export-oriented production, and
disable governments and national firms from preserving their greater local and national political empowerment in general.
own natural and cultural traditions, thus enabling further natural Thus, the alliances Cardoso and Faletto theorized as the basis
and cultural despoliation by Nofihern enterprises, displaying the for international relations of dependent development (those
addicting and self-reproducing character of capital investment. between transnational capital, a local bourgeoisie, and
entrepreneurial factions of the nation-state) may be
Although many private tour 0perators are praised for their vested witnessed to be a central mechanism for the emergence and
interest in environmental protection, those surveyed in the World maintenance of ecotourism as well (Cardoso and Faletto
Wildlife Fund study were based predominantly in overdeveloped 1 979; So 1 990: 1 51 ).

countries, with little direct attachment to the environments f rom Here, a distinctly liberal and postmodern Western
which they profited (Boo 1990:xvi) They rarely have provided development agenda can be traced to its neocolonial
2 Forexample,YellowstoneNational Parkandecosystemsufferfromtheimpact0f touristswhotramplevegetati0n, litter,p0llutewater,startf0restfires,poachand
introduceexoticspecies,disturbwildlilebehaviourpatterns,andevenirreparablyhavecausedtheMinuteandEbonygeysersto ceaseeruptingbytossinglitterintheir
mouths (Glick 1 991 :65-66)

ANLetter 15 Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

lndigenous people, Wildlife Tourism and Ecolourisrn

precursors in expansionist monopoly capital, in which l0cal agendas. And despite the modernlst myths of historical
cultures and survival needs of Third World (sub) regions are progress, today it is uncertain that ecotourism, or sustainable
substituted with large-scale, export-oriented development. In development in general, has succeeded in enabling more
today's global formation, a more fleet-footed corporate mobility sustainable social-natural relations.
places states at greater risk of fiscal crises. Legitimate state
authority to regulate the destructive effects of growth has been Indeed, for eco-modernizationists such as Jacobs (1990),
evaporating, creating a global 'race to the bottom" or'downward Pearce (et al 'l 990), and Gore (1 992), nature has become so
leveling" in which governments are pitted in a competition to much a part of our purposive-rational institutions of
offer the most favorable "business climate" for investment marketing, res0urce management, and consumption, that its
(Brecher and Costello 1994:4-5; Faber and O'Connor 1993:22: ,
w0rth as a condition of and not resource for, social
Fisher 1993:4). As a development strategy, ecotourism is similar fulfillment appears poorly understood. In much sustainable
to export-oriented models insofar as foreign investment for development literature, sustarnability appears to be either a
luxury services, i.e., the accompanying tourist industry, is newly realized limitation to the circuits of overproduction and
encouraged through ecotourism, with the attendant distortions over consumption that is to be integrated for the survival of
of local investment and exoloitative divisions of labor. Here. the global capital (Jacobs 1990: 6-15), or a sliding signifier
exDons are not commodities such as whose purpose is to grant greater
electronics or textiles, but instead nature, exchange value in various capital
c0nstructed by a labor-intensive service , marketplaces where eco -- and green
industry and the work of prrmarily urban :' have become icons of security, health,
workers who play the role of native guides, and harmony -- legitimating Northern
maids, custodians, cooks, waiters, and bus development projects.
d rivers.
Travel marketers view ecotourism as an
The nature tourism site is similar to exoort- opportunity for growth and
processing zones for commodities, as they diversification in a comoetitive tourist
are subsidized greatly by national market, revealing ecotourism as an end
governments, are often foreign-owned and product for profit, rather than a means
managed, entail labor intensive production for low wages, and t0 the preservation of Third World cultures and nature: "The
are primarily for the benefit of foreign exchange. Also, the labor most imoortant factor to remember as a conservation
often entails performative displays oJ native or local authenticity, organization is that when you stafi approaching the tourist
revealing the source of value to be the natural and human image market, business is business or y0u are out" (Bezaury-Creel
of the "primitive." The export-oriented methods of capitalist 1 991 :1 09-1 1 0, 1 1 4). Sustainable development discourse in

underdevelopment may be seen to have new forms, impacted general, and ecotourism more specifically, appears to be a
less by industry and agribusiness, and more by tourism and a means by which global capital can, at once, appear t0
Western market of leisure consumerism, in which orientalism accommodate growing environmental crises, while
(with its varied regional effects) defines the moment oJ value reformulating public discourse on sustainability to maintain
extraction. Made possible by globalizing cultures, media, legitimacy for development as usual. As profit outweighs
communications, and transport, ecotourism may be read as a protection, the sustainability of nature is rewritten as the
niche market that markets niches, a new globalizing moment oJ sustainability of capital; the protecti0n of nature is inverted to
late capitalist consumer economy be the protection of profits; and the morality of democratic
multigenerational planning is transmogrified into the pursuit
Nowhere is this more noticeable -- yet rarely discussed -- than ln of competitive advantage in the f ree market of nature. This is
the ecotourist planning literature itselJ, where nature is evident in the ways in which conservation organizations such
interpellated in a discourse of rationality as an object, a resource, as the World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club, and the National
a legal restraint, a factor in cost-benefit analyses, a product, rates Audubon Society increasingly have become marginalized in
and ratios, or a marginal value. This treatment oi nature is not international ecotourism development by having their role in
new: "The scientific revolution in Europe transformed nature planning reduced to mere advisory or consultant functions.
from terra mater into a machine and a source of raw material; This marginalization has occurred despite the relatively
with this transformation it removed all ethical and cognitive minor opposition to global structures of capital that these
constraints against its violation and exploitation. The industrial particular organizations have mobilized. At a tourism
revolution converted economics from the prudent management conference at George Washington University, Giannecchini
of resources for sustenance and basic needs satisfaction into a reports that this lesser role was not only assumed, but
process of commodrty productlon for profit maximization" accepted: 'it appeared tacitly understood among these
(Shiva 1989:xvii). lt is certain that classical economics and groups that policies and regulations concerning ecotourism,
Enlightenment science did a disservice to global ecological from carrying capacities to sustainable development, would
sustainability by externalizing or rationalizing nature, and be determined between the tourist industry and government
thereby marginalizing environmental health from economic Conservationists were cast in the role of altruistic and cost-

ANLetter 16 Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Indigenous people, Wildlile Tourism and Ecolourism

free sheoherds of the resources that would insure ecotourism the audience with "astounding facts about the destinations"
profits. More noteworthy, perhaps, was that the conservati0nists they offer, especially new, unique, and authentic experiences
seemed to accept this role willingly. They continue to perceive (pp. 174) One ecotourist brochure from Venezuela offers
themselves, and be perceived by other professionals, as the consumer'spectacular wildlife, "incredible abundance,'
consultants" (1993:430). Conservation organizations find animals that are "normally difficult to observe," and "mind-
themselves squeezed out of planning and regulation, and will be boggling'numbers of birds (pp.176-177). These tactics of
forced to compete with other NG0s, a three-trillion-dollar marketing nature through adventure, surprise, exhilaration,
tourism industry, and even national governments for the world's scarcity, and exotic Edenic scenes assist in spectacularizing
most fragile ecosystems, as well as the environmentalist nature as a commodity, appropriating more generalized
sentiments of tourists themselves (p. 430). interests in exhilarating consumption and nature as a place of
ecological reconnection.
But the contradictions between profit and sustainability express
themselves in a second complex of contradicti0ns f0r Further, advertisements often include environmentalist
ecotourism This set of conflicts is typical of post-industrial and sentiments, which have a well-understood effect.
consumer markets; the conflicts between the homogenized "Conscientious support of environmental causes almost
spectacle of wild nature and the biodiversity and cultural always enhances atravelcompany's image (Ryel and Grasse
diversity required for more democratic social-natural relations. 1991:178) Seductive use of spectacle has become more
common because of the increasing stakes in a growing
Touring Eden tourist market, and because ecotourist sites must appear
more attractive to counterbalance the poor development or
Ecotourism is a burgeoning business, thanks to increased preservation of many sites throughout the world Thus,
marketing efforts and the growing interests 0f consumers, altlrough ecotou rist marketing often provides the tools f or re-
predominantly from the overdeveloped nations of Europe, North envisioning sustainability, it simultaneously contributes to an
America, as well as Japan (Whelan 1991: 5). As a growrng always already mediated culture in which nature is abstracted
preoccupation throughout the world, the ecotourist vacation from sustainable ecosystems, a means of aesthetic pleasure,
thus has been the point of realization for expanding profits. overconsumption of resources, and low ecological literacy
However, as is typical of export-oriented development, the (Suttle 1989:24)
profrts from ecotourist endeavors are often expropriated mostly
by travel agents (who claim ten percent), followed by non- But to fully evaluate the potential of nature t0urism, we must
profits, NGOs, and advertising, outbound tour operators look both at the production of ecotourism, and at the
(airlines, ground operations), inbound tour operators reception ecotourism's audience actively creates and makes
(accommodations, transport, environment interpretation), and a part of the global culture of nature. Many ascribe the
lastly, the local government and residents of the tour destination reason fOr ecotourism growth to the ecotourist's desire to
(Ryel and Grasse 1991 :36-38). Thus, as would be expected, the escape the mundane, monotonous, and overstimulating
flourishing ecotourism industry has benefited travel agencies realms of urban and work life, and the consequent need to
and tour 0perators of overdeveloped countries significantly find simplicity, beauty, and excitement (Giannecchini
more than the local govern ments and peoples of the South. 1993:429-430; Lindberg
1991 : 1; Whelan 1991 :7)
lndustry's activity is attracting ecotourists through the
Key to the Ecotourrsm has been more
development of exciting and interesting sites. Tour developers successful because of the
and operators state thattourist demand increases when the area character of Western popular
is attractive, when transport is comfortable and accessible, when culture in
general, which
lodging and food are provided, and when tourists feel protected includes attention to physical
from wildliJe, disease, and local politicalturmoil (Kusler 1991:5). fitness, environmental films
The attraction of spectacular wildness reveals what liberal- and news, and the growing
minded ecotour oromoters know well: the ecotourist does not cultural capital of action and
necessarily exist previous to ecotourism marketing, but indeed adventure (Giannecchrni
can be manufactured or seduced'-- "the ecotourist must be 1993:430-431). As Prosser
made as well as born (Ryel and Grasse 1991:169). The has argued, "One of the most
message they relay to their potential consumers is colorful, important characteristics ol
draws attention to a mood, establishes recognition, and, not tourism is
that it is.
unlike many other tourist advertisements, attempts to provide essence, a fash ion i nd ustry' (Cater and Lowman 1 994'.22)

3 Tourismmarketinge{fortsbasetheirstrategiesonaprofileoftheaveragetourist,whotheysuggestisfromanoverdevelopedcountry,{ami/iarwjththe0utdoorsand
traveling, professi0nal or retired, relatively wealthy, college educated, and middle aged (Whelan 1 991 :5-6). The ecotourism industry has based its campaigns f0r greater
tourism on the med a with which pe0ple o{ this profile are most familiar, namely specialized and popular magazines like E lVagazine and Garbage, internationally
recognized organizations such as the Sierra Club, editorial or special story advefiising, travel brochures, and airline advefiisements (Ryel and Grasse 1 991 :1 72-1 74)

ANLetter 17 Vol 7 No I Norember 2000

Indigenous people, Wildlife Tourism and Ecolourism

Indeed, Richard Bangs oi Sobek Travel stated that, despite the ambassadors for nature, who could bring ecological
attention to ecological literacy,' people on ecotours"don't want to consciousness to their home environments (Berle 1991:xi-
spend their hard-earned money being lectured .
[they are still] xii, Grotta 1991 :103-104). The society claims, against much
on vacation' (Giannecchini 1993:43 1). 0ne researcher thus evidence to the contrary, that ecotourism developments
suggested that ecotourism is bound to be problematic for long- educate ecotourists about environmental issues through
term sustainability or social justice, because it is situated within a their learning materials and knowledgeable guides and
society dominated by leisure and alienating forms of work, which Operators, as well as continual training of ecotourists to
causes ecotourists to zealously guard their leisure against tours become more ecologically aware of their own environments
with 'meagei' accommodations 0r too much education (Butler at home To promote this orientation to ecotourism, it has
1 991:201 ). Turner and Ash's theory of the tourist experience composedthe NationalAudubon Society travel ethic, asking
would confirm this, by concluding that tourism is successful that travelers be sustainable in their impacts on the natural
only when it has met the needs 0f the average tourist to live sites and cultures they visit (Whelan 199'l:'15 -'16; Kusler
luxuriously and to have one's leisure circumscribed by a vast 1991 :xv). The optimism that ecotourists are receptive to the
array of services, making travel agents and managers into struggles to maintain local and global sustainability, may be
surrogate parents and relieving the tourist of any responsibility confirmed paftially by the fact that some ecotourists are
(Urry 1990:7) researchers who explicitly desire to study and preserve the
nature and cultures they visit,' and who are comfortable with
Prosser has gone so far as to posit an ecotour product-cycle in minimal provisions and accommodations, and with
which, like tiny resource, tourist sites are produced and envrronmental education (Colvin 1991:578). Fufther, these
consumed through a sequential process of destination arguments lor ecotourist activist state that this ecological
discovery, development oJ tourist sites, the growth of demand, sensitivity is enhanced by the knowledge that many ecotour
maximal exploitation, decline of site attraction/val ue/competitive sites are highly unique and endangered by forms of
advantage, and finally, obsolescence (in Cater and Lowman destruction, creating compassion out of urgency (Kusler
1994:23). Overthe lasttwo decades, with increasing numbers of 1991:3).
tourists traveling to more remote locations like Antarctica -- the
'pleasure periphery' -- this obsolescence risks making many Certainly no single type of tourist exists, but most tourism
environments and communities of the Third World into discourse suggest that tourists seek pleasurable and out-of-
disposable commodities (p. 25). the-ordinary experiences, creating an inversion of everyday
life to escape normalrty, and come to terms with different
Despite the potential for oppositional readings of ecotourism, the environments and cultures of their nation or globe (Urry
shift f rom modernist mass c0nsumDtion to "oost{ordist 1990:3, 11; Combrink 1991). Tourism became more
consumption'sets the stage for hegemonic reception (Hall 1991;
c0mm0n during the early phases of the modern industrial
Urry 1990:14).oThe specialized production of tour operations,
epoch, in which the prior forms of tourism (pilgrimage,
expanded transportation systems, global media, and the
scholarly journey, or scientific research) became intertwined
continual cultivation of a popular imaginary around escape and
with a distinctly modern disenchantment with one's work life,
adventure reveal that firms and nation-states act simultaneously
to erode cultural and ecological sustainability (exporting creating the conception of work holidays (Urry 1990:2-3).
economic and ecological crises of their own), as they sell the This view was popularized predominantly by romantic
remaining ecosystems as scarce commodities for a green movements of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth
consumer market. This is accompanied by a dramatic expansion centuries that gave rise to contemporary environmentalist
of (neo/post) colonialism, in which the ambassador or invader movements and ecotourism which glorify the imaginary
from the overdeveloped world is no longer only a merchant or a landscape ol nature as an alternative to the mechanized,
multinational seeking resources and labor, but also a tourist regulating, and alienating transition to urban industrialism-a
seeking t0 gaze at the differences of the natural and primitive repudiation of modern development (pp. 20, 99) Gradually,
0ther. The overdeveloped world's subordination of nature and this anti-modern romanticism was articulated with the oost-
the Third World citizen to instrumentalized logics of resource use
war consumer culture, in which this imaginary landscape
are now accompanied by consumer logics of nature and the
became a service, image, and commodity for a growing
0ther as commodif ied spectacles of Western fantasy.
middle class. Here, it could be argued that the processes of

However, the National Audubon Society, possibly the Jirst to framing and reproducing nature-sacralization,
promote ecotourism on a wide scale, opposes this negative enshrinement, and simulation-are the battlegrounds of a war
mass culture reading of the ecotourist. Instead it envisions of positron between the creation of an industry of nature and
ecotourists as 0otential environmental activists and the return to ideals of sustainable community and ecology.

4. This denotes a shift t0 a time when expenditure increases as a pr0p0rti0n of national inc0me; when credit systems facilitate greater demand; when the comm0dity f0rm
Dermeates all areas of social/environmental life; when there is planned obsolescence; and when c0nsumers dominate over producers (Hall 1 991 ; U rry 1 990:1 4)
5 Specific percentages are not available

ANLetter 18 Vol 7 No I November 2000

Indigenous people, Wildlife Tourism and Ecotourism

The ecotourist thus participates in the (re)establishment 0f an of the nineteenth century, in which harmony was pristine and
identity of wellbeing, belonging, and righteousness that seems original, uncontaminated by the ravages of modernization
ever more subject to structures of power that, as Marx so aptly According to Jim Chency, Ecological consciousness is the
stated, melt everything into air. Not only have the formations of consciousness of modernist alienation seeking reconnection
capitalism subjugated many of the world's peoples to the laws of with that from which it has lost touch But it soeaks from
production, exchange, and authoritarian regimes, but they have alienation and does not escape it (1989:319). Ecotourism
assisted in rationalizing and f ragmenting the natural sphere in a provides a predominantly Western professional class with
mediated simulacrum ofcommodity aesthetics. The the opportunities to experience, for possibly the last time, the
postmodern era, in which development appears to be reaching a nature that centuries of Western exoansion have been
crescendo, has had the ability to destroy bonds of egalitarian succeeding in destroying The middle classes have the time
relations in communities, political bodies, and ecosystems and resources to provide the basis for the consumption, the
simultaneously, creating a widespread and varied sense of urban planning, and the capital investments that ecotourism
alienation f rom both private and public institutions requires. In this postnatural era, these members of the
overdeveloped world experience the ambiguity and
The increasing popularity of environmental issues in Western contradictions in desiring a resurgence of pristine
culture is both a cause and effect of this oostmodern oanic. lt is sustainable nature, and at the same m0ment, seeking this
possible that this is sublimated in the common culture of nature fulfillment through institutions that have contributed to its
that we seem to experience as healthy, fulfilling, diverse, and destruction But the complex contradictions between prof it
comforting, such as the spaces of beaches, parks, suburban and sustainability, and between reconnection and ecological
pastoral landscapes, zoos, and even more subtle and mediated destruction also intersect with racial, class, and gendered
forms such as house plants, pets, golf courses, and the many relations of power lnfluencrng another contradiction between
products we can now purchase at nature stores, e.g , the Nature the ecotour aspirations for democratic auton0my of local
Company or the Body Shop The rise in popularity of nature peoples and the exprop riati on of 0the rs as s0u rces of val ue.
films, naturalist fiction, and of course, ecotourism could also
express this problematic reconnection with nature that, however
subtle and however aestheticized, can provide a sense of This article, written byJoe Bandy, is a reproduction
belonging in a world that is at risk of biological meltdown. fromPublic Culture, Vol Vlll No 3, Spring 1996

Thus, at the fin de millennium, ecotourism could represent the Joe Bandy is the Programme Coordinator of GIobal
longing for a return t0 the lost Eden or Arcadian scene, much like Peace and Security Programme at the University of
the transcendentalists of the panicked lndustrial era at the close Ca I iforni a, k nta Ba rba ra.

*: & ir i:

AN Letter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

ECn - Extending the Peril

onstrltctiot't of super/ express highwavs has been a major ectivin,in the

developmental agenda undertaken by the cental and state governm.ents. The
East Coast Road (ECR) has invited a lot ol interest in the past because ofthe
dubious distinction of the nuntber of'violatictns that have occurred during and
a/ier irc construction. The sec'ond pha,se of the projec't is to start in the near
./itttu'e. We revi.sit what happened in Phase I and therca/ier, to antic'ipate w,hat
might happen in Phase II.

The Tamil Nadu government is all set to construct the second ECR: In defiance oflhe laws ofthe nation
phase of the East Coast Road (ECR) from Cuddalore to
Kaniyakumari. According to media reports, it has received Ever since the highway was proposed, alarm was raised
clearance from the central ministry to go ahead with the work on about the imminent dangers involved in the construction of a
this phase. highway along the fragile coastal stretches. Thousands of
mature trees were cut and a number of villages uprooted in
While the detailed plans, Environmental lmpact Assessments the initial stage of construction its.elf. Both the media and
reports, etc. are awaited for scrutiny, it is worth while t0 look into environmental groups had repeatedly drawn attention to
the double speak of both the central and the state governments these incidents. These were in blatant violation of the
as regards Phase I of the road. The conditionalities agreed upon conditionalities of the Environmental Appraisal Committee of
while giving sanction to the first phase are still not met. lt was by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) that was
agreeing to these conditionalities that the state government was agreed upon by the state government. The conditions that the
able to construct Phase I of the road from Chennai to Cuddalore. Tamil Nadu government agreed to were:
Instead of considering the factors that necessitated the
imposition of the conditionalities, the government, with its
political clout has been able t0 remove or nullify the same, I That the tarred oortion of the road be reduced from
making mockery of the legal system. 10 m to 7.5 m:

ANLetter 20 Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism and the Coast

o That mature trees should not be felled while widening EGB and lhe Goaslal Zone Regulation
the road;
I There shall be no fufther displacement of persons for The constructions on the seaward side of the EC R are flagrant
the purpose of road c0nstruction, those already violations of the CRZ notification, which requires that, in
displaced should be adequately compensated and areas classified as CRZ ll, no construction can take place on
rehabilitated; the seaward side of an existing or proposed road. In most
cases, the violations (a mere 50 metres away from the High
I For the purpose of realignment there shall not be any
Tide Line) are within the No Development Zone itself which
acquisition of home-stoad land;
extends up to 200 metres, and is a zone in which, whereas no
o Avenue plantation shall be done all through the prolect;
constructions may take place.
I Adequate drainage shall be provided for rain water;
o There shall be no industrial or hotel construction In all this, the notion of protection of the coastal ecology has

activities in future on the seaward side ofthe road, been set aside, and the spirit of the Coastal Regulation Zone
notifications is lost. lt is clear that the development has taken
o In Phase ll of the project (Cuddalore-Kanyakumari)
on anthropocentric leanings, and the concept of envlronment
EIA reoort for all alternatives shall be submitted to the
for environment's sake and the larger relation it shares with
Ministry. Land acquisition for Phase ll should be done
humanity as a whole, is lost, This total depafiure from any
in consultation with subgroup of the Environmental
environmental roots or philosophy is evident not just in the
Appraisal Committee; and
case of the ECR, but in almost every aspect of the CRZ
I The clearance is deemed to be ooerative atter issue of
notification and its current use and abuse.
a government order from the Government of Tamil
Nadu accepting the above conditions. With both minor and major violations, Phase I was
completed, and now Phase ll has been cleared, and awaits
These conditions of 1994 were violated again, which forced the
commencement of work.
MoEF to suspend the clearance in 1995, which the Tamil Nadu
government ignored till a courl order was issued in'1996. The Development over life and ecology
MoEF once again gave clearance, adding further conditions,
while stressing adherence to the earlier ones. 0ne significant To nullify the most important condition, one which does not
prerequisite among these was that the project is cleared as an allow construction towards the seaward side of the road, the
"other district road" (0DR) and not as a "national highway". The Ministry of Environment and Forests has come up with a
intention of the Ministry was to discourage building of a highway letter, which modifies the conditions stipulated, thereby
with huge embankments, massive culverts, and carriageways according environmental clearancet0the ECR Phase I These
with high load bearing capacity, which would have grave modifications, according to the ministry, are based on the
environmental impacts reoort of the Exoert Committee. This modification is done on
the single parameter that development is a priority, ignoring
0f all these conditions the Tamil Nadu government saw the each and every other aspect involved.
condition n0.7, "there shall be no industrial or hotel construction
activities in future on the seaward side of the road", as most "Development projects in the area on the seaward side of East
detrimental to their interest. There were tourism projects worth Coast road which have requirement of ground water
800 crores awaiting clearance along this stretch, and by 1 997 the exceeding 1 0 KLD (ten thousand liters per day) would require
government was looking for ways by which it could bypass these clearance from the concerned state ground water agency.
conditions. Political interventions at the The quantity of groundwater approved
level of the central ministry was the only for drawal (sic.) should be
way Out of this, since the government incorporated in the consent issued by
had agreed to abide by these conditions the state pollution control board/ UT
in the High Court ol Chennai. An Expert pollution control committee and
Committee was again set up, headed by a strictly enforced. However in the
retired Supreme Court Judge, lVlr. S Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) the
Natarajan, to look into the 'ecological provision of the CRZ notification of
and geo-morphologic sensitivity of the February 1991 as amended from time
coastal stretch'. Modifications were then to time shall apply" (No.J-
bound to happen, given the political 21012/33192-lA-lll, Government ol
clout of the state government and the India, Ministry of Environment and
influence ofthe tourism industrv. Forests dated March 22, 2000)

ANLetter Vol 7 No I November 2000

Tourism and the Coast

The problem ofinfrastructural development, in the have shown that the number of accidents have increased to
environmental context, is not only of the load placed on the around 620, which includes 188 fatal, 155 major and 376
groundwater availability by aparticular industrial or minor accidents (as reported by The Financial Express, 28th
infrastructural project. There are other related issues like the February 2000). The main reason for these accidents is,
environmental and social carrying capacity, the aesthetic value of among other problems, sharp curves As many as seven
a region, the induced development that would spring up because deaths have been reported on the ECR stretch that passes
of large projects
through Koovathur village In many places the road has
divided the village settlement, and separated public places
Since the commissioning of Phase l, the entire stretch from like schools and markets The villagers now live in
conti n uous fear for thei r ch ild ren, who are forced to cross the
Chennai up to Muthukkadu is a built-up area today Holiday
road every now and then This is the case in many villages
houses, tourist and water sp0rt constructions, institutions,
including Seekinikuppam village. There were instances here
industrial aquaculture farms, housing complexes, etc, 0ccupy
of five people being killed in road accidents on a single day
the seaward side of the coastal stretch, in blatant violation of the
Th is is apart from the loss of cattle along the enti re stretch.
conditions that the state government had agreed to when the
clearance was sought Studies have also proved ground water
Many of these are faults in the design of the project itself.
depletion, which has resulted in saline water intrusion in this Looming large, among the many questions, is the validity of a
region Even the CRZ notification, which the government n0w super highway along a fragile eco-system, and through rural
says it will adhere to, has been violated in many places on this settings, where the life and economic activity of the people
stretch, where constructions extend uptothe HighTide Line The does not correspond to the speed and psyche of a super
Expert Committee, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and highway. Now there are plans to smoothen the sharp curves
the state government are n0tu naware of these aspects. Details of and bends on the road But this cannot be done without
these have been provided, in volumes, to the Expert Committee, acquiring more lands and displacing villages like Koovathur
by the East Coast Road Action Committee when they conducted
their hearing. In the specific c0ntext of the constructions, While this saga of sorrow and fear persists, the government
EQUATI0NS, as part 0f the East Coast Road Action Committee is heading inexorably towards Phase ll, Had it taken into
had submitted the document'ECR phase l, A Preliminary Survey consideration the lessons from Phase l, there would have
Report, Tourism Related Activities'with photographs of been at least some consolation and hope However, with the

violations, to this committee callous disregard of all safeguards in Phase l, one can only
expect the wo rst

The Phase I of the ECR is an accident-prone area with the number Haribabu and Krishna Udayasankar
of accidents shooting up in recent years. Studies during 1998, Coa sta I P rog ra nme, E1UAT I )NS

Not too far from the madding crowd

nnumerable studies and book have highlighted the

de.struction of Kovalam. Using the metaphor of cancer as it
grows, the author questions the popular analysis that the
impacts of tourism can be containedwithin the boundaries of
a tourist destination.

Elegies and dirges on Kovalam have become cliches and much culture Kovalam remains today as the epitome of the 'do
has been lamented about lt is oft said that the development of nots' of tourism develooment.
t0urism in Keralam will not follow the path taken by Kovalam A
cursory glance at Kovalam will tell us why The Panchayat has 8 kms from Kovalam, Chappath in Kottukal Panchayat
more than 150 resorts and hotels, most courting erosion, hardly displays a silent beauty that is in stark c0ntrast to its
a few metres f rom the sea; the place is abysmally dirty; the local neighbour The silence only masks its violent future. This
community has disappeared. The last 25 years of tourism unique coastline awaits massive'development', with an
development has seen the destruction of local econ0my and industrial harbour proposed as an extension of the Vizhinjam

ANLetter 22 Vol Z No 1 November 2000

Tourism and lhe Coasl

brunt of this is borne by the local community, who now

find their settlements washed out every year, by the
increasino intrusion ofthe sea.

The spread of cultural impacts of tourism has preceded

the physical move. The use of drugs, male and female
prostitution etc. is moving rapidly to areas like
Vizhinjam. The oft-heard arguments that these ills are
particular to Kovalam alone have been proved false
Incidents of foreigners marrying local people,
abandoning them and also instances of foreigners
taking young children from the local communities with
them on their tours indicate the settino in of disturbino
fishing harbou r. The area is thickly populated with f isherf olk, who trends.

form one-fourth of the total population of Kottukal Panchayat,

Despite Kerala being a state where the People's Plan process
according to the 1 991 census.
is supposedly in full swing, tourism marginalises local
The area north of the proposed site ior the industrial harbour, communities and the local governance systems. A member
extending till south of the Vizhinjam harbour is packed with of Kottugal Panchayat had a very different opinion about the
tourism related activities. Unlike Kovalam, these resorts occupy political processes in the state. Despite the fact that the
acres of land, cate ring only to the rich and affl uent. Somatheeram People's Plan process was initiated by his own political pafi,
resorts, Surya Samudra Resofts, Manaltheeram resorts, Nikki's he expresses strong reservations about its efficacy in
Nest, are all constructed on cliffs which run into the coast, (areas
practice. He said that even with many of the powers (in
which are all CRZ-l), for reasons of proximity to the sea, their theory) and 40% of the plan money (in practise) translerred,
sensitive features, and their unique natural beauty. The bureaucratic red tape and centralised political maneuvers
Bethsheba Ashram too participates in tourism, by letting out continues to have a stranglehold. The industry being very
cottages. Agastya Resorts bears neither signboards, nor is it powerful, to the extent of negotiating and influencing the
mentioned in Panchayat and other water and electricity records, central government machinery, he said that it was impossible
and is open only to the chafters from Germany brought in by its for a Panchayat to hold its own. He quoted an incident when
Swiss owner. Most of these resorts do not encourage domestic the Panchayat had decided against selling the road t0 one 0f
tourists, with the excepti0n of luminaries like the Raja of the resort groups and an order'from above' had them submit.
Travancore, and TN Seshan, who seem to be oblivious of their In Kottugal too, the community and their associated social
illegality (A case is pending in court against Somatheeram The and political structures, are skillfully alienated from
verdict of the High Court, two years ago, was to demolish parts of resources and the control over them. As is the case of third
Somatheeram Resorts on account of CRZ violations The case world countries in general, smaller, more vulnerable
has been referred to the Coastal Zone Authority for a decision. communities are pushed to a c0rner, with the only option to
Nothing has been heard from them as yet). embrace tourism, irrespective of the fact that it might
perpetuate a vicious cycle of marginalisation and forced
The shift in the image of tourism, f rom the Kovalam backpackers, choices.
to the high spending chartered tourists, is significant. This allows
the industry to masquerade as a quiet activity, not affecting the
As the phenomenon of Kovalam grows to embrace
local population. This is far from the truth. The rapid shift in the
neighboring areas, much like the spread of the silent killer
land use and ownership of resources, influences the sustenance
cancer, it shatters i rrefutably the myth of tou rism being a site-
of the local community, by affecting their livelihood operations,
specific phenomenon. The touting of tourism as a viable
lifestyles, and cultural practices, particularly in the context of
development option needs urgent and honest examination.
accessibility of land and other res0urces. The fisherfolk's
While the depafiments of tourism piously claim that there are
passage to the sea is blocked in more than one place, a lessons to be learnt irom closed chapters, the harsh reality of
Panchayat owned road was privatised with supp0rt f rom higher
living people is thatthese chapters never really close.
officials; the tranquility that was common property is now
reserved for aliens. In addition to this, the flagrant violations of
the CRZ and the proximity of these constructions to the sea, Ratheesh R
places tremendous pressures on the coastal eco-system. The Campaign lnf ormation Support, E1UATI0NS

ANLetter Vol 7 No I November 2000

Tourism and the Coasl

The " Roinbow" w nt to


-Jn, nippi" boom of the sixties is back in its most/

pctstmodernforms. New places are being identiJied as the
hotspots, as Goa is getting un/'ashionable. Thi,s article
looks at Gokarna and Omkarisltwar to find more about
this nhenomenon.

Coastal farmers in the Ankola-district north of Gokarna must town The much smaller 'reunified family (40-60 members)
have been surprised when in early December many strangely camped under shady trees fufther up the Narmada River. The
dressed foreigners passed their homes to reach the small beach gathering caused less attention than in Gokarna and wasn't
which is now called "honey-beach" or "rainbow-beach". The disturbed, except that some rainbow-people were n0t
locals probably hadn't read the signs in Gokarna or seen the pleased with the appearance of some sadhus who seemed to
rainbow- website' Even if they had seen these they probably love the idea of sharing food and charas by a warm campfire.
wouldn't have had an idea what a so-called 'rainbow gathering'
would be like. What they saw then by the end of the millenium on In the town the "rainbow-people" probably didn't cause more
their beach were more than a hundred naked foreigners attention then other foreigners staying in 0mkarishwar.
swimming in the sea, sitting in circles, holding hands and making Locals and season-workers may have seen much more
mustc. strange looking foreigners the last ten years. lVlany wore old
rugs, wrapped in blankets or dressed like sadhus, sanyasis or
When their number was growing by the end of the month, and
beggars. The tourists stay in the ashrams, in some of the 40
more people from the region came to have a look at the bare
daharmsallas, in small huts or on the beach at the western
white skin, the "rainbow-people" had long discussions about
end of the island. For the last five years there is also one
putting some clothes on In the end local authorities managed to
guesthouse-complex renting rooms only to foreigners
stop the gathering in mid-January. While some of the part-time
Recently a middle-class hotel opened lts gates to more
hippies finished their h0liday or had different plans, some of
affluent tourists. 0n peak days of the four-month season
them went to 0mkarishwar (Madhya Pradesh) to celebrate
there are maybe up to 400 foreigners hanging around in the
another one month long gathering.
pilgrimage place. According to the manager of the
guesthouse there has been a big growth in the last two years,
Like in the earlier case, they put up their big white tent or tipi
and he is looking forward to a prospected future. The fact
some kilometers away f rom the major pilgrim traffic of the small
remains that the return of the "rainbow oeoole"will not be of
much help to them, as they are not interested in hotels and
restaurants. Up t0 April 2000 they will be staying s0mewhere
near Daharmsalla (HP) and planning a return in September
after the'big festival'in Rumania to be held in June In
Kirganga (HP), high up in the Parbati-Valley, the'freaky-
family will be discussing theirf urther movements

While it is nearly impossible to make a non-commercial

hippie gathering in Western Europe and not being hustled by
bureaucratic authorities with safety and ecological rules,
India seems to be an ideal alternative. ln rural areas,
authorities are often corrupt and you still find locals who bow

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism and lhe Coasl

down to the fair skin and high currency, even if a fellow has no than in the 60's. One point both have jn common is their
shoes on and onlyan old lungitied around his hips Indiaalso has disrespect for the local inhabitants. Nobody asks permission
got a long hippie-tradition. Their ideological parents used to before making a loud party or a long gathering on their
come here in the early 60's to relax from the political struggle neighborhood, and nobody seems t0 care or think of the
against old moral values, militarism, capitalism and the effects of their oaft time invasion in non-tourist areas.
bureaucratic system. In India they felt f ree to live their dream of
peace and love with a lot of cheap and good ganja.

With the end of the hippie era, the splitting up in different groups
Guido Frenzel
and the recent commercial comeback of the hippie-fashion, their Guido Frenzel is a German tourist who writes about his concerns
movement to India seems even more eooistic and hedonistic on tourism developnent

Combating the'rave' image

J rom being a long time hangout of the hippies, Goafinds
itself inflicted by a new breed of visitors, the upper class of
Mumbai, who decided to have their millenium parties there.

The image of Goa as a hedonistic paradise has grown and grown, According to the Director General of Police, R S Sahaye, five
distorted out of proportion most often, by media hype. But as the major drug seizures took place in December alone. The drugs
hordes descended here for the millennium celebrations last were headed here for the year-end bash. Aware ol the huge
week, the reality appeared to have overtaken the 'Goa myth'. demand for narcotics during such celebrations, a charas
Apart f rom the Bombay glitterati determined to out-do each other (marijuana) pusher had traveled all the way to Goa from
at the five-star circuit and the hyped overpriced private dos, Chandigarh with his consignment. He was arrested by the
police earlier this week.
thousands of young revelers, white and brown, thronged the
North Goa beach belt. Some paid Rs 5,000 per couple as The going ralelor charas in Goa is around Rs 20,000 a kilo,
entrance fee alone to one of the most 'happening' dance spots on says the DGP. The anested man had picked it up for Rs 4,000
Baga beach. All that one was assured offorthe fee was standing a kilo in Chandigarh.
space among the multitude of swaying bodies.
Deeply embarrassed by the adverse publicity that
Parking queues ran down 2 km between Baga and Calangute. accomoanied the case of Jeh Wadia's aborted Paraiso de
The police gave up trying to bring order to the chaos, as rave Anjuna (the Anjuna Paradise) rave party, the new
parties appeared to spring out of nowhere from Anjuna to government promised to go strict with such dos in the future.
Vagator. Rum and beerwere clearly intheair. Were drugstoo? "We are goingto be very careful in scrutinising permissions
A city medical specialist told this correspondent he had been from now on, and certainly no drugs will be allowed, Chief
called in by one of the European embassies to certify the suicide Minister Francisco Sardinha said to this newsoaoer. But the
deaths of three foreign nationals. Drugged into a haze, one of the fact is that Jeh Wadia (son of Bombay Dyeing tycoon Nusli
victims had jumped into a well. Wadia), an old Goa hand who has been operating here for
The state police have on its hands the body of a Calangute almost a decade, has well-established connections not only
restaurant owner. The post-mortem revealed that he died of an within Goa's political orde( but also its police.
overdose of either alcohol or drugs and his body has become the Over three years ag0, Ihe Paraiso de Anjuna (ironically, a
subject of a custody battle between his foreign wife and his local government- owned property on the Anjuna cliffs) party had
family. made a brg splash in the lsraeli media which wondered why

ANLefter 25 Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism and lhe Coasl

young lsraelis were making a beeline for a tourist spot 0n the their hair down (that's why they come here in the first place),
west coast of India. Even after the story appeared in the local so long as drugs were controlled. But, as Mr. Sahaye
papers atthe time, Mr. Wadia's name was barely whispered at the admitted, this is one area where the state police is sorely
Calangute police station. "Jeh is not involved in the parties. He lacking in infrastructure. The DGP says his force is
only uses the place to entertain his f riends" (some of whom were understaffed and undeftrained to catch the big fish of the
central ministers), the police inspector had specified. narcotics trade. "We are groping in the dark. But given our
0n Christmas eve, the High Court here stopped Mr. Wadia's shortcomings, we did manageacommendable job duringthe
heavily adveftised (it was put 0ut on the net and on the music p73 millennium,"he says.
channel on TV) millennium bash in its tracks after a public Another senior police official points out thdt central
interest litigation filed by a local journalist. Emboldened by their government institutions that specialise in narcotics like
backslapping familiarity with the power lobbies here, the Customs and Central Excise and the Anti-Narcotics Bureau of
organisers of the Anjuna rave had not even bothered to seek India have hardly been active here. They do not pass 0n
mandatory licenses. No barlicense had been acquired The lease intelligence information to the state police either, even
for the propefty had expired on September 30. Yet, 77,000 though they are in touch with the drugs enforcement
square metres of land touching the beach had been illegally agencies of the US and their British counterparts. "We are
fenced off and steps and tunnels dug into the cliff. itching to get our hands on the big guns in the trade, but we
The party was to feature 30 deejays, six restaurants, a 1 O0-shop have no inputs from the other agencies."
flea market, four bars and a healing centre. For all the At least 700 personnel from the central agencies are
government's assurances to stop rave pafties here, it is difficult stationed in Goa, but despite the huge publicity over Goa's
to imagine that any such plan can succeed. lt began first with the millennium celebrations, none of them stepped up their
'full moon' parties, then the 'acid' pafties and now the 'rave' vigilance on the drug trade in the state, the police here
parties with 'Goa trance' (a type of techno music). comolained.
The image of Goa as a place to dance and party 0n the beaches is
now completely intertwined with its attraction as a t0urist
destination. A number of Ioreign tourists this correspondent This afticle, written by Devika Sequeira, appeared in the
spoke t0 felt that there was nothing wrong in their wanting to let Deccan Herald, 6th January, 2000

'Paradire' for touriltl, (alangttte rtinltt for itl reridentt

sposal of wastes generated by tourism is becoming a

serious issue. Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, and
Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala have initiated interventions
on thisfront. Calangute in Goa is yet to get its act together.

Tourism, the smokeless industry, is making its pollution impact Panchayat authorities in Calangute are on record telling some
felt in different ways, and some villagers of Calangute are up in resorts that they were guilty of having discharged/disposed
arms overthe uncontrolled sewage problem the area is facing. sewage from the septic tank of their hotel resoft into the
public nallah causing a foul smell to the residents of the
"So-called rent-back res0rts are the main culorits. These were
meant t0 be residential homes but have been convefted into
resorts. They simply can't c0pe with the load of sewage But to cut corners and save rupees, some resorts in this area
generated,"says Antonio J D'Souza of Gauravaddo, one of the simply dump their sewage into nearby drains. This happens
villagers for long desperately seeking recourse from the specially during the monsoons.
Lifting the sewage would costthem something. Installing an
'0ur problem is that sewage is dumped into traditional storm- effluent treatment plant would be more expensive So the
cheap way out is justto dump it in the storm-drains," explains
drains,"says Anthony John Simoes, an engineer turned
environmental campaigner from the area, who is known among Simoes.
green circles in the state for his skills at neatly analysing technical But citizens point to the close nexus between local politicians
issues in deoth. and some resofts, and say that action is not taken, official

ANLetter 26 Vol 7 No 'l November 2000

Tourism and the Coast

figures about resort operations are n0t given access too, and 0n analysis for their quality by conducting physico-chemical
only when threatened with legalaction do the local bodies tryto and chemical and microbiological analysis, results indicated
dodge the same by resofiing to various strategies. "an excessive load of enteric pathogens, thus establishing the

"This letter,' says D'Souza, brandishing a copy 0f an official non- potability olthe watei'.

document, "was written justto stop me from going to the courts." Said the scientists then: "Unscientific growth of tourism in
In it, the authorities tell a resort-owner that they had earlier Calangute has resulted in most hotels releasing effluents into
"incorrectly quoted" the Goa Non-Biodegradable Act and its soakpits and drainage systems which are often clogged
relevant sections". beyond thei r capacity."

D'Souza said he had filed a Rightto Information petition with the 'Rent-backs' in the area have an interesting history. These
local authorities, to
check how much revenue the local were built by builders who cashed in on the building-boom as
authorities were actually getting from "rent-back" resorts. But well as tourism-boom Goa saw in the early and mid-nineties.
access to the information was blocked to him, he says. Initially these were built as residential accommodation, and
They get away paying virtually nothing. And then the authorities
sold to people from other cities of India, including non-
resident Goans based in crties like Mumbai. For them, the
want villagers to pay a higher house-tax," says D'Souza.
flats were quite 'cheap', priced once at around Rs 5 lakh for
He pointed out that the cheap tourists that Calangute attracts between 50 to 58 so.metres.
were placing severe stress on the environment and local
Later, the builders themselves or s0me other party 'rented
inf rastructure. ncidentally this area was one of the first homes to
back' these huge blocks and converted them into resorts,
t0urism in Goa, stafting after the initial hippie boom in the late
'sixties."ln the last season, some tourists from Britain got seven mainly for Euro chafter tourists. They believed foreigners
would come and spend lavishly. But they got the riff-raff.
t0 ten day holidays for as little as a ludicrous 79 pounds sterling,"
Today, rent-backs have failed, and all the spin offs are
says D'Souza. This includes bed and breakfast plus a return
negative," says Simoes.
ticket, and perhaps even wouldn't have got one an air ticket from
here to New Delhi I Since the inf rastructure was meant to be purely residential,
these often did not have plans for sewage treatment facrlities.
Recently, Calangute parish priest Jose Dias carried a signed
But as business started t0 grow, with many low budget
article in the parish bulletin, pointing out how swimming pools in
tourists coming in, they began to choke on their own sewage,
the area were not only proving to be water-guzzlers but were also
affecting their neighbours too. "l can get the whiff from my
contaminating the g round-water.
own house whenever sewage is released,"says D'Souza
"lt is a matter of prestige and gain for a hotel to own its own
D'Souza says rent-backs"- catering to mainly Euro chafter
swimming pool. In some villages like Calangute one can f ind four
tourjsts from Britain - have also been responsible for the
to five swimming pools within a radius oJ 200 metres," he
noise pollution created by daily music shows, and the
mountains of plastic these generate.
Chemicals pumped into each pool could lead to pollution oJ the
But some resofts are showing that steps can be taken to
g rou ndwater, vil lagers were cautioned.
alleviate the problem Some resorts -like the Kamats have
Incidentally, swimming pools need a number of chemicals - gone ahead and installed their own effluent treatment plants.
activated carbon and chlorine dioxide for taste and odour
Belatedly, the Panchayat has told some of the offending
control; calcium hypochlorite, chlorine and sodium hypochlorite
resorts t0 install effluent treatment plants "of an adequate
for disinfection; sodium bicarbonate for the PH adjustment, capacity" and get it approved by the already-criticised Goa
potassium permanganate for oxidation of impurities; copper
State Pollution Control Board rn 90 days time.
sulphate and copper oxide for algae control; and bistributyl tin
oxide for algal and fu ngal control. Failing this, your license to run the resort/hotel shall be
suspended or cancelled under Sections 69, 70 and 71 of the
Villagers who did a study oJ the area said they had found 48 Goa Panchayat Ral Act of 1 993," warned the Panchayat.
swimming pools scattered across Calangute-Baga. These
But as some politicians themselves have interests in some
included Gauravaddo West (11), Cobravaddo (9), Gauravaddo
hotels, whether these warnings are effective is anyone's
East (8), Naikavaddo (7), Sauntavaddo (5), and Tivaivaddo,
guess Goa's famed singer Lorna sang paeans of praise to the
Porbavaddo, Umttavaddo and Baga (two each). "This study was
"Calangute breeze" in the sixtres. Today, for some of its
done some time back. There could be more now," Fr Dias told
residents, itstinksl

In the late nineties, Dr. Joe D'Souza and his student Ms. D V.
Gonsalves collected ground water samples from wells adjacent
to hotel constructions in various locations of the one-time placid
This afticle, written by Frederick Noronha, appeared in the
fishing village turned tourism-hotspot of Calangute.
Nalional Hercld.

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

A tea eup in the storm

he hill station q/ Ooty is burning. The price of tea

has gone dov'n drasticallyfrom early this year and
the./armers are on an agitation that continues even
today. The economy of the place is in doldrums as
the tv,o economic activities of the area, tea
cultivatiott and tourism, has been affected.

"Tea and lourism festival is celebrated in the Nilgiris joinlly by lhe Peacelul co-habitalion
Deparlment of Tourism, Govt. of Tamil Nadu and the Ministry of
Tourism, Govt. of India every January. Cultural programmes, visils lo Tea and tourisn have pafted ways in the hill station of 0oty.
lea estales and factories, fun and frolic etc., mark lhis celebrations
(sic.). Come lo Nilgiris, during this feslival, when lea lovers from all 0oty is the headquarters of the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu. A
over lhe world converge. An occasi0n not t0 be missed.... " small town just 36 sq. km. in area, it has always been
considered as one of the most beautiful hrll stations in lndia
('Tea and tourism festival- Udhagamandalan': TTDC brochure ever since the colonial rulers used it as their summer retreat.
Dept of Touilsm, Government of Tamil Nadu) The landscape of Ooty is diverse with mountainous terrain
and streams Nilgiris in general and 0oty in particular is
"The Flower Show in Ooty has been cancelled. Due to lhe increased
inhabited by a population of various communities including
distulbances on law and order and the blocking of roads as pail of the
indigenous communities like the Todas, the Kotas and the
ongoing agitation of lhe tea cultiualors demanding an increase in the
Kurumbas. The main economic activity has been agriculture-
tea prices, the Stale government has decided to cancel the 104'' (sic.)
tea being the foremost crop. Tourism is another
Flower Show that was to be held in 0oty. "
acknowledged economic activity today.
(Malayala Manorama 17'' May 2000)
The annual Flower Show is the most imoortant tourist
attraction in Ooty More than 250,000 tourists (both foreign
and domestic) visit 0oty every year on the two days of the
Flower Show. This number and the innumerable others who
come to Ooty during the season make up the number of
tourists every year. lt is not surprising that the community
has been forced to see tourism as one oJ their orime
economic activities

Tourism in 0oty has always depended on, among other

things, tea. The tea estates and gardens were an integral part
ol the landscape of Ooty and thus undoubtedly part of the
package offered The 'Tea and Tourism Festival' that is
organised by the tourism department is one such occasion
when the two came together to the forefront of marketing
their land. The concept of 'tea tourism' got immense mileage
from this apparently peaceful co-existence. The people ol

AN Letter Vol 7 No | \oremlrer 2000


Nilgiris- a profile

The Nilgiris, with an area 2549 sq. lcrn, has one of the tallest mountain ranges of the Western Ghats in South India.
l559sq.lrrnsofthistotalareaisforestland. Mosto/theriversinSouthlndiaoriginatefromtheNilgiris.These
rivers nourish the needs of'Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. Devala, a place in Gudalur Taluk in the Nilgiris,
receives the highest rainfall in lhe country after Cherapunchi.

There are all types offorests in the Nilgiris like the evergreenforests, moist deciduousforests, scrubjungles, dry
deciduousforestandmontanneforests. GrasslandsarealsoanimportantpartoftheNilgirisalongwiththeshola
'Man and Biosphere' (MAB)
foresls. In the year 1986, the aree was brought under the UNESCO's programme,
andwasdesignatedasthe'NilgiriBiosphereReserve'(I'IBR) ThetotalareaofNilgiriBiosphereReserveis5520
sq.kms. Theseforests have a large collection offlora andfauna, some of them endemic to the region. Theforest is
alsofamousfor the Asian elephant.
MS Selvaraj
President of VTMS and Biological Protection Trust (BPT)

Ooty also came t0 see tea and tourism as the two economic The data brought out by the Tea Board of India suggests that
activities that sustained them. the tea production has gone up 29.39% in the first lour
months compared to the same time period last year. At the
The tea story s a me time, the f igures on the export of tea have come down
52 6% from the last year The recent export-import
Tea cultivation cannot be considered as a traditional (Exim) policy of India that ann0unced lowering of
economic activity in and around 0oty import duties on many commodities, which
(Kotagiri and Coonoor are the included tea, facilitated more import from
major neighboring towns c0untries like Kenya and Sri Lanka.
with large tea plantations).
Tea entered the economy of The struggle
the land as part of thg colonial
The struggle of the tea
-;, farmers of Ooty has been
cultivation in the g;ing on-roi ir,r pirilit
independence India when the months. As in the case of

announcing subsidies. Now, tea R used during the course of

is cultivated in 125,000 acres of ,i F the struggle. The struggle

e f*"=sd
came to the limelight in the
month of March. which was
the peak tourist season in

cultivation in the earlv davs itself. The subsequent

upward mobility the community experienced had a strong streets In pr0test Pr0cesslons were
impact on their lifestyles and aspirations The sudden fall inthe confronted with lathi charges and tear
tea prices affected the community in such a waythe community gas shells More than 2000 people (including 600 women)
had not perceived. Last year the green tea leaves were sold atwere arrested and detained for days in Coimbatore, an
Rs.18 per Kg (the price of tea in the market being Rs. 1S0 -200).
industrial city 90 kms. away f rom Ooty. The arrests infuriated
Thislellsteeplyt0Rs.4.50-5.00perKgearlythisyear. the protestors and buses were burned and public pr0perty
ANLetter 29 Vol Z No 1 November 2000

destroyed. Railways were disrupted and roads production and related activities in 0oty Behind
blocked. The protesters also announced their llew policies that this lies the larger question of the state's interest
decision to stop the government from favour the import in the various sectors of development and its
celebrating the 105'" Flower Show that was the vision of growth. The issue clearly is a fallout of
piece d'resistance of the summer festivities in of agilcultural the exoorl orientation and the liberalisation
0oty. comnodities and process that has been initjated by all the
governments in the last decade. The struggle of
The Flower Show is the time when the simultaneous
the tea farmers in 0oty brings to fore issues
maximum number of tourists come to Ooty withdnwalof related to the priorities of the government in the
This is celebrated annually celebrated in May
internal subsidies context of the opening of the Indian market for
and this year the dates announced for the foreign investors and trade.
Millenium Show were the 20'' and the 21" of has rcsulted in
May The Tamil Nadu government and the
the increased The issue of tea is directly related to the recent
Horticulture Department sees the Flower Show Exim policy of the government, which lowered
as one ol the most prestigious and money marginalisation the import duty on essential commodities. The
spinning of events The agitators also found of aEiculture. fact is that such decisions of the government
this the apt opportunity to enlarge the scope of stem from taking no cognisance of the realities
their struggle and seek more attention. And on the ground and the dynamics of local
therefore the Flower Show became the 'site' for the Drotest f0r the economies There seems to be no effective communication
attention it would invite. and planning in matters which are of interestto more than one
ministry or department or even between the national and the
The roads to 0oty were blocked and the tourists were not allowed
regional levels. Agriculture, which has been identified as the
into the city. The public transp0rt system was paralysed and had primary sector is totally neglected in the scheme of
to seek the police force for protection. At last the government develooment. New policies that favour the imoort of
decided to cancel the Flower Show in its 105'n year. All the agricultural commodities and simultaneous withdrawal of
arrangements that were done had to be undone. The news that
internal subsidies has resulted in the increased
the show was cancelled gave the protest much-needed
marginalisation of agriculture. All attention seems to have
shifted to the pampered tertiary sector (in which tourism is a

star player) with a host of subsidies and incentives provided.

The call to obstruct the Flower Show and the government's
decision to call it off also oaid immediate dividends for the The struggle in the hill station of Ooty provides interesting
agitators. The struggle got attention from the government and signif iers f or ou r analysis of the economics of the cou ntry. Tea
debates ensued in the Legislative Assembly. The government and tourism for us are these signifiers for primary and teftiary
took certain decisions to ensure the sustenance of the tea sectors respectively. "lf the problems of the tea cultivators are
cultivators. They decided to decrease the sales tax from 8% to not solved, the government is bound to lose the crores of
4o/o.fhe Central Government declared an increase in the import
money from tourism"(Malayala Manorama May 20'' 2000)
duties on tea from 15% to 35% except for the imports from Sri
indicating that the protest of the tea farmers could gain media
Lanka (it is
learnt that the Minister of Commerce Murasoli
attention only when tourism was threatened This
Maran's son has tea plantations in Sri Lanka). These decisions
confrontation of the primary sector and the teftiary sector is a
are seen as mere sops by the farmers whose demand remains to
striking contradiction in the present Indian economy.
withdraw the Exim policy directions.

The struggle has had a flip side to it. The economy of Ooty, which After more than a century of tea and tourism, the battle lines
has already been shaken thoroughly by the low tea prices, had its are clearly drawn out in the small town of Ooty. The agitation
second blow when the tourism activity got disrupted. Thus the of the tea cultivators is one more chapter t0 the many
people of 0oty who depended soley on tea and tourism, ended up struggles on the ground that seeks equal rights for livelihood
with having neither. in an increasingly unequal world.

The issue- a look behind the scenes

The apparent and the immediate issue is surely that of the ANLetler team
sustenance of the thousands related to and living on tea with inputs fromShirley Susan andDhanaraj Keezhara

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000



February: VTMS' initiated a campaign to expose the consequences of the new economic policy and the
1 WTO agreement amongst the tea planters and estate labourers and to condemn the tea impofts from Sri
-) Lanka and other countries.

-) February: Representatives of political pafties and tea growers organised a meeting to discuss the issue
of the fall in price oJ tea and to plan agitations. The Member of Parliament and the Members of the
-) Legislative Assembly f rom Nilgiri participated in this. lt was decided that the central and state ministers
-') concerned be met immediately. Union Minister of Commerce Mr. Murasoli Maran and other ministers
concerned were met with later.
February 2; A huge protest meeting was organised by VTMS. A large section of the population
-) participated in this. Resolutions condemning tea import and demanding the withdrawal from WTO
..) agreement were passed and were sent to the district administration and to the state and central
g Ove rn m e nts.
April 5-8: A campaign in Gudalur and Pandalur using loud speaker fitted to a jeep was carried out.
.) Propaganda against g lobal isation and tea i m port was the content. I n addition, street corner meetings and
public meetings were held. Besides WMS, the farmers' wing of CPI and CPI (M), ADMK, TMC etc.
Aprill0: 1 lakh (100,000)farmers and labourers assembled paralysing Ooty. Slogans demanding the
scrapping of tea imports, dismantling the process of globalisation, fixing Rs.15 (US $ 0.33) per
kilogramme of tea leaves etc were raised. Political party leaders als0 participated. The government
-) machinery was alert as the peasants mobilised themselves with heightened awareness. lf thetea import
-) was notprevented, itwas declaredthatthe FlowerShow in 0otywould be prevented.
a April30:A bandh was called.
a May 2: Rally, hunger strike, public meetings etc. were held in Gudalur. Hundreds of tea growers and
labourers pafticipated in this.
May 5: A trade bandh was called throughout the district on 'Traders day', which is celebrated for the last
17 years on May 5th.
-) May 15: Peasants organised a protest rally in which thousands participated half-naked. The rally took a
violentturn when some miscreants threw stones leading to police lathicharge and repression.4T people
-) were arrested. The tea growers carried out a rail blockade in Kettj for 6 hours. Thousands participated in
-) road blockades, picketing etc. and other agitation in the villages near by. In this agitation, demands for
the resignations of the MP and MLAs were raised. About 10,000 people participated in the rally at
Edakkad. Roads were blocked in Thankad village. 0n the night of May 1 5th, 7 government buses and 1 3
vehicles carrying tourists were smashed. During the rally that day, a car and a Tata Sumo were smashed.
Glass panes of many hotels were also destroyed. A police inspector and a constable were stoned for
-') using foul language againstthe protestors.

-) May 18: There were agitations all over the district demanding the release of the arrested. Picketing of
roads and protest meetings took place. 2000 people including 700 women were arrested and imprisoned
in the Coimbatore Centralja,,.
-'') May 19: When it was learnt that the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Mr. Murali
-) Manohar Joshi would visit Ooty on his way to Coimbatore, the people of Yellanahalli organised protests
and road blockade. The police lathi charged to disperse the agitators. The situation turned tense. Slippers
1 werethrown atthe Inspector General of Police Mr. Subbayawhen he arrived to seithe situation in order
-') Dist. Collector Sh ivashan kar had to apolog ise for the incident. 0n ly after this, partial peace was restored.
May 20: lg nori ng the threats of the p0lice that strict action would be taken agai nst the protestors and that
the 'Goondas Act" would be invoked, agitators continued road blockade in various parts of the district
.) from the morning of May 20th. In many places government offices were attacked and stoned. Road
transportwasparalysed 4busesweresetfireinKothagiri.Over5000agitatorsbeganpicketing.Manjur

1 VivasiygalThozhilargal[VlunnetraSangam(VTlVlS)]safarmersuni0nintheGudalurandPandalurtaluksoftheNilgirisdistrict
2 Anactlhatdealswithanti-s0cialelements

ANLetter 3t Vol 7 No I November 2000



-) police station was attacked. 25 buses were stoned. Tension reigned throughout Nilgiri. Asthe situation
was turning worse, the government began t0 appease the agitators by holding talks. The Chief Minister
-) ordered for the immediate release of the arrested. Public transport was paralysed for a week. The ruling
-) party leaders tried to divert, subveft and weaken the struggle. They said that Nilgiri tea is of low quality
that the tea is adultorated and that is why the price of tea fell. Many innocent farmers and women were
, arrested. Though the Chief Minister announced that all the arrested would be released unconditionally,
-) yet cases have been registered against 46 agitators

.) a May 21. The peasants of Mavanahalli launched a hunger strike. Additional DGP Kumaraswamy held talks
with the agitators. An emergency meeting under the leadership of the dist. collector was held. The MP,
-) MLAs, party leaders, peasant leaders etc pafticipated in this. The collector promised that the demands
would be duly considered and requested that peace should prevail in the district.
a May 20-21 : the 1 05* Flower Show that was to be held was abandoned by the government.
a May22 Police were rushed from other districts and deployed throughoutthe district including Manjur.
The peasant anger exploded uncontrollably. Stone throwing took place The offices of the electricity
board, telephone department, collectorate etc were subject to stone throwing Additional police from
0oty was deputed to control the agitation. Special Task Force and Rapid Action Force were deployed. The
-) police force patrolled the area during nights. Superintendents of Police frorn 4 districts were stationed in
the district.

^o May 22. The Tamilnadu governm,ent constituted a high level committee consisting of the Labour
Secretary, Tea Board First Officer, INCOSERVE Managing Director and District Collector to study the
issue of tea and to submit recommendations. This Committee met the leaders of the protest at Ooty on
May 22nd. [Their 200-page repoft was submitted to the Chief Minister on June 30th. There are 21
recommendations in this report. lt has been announced that appropriate decisions would be taken in
consu ltation with the central government and announced shortly.l

-a May 29: Attention wasdrawn to the issue in the legislative assembly and a prolonged debate followed. lt
was stated that a sitMtion has ernerged in Nilgiris that farmers may commit suicide as it happened
amongst,the cotton g,rowers in Andhra. Besides, it was stated thatthe import policyand liberalisation are
.) the causes. lt was stressed that a resol,ution must be passed and sent to Delhi The Chief Ministet
announced thatthe sales taxis being reduced JromEo/qlo 4ohlora period of 6,months.
Ertracts f romMS Selvaraj's arltqle 'lmpacts of new economic policy,on the tea indus,try and tea
'estate workers in the Nil,airis'


The struggle in 00ty and the nearby places continues to date. Protest gatherings, roadblocks and the
arrests that follow are not of much interest to the press today. The struggle continues as no visible
measures have been made by the government to ensure that the grievances of the people in Nilgiris are
addressed. Repofts on the decreasing exports and other government statistics on tea d0 appear in the
newspapers, but the struggle is erased from its pages. One of the significant developments that brought
the media attention, though limited, back on the tea crisis was the sandalwood smuggler Veerappan's
statement that the Kannada matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar will be released only if, among other things, the
welfareoftheNilgiri teafarmersisassured. Thisagainisapointertowardstheinterestthatthemediais
showing towards an important struggle like this. May saw massive publicity because of the cancellation
of the FlowerShow, while in August, it isthe abduction of the superstarthat broughtthe issue back tothe
front pages, at least asa one-liner.

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000


Gleaning up tourism
0n the campaign 0n banning plastics in Kodaikanal

wareness against the use of plastics below 20 microns is growing in dilJbrent parts of
the country. The High Court in Kerala has banned its use early this year Maharashtra
government has issued a ban on plastics in Mumbai and there is news of similar initiatives
from Rajasthqn. Much ofthe credit for this awareness can be attributed to vorious pressure
groups, including NGOs. A campaign to make Kodaikanal plastics-Jiee has been onJbr the
past eight months. The campaign initiated by Kodaikanal Lake Protection Council (KLPC),
Tamil Nadu Environmental Council CNEC) and EOUATIONS has seen success. A reDort.

The history of Kodaikanal as a tourist destination dates back to students who were instrumental in working towards the
the Raj. The sahibs found it ideal for a summer retreat. banning of plastics. A target was set that the decision ol
Independent India spared no effort developing this area as an banning plastics above 20 microns in Kodaikanal would have
important hill station in south of the country. Today Kodaikanal to be reached before the World Tourism Dav on 27'n of
sees itself at the hub of tourist activities in the summer. The area Seotember.
rs well developed in terms of tourism inf rastructure and annual
tourist festivals and f lower shows are held. Tourism, as usual, Training pr0grammes for NG0s, students, tourism industry,

has taken its toll on the economy and ecology of the area. Like traders and tourists were conducted. A consultation on the ill

many other destinations, for example 0oty, the economy is effects of plastics was conducted on the 26'' of April in
primarily dependent on tourism. But the graver rssue that stares connection with Earth Day. Academicians like the Registrar of

at us is the ecological degradation 0f the place through the long Mother Theresa University and off icials including the
years of tourism development. The lake, which is the major Revenue Divisional Officer participated al0ng with NG0s. The

attraction in Kodaikanal, is on the verge of destruction because of consultation generated public rnterest in its attempt to situate

soil eroding from the banks due to the felling of trees, disposal of the issue of plastics in a human context than only as an
waste into the lake and the use of plastics as carry bags and tea environmental issue. Effects of plastics like cancer was
cups. highlighted along with instances of animals dying as a result
of plastics entering their sysrem. Inviting their active
Tourism development in Kodaikanal has been in discussion with involvement in the campaign, the workshop requested the
concerned groups for many years now. The Kodai Lake has residents ofthe hill station to refrain from the use of olastics

been the focus of concerned groups for at least the last as carry bags. The consultation urged the
five years, and the Kodaikanal Lake Protection government to create a code of conduct for

Council (KLPC) was formed to ensure the the t0urists to ensure that the olace is not

conservation of the lake and its fragile ecology.

Ihe consultation generated destroyed and to use ail available
public interest in its attempt machinery and the various departments
Converging on to the issue of use of plastics in
to situate the issue of to join hands in the
and around the Kodai Lake early this year it awareness
plastics in a human context
identified banning of plastics as the immediate campaign. Palmyra, jute and paper bags
than only as an
and critical agenda. The joint forces of KLPC, enYironmental issue. Effecb
were recommended as possible
Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC) and of plastics like cancer was arternatives to olastic. lt
was also
EQUATI0NS decided to follow the example of highlighted along with suggested that a uniform policy should

0oty where the campaign to ban plastics was on instances of animals dying be designed for all the hill stations to
(plastics below 20 microns were banned in 0oty as a result of plastics ensure conservation.

in May 2000) A fact-finding team visited 0oty entellng thefu system.

early this year in February to study the situation a.nd The consultation was followed by a

had discussions with the dist. collector, NGOs and cleaning campaign around the Kodai Lake.

ANLetter 33 Vol 7 No 1 November 2000


The highlight of the campaign was the participation amount of awareness that has been created
of the civic authorities including the Deputy that even the local population is responding
Suoerintendent oJ Police, officials of various positively to the campaign. The
g0vernment departments like Tourism, campaigners found themselves on the
Forest and also the representatives of Ihe inplementation of the ban way to a total ban way before the
political parties. Billboards announcing the on plastics, the campaignem dead line that was set by them.
lake premises as"Clean Zone"were erected. feel, has been accomplished as
a result of the wlll shown by tbe The success of the campaign against
The authorities talked to the traders in
ciYic authorities who were olastics in Kodaikanal has to be
person t0 stop using plastics and this
ready to acknowledge the issue
turned out to be more effective than a fufthered with continuing awareness
brought to focus by the
written order. programmes targeting the resident
campaigning llG0s. Political
will, they say, will surely see
population and the student
A stall on the use of plastics was erected at that the same result is achieued community. The implementation of the
the Flower Show that was conducted as a in other places also. ban on plastics, the campaigners feel,
part of the Kodai Festival by KLPC, TNEC has been accomolished as a result of
and E0UATI0NS. This helped in the will shown by the civic authorities
highlighting the issue and brought it to the who were ready to acknowledge the issue
notice of the district collector. He declared on brought to focus by the campaigning NG0s.
the spot that the issue is of grave concern and will Political will, they say, will surely see that the
be taken seriously by the district authorities. same result is achieved in other olaces also.
Discussions between the authorities and the traders followed
and was decided that the use of olastics will be cu ftailed.

Notices against the use of plastics stafted appearing in the shops ANLetler team
as early as mid-June. 95% of the shops have decided t0 put an with inputs from L Antonysamy (President, TNEC) and
end to the use of plastic carry bags. There is a considerable Shirf ey Susan (Progra mnn Coordi nat or, E0UATI1NS)

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Bombay High Court at Goa Delivers
Major Environment Verdict
jl iudSement recently delivered by the Bombay High Court on q case between
hotel groups and the Goa Foundation' addresses the relationship between the
industry, the state, and civil society. A milestone ofvictory in the continuing saga of
slruggles that has marked the development of tourism in Goa; the case brings to
mind the plethora of issues that have been in focus for a long time including the
cases on the CRZviolations.

The Bombay High Court has delivered a resounding judgment Goans Hotel was also directed to pay costs'to the Ministry of
upholding the power of the central government t0 issue Environment.
directions (unde r Secti on 5 of the Envi ronnent Protecti on Act,
1986)toany person 0r body in orderto protectthe environment. Several hotels and resorts came up in the State of Goa during
At the same time, the judgement has also further broadened the the Eighties. Due to collusion by the Goa government
locus standi of citizens to approach the courts to prevent authorities, some of them were granted permissions in
environment degradation of any area within the country. violation of existing guidelines. While the Foundation literally
flooded the High Court with petitions challenging the
The 1S7-page judgment was delivered by a division bench violations, the Ministry of Environment issued directions
comprising of Justice Fl Rebello and Justice VC Dhagaat Goa. under Sec,5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986,
requiring the local authorities to cut otf water and electricity to
The judgment was delivered after the court heard and disposed hotel buildings.
off two writ petitions. The first was f iled by the Gulf Goans Hotels
Ltd. against directions issued by the Ministry of Environment lmmediately after the order to cut off electricity and water was
and Forests to the authorities to cut off water and electricity issued in the case of Gulf Goans Hotel. the hotel owners filed a
supply to their building. The ministry had issued the order after writ petition and managed t0 get an interim stay of the order.
coming to a conclusion that the construction of the hotel was in The hotel owners also challenged the vires of &c. 5of the
violation of the guidelines issued t0 protect the beaches of the Environment Protection Act, 1 986.
country. The second petition was filed by the Goa Foundation,
Goa's premier environment action group, for demolition of the During the same period several other hotels including the
new wing of the hotel and the swimming pool, as both had been Leela Beach, the Majorda Beqch Resort and the 0ld Anchor
constructed within 200 mts of the High Tide Line (HIl). The Resort of the Dalmia ResortS,(6IC Group) were also issued
petition filed by the Gulf Goan Hotels was relected while the similar directions for violations of coastal regulations by the
petition filed by the Foundation was allowed with costs. Gulf MoEF. These orders were also challenged and stayed.

1 GoaFoundationisanon-governmentorganisati0nbasedinGoa,workingondevelopmentissueswithspecialemphasisonenvironment.Usinglawasatool,theyhave
made successful interventions in debates oertainin0 to this area,
2 Exactfigures not available

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism and the Law

Senior Goa Advocate VB Nadkarni appeared for the Gulf Goans extensively into the several landmark decisions of the
Hotel, RN Trivedi, Additional Solicitor-General, appeared for the Supreme Court of India and of the United States dealing with
Union of India and Norma Alvares for the Goa Foundation. orotection of the environment. lt discusses several
Counsel forthe other resorts were also heard on the vires of Sec. judgments of the apex court 0n the issue of inclusion of
5ofthe Environment Protection Act bythe court. environment proiection as part of fundamental right to life
guaranteed to all citizens.
The court stayed the demolition of the building in order to allow
the Gulf Goans Hotel to appeal to the Supreme Court but ruled The court has reconfirmed the decision of an earlier bench of
there would be no stay to the directions issued by the the Bombay High Court (also delivered at Goa) in Prof. Sergio
Government of India for cutting off the supply of electricity and Carvalho Vs State of Goaand others (1989 (1) Goa 1.T.276)
water to the resort. upholding the policy of the Central Government to maintain a
200 mts no development zone through out the country for
ecological reasons.

- - The court in its judgment has
The scholarly judgement quotes extensively from Chief
Seattle's address to the President of the United States and
discussed the constitutional from the recent book, "0ur Silent Future', written by Theo
duties of citizens to protect the Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski and John Peterson Myers. lt has
enuironment and the importance held that the ban on constructions in the beach zone u oto 200
mts or 500 mts as the case may be, restriction on removal of
of the Stockholm Gonference
sand dunes, tapping of ground water resources and
and the Gonference on restrictions on buildings were to protect the coastal
Environment and Development environment as it formed part of the right to life itself. The
held at Rio de Janeiro in June court has also held, in view of several apex court judgments
1992 as a souroe fol on international conventions, that the Stockholm Declaration
can be enforced in municioal c0urts in absence of municioal
legitimising action to protect
laws and that citizens can move the courts for relief .

the environment. lt has gone

extensively into the seueral The courl has also distanced itself from an earlier decision of

landma* decisions of the the Bombay High Court which had held that a letter written by
Mrs. Indira Gandhi in November 1981 was in the nature of an
Supreme Gourt of lndia and of
executive fiat without legal validity and therefore not legally
the United States dealing with enforceable. The Rebello-Dhaga bench has upheld the legal
plotection of the enuironment.t validity of the letter. The judgement rules that the letter
t issued by the prime minister on November 27'' 1981 to the
chret ministers of all coastal states in India requiring them to
maintain a no-development zone of 500 metres f rom the HTL,
The detailed judgment is in the nature of a landmark verdict as it was in her capacity as prime minister of the country. The
deals with and settles severil important issues relating to the judgment reads: "ln our constitutional scheme, it is the prime
environment protection regime within the country; the powers minister who advises the President, The post of the prime
available to the central government under the Environment minister is recognized under Article 74 lt is the prime
Protection Act 1986 to cure environment wrongs; the rights of minister who has to perform the duties as set out therein.
citizens to approach the court 0n matters of environment Therefore when the orime minister addressed the Nations of
degradation of any kind and the validity of guidelines dealing with the World at Stockholm, it was 0n that authority and reflects
development of beaches issued prior to the promulgation of the her government's view. lt was not the view of an individual. lt
Environment Protection Act, 1986. was a commitment of the Government of India to the Nations
of the World. The letter dated November 27,1981therefore
The court in its judgment has discussed the constitutional duties was a letter by the prime minister expressing views as those
of citizens to protect the environment and the importance of the of her government."The court held that the letter reflected the
Stockholm Conference and the Conference on Environment and policy of the government and the coastal states in fact acted
Development held at Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 as a source for on the said letter after it was sent to the various chief
legitimising action to protect the environment. lt has gone ministers. The letter was in fact a res0onse to the Stockholm

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 Norember 2000

Tourism and the Law

declaration and was issued in view of India's obligations made The court held that the oower under Sec 3 of the
afterthe Stockholm Conference. Environment Protection Act flows from the followino
The judgement relates that after Mrs. Gandhi's letter, the
Department oJ Environment, Government of India, after 1. Precautionary principle and the new concept of burden
consulting with the governments of the coastal states produced of proof;
guidelines for the development of beaches. The court has held
that Mrs. Gandhi's letter and the guidelines were pursuant to the
2. Stockholm Declaration o11972 and Rio Declaration of
1 992;
Stockholm Declaration and therefore are part of the law of the
land. They constitute affirmative action by the Government of
3. To enforce the guidelines of 1983 & 1986 as a part to
rightto life and;
lndia to implement Articles 21 and 48 A of the Constitution of
India. 4. The principle of inter-generational equity, the rights to the
f utu re generation against the present generation.
The judgment examines and rejects challenges made by several
of the beach resorts to Sec. 5of the Environment Protection Act. The court did not accept the view of the solicitor general that
.9c. 5 gives the central government powers t0 issue directions the Environment Act could be seen to have retrospective
to any person, officer or authorities in environment matters and effect from the date of the Stockholm Conference in 1 972. lt
these directions must be obeyed. The directions could include held that directions could onlv be issued after 1986
cutting off of electricity and water, and closure, prohibition or November 19'n.

regulation ofany industry, operation or process.

The courl also held that there would be no deprivation of
The resorts argued that there are no guidelines to regulate the property if persons who held land covered by coastal
manner in which the central government could issue directrons regulation could use the land only as permitted under the
u/s 5 and that buildings would not come underthe definition of guidelines. The court summed up its own conclusions as
industry, operation or process as lhe entire Environment follows:
Protection Act, 1986, dealt solely with industrial pollution.
1) Sec. 5 does not suffer from the vice of arbitrariness.
The central government argued that Sec 5 is merely in the There is also no abdication of essential legislative
nature of a procedure and that it was the wrong section to be function lt cannot, therefore, be said that Section 5 fthe
challenged Mr Trivedi argued that none of the petitioners had Environment (Protection) Act is ultravires.
challenged Sec 3 oI the Act which actually confers powers on 2) The expression 'measures in Sec 3(2) of the
the government to deal with environment violations Environment Act, read with Sec. 3(2)(v), inposing
restrictions in areas, for setting up ol industries,
Mr. Trivedi drew the attention of the court to the holistic def inition operations 0r processes, which cannot be carried out,
of the word "environment" in the Act which includes water, air does not necessarily deal with environmental pollution
and land and the inter-relationship that exists among and only. ,frc. 3(1) and *c. 3(2) read together or
between water, air and land and human beings, or other living independently, enable the government in furtherance of
creatures, plants, micro organism and property. The courtfinally the objective of protecting and improving the quality of
held that buildings were covered by the word "operations and environment and protecting and controlling
0rocesses" and therefore there was no bar to demolish such environmental pollution, to exercise powers
buildings if they were found to be in violation lt concluded that independent of each other. lt would be competent for
the words"industries, operations and processes'are to be read the central government, therefore, to issue guidelines or
d isjunctively. orders independent of Sec. 3(2) under Sec. 3(1) to
protect the coastal ecology in order t0 prevent coastal

The court further held that once the Environment Protection Act degradation.
came into force on November 1 9, 1 986 power to take action was
conferred by Sec. 5 of the Act. Before the Environment 3) The expression "industries, operations and processes",
Protection Act was notified there was no provision for cannot be read ejusden generis They do not take
enforcement of the guidelines. In rts earlier order the court had colourfrom each other. They can be read independent of
ruled that the guidelines could be enforced despite the fact that each other as also taking colour from each other.
they were issued prior to the Environment Protection Act, 1986. Construction of buildings will be "operations within the
It was not therefore oossi ble for the cou rt to set back the clock. meaning oI Sec. 3(v)oIlhe Environment Act. The issue

ANLetter )/ Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Tourism and lhe Law

is also no longer res integra, in view of the judg ments of the the Rules on 19th Novembef 1986, itwas competentfor
apex court in the case oI lndian Council for Enviro-legal the Union of India t0 issue directions in exercise of its
Acti on vs. Uni on of India (sup ra) and Gopi Aqua Fa rms vs. powers under Section 5, read with Sub-section (3)(1) of
Union of lndia, (supra), upholding the then CRZ the Environment Act in respect of constructions put up
Notifications, as also the judgment of the Apex Couft in S in violation of the 1983 or 1986 ouidelines.
Jagannath vs. Union of lndla (supra) and Vellore Citizens'
Welfare Forum vs. Union of lndia (supra). The two CRZ However, if the EDC, Goa had granted permission to
Notifications have imnosed a ban on construction in the construct and if the construction was completed by
coastal areas as oerthe classification ofthe area. June 1986, then, no directions could be issued under
Sec 5of the Environment Act A citizen. however. could
4) The guidelines circulated in September 1983 as contained move the court if the 1983 or 1986 ouidelines had been
in Circular of May 1983 and the 0rder of June 1986 are paft vio lated.
of the policy of the Government of India to protect the
coastal ecology and environment. lt was, therefore, 9) The guidelines of 1 983 and 1 986 do not have the effect
competent for the Union of India in f urtherance of its policy of depriving the petitioner or any developer of his right
t0 protect the environment and ecology, to have issued to property under Article 3004 of the Constitution of
these administrative instructions They are traceable to the India, on the ground that it amounts to deprivation of
power of the Government of India to legislate in the f ield of propedy not according to law The guidelines of 1983
ecology and environment, as they are not included either in and 1 986 form a part of the right to life, guaranteed by
List ll or List lll and will fall in the Resid uarv Entrv of List
Article 21. Therefore, the guidelines are restrictions
imposed by law
5) The letter of the late orime minister dated 27th November
'1981, read with the guidelines of 1983 and 1986, were a 10) 0n the facts of the present case, there has been no
follow-up measure of India's acceptance of the Stockholm violation ofthe principles of natural justice and fairplay.
Declaration. Government of India had the exclusive
authority to enact legislation to give effect to lnternational M ore i nformation thereafter:
Conventions under Article 253 read with Article 13 of List l.
The letter and the guidelines therefore, are for enforcing the
After this judgement, the High Couft allowed two other
Stockholm Declaration. They are not contrary t0 the petitions filed by the Goa Foundation challenging
municipal law, astheyare paftof the rightto life constructions raised bythe Malorda Beach Resort (Majorda)
and the Dalmia Resoft (0ld Anchor) at Cavelossim. 150

6) An aggrieved citizen could have moved the court to

complain that his right to life has been affected by coastal
It had earlier allowed a writ petition filed by the Goa
Foundation and set aside the demarcation of the High Tide
degradation and to enforce the Stockholm Declaration, as
reflected in the Government of India's policy, pursuant to Line demarcated by the Surveyor General of India from
the letter written by the then former (sic.) prime minister Velsao to Cavelossim, holding that the HTL was in violation of
and follow-up guidelines A High Courl hearing a petition the CRZ notification reouirements
under Article 226 in such a case, could have enforced the
1 983 and 1 986 guidelines
The High Court also allowed a petiti0n filed by the Foundation
against the Panchayats of Calangute and Candolim,
7) Though the Stockholm Declaration could be enforceable challenging widespread constructions in the 200-metre no-
read with the guidelines of 1983 and 1986, it could only be
development zone of the two villages. lt referred all the
atthe instance of a citizen movinq the courtfor relief.
impugned constructions to the Goa State Coastal Zone
Management Authority to be dealt with under the provisions
8) lf a citizen could have moved, the Government of India itself of the Environment Protection Act, 1 986 and directed both
could have demanded compliance However, in the absence Panchayats to pay Rs.1 5,000 each in costs to the Fo u ndation
till 19th November 1986,
of any power f lowing f rom any Act
no directions could have been issued to remove the
construction. The license could have been revoked. This piece is a reproduction from the website
However. on comino into force of the Environment Act and ht t p //www. g o a c o m c o m/g e f/d ox/j u dg e me nt - re be I I o ht ml

AN Letter 3B Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

globalisation, tourism and development that culture change in such a boundary-less global
An lnnoduction to lourim and Anthropology
are being addressed in this book against a w0fl0
Peter Burns background of essential basic information of
This book is divided in two pads, part one
Routledge, 1 999, tl 4. 99, both anthropology and tourism
discusses main concepts like anthropology,
pbk 208pp, ISBN: 0 41518 627 7 Peter Burns was asking for trouble when he tourism, tourists and culture The second pad
decided to discuss the rise of anthropology, goes into the details of the anthropology ol
Peter Burns introduced his book graphically
structuralism, and a touch of functionalism in tourism itself and touches upon issues like
with a lront cover illustration of the land
the first twenty pages of his book He is not globalisation and development in relation to
ceremony on the lsland ol Pentecost getting that from me! | believe that the the discussion of tourism
(Vanuatu). In the ceremony the diver's head
synthetic discipline of the anthropology of The clear vision of the readership of this book
brushes the soil to symbolically fedilise the
tourism needed this introduction I see it as a was reflected in its layout The chapters ended
earth forthe nextseason's crop In my opinion
useful guide book for those who intend to go
Peter Burns performs a comparable high-wire with points that summarised topics raised in
deeper in the fields
act brushing his head briefly against the the main discussion and provided questions
theoretical terrain of anthropology and
This book, as clearly stated in its preface, is a that students could use lor seminars. essays
tourism, fertilising itfilling a gap in its Library.
beginning rather than an end for of mock exams. There is an abundance of
undergraduate students lt
is written to charts and diagrams that are not usually found
A gap of a century separated the
nearly address the problems faced by students in social sciences texts, and although I tend to
emergence of the disciplines of anthropology
studying tourism as their main subject. The find these figures confusing rather than
and of tourism, nevertheless. academia was fragmented nature of tourism studies means illustrative, I am sure that many readers will
equally sceptical of both Anthropology's that the average student will find it almost find them of immense value
rebellious exodus from the embrace of impossible to fully grasp the disparate issues
sociology remains a controversial move I could hear critical voices saying "the issues
related to his/her field, which books like this
am ongst those who are c ritical of the val id ity of are not that simple" and objecting to the
qualitative data The link between spoon-feeding approach adopted in the book I

anthropology and colonialism, although notto There is a good balance of pure arg ue that th is boo k has p ut th e reader fi rst an d

be over-rated, does have an element of truth anthropological concepts and their relation to met its own clearly stated objective without
that has led many to debate its current validity. the phenomenon of tourism, nevertheless, the compromising the rights of those who are
The emergence of tourism as an independent
book is obviously written from the angle of willing to go the extra mile,
lield of study was received with equal
tourism rather than anthropology In his
Dr Heba Aziz
sceoticism. Oueries as to whether tourism is a
discussion of structuralism, for example, the
Tourisn researcher, University of Surrey,
service industry or a set of inter linked examples given were related to tourism and
industries to be studied within the realm oj linked the works of Levi-Strauss to those of
Dean MacCannell
business studies, or whether it is a social
phenomenon that has to be analysed within the The book has got an underlying rebellious
Towardl lurainabk Tourilm in the lyercrt
context of sociology and anthropology, tone, similar to that most commonly found in
remained unanswered books discussing the anthropology of flqion of tlepal
tourism The author raises a number o1
The similarity between the two disciplines questions concerning what he termed the Paul Rogers, John Aitchison
became obvious For example, they are both c ritical deconstructi on of to u ris m and to u ri sts, IUCN, The World Conservation
based on the move away f rom familiar territory the role played by the institution oi tourism in
Union 1998,
to another culture that becomes the subject of commoditising culture, and the impact of
theirgaze ortheirfield notes There is currently tourism on people's livelihoods However, he ppl0B, t5 lsBN 92-9144-032-9,
an interactive relationship between also argues that issues that are of prime Nepal has had a tough deal in recent years in
anthropology and tourism, but the ambiguity importance to communities (such as the lack the media and in books As a tourism
of both disciolines remains a oroblematic area of alternative employment opportunities) are destination, pioneering'adventure tourism'
especiallyfor undergraduate students How far obscured by the blanket condemnation of and creating a mass market for trekkers and
back does one need to go in order to be able to tourism in academic circles over the last climbers in the highest and most dangerous
grasp an objective analysis of the main decade He also maintains that if we believe regions on this planet, its reputation has been
theoretical debates that the marriage of both culture is dynamic, then we should challenge a double-edged sword From being the
disciolines 0resents lt is issues like the arguments about the effect ol tourism on local 'Shangri-La'of the East, a haven for
commoditisation of culture, authenticitv, cultures - tourism is not the only source oi consumption-tired hippies and affluent,
AN Letter 39 Vol 7 No I November 2000

spiritual-enrichment seeklng trekkers, not to ph0t0graphs to illustrate statements As an important issues surrounding the sustainable
meniion the ultimate dream for any climber, it academic piece of work, even as a summary, it development of tourism Disciplines include
has grown to be connected in recent years proves interesting reading but disappointing anthropology, economics, environmental
with images of complete saturation 'The on the whole, lt abounds with general science, geography, marketing, political
Kleenex trail', leading to Everest and statements and facts (presumably trying to be science, psychol0gy, public administration,
Annapurna, abandoned corpses and climbing brief), unsupported by statistics, which to a sociology and urban planning
gear littering Everest and the ever rising large extent an interested and informed The purpose 0f the book is to present critical
mountain of plastic bottles, bags and nonacademic repeat visitor to the region may issues, problems and opportunities {acing the
excrement. As a trek leader, taking groups t0 already be aware of. As such it surely fails to do tourism industry. Some of '.he issues cover
lhe Everest regions over a number of years justice to the original research which must be
general areas, such as the analysis of positive
(albeit in the winter off-season, and albeit brimmin g with worthwhile statistics, collected and negative impacts of tourism, by Brian
trying to implement sustainable practices) | ove r the fou r year peri od.
Archer and Chris Cooper while other issues are
could be accused of contributing to the For example under Environmental lmpacts it is very specific, witness the study by Myriam
Droblem 0n the other hand, I know I am not mentioned that 'between 1993 and 1996 of
'the synergy between
alone in feeling a strong attachment, lodges halved their consumption of fuel wood shopping and tourism: the Japanese
commitment. res0ect and interest for the (as a result of the introduction of electrrcity) experience'. The majorlty of the impacts
country and its people and as a result, a need while households reported reducing included relate to socio-cultural effects with
to balance out some of the over generalised consumption by over two-thirds' lt does not little on environmental or economic im0acts.
and exaggerated statements in the press, and mention any figures. The words 'several and The lack of economic analysis means there is
in some cases books? , branding Nepal as a many' are often used but figures are not
destination pioneering the most negative
virtually no attempt to address a fundamental
available 0n page 75, under Economic tension in tourism, that of the needs of the
environmental impacts of mountain tourism. lmpacts it states that a'great deal (how tourism operators to fulfil the demand for
I was thus encouraged to find that a four year much?) of labour continues to be utilised lor tourism, in a highly competitive market and the
research project was taking place in
and little financial reward (how much?), while needs of the hosts to improve their economic
around the Sagarmatha National Park, substantial proiits (how much?) are enjoyed development The next decade oi global
addressing the economic, environmental, and by far smaller numbers' (how many?) For tourism will have to take on board the
socio-cultural impact of tourism, I was hoping someone who would wish to make a watertight increasing number of visitors to destinations
that this might provide an up to date, detailed argument that tourism, even ecotourism, does to mitigate the
which are badly equipped
account of some of the more sensrtive and not address the issue of poverty and equality ol
negative impacts, and that the operators in a
intricate dynamics of tourism in the region, distribution, there is little hard evidence to use global economy have no incentive to mitigate
not as yet focused on by other writers, backed as back uo. Questions such as what does their actions forthe local population.
up by hard evidence and some useful 'poor' or'wealthy' in the context of Nepal
Having identified a variety of problems the
statistics. The publication reviewed here is the mean, or whether it might have anything to do
book goes on to provide a number of examples
s u m mary 0f the fi nd i ngs of that research, with the ethnic dynamics in the region. pose
themselves and remain largely unanswered
of management and policy questions, These
The study concentrates specitically on the provide s0me cogent responses to pervading
future trends and needs with regard to The most helolul asoect of this work is the last issues such as privatisation and small scale
ecotourism in the area One has to pay tribute chapter on Review and Reflections and the tourism enterprises by Valene Smith and
to the effort and intricacies of a Western conclusion thatthe tourism that has develooed management issues on tourism carrying
research team collecting detailed data over in the Solu-Khumbu region cannot be capacity by Peter Williams and Alison Gill. This
such a long period of trme in a particular, described as 'a model form of ecotourism'. In is followed with some papers 0n planning and
remote mountain region in Asia. lt is also the light of the debate on whether ecotourism development, again focusing on a variety of
necessary t0 be aware of the dilemma 0f is a 'threat or a blessing' 0r whether any
issues including a very helpful paper on the use
presenting the wealth of findings of such long- tourism in remote eco-systems per se could be of government incentives by Stephen Wanhill.
term research to a general, non-academic described as 'ecotourism', it is important to
As a text attempting to examine issues for the
audience, in summarised form. Where are the have recourse to evidence in the field which
future it is surprising that there is no comment
limits of statistical information so as not to shows the dangers of using an ill-defined
bore the reader? How can it be presented in an concept of ecotourism as a
way of on the changes being wrought by
exciting and attractive way? How can it be implementing sustainable tourism developments in technology, though a fast
topical and relevant?
developing area it does have enormous
Angela Kalisch implications forthe tourist industry.
In this respect the book would have benefited Policy Co-ordinatot Fair Trade in Tourism, 0n the whole the book orovides a useful textfor
from a clearer perspective as to whom it is Tourism Concern
undergraduates which encourages them to
aimed at and what it is trying t0 achieve. lt
reflect on the potential of the industry. The
could have appealed to the public with an
in Nepal, addressin0 some of the international perspective it adopts is vital if one
myths of 'Shangri-La', as well as some of the 6lobal Touritm - Ihe llext Decade is to understand the dynamics of increased
environmental scaremongering (not denying William Theobald (ed.) 0l0balisation. lt analyses specific topics of
interest not onlyto students of tourism but also
the seriousness of the issue). ln pafiicular it
Butterworth-Heinemann 1 995, pbk, professionals working to develop the industry,
would have been good to include more local
voices and ooinions. some of the socio- 395 PP, /18.99 ISBN 0 750623535
Jayne Forbes
cultural intricacies, and also abandoning the
academic reDort lormat in favour of a more Global tourism pulls together work from a Lecturer in tourism at the London College
attractive and readable prose style. lt could number of leading researchers in the field of of Printing and Distributive Trades and a
also have included more powerful images and tourism to provide an insight into a variety of Member of Tourism Concern's Council

ANLetter Vol 7 No 1 November 2000

Dossiers and Monogra s
u- I
"wucr Samuel D.
& Seifert-Grazin, Jorg E0UATIONS is a non-profit organisation established for
1999 research, training, and the promotion of holistic tourism.
We work towards transforming the inherently exploitative
Tourism at the Crossroads nature of mass commercial tourism We question the real
C hal I en ges to D ev e lopin g C ountrie s benefits of tourism to the host communities as well as its
s0cio-cultural and ec0n0mic impacts 0ur activities include
by the New World Trade Order
documentation, publicati0n, research, seminars and the
EQUATIONS, investigation ol alternative t0urism p0licies and structures,
TourismWatch and
epd Entwicklungs- Politik.
Our Visi.on Fw Tlruri.sttt.
E0UATI0NS seeks a world where wealth. resources and
March 2000
benelits are much more equitably distributed between
Continuing Saga of North and South. Our vision of tourism fits within that
Marginalisation framework. While there is no one transposable model
which will work in all situations, we are working toward
A Dossier on Women tourism which
and Tburism 0 brings economic benefits directly to all segments of the host
community, particularly including women and indigenous

EQUATIONS is subject to local, democratic control, so that communities

March 2000 are making their own decisions about howtourism should be
permitled and regulated
Illustrations: Case studies on
is integrated into olher community activilies, so thal it is
development and the coast
culturally appr0priate and sensitive to the inequities between
Tilmatti, Kannur, P itchavaram, hosts and guests.
Baclovaters of Keralam I enriches both host (economically, developmentally and
terms of control) and guests (culturally, re-creationally).

This is in contrast to many current tourism models,

EQUATIONS which are imposed from the North, require the extensive
March 2000 use of imports, are overly commercialised, and
Coastal Tourism reinf orce inequities ratherthan challenges them.

in Tamilnadu EQUATI0NS sees tourism not as a means to bring

Southern communities into the Northern mainstream,
bul rather as one of the ways to work toward a more just
.Jl w0fl0,
March 2000
Managing Commitlee
Documentation Update
Annual lssue f
-:- President L. Antonysamy
Secretary Mahesh Lobo
ll Treasurer lvo Rodrigues
I s*..' i
EQUATIONS Coordinalor
March 2000 K T Suresh
Karnataka Coast:
Dy. Coordinalor
A .'Ltse fot' better protection
Hari babu
ANLelter Team
March 2000
Tidal Water bodies: Editorial Team
Abandoned Children of the Coa.st Nina Rao
T T Sreekumar
Rosemary Viswanath
Copies are available at
Design and layout
EQUATTONS Verba Network Services
Post Box 7512, New Thippasandra Post, Bangalore - 560 075
E-mail : info@equitabl etourism.org Illustrations
Sindhu Mathew
C ontinuing S agu of Murginulisution
A Dossier on Women and Tourism

Suggested Contribution :

Indian Contribution; Rs. 500/-

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Tourism Development based on resources, be it human or natural, efforts to bring forth our concern on tourism-related womcn's
invariably results in changes and increases pressure on the issues in the forrn of articles, written by various authors and
available resourccs at most ofthe tourist destinations. The change research undertaken by EQUATIONS in the last f'ew years
in thc land use pattern, hike in comrnodity prices, a decrease in the
Our aim is to share our concern with other groups, individuals,
availability of traditional job opportunities etc, affect men and
institutions, academicians, and activists involved in women's
women very differently. The debate in tourism development
issues; to initiate a debate at the national levcl; and to ultirratcly
however, does not address these issues in general and when it
influence pcilicies on women in general and tourism policies in
comes to addressing women's issues, prostitution, the most visible
manifestation of women's marginalisation, gets more prominence.
EQUATIONS has been in the past years trying to look more
explicitly at these issues from the women's perspective.
EQUATIONS documents, researches, and publishes the impacts
of tourism on women to bring to the attention of groups working on
gcnder issues so that the women's issues that relate to tourism gets
wider attention and oersoective. This dossier is an outcome ofour

Tourism at the Grossroads

Ghallenges to Developing Gountries
by the New World Trade 0rder
Price : Rs. 375/- (19.00 DM/9.71 Euro)

Jorg Seifert-Granzin, Werkstatt Okonomie, Heidelberg
D. Samuel Jesupatham, Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
Published by EQUATIONS, Tourism Watch, and cpd Entwicklungs-Politik

The new world trade order under the World Trade Organisation Three problems play a pronrinent role here. On the one hand, thc
(WTO-OMC) is a special challenge to tourism-critical groups and General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) intervenes
organizations. For the hrst time, trade in services - and so deeply into areas of national and confederal autonomy; on the
particularly tourism - and the protection of intellectual propefty other, structures enabling the participating of all concerned are
rights, have been subjected to the free trade doctrine, alongside also lacking. Secondly, human rights violations in the field of
internationally traded goods. Tourisnr Watch and EQUATIONS tourism pose a fundamental question to the new world trade order.
have therefore initiated this study to analyse the consequences of Thirdly, the agreement has serious gaps regarding the proccss of
this change for tourism in developing countries. Options for a irnplementation of the WTO-OMC's commitment to sustainable
world trade order arc to be identified and a course charted for a development and a sparing use of natural resources. Reform
sustainable and self-determined devclopment in tourism too. proposals have been drawn up for all three areas. According to this
The present study sheds light on the legal bases ofthc new world srudy, their implementation is an important precondition for the
trade order, documents the progress ofliberalization in this sector, development ofan acceptable form oftourism.
names its rjsks and makes proposals for refonn It takes account of
sectoral problems in developing countries in general and the
lndian experience with tourism in particular.

Copies ofthe above books available at

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