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Alternative Network Letter Vol 8 No.1-Jun 1992-EQUATIONS

Alternative Network Letter Vol 8 No.1-Jun 1992-EQUATIONS

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Alternative Network Letter and ANLetter is EQUATIONS’ newsletter, which was produced until the year 2000. The central aim of the newsletter is to increase awareness on the impacts of tourism, especially on local communities at tourism destinations, and the necessity to make tourism development non-exploitative, equitable and sustainable. The articles, contributions both by EQUATIONS staff team as well as relevant articles commissioned or featured provide a basis for action and change at both policy and implementation stage.

Publisher: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS)
Contact: info@equitabletourism.org, +91.80.25457607
Visit: www.equitabletourism.org,

Keywords: ANLetter, EQUATIONS Newsletter, Tourism, Tourism Impacts, India, Third World, Non-Exploitative, Equitable, Sustainable, Tourism Policy, Tourism Development, Local Communities
Alternative Network Letter and ANLetter is EQUATIONS’ newsletter, which was produced until the year 2000. The central aim of the newsletter is to increase awareness on the impacts of tourism, especially on local communities at tourism destinations, and the necessity to make tourism development non-exploitative, equitable and sustainable. The articles, contributions both by EQUATIONS staff team as well as relevant articles commissioned or featured provide a basis for action and change at both policy and implementation stage.

Publisher: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS)
Contact: info@equitabletourism.org, +91.80.25457607
Visit: www.equitabletourism.org,

Keywords: ANLetter, EQUATIONS Newsletter, Tourism, Tourism Impacts, India, Third World, Non-Exploitative, Equitable, Sustainable, Tourism Policy, Tourism Development, Local Communities

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categoriesTypes, Research
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) on Mar 04, 2011
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We invite Network mpmber-'i
to
contrtbute
to
the
Network Letter
NETWORK
by
,,,haring their
HIOd,
Ideas
and
plans through these pages.
NEWS
Communication
i ~
vilal to
the
life
of
a
Network
especiall)' when
ROUNDUP
ohysical distances cannot
t'aslly
be
brtdged
by
closer
contact.."
Network Friend's Visit
India
Rev.
Martin Staebler, director of ZEB, Stuttgart as also Coordinator of TEN and ECPAT, Germany was in India between the4th and 15th of May.
He
visited
and
met with JGF, BailanchoSaad, Tourism Research Group -Goa University and otherswhile in Goa. During a brief visit
to
Agonda
in
Cancona taluk(Goa) he also met with Adv. Mario Almeida, Carlos and othersinvolved
in
the battle against Seema Group.
In
Mangalore,YANA conducted the exposure visit to areas due for tourismdevelopment.
Rev.
Staebler's visit concluded with hectic meetingsin Bangalore with EQUATIONS' Board, staff and our extendedfamily of well-wishers. A brief report of a meeting addressed by
him is
given below. Several proposals and areas of collaborationhave surfaced which are in the anvil.
International Networking on Third World Tourism Issues
Banga/ore
More than 35 participants attended a half-day meeting organised by EQUATIONS on 14th May, 1992. The meeting highlighted the response of the European Networks concernedabout the impacts of Third World Tourism and examined thelinkages between tourism and child prostitution. Rev. MartinStaebler was the guest speaker. Presentations were also madeby Paul Gonsalves and
K. T.
Suresh. Report available withEquations.
People's Forum on Tourism
Philippines
The Centre for Solidarity Tourism (CST) organised a meetingon March 27 -April
9.
About 60 -70 people ranging from streetchildren and prostitutes to businessmen and activists attended.Focussing on the impact tourism
on
its victims, a consensushas been reached
to
set up
an
ad
hoc committe to form aCoalition of Organisations for Solidarity Tourism (COST). Write
to CST,
444, Guadalupe Bliss, Makati, Metro Manila. Philippines.
Asian
NGO
Forum on Global Envirornment,
Japan
An
international forum
on
global environment held between May1-3,1992, Yokahama, was organised by the '92 NGO Forum'to enlist mutual co-operation among NGO's in Asia. ChayantPholpoke
made
a presentation
on
'Resort
and
Local Development'dealing with Golf course construction and the tourism industryin Japan and Thailand.
MECC
Ecumenical Travel Service
USA
Initiated by the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), theETO Support Service has been set up
in
the U.S.A.
to
assistvisitors
to
the Middle East, particularly Christians. This
wi!1
bedone
in
consultation with colleagues in the Middle East officeand the Ecumenical Network office
of
the Naiional Councii
uf
Churches of Christ, U.S.A.Write to: Stony Point Centre, Crickettown Road, Stony Point,NY 10980,
USA.
Resources
Tourism Alternative.
Exchange
Occasional document·
Issue
No:
2
A N U [ ) D A ! ~ 9 1 V
GpAr!="qqatlons,
.
Banga/ore,
Annals
of
Tourism Research,
Pergamon Press Inc.,
395,
Saw
Mill
River
Road, Elmsford,
NY
10523, USA, Special Issue,Volume
19,
Number
1,
1992,
171
pp.
This special issue
on
'Pilgrimage and Tourism: The Quest
in
Guest', examines the nature of the human quest and therelationships between the two types of travel -pilgrimage
and
tourism. All essays are multidimensional and incorporate eithernew theoretical perspectives or typology, and all are supportedby case studies that contrast tourist and pilgrim activities.
Thailand
for
Sale,
Ing
K,
Television Trust for Environment,
TVE,
46
Charlotte Street, London WIP,
UK.
28
minutes.
Written and narrated by the Thai journalist, Ing
K,
this controversial documentry focusses
on
the destructive impacts oftourism
in
Phuket. Shown on the BBC programme, 'OpenSpace' and aired
on
Thai TV, the film has generated a heateddebate with its exposure of tourism-related environmental
and
social problems.
ECOTREK,
quarterly, Himalayan Guides for Responsible Tourism,Box
19'13,
Kathmandu, Nepal.
ECOTREK is a news!etter promoting responsible tourism
by
improving the environmental and cultural sensitivity
of
thetourism industry in the Himayala. It also attempts
to
developbetter communication amongst members of the industry. foreignand local ECOTREK does not purport
to be
an instructionalmanual but a forum for the expression of ideas and opinions.
Published
by:
Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 168, 8th
Main,
Near indiranagar Club, Bangalore -560 008, India
Design and Composing:
Emerald Advertising,
41142.
Jewellers Street, Bangalore -560
001 
16
ALTERNATIVE
NETWORK
LETTER
A Third World Tourism Critique
For
Private Circulation
Only
Vol. 8
No.
1 June 1992
Shortly after
King
Bhumibol
Adulyadej
intervened to bring peace
to
the
Thai
people,
the
tourism
industry's propaganda
machinery
Selling
God's
own
country
moved
into
action:
'Welcome
Thailand.
the land
of
Smiles'. AndDemocracy,
presumably.
No
mention
made,of course,
of
the
bloodyfortnight
in
May.
A.
V.
Varghese
Dubbed
variously
in
Western
(andpro-western)
media
as
a
'revolt
ofthe
rich'
or
'an
yuppie
revolution',
last month's
pro-democracy
"In the development sphere
a
doctrinaire
or
romantic ap­
movement was unprecedented in
recent
Thai
polities.
Reminiscent
proach does
not
deliver the goods. Realistic and pragmatic
of
events
in
1973
and
1976,
the
Thai
people
had
decidedto
cry
steps are the need
of
the
hour
to
meet the development
halt
to military
interference in
politics.
Though
the
protestors included
a si.zeable
middle
and upper
class segment,
this
was
only
needs
of
the State. Kerala
is
richly endowed with
all
the 
part
of
the
picture.
This time
around, the
call
for
democracy
cut
features conducive to the promotion
of
tourism. 
across class
lines. 
We
have chalked
out
specific
and
detailed programmes for
Over
the past
couple
of decades.Thailand
has
lived
with
two
the promotion
of
holiday tourism, culture tourism, pilgrim
significant
realities:
thetourism industry,and
military presence
tourism
and
tourism in
all
its
shades
and
hues",
in
civilian
life.
Useless
as
a
war machine
(as discovered by
the
USA
in
Vietnam),
the
Thai army
is
synonymouswith
politics,
and
-Kerala
Chief Minister Karunakaran
has
substantial
interests
in
trade. banking,manufactUring
and
electronic media. Most
senior government
pOSitions
areheld by
Kerala
is
"God's own country". That is the claim made in the
some
general.In
fact.
there
are
so
many
of
them
in proportion
tastefully designed brochures and advertisements the Depart
to
t.he size
of
the
army,
it
would
appear
that
a
majority
of
the
ment of Tourism has put out since 1986. Indeed, Kerala has
officer
cadre have
just
one
goal:
make
it
to General.
in
the last five years steadily gained a reputation as a paradiseof sorts for tourists, domestic and foreign.
II
Making Common Cause
What exactly does "God's own country" have to offer? Anyone
The hapless
rank and are
reducedto
poliCing
functions:
they
who has travelled the length and breadth of this tiny state by
have mainly been
used
against
the
country's
citizenry.
whether
road or rail ought to know. God's own country
is
sylvan. The
inpursuitof
'Communist insurgents'in
the
countrySide.
or
in
sky is blue, the paddy fields and rnountain-sides green. Except
quelling 'destabilising
situtations'
such as
thosein
Bangkok
for
three
to
four months of the wet and powerful monsoon
recently.
season, Kerala is open house for tourists as few other places
Fed
up
with
the
military
and
its role
in
Thailand's
latest
elections,
are.
the
people took to
the
streets
.
Among
those who joined
in
werewomen
from
the
notorio11S
nightlife
district of
Patpong.
To
quote
Of course, nature by itself turns out to be boring beyond a point
one:
'I
saw
people
killed
bythe
soldiers
on
Monday.
(General)
for "genuine" tourists, the ones looking for
a
quick thrill
and
with
Suchinda has
to
go'.
money to spend. And to cater to them, the bounties of Kerala
The
l e ~ s o n 
for
us
all
is straightforward enough:
we
might have
are being marketed under a Tourism Department "action plan".
to
live
with
tourism,
but
that
does
not mean
we
have
to
live
with
an
authoritarian
regime.Although
the
crisis
in
Thailand
has
now
"God's own country"
is
well on the way to becoming "Mammon
subsided,the
issues
are
by
no
means
resolved.
A
tnlly
democratic
stan". The simpler, charming, o!d-world pleasures of culture and
governance
has
eluded
the
Thai
people
for
more
than
two
decades.
nature that Kerala had
to
offer the quiet, curious tourist keen
If
and
when
it does
materialise,
there
will
then
be
a
opportunity
on
getting away from it
all
are now being swiftly sealed and sold
for
people
to
express
their
opinions,
debateand
articulate
views.
as "packages"
openly
andwithout
fear.
And
then,whoknows? Thailand mightyet
decide
to
live
withouttourism
at
least
in
its present
Anyone familiar with the Kerala of two decades ago and the
destructive
form.
fare it had to offer then would be able to notice the difference.
None
of this
is
very
new.
It
hashappened
in
Tiananmen.
in
Lhasa.
Then the now-famous beach
at
Kovalam was a hideout for
in
Seoul
and
in difierent
ways
in Penang, Singapore
and
those
on
the run from the popular, populated beaches else
Indonesia.
All too
often
has
tourism
been
promoted
at
the
cost
where
in
the world. The tourists were real nature-lovers 
of
freedom
and
democracy. And
it
is
happening
today
in
Calabarzon,
"flower children" -and drugs and prostitution had not become
Cebu,
Goa
and
Kathmandu.
the mainstay of the Kovalam beach economy. The five-star
Enough
for
those of
us
concenled
\vith
such issues
in
Asia to
culture had not arrived nor had the building boom appeared to
r o m ( ~ 
('Joqpr
tn
nn"?
~ m o t h e r . 
to
make
commoncnuse,
to
build
the
provide cheap accommodation at the expense of nature and
futureon
hope.
Zen surroundings. This beach remains captivating still, but one
Paul Gonsalves
cannot be considered perverse if one wished that it had never
 
been discovered or "developed".The forces that drive the tourism industry are terrifying.
In
"God's own country", beauty and culture are now up for saleat any price.
It
is
a prostitution of
all
that Kerala
is
for the sakeof a quick buck.
In
the old days, the snakeboat races wereevents of fun and competition that held together the community.Today the
chundan val/oms
and their oarmen are nothing morethan commercial items whose worth
is
and will
be
decided bymarket forces. Kathakali,
theyyam
and
padayaniwere
art formswith their basis
in
myths that reflected the Kerala psyche. Theywere forms which when practiced put the performer and theaudience
in
touch with that which is beyond material -theaesthetic and even the mystical. Spiritual. Tourism had reducedthese forms to money-spinning products dotting the tourismcircuit.The Thrissur Pooram and the Onam festivals were cornmemorations of the spirit of a people, their philosophy, legends,history and hopes. The temple elephants, bedecked colourfullyand standing
in
position before the temple grounds, symbolisedsomething more than a spectacle. Today, these same sacredelephants cavort to the tune that the Tourism Department pipesand the demands of the tourist clientele at any and every timeof the year.Once, "God's own country" basked under God's
own
sun andthe beauty she wore was natural. That was the simple beautyof Kerala which beckoned
to
its lovers from near and afar. Buttoday the placidity and peace of the backwaters are tornasunder
by
the roar of speedboats
as
another ingenious rallyintended to offer excitement for tourists
on
their terms
is
organised. And so it goes
on.
Every little element that was partof a composite nature and culture
is
being exposed andpackaged together for sale. Kerala has turned into a land offestivals and melas, not because these festivals and
melas
arenot
an
intrinsic part of the Kerala ethos or because there
is no
joy of being a participant
in
them, but because there
is
profit
in
them. The process of K'3rala becoming "God's
own
country"for purposes of developing the tourism industry
is
therefore thedesecration
of
all that is Malayali for a good price -"After all,the market
is
there, comrade". The key to the success of thisstrategy
is,
of course, publicity and privatisation.The process has already been intiated with three major hotelgroups -Taj, the Oberois and Hyatt Regency -having beengranted rights to develop tourist specific properties acrossKerala. The total investment by these three groups
in
thetourism sector
in
Kerala will
be Rs.
100-120 crore over the nextthree years.The US-based Hyatt Regency group
is
the latest entrant intothe Kerala scenario. According to a memorandum of understanding signed between the state Government and the group
on
January 24 last, the giant hotel chain will develop threeproperties
in
Kerala -one each
in
Kovalam, Kochi
and
Thekkady. The Kochi project will cost
Rs.
12 crore and theKovalam one
Rs. 20
crore. They will
be
commissioned withintwo years.Meanwhile, the Taj group has been authorised to develop fiveproperties.
It
will put
up
a new hotel,
in
addition to the TajMalabar,
in
Kochi. The other properties it will develop are
in
thestate capital, the pilgrim centre of Varkala, the lakeside
at
Kumarakom
in
Kottayam district and Kozhikode. The Oberoisare
to
develop three properties -the Bolghatty Palace
in
Kochi,another hotel
on
the Kochi Marine Drive and one more
in
Kozhikode.
2
The privatisation of the tourism sector will not be limited to justproperties being given to major hotel groups for developmentof a wide ranging tourism infrastructure. The Kerala TourismDevelopment Corporation itself proposes to dilute its equity."This has been decided upon
in
principle already and the detailsare being worked out", says
Mr.
T.
Balakrishnan, the ManagingDirector of KTDC. "We are looking for the right chain, Indianor global, to participate
in
our equity".
Mr.
Balakrishnan had no qualms about admitting that thetourism sector wou!d stick to the new policy of the governmentto encourage wholesale privatisation. The signs of privatisationare there for all to see. The luxury cruiser named
Pathiramanal
has been given to the Taj group. Moves are also afoot to selloff the three other luxury cruisers belonging to the Departmentof Tourism -the
Mainakom, Sagara Rani
and
Ashtamudi­
to private bidders. Regarding these moves, a top departmentsource said: "These boats are being
run
badly at present simplybecause we have
no
urge to sell the facilities we have to thetourists as an attractive package. The private parties will handlethis better."According to Mr. Balakrishnan, the Kerala Government proposes to give a major thrust to tourism this year (1992-93)."Thus far, we have been able to make a noise
in
the Indianmarket. But
we
haven't been able to get the attention of theglobal tour agents as yet. For the first time, Kerala will be takingout a stall at the world's largest tourism fair -the InternationalTourism fair -the International Tourism Borsche -at Berlinfrom March 3 to
7.
Germans are the single largest segmentof travellers the world over and we want them to know aboutKerala.
It
isin
this context that the Department of Tourism
is
workingahead of schedule this year, already sending out brochures andmaterial to tour agents worldwide about the tourism eventsscheduled across Kerala for 1992-93.
In
1987, the total number of foreign tourist arrivals
in
Keralawas estimated at 51,816.
In
1990, arrivals had risen to 66,139.According to the status paper on tourism prepared last year
by
the Department of Tourism,
an
estimated
1.71
lakh foreigntourists are expected to flock to Kerala by 2000
AD.
This will
be
two per cent of the total tourist arrivals
in
the country. Atpresent, Kerala accounts for just 0.75 per cent of total touristarrivals
in
India while
in
1987
it
accounted for only 0.25 per cent.The target set for 2000
AD
is modest because Kerala has notdeveloped its tourism infrastructure. Privatisation is seen
as
theway out of this impasse.According to Department of Tourism sources, the foreign touristspends
on an
average nearly
Rs.
350 a day and stays for afortnight
in
Kerala. But this
is
the average foreign tourist, notthe sort who really spends. Two years ago, a chartered planeload of tourists came
to
Kerala and each tourist
in
that lot spent
$
200 daily on
an
average. "When we think of expanding thetourist sector, what we have
in
mind
is
setting
up an
infrastructureand well-linked tour packages that can lure the high-spendingtourist rather than those who come to live
in
huts
on
the beachat Kovalam and spend cheap. We had tourists
in
the charterpackage complaining because tourist centres were not linkedwell. For instance, there were those asking about helicopterservice
to
get them
fom
Kovalam to Thekkady because fewwere
in
the mood to spend two days, the minimum, getting toThekkady and back. Privatisation will mean that better accommodation, food and transportation will
be
available along withwell-knit packages", says an official.
Continued on page 6
BOOK REVIEW 
PARADISE CONTRIVED: IMAGESSHAlTERED 
"Visit India Year" and
"Visit
Indonesia Year" 1991.
A Comparative Study
of
Imagery.
Anne Badger, Roehampton Institute
of
Higher Education,
u.K.
1991,
90 pp.
THERE's been a world consensus that tourism -the world'sbiggest industry -is the panacea for a developing country.
RecogniSing
the industry's tremendous foreign exchange potential,both India and Indonesia decided to gobble up their share ofthe world tourist traffic with the twin
1991
Visit Year campaigns.Both set about to launch themselves in a big way, each aspiringto be the world tourism destination for the year.Anne Badger undertook a comparative study of the imageryportrayed by the two countries
in
their promotional campaigns.Some of the basic questions related to:sort of images promoted-the decision-makers of the images-
why
1991
In
the early part of the dissertation, Anne considers the twogovernments decision
on
the tourism year
in
a historical andglobal context.Diversity seems to
be
the main promotional theme for both Indiaand Indonesia though there
is
a slight variation
in
each other'sinterpretation.India's promotion for
1991
seems
to
be
an
attempt to be allthings for
all
tourists. The emphasis has been
on
updatingIndia's image from the traditional "cultural" to more of a holidaydestination by enhancing the scope of travel options -likebeach resorts, adventure sports and special interest tours to appeal to a wider market and increased foreign exchange.Indonesia's emphasis however seems to have been the promotionof a culturally diverse but unified archipelago through itsimages. This has been not only
to
accelerate the growth of theindustry
in
the face of declining oil prices but also for the overall national development.Interestingly enough, the underlying message of single, nationalidentity seems
to be
aimed more significatly at the Indonesiansthemselves than at the tourists.Anne presents Appadurai's argument that "nation-states willcreate various kinds of international spectacle to domesticatedifferences
and
will represent groups
in
'heritage politics' usinga range of images". The several contrived fairs and festivals putup
by
both India and Indonesia are examples of this, she adds.She covers a whole range of scholarly comments relevant tothe study and moves with ease to present her own
pOint
of view.
At
times though, one gets the feeling that the researcher hasput together the verdicts of various other scholars rather thanevolve a consistent argument
on
her own.Further, the issue as
to
"who decides" for both countries
is
quitecomplicated. Tracing the different perspectives of the variousinternal and external "social actors" involved, she highlights thefact that both promotional campaigns can be seen to reflect thedisparate interests of the conflicting groups.The promotional campaigns create mythical and pastoral imageswhere the exotic is amplified
so
the visitor can just escape.Considering the growing competition between similar destinations,most countries hesitate to deviate from the "bliss formula". Mostof the images
in
the brochures she has examined come intothe "paradise contrived" or "paradise controlled" classification ofDann's. She also points to the predominant sexual, racial andnational stereotypes
in
the brochures.However, these images are contradicted
by an
increasinglyvocal and angry local opposition
in
tourist areas and thecontinuing violence
in
the erstwhile tourist destinations.These are the consequences of a tourism policy whereby therehas been a wide range of subsidies, incentives and massiveliberalisation to speed
up
tourism development but nothing hasbeen done to ensure that the rights and interests of the localpopulace have been safeguarded and ecology protected.
In
India, the anti-tourist lobby like the Jagrut Goenkaranchi Fouz(JGF)
is
growing
in
Goa. Anne warns that the governmentshould not ignore such movements for, as Richter argues,"tourism, being so fragile, depends
on
at least the acquiescenceof the host population and the security of its visitors."Fortunately, the Indonesian government seems to
be
moreaware and considerate following the international seminar on"Human Ecology, Tourism and Sustainable Development" held
in
Bali last year.Further, "outside" elements such as tour operators or thewestern media afso strongly contradict the promotional imagesof both India and Indonesia
by
fostering ones of violence,poverty, squalor and backwardness.The adverse information has impacted potential visitors
to
bothcountries.Finally, and not surprisingly, she stresses that although touristswill arrive
in
a country with perct}ived images, whichever source
has
been the
most influential, most
have
changed their impressionsof both countries during their visit as confirmed by questionairerespondents.
As
the images promoted by India and Indonesia become more"diverse" and "globalised", what about local minority groups,who do not identify themselves with these images, she wonders,then goes
on to
point out that there will
no
doubt
be
intensifying
of
more localised nationalist sentiment, promotion of alternateimages reflecting their interests, cultures and indentities.Whether the governments will recognise that the so-called"industry without pollution"
is
turning
into"a
dangerously subversivepolluter of the socio-cultural, economic, political and physicalenvironment", and adopt a more responsible tourism policy forsustainable development
is
to
be
observed
in
the decadeahead.
Reviewer: Sujatha Pani
,5
 
NETWAC 
NETWAC
is
a group of Nepalese concerned about the impactthat tourism has
on
our culture, economy and environment. Weaccept that tourism has
an
important part to play
in
theeconomic future of the country, but want
to
limit the destructiveeffects.
It
is essential that the development of the touristindustry takes place
in
a systematic way, learning from pastmistakes. Tourism must serve the development needs of
the
whole country and not just a privileged minority.
NETWAC
aims to:
(!-.
inform tourists of the impact they
have on
our environmentand culture and to encourage more sensitive behaviour
~
raiseawareness amongst Nepalese of the damaging effects oftourism through a newsletter, exhibitions, conferences and talkprogrammes
e
encoumge poiiey makers
to
develop long termplans for a sustainable tourist industry
that
conserves theenvironment, benefits local communities and minimises theundermining of traditional culture
e
educate Nepalese trekkingagencies and foreign tour operators about the long termdamage of their activities and develop training programmes fortheir
staff.
support individuals and communities who havebeen adversely affected
by
tourism
~
research the impact oftourism and formulate sustainable
alternatives.
establish adocumentation
centre.
network with similar organizationsworldwide to share information and experiences.
If
you want more information about the work ofNETWAC write to:The Secretary, NETWAC, GPO Box 4543, Kathmandu,Nepal.
TOURISM, OR
THE
TOURIST?
The tourist
is,
first and foremost, a person, and above all a seeker,searching both within himself and without; one who acts, and responds.
He
comes
in
search of places and ideas which are different from thosethat
he is
familiar with, and
to
meet people and
to
understand their mores
and
customs, their struggles and hopes.
If
one proceeds
on
the principle that the tourist
is an
individual and enjoysa certain freedom
of
thought and action, one must refrain from wanting
to
make
him
tow the line, from organising his itinerary, and showing himonly what
is
intended
tobe
seen.What
is
required
to
meet the demands of these tourists and also to providefor a cultural and economic enrichment of the host community are longterm vision, a comprehensive policy, global development planning and acommon concerted interest
in
the intelligent execution of these projects.'If aggression and a feeling
of
discrimination
are
to
be avoided, the
community
as a
whole
must
benefit
from
the
economic
as well ascultural fallouts.
For
instance, there
isnothing to wonderabout
therank
bitterness
of
local denizens,
who
have
to trudge for
10
hours
to
get water,
while
they
know
and see that
the
touristenjoys
a
swimming pool!'
Tourism
is
a privilege and a way of discovering people and their
c u l t u ~ e s , 
and
it
has the advantage of being
an
actual, physical encounter andtherefore,
an
opportunity
for
dialogue and mingling of cultures. It helps bothparties to avoid stagnation.The tourist
is
a testifier, and
an
ambassador
of
the country visited. He can
playa
role
in
creating a more just picture of the country and
in
destroyingcliches. Thus, a teacher
on
tour can,
in
turn, share her experience withher students, and inspire interest, respect and appreciation for the country
in
them.This kind of impact, with its sequence of secondary impacts, and its sociocultural and economic fall-outs, cannot
be
ignored (for instance, after theinitial exposure of their teachers, two schools, two towns could follow suit).Tourism must
be
seen
as
a means
of
informal education, free and withoutconstraints; as a means for building understanding and solidarity betweenpeople and nations.AUGUSTIN
JAYKUMAR
ADECOM,
Pondicherry
14
(Continued
from
page
3)
when the tourists stop coming (the industry being of a veryelastic nature, as
in
Sri Lanka/Kashmir), or a particulardestination is closed down (such as Pagsanjan
in
thePhilippines)?Tourism has
to,
therefore, be planned
as
part
of a largereconomic framework, not as a mono-culture.
9. 
Local lifestyles, cultural practises and traditional crafts arealso threatened by tourism development. People aredisturbed
at
work by camera-happy visitors, places ofworship lose their sanctity, and handicrafts mass-producedfor the tourist market. How can cultual impacts be preventedor minimised?
10. 
With
the
above points, we would also bring to your noticethat the hotel lobby's case which
is
backed by developments
in
Bali
has
direct interest here. The Kempinski group hasa hotel there while the Oberois too have such interests
in
Bali.Already in one village of Goa, Covelossim, there are sixlarge hotels i.e., The Leela Beach, Averrina, Old AnchorResort, Alcon's new project, Dona Sylvia and Gaffino's,while the following stretches of land are waiting to beswallowed
in
this callow greed for short term gains:-32 Kms stretch between Puri and Konark.-Madhavpur
in
Saurastra, Copnath near Bhavnagar andKutch.-Recent announcement of opening up of Andaman andNicobar islands (Havelock, Neil, Mayabunder, Rangatand Diglipur).11. The tourism industry, worldwide, operates on certainassumptions regarding what the tourist wishes to see.Therefore, whether it is a hotel in Goa, or Thailand, orKenya, Fiji,
or
Jamaica, the exact ambience prevails, thesame patterns of construction, the same food and drinks,the same faked demonstrations of local culture andheritage.Perhaps the Committee could study the possibility ofalternative forms of tourism which
do
not require suchlarge amounts of external investment, nor alienate thelocals so greatly from the tourism activity.12. Different countries follow different guidelines for coastalconstruction, as per UNEP information.
In
Cyprus, forexample, one of the world's leading tourism destinations,there is a blanket ban on new hotels within 2 kilometresof the shoreline.India should examine such regulations, and the reasonsbehind them, before rushing in for a change of existinglegal provisions.Therefore,
we
do hope that the Committee would pay heed tothese points, and come up with recommendations that trulyreflect the concerns of an increasingly large number of people,worldwide, who wish to see a harmonious balance betweentourism, the environment, people and development.Thanking you and looking forward to the outcome of yourdeliberations.
Dear
Shri
Vohra: 
An expert committee, headed
by
Mr.
B.B. Vohra has been appointed
by
the Ministry
of
Environment
&
Forests
to
suggest modificationsin coastal regulations for setting up hotels
and
tourism facilities nearbeaches. While the hotel industry has been lobbying
to
haveregulations that permit locations as close
to
the beach
as
possible,environmentalists have been reSisting the move. The Committee wasappointed to consider
th6'
demand
by
the hotel lobby for furtherreducing the existing limit
of
200 metres from the beach. Originailytilough, the limit had been fixed
at
500
metres
and
has since beenthe bone
of
contention betvveen
zhe
naruraiists who want this limit tcbe retained and the hoteliers who want
it
further reduced.
In
view
of
this fairly fong-standing debate
on
coastal tourism
in
India,EQUA TlONS feft it might be useful to co-ordinate efforts
and
preser;t
a
consensus view from the human
and
ecological perspective.Towards this end, EQUA TlONS had sent letters
to
various NGOs,action groups and others concerned with tourism related issues
in
India,
to
explore the possibility
of
jointly drafting and signing
a
memorandum on these matters,
to
the Committee.Reproduced below
is
the letter written to the Committee representing our concerns.
Dear Sir,We are glad that a Committee headed by you has beenconstituted by the Ministry of Environment & Forests with amandate to look into and recommend modifications
in
thecoastal regulations incorporated
in
the Environment (Protection)Act, (EPA)1986. To our mind, the EPA is one of the moreprogressive legislative measures adopted by our Parliament.
In
the year of Earth Summit, when around 100 world leadersare to sign the policy document to a sustainable andenvironmentally sensitive future of Mother Earth, it is a measureof the clout of the hotel lobby that a review of progressive lawsis being sought. This is subtantiated by the fact that the largestnumber of petitions challenging the EPA have been filed by fivestar hotels, as also the terms of reference of your Committeewhich is to "look into and recommend modifications, if needed,in the coastal regulations
only
to
the extent that they relate
to
setting
up
of
tourism and hotel facilities
in
the coastal areas
of
the country".
Tourism is not merely an issue of the construction of hotels incoastal areas. There are much wider implications that need tobe looked
at,
especially in the light of developments in Goa,Kovalam, Puri and elsewhere.We would
like
your Committee to look
at
some
of
the environmental,socio-economic and cultural implications of massive constructionactivity which
is
bound
to
happen with any relaxation recommendedin this regard. A holistic assessment of socio-environmentalimpacts should also include "carrying capacity" studies. Thefollowing points should also be given due weightage.
1. 
Tourism is generally considered as an economic activity,withthe focus being on foreign exchange earnings. There is,however, little understanding of the socio-economic costsof tourism, calculations of which are usually ignored
in
tourism planning and development.
2. 
Is the Committee examining the existing state governmentand regional plans,
in
order that the proposed changes
in
EPA regulations do not clash with existing provisions? Thiswas precisely the case
in
Goa, when the Draft TourismMaster Plan was announced in
1987.
Tile
new guidelines,
in
order to be effectively implemented,must be accompanied by the formation of watchdog ormonitoring bodies, with adequate representation of localpeople.
3. 
If
'carrying capacity' studies are being done for tourismdestinations, including those done by the WTO and UNDP,tbe results of such studies should be made
public.
4. 
Relaxation of limits to construction activity will definitelyincrease the pressure on land for urban use which
wiillead
to unregulated and imbalanced development and pollutionof natural resources.
5. 
Over-exploitation of ground water along coastal stretchesis bound to take place with large scale human habitationscoupled with consumptive practices like lawns and swimmingpools that are inherent to the luxury hotel sector.
In
a recent study of Mahabalipuram area, STEM (Symbiosisof Technology, Environment
&
Management) has warnedthat the existing levels of ground water may not besufficient to meet the growing demands of tourists. Theyalso fear that over-exploitation
of
ground water will lead tointrusion of saline water into the acquifers.
6. 
The impact on water supply
in
coastal areas has a directeffect
on
the coastal poor. While hotels have subsidisedwater supplies, the residents are forced to make
do
withminimal supplies.Coastal tourism
in
India is developing
in
areas where atleast two other forms of development are taking place:commercial prawn farming (inland), and nuclear powerplants. Both require vast amounts of sea water to bepumped directly inland. As such, seepage into drinkingwater sources could pose a major hazard. The Committeemay wish to examine this aspect as well.
7. 
While examining the environmental effects of tourism,what efforts are there to control human waste, sewage,garbage (including non-biodegradable plastics) and so on?Sand dunes have already been destroyed
in
severalcoastal stretches, so that tourists can have an unrestrictedview of the sea from their hotels. What preventive measuresare being planned in this regard? (A report recently by theliT, New Delhi, highlights this situation succinctly).
8. 
Tourism, it is claimed, promotes local employment. Mostsuch employment, however,
is
low-skilled, seasonal andunderpaid. Often it is servile and degrading, especially inthe so-called informal sector.Moreover, what happens to those employed by tourism
Continued
on
page
14
3

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