P. 1
Alternative Network Letter Vol 5 No.1 and 2-Jul 1989-EQUATIONS

Alternative Network Letter Vol 5 No.1 and 2-Jul 1989-EQUATIONS

|Views: 23|Likes:
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

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) on Mar 04, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/04/2011

pdf

text

original

We invite Network members to contribute to the Network Letter

NETWORK·
by sharing their work, ideas and plans through these pages.
NEWS
Communication is vita! to the life of a Network, especially when
ROUNDUP
physical distances cannot easily be bridged by closer contacts.
Inter CUlt, Sri Lanka
Known previously as Intercultural Travel: Education Services, the national
secretariat of Inter Cult is located at 41 S1. Joseph Mawatha, Ettukala. 'Sri Lanka
and the travel guide jointly authored by Eileen Candappa, Maureen
About ourselves
Seneviratne and Harry Haas has been widely received by the Sri lanka tourism
trade. A German version is under preparation. A number of other books on
New resource .. materials are available asa
tourism and other subjects are also planned.
completedin 1988 (See ResourcesSection). This beqana
pl'Q9ramme with schoohtudents a brlelreportappears
Bma Swadaya Tours. Indonesia elSewhere inthenewsletter./V..the FourthAnnual General Meednq,.{be
Visitors to Indonesia might be attracted by the Cultural, Educational and members were elected tlS qtHcebearets: Dr.. HenryWilson.
Developmental Exposure Programme (CEDEP) offered by Bina Swadaya Tours,
WOlRe\l l(!Stryear on our emir0mneilt'
study.representecius at . the .serhinat.QD ·'Tourtsm
Uttar
'Pradesh .
Presi9entMahesklLobo;
part of an organisation involved in rural community development. Tours range
from aday around Jakarta to a 3 week comprehensive coverage of Java and Bali.
Special packages arranged upon request. Write to: Dr. Bambang Ismawan, BST,
Jln. Gunung Sahari 1117, Jakarta 10610.
Citizens Concerned About 1Ourism. Goa, India
CCAT, arecendy formed anti-tourism body, includes a large number of religious
and laypeople. PI. a public meeting in late February, they demanded: 'Save our RESOURCES
Coastal Areas, Save Goa'. At a day long sit-in, they highlighted issues such as
the weekly flea market, the full moon parties, drug addiction, nudity and AIDS. Tourism: Manufacturing the Exotic, Document 61, International Work Group
The government's ill-advised tourism policy was likely to have adverse effects for Indigenous Affairs, Fiolstrcede 10, DK-1171, Copenhagen K, DENMARK.
on Goan lifestyle and livelihood. Later they walked in a silent procession to
The objective of this document is to outline the relationship between tourism
the Church Square, where the public meeting took place.
and cultural minorities. It aims to understand the nature of the relationship,
to point out its most harmful effects and to identify some survival strategies
Community and Culture Based Travel \\\)rR Group, Canada
which cultural minorities employ. The contributors provide concrete examples
covering awide geographical and cultural spectrum, using differing perceptions,
This research unit specialises in the study of, and information dissemination
approaches and formulations. A theoretical framework is presented by editor
about, non-mainstream types of tourism, which are known world-wide under
Pierre Rossel in the first paper, Tourism and cultural minorities: double
various names: Soft tourism, socially/morally responsible tourism, cultural
margina!isation and survival strategies. '
tourism, etc. The generic name 'alternative tourism' (An is often used
internationally to describe one or all the above types. In Canada, the term
The Impact of Tourism on India's Environment, by S. Chandrakala,
'community-based tourism' is preferred. Write to Dr. L. Dernoi or Dr. C.
EQUATIONS, Bangalore. 36 pp., 1989. US$ 10, or Rs. 35.
CGIWG, Department of leisure Studies! University of Ottawa, 550
Although there has been earlier evidence of the impact of tourism on the
Cumberland, Ottawa, Ont K1N 6N5.
envirunment in India, there has been an acute shortage of a comprehensive
presentation and analysis of the numeruus and complex issues involved. This
Centro Europeo de formation Ambiental y TUrlstica, Spain study was undertaken during 1988 using secondary materials from our files,
as well as information gathered from tourism activists in various parts of India
CEFAT, the Eu!ppean Centre for Training in Environment and Tourism, is a non­
governmental non-profit organisation aimed at educational training. Its scope
Tourism in South India: Its Impacts on Fisherfolk, EQUATIONS, Bangalore. 44
is both domestic and internatiQnal. Rural tourism is avaluable WiJ!{ of extending
pp., 1989. US$ 15, or Rs. 40.
its aims, and therefore CEFAT helps groups seeking aid by offering technical
In collaboration with the National Fishermen's Forum, EQUATIONS undertook
assistance, enhancing awareness, organising workshops and seminars as well
a survey of tourism covering a vast coastline in the 3 southern states of Kerala,
as by publishing a newsletter. Write to CEFAT, Viriato 21, E-2801O, Madrid.
Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. This report suggests that although there is some
physical displacement, the major impact of tourism in places such as Kovalam
International Union of Food &Allied .\\brRers' Associations (IUF) and Mahabalipuram is socio-economic, where tourism's new structures have
submerged local identities and livelihood. The report also covers trends in
The IUF is an international trade secretariat representing more than 2.1 million
workers from 217 unions in 70 countries. These unions are active in the food,
tourism development, relying on sources within the industry and governments.
beverage, tobacco and tourism industries.
Battling 5 Star Tourism in the Courts: Canacona Beach Resort, Agonda, Goa,
Their affiliates in the hotel, catering and tourism sector (HRC) are aware of EQUATIONS, Bangalore. 6 pp., 1989. US$ 3 or Rs. 5.
the ill-effects of mass tourism and try to define atrade union policy in the tourism
This is asummary of the report of a study commissioned by EQUATIONS in late
sector with the ai m of givi ng more attention to the envi ronment and the people.
1987. The villagers of Agonda, at the southern tip of Goa, have been struggling
A report of their conference on tourism (Limassol, Nov 9-11, 1987) as well against the Canacona Beach Resort for over 6 }ears. The report describes the
as the IUF monthly News Bulletin are available from: problematique, the conflicts, legal contentions on both sides, followed by a
Dan Gallin, General Secretary, IUF, Rampe du Pont-Rouge 8, CH-1213 PI-Lancy,
discussion of the law as acheck to exploitative tourism, and the present position
Geneva, Switzerland.
of court cases.
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 96, H Colony, Indiranagar Stage I, Bangalore 560 038, INDIA.
Phototypesetting: Revisuality Digitised Typesetting and Graphic Design, 4211 lavelle Road, Bangalore, India. lAyout: John
ALTERNATIVE NETWORK LETTER
A Third World Tourism Critique
For Private Circulation Only Vol. 5 No.1 & 2 1989
(We reproouce tIM') items that recently appeared in local dailies in Banga/ore. 7he first,
by Brij Tankha, is an extract from his feature Japan should open up more to imported Discover India - and how!
labour' in the Times of India, May 2S, 1989. the second is an advertisement in the
By Kathy Cox
Deccan Herald ofMay 22.)
Editor of "Fodor's Guide"
What is West isn't necessarily best. But that's the direction in which too many
Without Comment
Indian eyes are focused. The wish to bring in more foreign exchange has been
falsely equated with the wish to create foreign-copied clones. No one seems
The Japanese government, accord ing to recent reports, has taken a decision
to realise that India can upgrade and modernise without rejecting its own
to strengthen controls on the entry of unskilled labour from Asia. This foreign
identity.
labou rcomes largely from South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and
Five star hotels with elevators piping in foreign pop muzak symbolise the
Taiwan. Japan's increasing affluence has not only brought it to the attention
worst in this tendency. It's the rare hotel or inn in India that champions this
of other nations seeking to emulate its achievements, but made it a possible
country's inherent charms-Chapslee in Shimla, the Silver Sands in Mahabali­
haven for immigrant labour from developing countries in search of higher paid
puram, the Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur, the Savoy in Mussoorie, the Windemere
jobs.
in Darjeeling.
Foreign workers are derogatively called japayuki-san (Mr Go To Japan),
the dominating backdrop of fancy western-style hotels, India's real
echOing the 19th century Karayuki-san used to describe Japanese women who
treasures from the past are succumbing to a nefarious battle. Uncontrolled
went to Asian countries for similar reasons.
industrialisation and public encroachment are claiming the temples of
A large number of women - in 1986 there were some 58,000 - many of
Bhubaneswar. The Elephanta Caves are in danger of collapse. The Ajanta and
them from the Philippines, usually come on tourist visas and work illegally
Ellora cave paintings are decaying from carbonisation and ultra-violet rays. The
on salaries ranging from 2,50,000 yen to 3,00,000 yen in bars and cabarets. Today
Gaiety Theatre in Shimla is far from gay, a victim of neglect. The Mogul Gardens
many women are being lured from places in Sri lanka, not just to work in the
in Kashmir and the poor Taj Mahal fare no better. The list could continue, but
entertainment industry, but to marry Japanese farmers.
it's far too depressing...the same holds true for the consequences. We all know
Agencies specialising in this trade have mushroomed and they often work that if these landmarks don't receive adequate attention and care, India won't
in cooperation with local officials. They advertise freely in newspapers: :.\ real just suffer aloss in the number of tourists and aloss in foreign revenue-it'll suffer
international marriage. Lots of foreign beauties from Korea, the Philippines, the loss of priceless links to its pasts.
MalaYSia, Sri Lanka and Thailand: The problem in this import business is that
But talk is cheap and knowledge has not been converted into action.
unscrupulous brokers often work in consort with yakuza gangsters.
Something is wrong. It's as if the burgeoning chain of Taj Hotels has assumed
The influence of 'foreign labour: small and controlled at present, is seen as far more importance than their namesake, the Taj Mahal. Travel north,
carrying the seeds of disruption and discord. Foreign experts have always been east, west and you'll find an Oberoi Sheraton, or some other big splash breaking
welcome and employed at high salaries, but today's japayuki-san is seen as a new ground. While cities can absorb multi-storey structures, oversized
-,',)tential threat. Statements in apolice booklet equate a foreigner with an monoliths anywhere else-along the shore or in the mountains-are eyesores that
Immigrant. interfere with a landscape where Mother Nature once reigned supreme.
Why must hotels be constructed out of uninspired cinderblock and concrete?
In every region of India, villagers, successful unschooled architects have evolved
model dwellings that exemplify a harmonious relationship with the

environment. Hoteliers could do the same. They could erect clustered
accommodations of bamboo in the east; wooden Kashmiror Kulu-Valley-style
homes away from the home in the north; clay huts with thatched roofs in the
south. Already, Tiger Tops has made a success out of this concept, putting up
·····1000 LADY (;utt'UJt\tARTISTS/gNTER.TAINERS
Ii14ustryJo
•..
TransP?rt'
anl.iHealth
kind W:ill. needonlr
,,<,'<"0')
wh':fcan speak Englisb and <
rUsh tlieit/je!aiJed Bio"liatas to:
. ..: -''.

. •.. ....' •.....•..•......••••......•......•..... a lodging that's the epitome of simplicity and unobtrUSIve design. An excellent
contd. overleaf
.. .' .. . ...... . .......•
INSIDE
Gambia: Tourists but not cash ............ .
4
KanyakumariA4arch
5
Tourism & Cultural A4inorities
.. . : ',:. - . - -; - :"" ;' ',,'
•• .•oil.
8
Network News Roundup
12

example is their new Karnali Tented Camp in Western Nepal with spacious
safari-tents set under thatched canopies-tranquil, naturally beautiful-hardly an
expensive physical set-up, in which they offer the best in amenities and services.
Foreigners flock to these retreats and willingly pay the five star tariff.
By using local materials instead of trucking in building supplies, hoteliers
could also cut the cost and time of construction. They could make use of local
labour and knowhow - a boon for any economically depressed area.
When I recently discussed this idea with a tourist official in the
he explained that he'd like to promote this concept; but because
and fabricated structures have a short life, he's forced back into concrete and
cement. Ask a local, however, he'll say that the so-called short life can be
extended easily with proper maintenance and
But for the tourist department and their bulwark of tourist corporations,
maintenance and repair represent real stumbling blocks. Almost all state-run
accommodations represent the depths of an unimaginative decor which
evidently doesn't inspire anyone to keep the rooms spotless and the amenities
in working order. Here, too, a western vision has turned its back on India's
traditional arts and handicrafts. Drab drapes, not inexpensive locally produced
hand looms, which would be easy to keep clean, hang from dingy windows.
Expensive wall-to-wall carpeting, usually stained and worn, covers floors instead
of less costly jute or indigenously made colourful area rugs. A pleasing Indian
ambience, which exists in almost every village you visit, is
thp c;imnlpst hut and it's harmonious in
a government run hotel.
If the beach is golden
It's got to be India!
India is blessed with beautiful panoramas. The move toward adventure
appropriate. The Iist of possible outdoor activities is endless­
wildlife safaris, mountaineering, hot springs
to soothe the mind and body. But, here again, tourist development calls for
caution. India's chain of mountains and its sacred rivers that wind their way
to the sea are all under stress. The delicate eco-system suffers from pollution
and over-use. Environmentalists in Nepal sound a warning: ifthe present rate
of deforestation continues in that country, it could be bald by the year 2000.
India should analyse the reasons behind this dismal forecast. Trekking in Nepal
has come with a hefty price. The Annapurna Sanctuary and Mt. Everest are in
trouble. Some say they should be closed and given a rest for five years.
In India, adventure sports require careful monitoring and uncorruptible
controls. Trekkers, their gaze lost to heavenly vistas, rarely notice their feet
precious vegetation. And these days campfires roar with greater
Trees go up in smoke: wildflowers get buried under trash.
Clear streams get defi led with non-biodegradable soaps and human waste. All
trekking companies should be licenced, should be subjected to a set of strict
rules, should suffer strict fines for any violations - with all proceeds
into the maintenance of the environment.
Within the private hotel sector, creative tax incentives could
conservation. Make it profitable to
waste disposal systems in facilities located in environmental Iv
The Minister of Tourism recentiy published a brochure in which it stated:
"India has launched a massive people's movement of ecological awareness and
conservation. The administration plays its pivotal role of funding and planning.
Conserving primordial rain and tropical forests, establishing wildlife sanctuaries,
planting captive energy forests to supply, fuel wood, fodder and fibre for paper
and rayon industries which are major causes of deforestation, social forestry
schemes, soil conservation and rain water management programmes, they all
form integral parts of ecological conservation:'
The tourist department should throw its own
work hand in hand with environmentalists so that short terms
own industry called tourism don't end up as irreversible long term
have learned the hard way. Now we fight to save our few rprminino
wildlands.
AntiqUity, cultural diversity, physical beauty what wealth India possesses.
But today's realities call for prudence and foresight. If this unchecked plunder
of the coffers is allowed to continue, India's new industry wi II discover an
unavoidable truth about tourists. They're a notoriously fickle lot. Popular
destinations change like fashion's new styles. Worse, if the tourist isn't satisfied
the first time he visits, he won't come back. The world is too big; other places
will capture his imagination and his wallet. In the end, successful tourism must
promote good service and a healthy dose of national pride.
EXPRESS MAGAZINE 29 January, 1989
Earl'Y' this year,' we began. school, studentS
i? Ba.!)galore to the issues of tbiraWQfld;'teurism:DUfllngthe holidays,
partfcipate in campfororganisedtoursi soone
purposeofthe progFammeistohelp them lJe.sensitive We
also hope that some studentswill be motivated to get actively involved
in our work and ideas.
Theprogramme consists of an audio-visuat- we beenusi ng Peter
Holden's 'Don't Fence MeOut'- rollowed bya discussion and written
review. The following is one student's response: .
'I
FOR A fEW DOLLARS MORE
Nusa DUilI. a small villa.Qein Indonesia. is aclassi.c example of what
tourism can do to a whple dan of people. Fence Me out' tells
us the poiQnat1t story ot 200famiUes who have lost their homes just so
that tourists can come and enjoy a few days'holiday.
Nusa Dua. a villaQerich in culture and sbcial life, has almost been sold
out to the visitors by the Government of Indonesia for a little foreign
The most disqustinq feature of the whole is that the
QOremment is destroylnQ the life of its own peoplein the name of raisinq
their standard of liVinQ.
So. the next time you think ot a holiday. think twice. You may be
the lives of hundreds of people.
S. Arjun, IX A
Military School
The Last Shangri-la
hy Sanjoy Hazarika
At the recent SAARC summit at Islamabad, the Maldives made a plea to
nations to recognize the dangers and difficulties that the tinv countries
neighbourhood face.
A few weeks ago, one of our tiny Bhutan, took what was for it
a giant step towards development but perhaps a tiny move forward to the
rest of the world. Without fuss or publ icity, the Royal Bhutanese Government
bought its first passenger jetlinerfrom Britain and then unveiled a New Delhi­
Paro service at a glittering reception at its embassy here. Paro is the only civilian
airstrip in Bhutan, and until recently it took only a few flights every week from
Calcutta and Dhaka. The aircraft were turboprop planes known as Dorniers
and they brought in small groups of European, American and Japanese tourists
during the tourist season in Bhutan, which lasts for about 6 months, until
November when the Himalayan chill sets in.
senior officials there explained their pace
that their Buddhist culture and gentle way of
life should not be disrupted by the clutter, drugs, noise and violence of other
Western and Eastern societies. The way they have approached tourism, is a
classic illustration of both points.
Although there are cheap hotels in
visitors (particularly noisy Bengalis at Durga Puja time), the
high-paying tourists from the West (which of course,
Airways, the country's national carrier, is booked often for
parties of foreign travellers on short visits and big budgets (paying as high as
1,000 dollars for a tour of several days including hotels and trips out ofThimpu).
Once they get to Thimpu, the rules are clear.
"Essentially': said one top foreign ministry official at Thimpu, "the tours go
where the Government allows them to go, they are accompanied by a
government guide who keeps a sharp eye on the travellers:' Period. No straying.
Bhutan evolved this policy after studying the effects that an open door
had on nearby Nepal which attracted hippies in their thousands in the
and 1970's, and became a major drug trafficking and sm uggl ing centre. Its forests
were logged to a point where they could not be regenerated.
Backpackers are rare in Bhutan. I remember seeing two in the two weeks that
I was there. And the country's forest policy is based on d few
one, that no contractors are allowed in the lumber trade and the government
controls all tree-felling. Two, wood are high so that people aren't tempted
too often to dismantle old houses and build new ones. And the hills around
Thimpu, once bare, are testimony to their successful afforestation
You won't find many industries in the hills of Bhutan. There are few in the
foothills that bottle liquor, fruits and jams. But power generation is a big source
of revenue, and the Chukha hydel project, the creation of the labour of thousands
of workers from Bihar and elsewhere, and of engineers who built underground
caverns for the power turbines, supplies electricity to the power hungry plains
of India.
The issue of development of Bhutan's own pace is important because of the
structure of society. The Buddhist clergy is a very infl uential body and it has
consistently been at the forefront of opposition to an "open door" policy on
tourism. The priests fear that uncontrolled tourism will rob the kingdom of its
art treasures and "corrupt" its younger people, who may turn away from
traditional beliefs.
The other day a top Bhutanese official was in Paris to negotiate increased
assistance to his country from the Aid Bhutan Consortium, which funds to some
measure, development projects in the We travelled back to Delhi
On the flight, he told me of a discussion he had had with a Western
official who had demanded that Bhutan do more with industrial projects
so that it could move towards "a modern age". The official quoted his own reply,
and I think it is an example of the beauty and pO'vver of simplicity (I do not mean
naivete), and the graciousness of the country: "You have what you call
development. But what has that done for you? Your forests are ruined; your air
is dirty; your water is polluted and you have no peace of mind. You may be
rich but balance that against these other things. Until now our forests are
unharmed, our air and water are clean and we still have peace of mind. We
would like to keep it that way and develop at our own pace:'
The aid official was silenced.
That is why the acquisition of the jet is significant for Bhutan. They waited
for years to buy it and half of the 60 seat plane is going to be used for cargo,
transport costs from the plains of India, and tackling delayed deliveries
The world's last Shangri-la is a land where cri me is rare and poverty,
the fact that it it is one of the poorest nations on earth, is not associated with
the misery that hurts us on the rest of the subcontinent.
It has its door to the world another chink.
INDIAN EXPRESS 12th February, 1989.
contd. from page 10
the necessity for global thinking but local action. He writes well on the need
to place the control of tourism firmly in the hands of local people. The agenda
in these last few chapters becomes practical and has alot in it for serious thought.
Particularly good are his suggestions about educating people for travel from
earliest primary school up to adult education level. Since leisure is here to stay,
those who will have the leisure need to be taught how to lise it constructively.
All in all, The Holiday Makers is a thought provoking if mixed book.
Krippendorf is enti rely right about a longer term sol ution being needed to put
tourism and travel on asounder ecological and social footing. But for solutions
we cannot simply look to the tourists themselves and their representatives, and
believe that in time they wi II develop a healthy paternalism and act in the best
interests of the host countries. The host countries themselves, particularly
the developing world need to initiate the kind of tourism that willilltim;ltpiv
be acceotable to those most directly affected.
Julia Mosse
BOOK REVIEW
The Holiday Makers: Understanding the Impact of leisure and Travel
Jost Krippendorf, translated by Vera Andrassy, London: Heinemann, 1987, 160 pp
The Holiday Makers is perhaps a misleading title for Krippendorf's interesting
book because it reflects only one half of the book\ subject matter. While the
title suggests that the book will be an analysis of travel and holidaying,
Krippendorf is as much concerned with an analysis of modern (western)
industrial society, the root from which all discontent (and the need for holidays)
springs. Indeed, his concern for alienated industrial man (sic) sometimes seems
to become an end in itself, rather than the context for his discussion of travel.
By dint of juxtaposing sections analysing the woes of a western life style with
sections on tourism he more or less manages to ensure that the book hangs
together, but in the end, the fragmenting of concerns fails to convince the reader
that the problem of tourism is really resolvable. If finding a solution that links
industrial society and tourism happily together on atextual level is a surprisingly
difficult problem, how much more so at the level of workable tourism policy.
thesis is straightforward enough. Industrial society has become
intolerable. It is trapped in a self-defeating cycle in which humans produce in
order to consume and consume in order to keep producing. To escape from
its pressures, we travel, becoming tourists in pursuit of the happiness denied
us at home. But because leisure and tourism are an integral part of industrial
society and its organisation, the only apparent means of escape is illusory. We
are duped by the promise of paradise; we believe in the advertisements that
tells us that if we opt for this holiday rather than that we will, for two weeks
at least, get just a little closer to 'real' life. For the vast majority of those who
work in industrial societies, caught in the alienating circumstances of work and
inhospitable home lives, holidays, whether the week-end or a trip abroad, take
on the burden of all nostalgia, dreams and desires, for regeneration and
recuperation, escape, communication, freedom, self-realisation, happiness itself.
In his analysis of the discontent of industrial societies Krippendorf offers little
that has not already been spelt out by writers from Schumacher to Charles
Handy. Where Krippendorf is at his most telling and interesting is in his analysis
of the consequences for these wasteland people when they set off on holiday.
He considers the consequences for the tourists themselves and those on whom
they i nfl ict themselves. Little escapes his censorious touch. Ghetto tourism ­
such as 'club' holidays and indeed the entire package holiday set-up in which
people travel to purpose built holiday destinations or 'operatta-like tourist resorts'
- is described as having nothing to do with reality. 'Foreign elements' are
introduced in small doses but the organisers of such holidays are careful to
screen passes before the unwitting tourist's eyes. There will certainly be
no visit to a slum area, but a trip to photograph some poor, happy and
picturesque natives at their work will be somewhere on the agenda. As will
'meaningless folklore entertainment: For as Krippendorf comments 'the tourist
no longer sees the original foreign environment but rather a product he has
helped to create: corrupt living conditions, pushy sellers, toadying and
xenophobia:
But so called 'alternative travel' escapes no more lightly, .and if anything,
Krippendorf reserves more scorn for the expensive backpack, sleeping bag and
camera,. and for the smug hypocrisy where by alternative travelers use the same
facilities, cheap flights, ai rports and so on, produced by the mass tourism they
despise so much. Alternative travel is just tourism by another name. Frequently,
when sold as adventure holidays or educational trips it merely costs far more
and is sold to a more elite group. It remains an 'organised, saleable sanitized
adventure with full board, catalogue price and risk insurance. A unique hit:
People who have higher incomes and more experience in travelling are better
able to camouflage thei r tourist role. The group who pays over the odds in order
to 'play at life in an African village' have merely fallen for a more sophisticated
and expensive version of the 'something for the tourists' trap as the mass package
holiday makers lying on Spanish beaches. At least the latter do not pretend they
are doing anything other than trying to have a good time.
Krippendorf's analysis is equally depressing from the perspective of the host
countries who seem to miss out on all counts. A tiny minority of property
developers and travel companies take all the significant financial benefits. For
the local population there may be an additional seasonal income but this never
comes without substantial social and environmental costs. Decision making
is in the hands of others and local culture is either ignored under a veneer of
bland internationalism, or folksified, and divested of all. inherent meaning. It
is presented in the form of light entertainment or internal decoration, such as
the yokes and farming implements that have become a standard feature on the
walls of Swiss chalets.
Can holiday encounters between the tourists and the locals possibly lead
to greater understanding? No, says Krippendorf, unequivocably. He rejects
arguments that tourism promotes understanding, believing instead that since
no meaningful contact is developed, most tourism merely fosters prejudice.
The only positive thing Krippendorf finds to say about tourism in its current
form is that the vehement anti-tourism that is beginning to develop means that
new solutions must be found soon, particularly in developing countries where
the force of mass tourism is felt most strongly. But it is in pursuing these solutions
that Krippendorf becomes less convincing.
The second half of the book, essentially Krippendorf's analysis of the changes
that must occur in industrial societies before tourism itself can change is
problematic. He asks ail the right questions, 'How can the door of the inner
Self be found in the presence of so much superficiality?' How can we escape
bei ng a part of the current generation of super-consumers? For as he rightly
points out, the manifold supply by the leisure and entertainment industries
serves the purpose of keeping people trapped by consumer-culture happy as
they are. In his solutions Krippendorf allies himself firmly with a number of
other so-called 'New Age' writers, such as Fritjof Capra, A. Gorz etc. believing
that the self-questioning going on in many industrial societies is the key to the
future.
One of the problems for the reader is that either she or he believes that these
changes in human consciousness are really taking place, in which case
Krippendorf's belief in the changes that will also take place in tourism seem
reasonable and hopeful; or the reader is more sceptical and Krippendorf's
analysis seems to verge on wishful thinking, not to say naive. This reviewer
swings between both positions, unable to quite believe in the 'young' on whom
Krippendorf pins many of his hopes. While it is true that there are many
idealistic, brave and outspoken young people in industrial society, there are
equal numbers striving for a position in the so-called 'yuppie' culture, and
despite the predicted swing to the centre or left by many political commentators,
the majority of western industrialised countries remain firmly entrenched on
the right.
It is true that industrialised societies face a crisis, that there is a desperate
need to make work more satisfying, to develop new ways of working, to restore
homeliness to habitats, reclaim the cities and humanize life a little. But is this
very long term agenda a helpful solution to the immediate and pressing
problems of tourism particularly in the developing world? By the time the rich
industrialised countries have got their own houses in order might it not be too
late? Krippendorf states blandly that '...what we need in the first place are not
different ways of travelling but different people. Only a new society and a new
everyday situation can produce a new tourist. A sick society cannot produce
healthy tourists: But how long wi II it take to rear these new healthy societies,
these sensitive, humble and open-minded tourists? And in the meanwhile, who
wi II protect the rights of the poor in the developi ng world whose habitats are
plundered and whose values assaulted by ever-growing hordes of tourists in
search of pleasu re? Krippendorf writes from the perspective of a rich
industrialised country, where there is the luxury to think about the development
of new paradigms. From the perspective of a tribal woman dispossessed from
the land her people have inhabited from time immemorial to make way for
a new tiger reserve for the tourists, his words might seem a little ironic.
To be fair to Krippendorf, the last 3 chapters of his book contain 23 suggestions
for developing a better style of tourism, and included among them is the
necessity of taking steps in the right direction now, without waiting for great
changes. He is excellent in his suggestions about what can be done 'at home',
contd. on page 17
Down with Tourism
There is a class of people - intellectuals and do-gooders mostly - who have
for a long time been asking profound questions like: Can a poor country like
India afford colour television, should a poor country like ours go in for
computers, and so on and on. I have never heard anyone ask this about tourism.
So this morning I ask the question that may disturb a lot of influential people:
"Can a poor country like India afford tourism?" And I answer it myself with a
loud "No:'
The "valuable foreign exchange" that tourism is supposed to earn, we are
told, will ultimately transform our society. It will fill empty bellies, provide
shelter to the millions exposed to cold and rain. Moreover, tourism will provide
employment to millions of unemployed people-a very dubious hypothesis. It's
like saying that if we establish a thousand casinos in our towns and tourism
resorts it wili create a million jobs. No doubt it would and with lagdish Tytler
as minister for Casino, we would have probably been convinced that this was
the path to progress. Mercifully, Tytler's brilliant idea was never taken up. The
fact is that tourism corrupts, and obsessive tourism corrupts obsessively.
Thailand is often held out by our tourism promoters as a model for the Asiatic
world to follow. If one goes by what Bangkok'offers to its honoured guests, it
shou Id be the last th ing that any self-respecting nation in Asia or anywhere else
ought to imitate. Thailand is a country with great culture and history and a
refined people, but tourism has turned its capital into a vast casino and massage
parlour. Should Bangkok be a model for Delhi, Bombay or Goa?
The Catholic Church of Goa recently produced a report on IOurism in the
State, which was published in Renovacao, the pastoral bulletin of the
Archdiocese of Goa. The report said that "elitist" tourism was degrading the
Goan economy, culture and lifestyle and eroding its value system. It specifically
linked tourism with prostitution and drugs. It described tourism as "basically
exploitative in nature" and having so much money power that its operators "will
brook no opposition to its profit-making goal:'
This admirable report, for which I congratulate the church authorities,
predictably attracted some outraged reaction. The Goa Travel and Tourism Club
claimed that tourism is the backbone of Goa's economy. The club's president
went on to say that prostitution and drugs were prevalent everywhere in the
world and were much older than Goan tourism.
Nobody has claimed that tourism started what is universally known as the
oldest profession in the world. But it is certainly true that tourism has given
it a boost.
Khushwant Singh was recently writing about his week-long holiday in Goa.
After reading it I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Khushwant says it cost
him as much as he earned in a whole month from his writing. I'd put the expense
at, say, 30,000 Rupees. Actually a day's stay at one of our five star tourist resorts
can easily cost Rs. 5,000, what with a bottle of soda costing Rs. 12, which is
nore than the daily earning of millions of Indians. Even at Rs. 1.50 per bottle,
I find (drinking at home) that it's a swindle, because one out of three bottles
are flat. (In my boyhood days, I remember, when soda cost tl:lree paise, the
opening of a bottle outside the cinema house could be heard half a mile away).
If soda cost Khushwant so much, you can imagine what a peg of scotch would
have cost him.
Swindle is the word for tourism. While native Indians don't get a chance to
enjoy a holiday at prices they can afford, even American and European tourists
have begun to complain that Indian hotels and restaurants are even more
expensive than those back home. And when you add the cost of travel which
would be three to four times it would cost a western tourist to go to Spain,
Yugoslavia or the Mediterranean, one has to have a total dedication to India
to want to spend a few days with us.
I gather that the share of tou ri sm : n the gross national product has increased
from 0.43 per cent in 1984-85 to 0.64 per cent in 1987-88. This by any standards
is a ridiculous performance.
Abu Abraham, in SUNDAY HERALD 19th February, 1989.
Keeping the Coast Clear
by Zafar Futehaly
The Indian coastline is 7,514 km long. Most of this is free from human
settlements, and it is consequently clean and beautiful. But now a new threat
has arisen from tourism to these coasts which have been hitherto free from
human presence. The beaches of a country where the sun shines for nine
months in a year are a great magnet for everyone in temperate lands, and the
Government of India is in the process of organising itself to receive thousands
of "honoured guests" from abroad in the years to come.
India is naturally excited by the prospects of international tourism and its
much advertised multiplier effect which is expected to stimulate its economy
at many points. Speaking before the International Union of Official Travel
Organisations in Delhi in 1972, the then minister of tourism, Dr. Karan Singh,
spoke about the 200 million international tourists that were expected to come
to India, and the $ 21,700 million which this traffic was expected to generate.
He bemoaned the fact that in 2.4 percent of the world's land area and 15 per
cent of the world's population, we receive only one-third of one percent of the
total tourist spending of. the world. Since then, the figures have gone up
appreciably and under the 7th plan we aim to increase the number of tourists
to 2.5 million by 1990, and to earn Rs. 15,000 crores in foreign exchange.
There is therefore no question that tourism, the industry without smoke, is
highly desirable from the economic point of view. But ecologists are concerned
that if on top of the population explosion which is inevitable, we artificially
build a tourist one, the pressures might become unsustainable unless a great
deal of thinking and planning is done in advance: And let us remember that
it is not only ecological pressures with which we have to contend. The social
effects of tourism have also to be considered, and as the World Bank says in
a working paper, "One such problem is the attitude of the local population
to the tourists requirements of accommodation and service which by local
standards are luxurious... Tourism may be regarded as athreat to the indigenous
culture and mores, and there is a real possibility of a serious deterioration in
standards of local arts and crafts as efforts are made to expand output to meet
the tourist demand:' Not infrequently, resort development has resulted in local
people being denied access to their own beaches.
By referring to these criticisms I am not suggesting that coastal tourism should
be curtailed entirely, or that there should be severe restrictions on the movement
of the people from one country to another. But it is certainly wise to take
cognizance of these factors in advance and attempt the philosophy of the golden
mean so that no unfortunate developments catch us unaware. It should not be
difficult, with imaginative and realistic planning, to overcome these problems
and to make tourism a wholly desirable phenomena from the social, economic
and environmental point of view. After all, in some national parks limits have
been placed to the number of tourists in each season in the interests of
preserving the environment which they come to enjoy.
EXPRESS MAGAZINE, April 19, 1987.
Mary Ellen Kelly
Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to tourists who
blow horns to break up traffic jams.
Gambia getting tourists
but not always hard cash
by Oakland Ross
At the plush Atlantic Hotel-200 rooms, discotheque, hairdressing salon, video
games, nightly entertainment-<iozens of Londoners and Glaswegians sit by the
pool, roasting in the West African sun.
It is an idyllic scene: the fatted men quaffing their half-pints of ale at the gazebo
bar, while the women sprawl, supine and mainly topless, by the pool. Beyond
a stone wall, punctuated by open grillwork, the blue Atlantic gently breaks
against along, golden beach, and the sewage of Banjul oozes silently out to sea.
Welcome to "the Caribbean of Africa;' where the average life expectancy at
birth is 42 years, where the gross national product per capita is ameagre $260,
and where tourism is booming.
"Our projections are that, in the next five years, we would be handling
something like 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 tourists a year:' said a beaming Junaidi
the Gambian Government's Director of Tourism.
Somewhere - but not here a few clever and enterprising businessmen
are contentedly counting their cash, in kroner, pounds, marks and francs.
Twenty-two high seasons have drifted by since this tiny former British colony
greeted its inaugural planeload of Scandinavian sun seekers -launching what
has since become a thriving local industry but a lot of Gambians are sti II
turning out thei r empty pockets, glancing around in confusion, and wondering
what happened to all the money.
By and large, it never even got on the plane.
"The actual money that comes into the country is less than you
imagine:' said a diplomat in Banjul. liThe money stays with the tour operators
and airlines offshore:'
One of asmall handful of West African countries to go into modern, package­
style tourism in a 'big way the Gambia lately has watched its business soar ­
from just 30,000 arrivals in 1983-84 to 78,000 last year-mainly because of
consistently sunny weather, excellent beaches and asteadily improving tourist
infrastructure.
The limited financial rewards, however-not to mention the industry'S not
always hapfJr' social impad-inevitably raise unsettling questions about the value
of tourism, or at least this kind of tourism, as a potential motor for African
development.
According to Government figures, the total revenue earned last year by the
hotel and restaurant sector of the Gambian economy amounted to just $2.9
million (US), or a paltry 1.4 per cent of the country's not very impressive gross
national product.
"What remains here in foreign exchange tends to be very
acknowledged Abd04 N'jie, permanent secretary in the Ministrv of Economic
Planning.
As often as not, even nighttime entertainment at Gambia is a foreign affair,
with middle-of-the road crooners or nightclub acts flown here from Europe to
No Sex Please
Indonesia will not allow a French investor to establish a prostitution centre
in the country, the home minister, Gen.(Retd.) RudinL said in Jakarta.
A French investor had planned to build a sex centre in the east Java
capital of Surabaya, a city with the largest number of prostitutes in
Indonesia with six red light districts. He was to consolidate the six
prostitution areas into one sex centre.
THE TIMES OF INDIA 13th March, 1989
entertain the guests.
At the Atlantic Hotel which is managed by Copthorne Hotel Management
of Britain, "your resident entertainers" are Britons linda and Ricky Daniels.
Each evening at the Sunwillg Hotet which is partly owned by Vingressor of
Sweden, the tropical moonlit romance of the palm-fringed terrace is enhanced­
some would say obliterated-by a Swedish rock band.
"I think, in terms of its lack of having real benefits for the average Gambian,
tourism is really a mess;' said a local journalist.
Not all the news is bad, however.
An estimated 6,000 to 7,000 Gambians, for example, are employed
or indirectly by the tourist industry. The trade also produces a welter of
off benefits, including seasonal "boomlets" in business for a grab bag of
entrepreneurs, some of them savory, some of them not: taxi drivers, native
artistes, folk performers, gigolos, prostitutes and amateur
"People do benefit in one way or another,' said Pierre N'j ie, executive secretary
of the Gambian Chamber of Commerce.
Increasingly, Gambian interests-either the Government or private investors­
are purchasing part or full ownership of the country's hotels. Currently, four
of the Gambia's dozen or so V\{)rld-<:Iass hotels are owned outright by the local
interests. Meanwhile the industry'S fiscal value to the Government should soon
increase, as generous tax holidays gradually expire.
The Government hopes to squeeze other advantages out of the tourist trade.
As matters stand, hotels are obliged to import most of their vegetables and other
produce from Europe, because that is the only way. they can guarantee a regular
supply.
The market could be met locally but only if Gambian producers gear
themselves to the task. With the help of international development agencies,
that is exactly what the Government hopes to do.
"We would like to maximise the benefits we get from tourism:! says Abdou
the Economic Planning Ministry. "Unless tourism is properly integrated
into the economy, the net foreign exchange earnings are miniraal:'
For the most part, the Gambia has managed to avoid some of the seamier
or nastier effects of tourism. To be sure, there has been an increase in prostitution
and petty crime-both associated with the tourist trade-but local officials and
foreign diplomats say that neither problem has got out of hand.
The tendency of tourists, both men and women, to wander around town in
scanty clothin& however, has provoked some dismay on the part of the
Gambians who, are mainly Moslem and take a dim view of public nudity.
A couple of years ago, the National Women's Bureau of the Gambian
Government pUblished an open letter imploring tourists to cease going around
"in outfits that elicit stares and whispers, tempt young boys to approach
unaccompanied women, and contribute to the more negative impact of
tourism."
It is evident, however, that this plea has not yet managed to shame some
vacationers who stroll along the sun-drenched avenues in the tourist zones al
Kombo and Bakua.
GLOBE and MAIL Toronto, 17th March, 1988
How WAS lttE.
iR'P to AS'A
e.e.RT ?
Hunted by the Camera
by Parag Trivedi
The camera has never been considered an instrument of change. At best it has
been used as a means oi encapsulating time. One never hears of a film being
banned because of its photographic technique or a film using aparticular school
of photography stirring a people to revolt.
What does excite is that which is referred to as "trick photography" which
is a subsidiary of the special effects department. The viewer knows that he is
succumbing to the temporary excitement of an illusion created in the studios.
Thus the camera excites, stimulates and titillates. At its worst, however it can
bring about changes in the culture of a people that would be nothing short
.of revolutionary. This change in asocial milieu that acamera can effect is entirely
unnecessary, absolutely unwelcome and sociologically a disaster.
The lives of a few animals may perhaps have been saved by the WWF's cry
of "Shoot them with a camera:' Had there been an organisation formed for the
conservation of cultures (funded by the UN perhaps) the camera would have
been branded the greatest threat to culture along with the need to earn foreign
exchange. Cultures would be Qeclared a protectorate of this organisation and
all cameramen poachers.
Where the camera is concerned, only the most self-effacing person would
like to be caught in an "as is where is" situation. Point a camera at the
Hunchback of Notre Dame and chances are that he would tell you to zoom
in so that the hunch does not show.
Portrait painters who did the oork of photographers before the advent of the
camera could always be influenced to embellish the face, tuck in the waist and
flare out the rear of their female subjects, while their male clients would be
given that extra bright gleam in their eye, a broader chest and that flattering
look of bravado. The camera does not afford such indulgences. Not in
cultural sense at least.
When it comes to culture, every shutterbug must remember the classic
anthropological dilemma. The story concerns one anthropologist who had,
in the course of his travels, come across a tribe that was still living in the Stone
Age. Not a single aspect of civilization had reached this tribe.
After stayi ng with th is tribe for some ti me he had enough material on them
to ensure everlasting fame and money for himself. He was about to conclude
his stay when the dilemma arose. One of the tribe members was taken
The witch-doctor was called and arrived duly, bringing with him a
combination of jungle medicine, weird rituals and primitive music. As the witch­
doctor went into his ad the anth ropologist felt that he shou Id diagnose the i II ness
and administer a basic medicine.
But before he did that a very valid anthropological question arose: Did he
have the right to interfere in the due process of nature?
The use of a hypodermic would mean a quantum leap of at least 1,000 years
Should he introduce such a radical change to a people who had yet to learn
the fundamentals of anatomy? Would he not be guilty of interfering with the
process of evolution of that tribe? He had to choose between saving the sick
man from possible death at the hands of the witch-doctor and savi ng the whole
tribe from civilization as he knew it.
The shutterbug is in asomewhat similar predicament where Indian culture
is concerned. let us transpose the same case to the village ofTarnetar in Gujarat.
The time of year is August and the occasion is the annual mela. For four days
every year the village assumes great significance to the tribal people who live
in and around Surendranagar.
There is colour everywhere. The women wear the brightest possible colours
with red and orange being favourites, while the men flaunt turbans and jackets
(bandis) of such striking hues that they put the women in the shade.
The dancing starts soon after the villagers have had their ritual dip. The music
is exhilarating - heard in the cities on radio thanks to a Salil Choudhari or
as. D. Burman.
The villagers are drawn to the centre of a large field cleared for
the rhythmiC beating of an old drum. Every person who dances in the
is obliged to pay the drummer. Those who do not wish to pay the drummer
form another circle and dance to music they sing themselves.
The colour has certainly drawn crowds - not all of them connoisseurs with
the Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation quick to exploit the mela for
whatever it is worth both in terms of rupees and dollars. There are conducted
tours from Bombay and Ahmedabad, preceded by press publicity.
There are cameras everywhere. Instamatics, auto-focuses, SlRs, cameras with
foot long lenses, cameras that invade privacy, affect people and ruin cultures.
A fashion photographer had as many as four cameras dangling from his
shou Iders. Initially one does notrealise the effectthat all this gadgetry has on
the rustics.
It is only when you see the selkonscious preening and abashed behaviour
start taking notice. The bristling moustaches are given a last twist when
some tour guide or government official peremptorily summons the men to pose
for some foreigners. The lissom vi lIage gi rl who looks naturally ravishing even
though the only concession to make-up is kaajal in her eyes and a red bindi
on her forehead, looks on curiously, even enviously, as the city-bred model
touches up her lipstick.
A demand has been created. She too would like to have all that colour on
her before she is photographed. The same villager who never needed to shield
his eyes from the sun would like to be photographed wearing the designer
sunglasses of the foreigner who can't believe the tableau before his eyes and
is clicking away wanting to get as much of it as he can before it vanishes, mirage­
like from before him.
The camera does the work that the syringe would, if used by your
anthropologist on the lost tribe. It gets so that villagers hate to be caught off­
guard. They preen in front of pocket mirrors and ask each other how they look
before they allow themselves to be photographed.
The cameras also introduce an element of commercialism. Once he realises
that he agood model the fellow with the extra bright turban or the extra
moustache becomes a pro. He starts quoting per shot offering package
like Rs.5 per shotorthree shots for Rs.12. This way of thinking would have
been alien to him before the camera was introduced to Tarnetar.
He sees urbanised Indians perfectly at home in their T-shirt and jeans. Some
ofthem even speak his language. No one stares atthem let alone points acamera
at them. The fashion model has her hair flying and eyes misted over in a pale
imitation of the kind of pose struck by models for Vogue. The press, the television
crews are all Indian. And yet he is the hunted one made to look like a freak
in a cage while the state tourism corporation makes a quick buck as well as
some foreign exchange by drawing attention to the
Thatthe camera is capable of causing a revolution in anthropological terms
is not acknowledged. What is happening at Tarnetar is only a symbol of the
effed that the opening up of India to tourism can do to the culture of the country.
The cultural imperialism of the West would make every villager want to look
acceptable to the rest of mankind. Pop goes culture.
SUNDAY REVIEW, 20 November 1988
contd. from page 8
has had dire because of the cultural transformations it
implies. But it is not the end of an ethnic group if they begin to drink
Coca Cola instead of their traditional drink. The consequences depend
on many factors and processes of resistance and cultural re.shaping
can spring up in surprising ways. Therefore, tourism is like Coca Cola:
it is not a plague in itself, but if it is not handled carefully it can bring
about irremediable damage. Moreover, we have not forgotten that the
Coca Cola metaphor can also signify a cultural danger in the long term,
an intense cultural conflict in the short term and even, in some cases,
a more violent threat such as the spread of epidemics (by the tourists)
or alcoholism (to indigenous people).
(Source: IWGIA, Copenhagen).
Tourism and
cultural Minorities:
Double Marginalisation and
Survival strategies
By Pierre Rossel
At the centre of a general framework of adverse development and/or
conflict, tourism exercises a series of pressures on cultural minorities
to transform themselves. These peoples offer, if you believe the tourist
attractions which in fact define different types of tourism.
Into the very double-edged marginalisation of culture and political
economy, and therefore extreme vulnerability, experienced by cultural
minorities, we can now add the problem of tourism's stereotypes.
Tourism motivates individuals by means of organised seduction, that
is to say, it is commercially systemised. This seduction is organised
around an object (cultural minorities) a subject (tour operators) and,
to a lesser extent, the tourists themselves. Moreover, the excuse for this
is always in line with the principle myths of tourism: the bringing of
investment (tourism = development) and intercultural exchange
(tourism mutual understanding). This false reality creates favourable
conditions for a profound cultural transformation in those populations
affected by tourism and for cultural minorities where this aspect of the
process is even more destructive than usual. The signs of the seduction
are more hypocritical, false and disruptive than ever. Cultural minorities
submit to a pressure which makes them feel obi iged to conform, given
that they must make their own image into something tourism can use,
or else disappear. So, whether cultural minorities co-operate with this
scene-setting or not, in the long run what is at stake in this framework
is the disappearance of ethnic identity.
What are the principle motives behind this organised seduction?
Everything stems from the presupposition that cultural minorities
represent an earlier stage of humanity to those of the industrial West,
and therefore are closer than us to the origins of mankind and, above
to nature. The pastoralists of East Africa (such as the Maasai for
example), Amazon societies or the peoples of New Guinea, to mention
but a few, sustain this kind of stereotype, in the same way as certain
types of geographical environment do, such as mountains, deserts and
rainforests. In manufacturing the symbols of tourist seduction other
notions of what constitutes Nature or Origins, such as exoticism and
the image of the Indian, have been used. Having said this, one must
not imagine that tourism invented these notions and images. On the
contrary, tourism has done no morc than take over and exaggerate
existing images (myths) which are taken for granted.
These images are integrated and systematised into representatives
of the "Other" and the "Oifference': which Western society has
developed around numerous "distant" societies. cultural
minorities according to these symbols and stereotypes, constitutes one
of the hubs of our problem. Even if exoticism and the state of "closer
to nature': which the tourist is looking for, are delusions with no basis
in the reality ofthe host peoples, the financial investment means and
the structural power of tourism is more than sufficient to create another
world. In spite of everything, tourists, misinformed and tactless to
find the images and sensations they are looking for and see nothing
more than what they want to see (and what they are allowed to see).
The notion of "different" illuminates this problem, particularly that
paradox of tourism, the liadventurer" or "hiker"; these tourists have
tendency to feel that they are different and have less harmful effects
than mass tourism. The Westerners who visit the high valleys of Nepal
or the retreating oases of Nigeria are looking for the unknown and the
novel in the countries themselves, but also in the way of life. Thevfind
attractive values and seductive images in the villages visited
("authenticity", a shared life, rich social life, beauty, etc.). But contact
with tourism, even individual tourists, changes the way of life that is
being admired and introduces unforeseen and shocking elements into
this beautiful picture. In the same way, tourists visiting such and such
an oasis or Nepalese village become indignant at seeing plastic pails
and transistors and deplore the loss of "authenticity". In reality, they
are indignant about a transformation for which they are, though
certainly not always consciously, some of the main agents.
The mountains and the desert are converted into the last frontiers
of tourism. The Andes
t
the Sahara and, above all, the Himalayan
regions have suffered for many years from an increasingly strong tide
of tourism, of which trekking is the principle form. in search
of invigorating and impressive landscapes, like those who search for
spirituality and "real" contacts, pay no heed to the effects of their
presence, of which the most visible are deforestation and the
accumulation of rubbish in camping areas.
Nepal offers an interesting example of the complexity of the effect
of tourism. In fact, trekking involves different ethnic peoples grouped
hierarchically <the porters are, for example, from a lower social order
than certain Sherpa groups who have more important positions in the
organisation of treks). Some earn more than others and in different ways
thanks to tourism, they feel its effects to a greater or lesser degree, and
have completely different images of tourists and understanding of the
tourism process.
This example illustrates the fact that tourisr.n is present in different
and sometimes complex socio-cultural contexts where the members
are able to, and know how to, take their unequal share according to
their position within the regional and national society.
However, there are still a number of comparable instances where
ethnic groups have not yet been hemmed in and begun to disintegrate
and where there is still some hope of exploiting as much as possible
from tourism. Zanskar is in fact a good example, as is the Sherpa
community of Rolwaling and the well known Hunza. This population
lives in a valley in the far north of Pakistan, on the border with China.
It formed an independent kingdom and has recently been annexed
by Pakistan. The new and famous Karakoram Highway runs through
it and more and more trekkers are arriving there. Its "original" identity
makes it attractive and for this reason there are attempts to preserve
it and stop the pressures of acculturisation from Pakistan. For the
Hunza, it is perbaps a question of not being devalued once again, but
of using tourism against the central power.
All that we have looked at so far brings us to the main point, the
question of the margin of control and the strategies at the disposal of
certaIn cultural minorities faced with tourism. Tourists can be used
as allies, be it directly through their economic input or through the
information they bring with them from the West. In some cases,
external political pressure by governments or non-governmental
organisations, can change the cards.
But we are not euphoric. The situation of cultural minorities does
not warrant this. However, we can review the complexity of the
conditions in which they find themselves and evaluate the chances
they have left not according to a maxim of "no changes at all costs",
but through the margin of control that really exists for them and the
strategies that they can develop.
'The contact certain Ifugao villages in the Philippines have with
tourists puts them "on the front line" or on the tourist "frontierlf. But
without doubt thiS "sacrifice" allows numerous other peoples to be
left as tourist reserves in the hinterland. We could cite numerous
examples of this occurrence. To be a cultural minority is not just a moral
question, it is a practical question which demands concrete action.
Coca Cola's penetration into the most inaccessible places on the globe
con/d, on page 9
The Kanyakumari March
May 1st, 1989
The month-long coastal march (along both the east and west coasts) culminated
at Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India, where the waters of 3 oceans
meet. Organised by the National Fishermen's Forum, the theme of the march
was 'Protect Waters, Protect Life', and sought to raise various issues faced
by traditional fishermen all over the country, as well as those related to marine
ecology. EQUATIONS participated as a result of its collaboration with the NFF
in 1988 in the study 'The Impact of Tourism on Coastal Fishermen in South
India'.
On May 1sC International Workers' Day, a day-long programme was
organised, starting with a warm welcome to the marchers from both sides
who met at Kanyakumari. More than 10,000 people, including women and
gathered for this momentous occasion. The day included cultural
expressions representing different parts of the country, exhibitions on various
themes (including one on tourism by EQUATIONS), film and video shows,
and a public meeting had been planned for the evening, to be addressed,
among others, by former Supreme Court Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer.
The public rally was to begin with a .ceremonial pledge taken by all
participants at the seashore. Hundreds of catamarans (country craft) had been
brought to the coast for the ceremony. The marchers then began proceeding
to the rally grounds.
Despite having been given sufficient advance notice, the police allowed
a bus to drive through the marchers cutting the crowd in two. Nobody was
hurt, but irritation mounted at this needless interference. Instead of taking
preventive action and pacifying the crowd, the police stepped in with sticks
to further create a mood of anxiety and disruption. Enraged, some persons
(they seem to have been outsiders) threw stones at the police. Without any
warning, the police started firing into the crowd.
Several persons were seriously injured in the shooting, and in the subsequent
lath i-charge (by stick-wielding policemen). Ruthlessly, the police hit out at
anybody who happened to be around, including innocent bystanders. Fr.
SelVatius and Sr. Philomena Mary, both in their mid-sixties, were beaten
severely. Several persons were hospitalised, including 4 with bullet injuries.
The police then went on a systematic rampage, smashing glasspanes and
headlights of the buses which had transported the marchers. Unable to arrest
more than 5 persons that day, the next morning, they went to some nearby
coastal villages and rounded up people at random.
On May 2nd, NFF leaders and others sat on the road in front of the District
Collector's office, protesting against the unwarranted police action, demanding
a judicial inquiry and release of the arrested persons. Chief Minister of
Mr. Karunanidhi, has promised to take action, and has already
sought an answer to the question as to how the police opened fire in the
absence of a senior officer.
4iflssue ofA.1temiltfJoe
in its format anddinJsnsions. Thenumbu ofpagesha1)6.bmi
increased, and ap(],rt/
rom
the usual fare o/news dndvlewS,
we will incorpotatitseripus articles, comments and reviews.
. Ournew World Tourism Critique,· aptly
summa;rises. the .. eha'hge;.qQer. .
Editor
Women's Front of Norway
(In our last issue, we carried news ofthe court trials initiated by asex-tour agency against
the Women's Front ofNorway. Our letter in support of the Front has been translated into
Norwegian and will be used as evidence. I1f:> carry below a press statement announcing
",ictory for the WO.l1cn in the first case.)
June 13-15, 1988 a trial about sex tourism took place in Norway. It was the Scan
Thai Traveller Club, which arranges sex tours to Thailand vs. the March 8
Committee of a local town, which has protested against tile Scan Thai activities.
Verdict has fallen in this libel case. The 13 women in the Committee won!
The court supports the descriptions of Scan Thai as a sex club and that the
women activists correctly characterised Scan Thai's operations as "trafficking
in women" and Ifracist activities".
These characteristics appeared in an article printed in the March 8. nevvspaper,
"Our Paper" giving the background for the club's operations and in the solidarity
slogan used in the March 8 International Women's Day celebration. The court
took no decision concerning the legality of the dub owner's activities.
The owner of the club, lvar Larsen, was originally claiming US Dollars 145.000
in damages. The final result of this case is that Larsen has to pay US Dollars
7.150 towards the expenses the women have had.
This is what the verdict states:
Generally one must see prostitution as a form ofexploitation ofwomen and
as oppression of women. When this oppression of women takes place in the
Third World and is kept up by mass tourism from Western industrial countries,
an element of racial discrimination is undoubtedly added to the sexism.
The COUIt finds that the Scan Thai club report give ideas about Eastern IMJmen
as different, submissive and willing to meet Western men's sexual needs.
Eastern women are contrasted to Western women, who are not given good
grades by Larsen.
The court finds that the club report disguises the nature ofprostitution, and
that the individual club membercan get aincorrect picture ofrea/if}; contrasted
to what reality really is for these women.
The question then is whether Larsen's activities can be characterisedas racist
and participation in trafficking in women.
The court concludes that these terms must be legal and within the Freedom
ofspeech because they are put forward in aideological/political context, and
because they must be seen as having sufficient basis in the actual facts.
The Women's Front of Norway and three women in Oslo also face a libel
case with the same club and its owner - this time for using the expressions
"trafficking in "that the club acts as a pimp" and This trial
starts in Oslo in May 1989.
Archbishop
voices concern
Goa's Archbhishop, the head of the Catholic Church here, has criticised the
"unhealthy trends" caused by tourism in this state and has called for concerted
action to caution people about this.
On the socio-cultural and moral fronts, the Archbishop has decried the alien
life-style and culture, prostitution, the spread of drug abuse, and the erosion
of values catalysed by the promotion of tourism in Goa. .
The letter also warns of tile fole of of tile hotels in influencing
official deCision-making, suppressing public resentment and manipulating
public opinion. The Archbishop has called mass commercial tourism "basically
exploitative in nature': People continue to live in poverty in countries where
tourism is, Of, was, overdeveloped, notes the letter.
DECCAN HERALD, 12 May 1989
Commissioner questions Judgement
A commissioner appointed by the Bombay High Court (Panaji Bench) in the
Ramada Hotels case has written an angry letter to the court, questioning its
December judgement. He has also returned the cheque of Rs. 4,000- that the
High Court had sent him for his work as commissioner.
Dr. S. P. Deshpande, a distinguished environmentalist, and former town
planner, was appointed by the High Court to go into several irregularities alleged
to have been committed by the Ramada Hotels in their five-star resort
construction. The allegations had been enumerated in a writ petition filed by
Sergio Carvalho against the hotel owners and the government of Goa.
In his report, Dr. Deshpande noted the following violations:
The hotel promoters had constructed four shallow wells illegally, two in
the sensitive no-construction zone;
Most of the bui Idings were already in breach of the 9 metres overall limit:
one building was going to be 24 meters· high;
Plans submitted were and contained several irregularities: they
did not fulfill the minimum technical requirements under the rules;
The plans were not according to scale;
Sectional plans were not given for many buildings: the sectional plans for
others were sketchy, had discrepancies or did not conform to rules.
The commissioner also established that the promoters had raised 519 square
meters of construction in the no-development zone, and that the vegetation
on the sand dunes had been removed. The High Court considered the report
but dismissed the writ petition on December 8, after a two-day hearing.
THE INDIAN POST 31 january, 1989.
Foreign hotel chains keen on investment
Big international hotel chains (American, German, Japanese and Singaporean)
have reacted very positively to the Indian Government's incentive schemes for
investing in the tourism sector and something should be concretised within
the next six months, with the first few joint-venture projects to be set up within
the next three to four years. There had been a number of queries because, for
the first time foreign equity participation to the extent of 51 percent was bei ng
perm itted in the tourism sector. I nternational hotel chains wou Id not on Iy have
a majority equity share but also management control, according to Mr. S. K.
Mishra, Tourism Secretary.
ECONOMIC TIMES 11 December, 1988.
FarOOQ's TOur Abroad at What Cost?
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, returned here
tw'O days behind schedule after promoting Kashmiri cuisine in Singapore,
Malaysia and Australia. While the financial cost of the exercise could not be
known immediately, the political cost of the prodigal Chief Minister has been
immense. On the credit side, it remains to be seen how many foreign tourists
the lure of Kashmiri Wazwan can bring to the valley, notwithstanding the current
disturbed conditions.
A question everybody seems to be asking is who will foot the bill for the
Chief Minister's foreign jaunt. According to an official, Air India and India
Tourism Development Corporation had provided most facilities to the Chief
Minister and the six officials who accompanied him.
INDIAN EXPRESS 22 February, 1989.
INDIA
rt:I
Festival or Arms Fair?
Sir,
As a part of the Festival of France, a technical conference is being organised
to discuss weapons technologies.
We are shocked. Cultural festivals are being increasingly used as a facade
to promote the economic interests of the private capitalist, including defence
interests and nuclear power plants. These festivals are supposed to bring the
peoples and artists of the two countries together, to learn, discover and to create
an atmosphere of warmth and goodwill.
Unfortunately, the French Festival is more of an exhibition and display of the
French weapons industry and has required the services of a Socialist president
to promote their cause. France has the unique distinction of selling weapons
to both sides in an armed conflict. The pro-nuclear lobby all over the world
touts France as a shining example of the viability of nuclear power.
We' are very enthusiastic about cultural exchanges with the people of France.
We warmly welcome their cultural ambassadors and applaud their
performances. But, today, behind the artists stand the ubiquitous dealers and
radiation merchants. To them we say emphatically - no thanks.
Hemchandra Basappa, Bangalore.
(Letter to INDIAN EXPRESS 23 February, 1989).
What the five-stars foretell
2000 AD. On a computer screen at the reception desk of a New Delhi hotel
the message appears: "Orient Express has just landed. Of the 1,143 aboard,
850 will be in the lobby in about 30 minutes:' The desk boys and girls press
a series of buttons and wait for the printouts.
Printed sheets start rolling out showing room allocations depending on the
personal choice of the guest in respect of the size, view, smoki ng section and
telecom facilities linked to a global information system. On a wider screen in
the lobby the names of the guests and room numbers appear indicating the
counters from which electronic card keys can be collected. Each guest will carry
a plastic card which wi II provide clues to all his documents like passports and
credit cards.
It will hardly take the time you have read up to this point for the guest to check
in. In the meanwhile the computer will have informed every hotel department
on individual guest handling including dietary preferences and wake-up calls.
This scenario is no pipe dream. It will happen in class hotels if they are not
to shut shop.
TIMES OF INDIA, 23 October, 1988.
ITDC to prepare master plan
The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has been asked by the
West Bengal government to prepare a master plan for the development of river
front tourism along the Hooghly. The government expects to open up a
promenade along the Hooghly to enable tourists to have short distance river
cruises from Calcutta at week-ends.
The river cruise from Calcutta will really lead the tourists to the Sunderbans
which the government plans to develop in a big way in the near future. The
tourism potential of the Sunderbans is being increasingly talked about once
the agitation in the Darjeeling hills began.
ECONOMIC TIMES 11 October, 1988.
News and Views
Usual Business
The so-called flea market at Anjuna in north Goa, notorious for drug
peddling as well as the hand-me-down sales by foreigners, has trans­
formed into a bazaar for ethnic exotica.
Located on a lonely stretch of beach, the Wednesday "mandi" has more
Indian trinkets and elaborately embroidered wall-hangings and carpets
strung up on lines than fancy electronic goods, leather jackets, jeans and
other "phoren" watches.
Ever since it was reopened recently despite protests from the people
against the murky goings-on under cover of routine transactions,
policemen patrol the market with sniffer dogs in tow.
The peddlers are an interesting mix of local people, traders from other
parts of the country and foreigners. The myriad stalls sell a wide variety
of goods, ranging from bric-a-brac to binoculars, from Bombay "bhelpuri"
to German "kase kuchen" (cheese-cake).
The prices are obviously fixed keeping the foreigners' wallets in view.
And, in some cases, the urgency of the customer's needs. A piece of
"spiked" pizza, for instance, could cost upto Rs. 20. The unusually high
prices have one advantage - they keep the unsuspecting customers
away.
But genuine foodstuffs are also available. Often one comes across
foreign visitors on shoe-string budgets who try to replenish their depleted
resources by putting their culinary skills to use. And the customer can
get his moneys worth, provided of course, the skills are more real than
imaginary.
TIMES OF INDIA 13 March, 1989.
Ropeway to Kedarnath
Pi Igrims to the renowned Kedarnath shri ne may soon be spared the ti ri ng trek
to the temple, if the Uttar Pradesh Government's proposal to link the Himalayan
pilgrimage spot by ropeway is implemented. The project is envisaged to cost
a colossal sum of Rs. 2 crore per km.
Experts howe.er, are still debating whether the Himalayan ranges in the region
are sturdy enough to bear the load of a ropeway. Some envi ronmental ists have
opposed the ropeway saying it would lead to a large influx of pilgrims spoiling
the serenity of the shri ne, perched on a ride jutti ng out from the snowy range
below the Mahapnath peak and flanked by the alpine meadows.
The first to be hit by the ropeway project would be the hill people who eke
out a living by transporting devotees to the shrine on ponies at least six months
a year (the shrine is closed during winter).
TIMES OF INDIA 13 june 1989
Beach Resort Opposed
The Navy has raised objections to a large luxury beach resort coming up on
aGoan beach not far from the proposed 'Sea Bird' naval base at Karwar. Chief
of Naval Staff Admiral J G Kulkarni says that the Navy had 'expressed
unhappiness' over the Shendrem beach resort, bei ng promoted by some foreign
nationals in extreme south Goa's Canacona tal uk.
which can overlook our movements, especially since there are
foreigners involved, certainly amounts to asecurity risk; he said in an informal
chat with journalists.
DECCAN HERALD, 28 May 1989
Transfer of Park Land Challenged
A writ petition challenging the transfer of 18 acres of land adjoining Sydenhams
Road here, classified for recreational purposes and meant to be used as a park,
to the Pallava Hotels Corporation for the construction of a five-star hotel has
been admitted by Justice S. Ramalingam in the Madras High Court.
The Consumer Action Group represented by its Trustee Mr. Sriram Panchu,
and four others, in a writ petition, filed in public interest, said that the Tamil
Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and the Pallava Hotels Corporation
had jointly promoted a Company for the construction of a five-star hotel. For
th is purpose, 126.87 grou nds had been transferred free of cost and forthe balance
of 202.30 grounds, the rates have been fixed at Rs. 1.25 lacs aground. Followi ng
an application by the Pallava Hotels Corporation to the Madras Metropolitan
Development Authority for reclassification of the land from "recreational" to
"commercial" purposes for putting up the five-star hotel, the MMDA invited
objections from the public to the proposed reclassification. About 1,100
members of the public signed a letter of protest to the MMDA on June 28, 1988,
stati ng that the transfer was a clear violation of the original intended purpose
and that serious environmental questions wereinvolved since the land served
a lung space for North Madras.
The petitioner, by a letter dated July 25,1988, drew the MMD!(s attention to
the public protest and sought a personal hearing. But there was no response
from the MMDA. A representation was made to the Tamil Nadu Governor to
annul the transaction and restore the land for public use. On December 19,
when the representatives of the petitioner met the Governor, he was not inclined
to inform them about the fate of the public interest writ and the requests. Hence
the present petition. "
The petitioners contend that the State Government was not justified in handing
over an area meant for a park, which was a public recreational area, for being
used as a five-star hotel. Such an act was contrary to the zoning laws and the
development control rules. The transaction deserved to be set aside because
the cOllsideration the Government had received for the transfer of the public
property was at best woefully inadequate.
THE HINDU 10 january, 1989.
Take me to the lIotel .....
-. --.---­

Shivraj Patil, the amiable minister for tourism, is either a star-gazer or
spaced out or both. At least he seemed to be last month at a gathering
of top hoteliers in Delhi. The hospitality industry, he said, "is going to
face greater challenges in the next century". So far so good. But then he
said something which surely must have woken up the man in the moon.
"It is not a fantasy that man will live in outer space in the near future ....
I have a feeling that this kind of hospitality will be required in other planets
and outer space too:' Talk about flights of fancy.
INDIA TODAY 30 November, 1988.
Commissioner questions Judgement
A commissioner appointed by the Bombay High Court (Panaji Bench) in the
Ramada Hotels case has written an angry letter to the court, questioning its
December judgement. He has also returned the cheque of Rs. 4,000- that the
High Court had sent him for his work as commissioner.
Dr. S. P. Deshpande, a distinguished environmentalist, and former town
planner, was appointed by the High Court to go into several irregularities alleged
to have been committed by the Ramada Hotels in their five-star resort
construction. The allegations had been enumerated in a writ petition filed by
Sergio Carvalho against the hotel owners and the government of Goa.
In his report, Dr. Deshpande noted the following violations:
The hotel promoters had constructed four shallow wells illegally, two in
the sensitive no-construction zone;
Most of the bui Idings were already in breach of the 9 metres overall limit:
one building was going to be 24 meters· high;
Plans submitted were and contained several irregularities: they
did not fulfill the minimum technical requirements under the rules;
The plans were not according to scale;
Sectional plans were not given for many buildings: the sectional plans for
others were sketchy, had discrepancies or did not conform to rules.
The commissioner also established that the promoters had raised 519 square
meters of construction in the no-development zone, and that the vegetation
on the sand dunes had been removed. The High Court considered the report
but dismissed the writ petition on December 8, after a two-day hearing.
THE INDIAN POST 31 january, 1989.
Foreign hotel chains keen on investment
Big international hotel chains (American, German, Japanese and Singaporean)
have reacted very positively to the Indian Government's incentive schemes for
investing in the tourism sector and something should be concretised within
the next six months, with the first few joint-venture projects to be set up within
the next three to four years. There had been a number of queries because, for
the first time foreign equity participation to the extent of 51 percent was bei ng
perm itted in the tourism sector. I nternational hotel chains wou Id not on Iy have
a majority equity share but also management control, according to Mr. S. K.
Mishra, Tourism Secretary.
ECONOMIC TIMES 11 December, 1988.
FarOOQ's TOur Abroad at What Cost?
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, returned here
tw'O days behind schedule after promoting Kashmiri cuisine in Singapore,
Malaysia and Australia. While the financial cost of the exercise could not be
known immediately, the political cost of the prodigal Chief Minister has been
immense. On the credit side, it remains to be seen how many foreign tourists
the lure of Kashmiri Wazwan can bring to the valley, notwithstanding the current
disturbed conditions.
A question everybody seems to be asking is who will foot the bill for the
Chief Minister's foreign jaunt. According to an official, Air India and India
Tourism Development Corporation had provided most facilities to the Chief
Minister and the six officials who accompanied him.
INDIAN EXPRESS 22 February, 1989.
INDIA
rt:I
Festival or Arms Fair?
Sir,
As a part of the Festival of France, a technical conference is being organised
to discuss weapons technologies.
We are shocked. Cultural festivals are being increasingly used as a facade
to promote the economic interests of the private capitalist, including defence
interests and nuclear power plants. These festivals are supposed to bring the
peoples and artists of the two countries together, to learn, discover and to create
an atmosphere of warmth and goodwill.
Unfortunately, the French Festival is more of an exhibition and display of the
French weapons industry and has required the services of a Socialist president
to promote their cause. France has the unique distinction of selling weapons
to both sides in an armed conflict. The pro-nuclear lobby all over the world
touts France as a shining example of the viability of nuclear power.
We' are very enthusiastic about cultural exchanges with the people of France.
We warmly welcome their cultural ambassadors and applaud their
performances. But, today, behind the artists stand the ubiquitous dealers and
radiation merchants. To them we say emphatically - no thanks.
Hemchandra Basappa, Bangalore.
(Letter to INDIAN EXPRESS 23 February, 1989).
What the five-stars foretell
2000 AD. On a computer screen at the reception desk of a New Delhi hotel
the message appears: "Orient Express has just landed. Of the 1,143 aboard,
850 will be in the lobby in about 30 minutes:' The desk boys and girls press
a series of buttons and wait for the printouts.
Printed sheets start rolling out showing room allocations depending on the
personal choice of the guest in respect of the size, view, smoki ng section and
telecom facilities linked to a global information system. On a wider screen in
the lobby the names of the guests and room numbers appear indicating the
counters from which electronic card keys can be collected. Each guest will carry
a plastic card which wi II provide clues to all his documents like passports and
credit cards.
It will hardly take the time you have read up to this point for the guest to check
in. In the meanwhile the computer will have informed every hotel department
on individual guest handling including dietary preferences and wake-up calls.
This scenario is no pipe dream. It will happen in class hotels if they are not
to shut shop.
TIMES OF INDIA, 23 October, 1988.
ITDC to prepare master plan
The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has been asked by the
West Bengal government to prepare a master plan for the development of river
front tourism along the Hooghly. The government expects to open up a
promenade along the Hooghly to enable tourists to have short distance river
cruises from Calcutta at week-ends.
The river cruise from Calcutta will really lead the tourists to the Sunderbans
which the government plans to develop in a big way in the near future. The
tourism potential of the Sunderbans is being increasingly talked about once
the agitation in the Darjeeling hills began.
ECONOMIC TIMES 11 October, 1988.
News and Views
Usual Business
The so-called flea market at Anjuna in north Goa, notorious for drug
peddling as well as the hand-me-down sales by foreigners, has trans­
formed into a bazaar for ethnic exotica.
Located on a lonely stretch of beach, the Wednesday "mandi" has more
Indian trinkets and elaborately embroidered wall-hangings and carpets
strung up on lines than fancy electronic goods, leather jackets, jeans and
other "phoren" watches.
Ever since it was reopened recently despite protests from the people
against the murky goings-on under cover of routine transactions,
policemen patrol the market with sniffer dogs in tow.
The peddlers are an interesting mix of local people, traders from other
parts of the country and foreigners. The myriad stalls sell a wide variety
of goods, ranging from bric-a-brac to binoculars, from Bombay "bhelpuri"
to German "kase kuchen" (cheese-cake).
The prices are obviously fixed keeping the foreigners' wallets in view.
And, in some cases, the urgency of the customer's needs. A piece of
"spiked" pizza, for instance, could cost upto Rs. 20. The unusually high
prices have one advantage - they keep the unsuspecting customers
away.
But genuine foodstuffs are also available. Often one comes across
foreign visitors on shoe-string budgets who try to replenish their depleted
resources by putting their culinary skills to use. And the customer can
get his moneys worth, provided of course, the skills are more real than
imaginary.
TIMES OF INDIA 13 March, 1989.
Ropeway to Kedarnath
Pi Igrims to the renowned Kedarnath shri ne may soon be spared the ti ri ng trek
to the temple, if the Uttar Pradesh Government's proposal to link the Himalayan
pilgrimage spot by ropeway is implemented. The project is envisaged to cost
a colossal sum of Rs. 2 crore per km.
Experts howe.er, are still debating whether the Himalayan ranges in the region
are sturdy enough to bear the load of a ropeway. Some envi ronmental ists have
opposed the ropeway saying it would lead to a large influx of pilgrims spoiling
the serenity of the shri ne, perched on a ride jutti ng out from the snowy range
below the Mahapnath peak and flanked by the alpine meadows.
The first to be hit by the ropeway project would be the hill people who eke
out a living by transporting devotees to the shrine on ponies at least six months
a year (the shrine is closed during winter).
TIMES OF INDIA 13 june 1989
Beach Resort Opposed
The Navy has raised objections to a large luxury beach resort coming up on
aGoan beach not far from the proposed 'Sea Bird' naval base at Karwar. Chief
of Naval Staff Admiral J G Kulkarni says that the Navy had 'expressed
unhappiness' over the Shendrem beach resort, bei ng promoted by some foreign
nationals in extreme south Goa's Canacona tal uk.
which can overlook our movements, especially since there are
foreigners involved, certainly amounts to asecurity risk; he said in an informal
chat with journalists.
DECCAN HERALD, 28 May 1989
Transfer of Park Land Challenged
A writ petition challenging the transfer of 18 acres of land adjoining Sydenhams
Road here, classified for recreational purposes and meant to be used as a park,
to the Pallava Hotels Corporation for the construction of a five-star hotel has
been admitted by Justice S. Ramalingam in the Madras High Court.
The Consumer Action Group represented by its Trustee Mr. Sriram Panchu,
and four others, in a writ petition, filed in public interest, said that the Tamil
Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and the Pallava Hotels Corporation
had jointly promoted a Company for the construction of a five-star hotel. For
th is purpose, 126.87 grou nds had been transferred free of cost and forthe balance
of 202.30 grounds, the rates have been fixed at Rs. 1.25 lacs aground. Followi ng
an application by the Pallava Hotels Corporation to the Madras Metropolitan
Development Authority for reclassification of the land from "recreational" to
"commercial" purposes for putting up the five-star hotel, the MMDA invited
objections from the public to the proposed reclassification. About 1,100
members of the public signed a letter of protest to the MMDA on June 28, 1988,
stati ng that the transfer was a clear violation of the original intended purpose
and that serious environmental questions wereinvolved since the land served
a lung space for North Madras.
The petitioner, by a letter dated July 25,1988, drew the MMD!(s attention to
the public protest and sought a personal hearing. But there was no response
from the MMDA. A representation was made to the Tamil Nadu Governor to
annul the transaction and restore the land for public use. On December 19,
when the representatives of the petitioner met the Governor, he was not inclined
to inform them about the fate of the public interest writ and the requests. Hence
the present petition. "
The petitioners contend that the State Government was not justified in handing
over an area meant for a park, which was a public recreational area, for being
used as a five-star hotel. Such an act was contrary to the zoning laws and the
development control rules. The transaction deserved to be set aside because
the cOllsideration the Government had received for the transfer of the public
property was at best woefully inadequate.
THE HINDU 10 january, 1989.
Take me to the lIotel .....
-. --.---­

Shivraj Patil, the amiable minister for tourism, is either a star-gazer or
spaced out or both. At least he seemed to be last month at a gathering
of top hoteliers in Delhi. The hospitality industry, he said, "is going to
face greater challenges in the next century". So far so good. But then he
said something which surely must have woken up the man in the moon.
"It is not a fantasy that man will live in outer space in the near future ....
I have a feeling that this kind of hospitality will be required in other planets
and outer space too:' Talk about flights of fancy.
INDIA TODAY 30 November, 1988.
Tourism and
cultural Minorities:
Double Marginalisation and
Survival strategies
By Pierre Rossel
At the centre of a general framework of adverse development and/or
conflict, tourism exercises a series of pressures on cultural minorities
to transform themselves. These peoples offer, if you believe the tourist
attractions which in fact define different types of tourism.
Into the very double-edged marginalisation of culture and political
economy, and therefore extreme vulnerability, experienced by cultural
minorities, we can now add the problem of tourism's stereotypes.
Tourism motivates individuals by means of organised seduction, that
is to say, it is commercially systemised. This seduction is organised
around an object (cultural minorities) a subject (tour operators) and,
to a lesser extent, the tourists themselves. Moreover, the excuse for this
is always in line with the principle myths of tourism: the bringing of
investment (tourism = development) and intercultural exchange
(tourism mutual understanding). This false reality creates favourable
conditions for a profound cultural transformation in those populations
affected by tourism and for cultural minorities where this aspect of the
process is even more destructive than usual. The signs of the seduction
are more hypocritical, false and disruptive than ever. Cultural minorities
submit to a pressure which makes them feel obi iged to conform, given
that they must make their own image into something tourism can use,
or else disappear. So, whether cultural minorities co-operate with this
scene-setting or not, in the long run what is at stake in this framework
is the disappearance of ethnic identity.
What are the principle motives behind this organised seduction?
Everything stems from the presupposition that cultural minorities
represent an earlier stage of humanity to those of the industrial West,
and therefore are closer than us to the origins of mankind and, above
to nature. The pastoralists of East Africa (such as the Maasai for
example), Amazon societies or the peoples of New Guinea, to mention
but a few, sustain this kind of stereotype, in the same way as certain
types of geographical environment do, such as mountains, deserts and
rainforests. In manufacturing the symbols of tourist seduction other
notions of what constitutes Nature or Origins, such as exoticism and
the image of the Indian, have been used. Having said this, one must
not imagine that tourism invented these notions and images. On the
contrary, tourism has done no morc than take over and exaggerate
existing images (myths) which are taken for granted.
These images are integrated and systematised into representatives
of the "Other" and the "Oifference': which Western society has
developed around numerous "distant" societies. cultural
minorities according to these symbols and stereotypes, constitutes one
of the hubs of our problem. Even if exoticism and the state of "closer
to nature': which the tourist is looking for, are delusions with no basis
in the reality ofthe host peoples, the financial investment means and
the structural power of tourism is more than sufficient to create another
world. In spite of everything, tourists, misinformed and tactless to
find the images and sensations they are looking for and see nothing
more than what they want to see (and what they are allowed to see).
The notion of "different" illuminates this problem, particularly that
paradox of tourism, the liadventurer" or "hiker"; these tourists have
tendency to feel that they are different and have less harmful effects
than mass tourism. The Westerners who visit the high valleys of Nepal
or the retreating oases of Nigeria are looking for the unknown and the
novel in the countries themselves, but also in the way of life. Thevfind
attractive values and seductive images in the villages visited
("authenticity", a shared life, rich social life, beauty, etc.). But contact
with tourism, even individual tourists, changes the way of life that is
being admired and introduces unforeseen and shocking elements into
this beautiful picture. In the same way, tourists visiting such and such
an oasis or Nepalese village become indignant at seeing plastic pails
and transistors and deplore the loss of "authenticity". In reality, they
are indignant about a transformation for which they are, though
certainly not always consciously, some of the main agents.
The mountains and the desert are converted into the last frontiers
of tourism. The Andes
t
the Sahara and, above all, the Himalayan
regions have suffered for many years from an increasingly strong tide
of tourism, of which trekking is the principle form. in search
of invigorating and impressive landscapes, like those who search for
spirituality and "real" contacts, pay no heed to the effects of their
presence, of which the most visible are deforestation and the
accumulation of rubbish in camping areas.
Nepal offers an interesting example of the complexity of the effect
of tourism. In fact, trekking involves different ethnic peoples grouped
hierarchically <the porters are, for example, from a lower social order
than certain Sherpa groups who have more important positions in the
organisation of treks). Some earn more than others and in different ways
thanks to tourism, they feel its effects to a greater or lesser degree, and
have completely different images of tourists and understanding of the
tourism process.
This example illustrates the fact that tourisr.n is present in different
and sometimes complex socio-cultural contexts where the members
are able to, and know how to, take their unequal share according to
their position within the regional and national society.
However, there are still a number of comparable instances where
ethnic groups have not yet been hemmed in and begun to disintegrate
and where there is still some hope of exploiting as much as possible
from tourism. Zanskar is in fact a good example, as is the Sherpa
community of Rolwaling and the well known Hunza. This population
lives in a valley in the far north of Pakistan, on the border with China.
It formed an independent kingdom and has recently been annexed
by Pakistan. The new and famous Karakoram Highway runs through
it and more and more trekkers are arriving there. Its "original" identity
makes it attractive and for this reason there are attempts to preserve
it and stop the pressures of acculturisation from Pakistan. For the
Hunza, it is perbaps a question of not being devalued once again, but
of using tourism against the central power.
All that we have looked at so far brings us to the main point, the
question of the margin of control and the strategies at the disposal of
certaIn cultural minorities faced with tourism. Tourists can be used
as allies, be it directly through their economic input or through the
information they bring with them from the West. In some cases,
external political pressure by governments or non-governmental
organisations, can change the cards.
But we are not euphoric. The situation of cultural minorities does
not warrant this. However, we can review the complexity of the
conditions in which they find themselves and evaluate the chances
they have left not according to a maxim of "no changes at all costs",
but through the margin of control that really exists for them and the
strategies that they can develop.
'The contact certain Ifugao villages in the Philippines have with
tourists puts them "on the front line" or on the tourist "frontierlf. But
without doubt thiS "sacrifice" allows numerous other peoples to be
left as tourist reserves in the hinterland. We could cite numerous
examples of this occurrence. To be a cultural minority is not just a moral
question, it is a practical question which demands concrete action.
Coca Cola's penetration into the most inaccessible places on the globe
con/d, on page 9
The Kanyakumari March
May 1st, 1989
The month-long coastal march (along both the east and west coasts) culminated
at Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India, where the waters of 3 oceans
meet. Organised by the National Fishermen's Forum, the theme of the march
was 'Protect Waters, Protect Life', and sought to raise various issues faced
by traditional fishermen all over the country, as well as those related to marine
ecology. EQUATIONS participated as a result of its collaboration with the NFF
in 1988 in the study 'The Impact of Tourism on Coastal Fishermen in South
India'.
On May 1sC International Workers' Day, a day-long programme was
organised, starting with a warm welcome to the marchers from both sides
who met at Kanyakumari. More than 10,000 people, including women and
gathered for this momentous occasion. The day included cultural
expressions representing different parts of the country, exhibitions on various
themes (including one on tourism by EQUATIONS), film and video shows,
and a public meeting had been planned for the evening, to be addressed,
among others, by former Supreme Court Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer.
The public rally was to begin with a .ceremonial pledge taken by all
participants at the seashore. Hundreds of catamarans (country craft) had been
brought to the coast for the ceremony. The marchers then began proceeding
to the rally grounds.
Despite having been given sufficient advance notice, the police allowed
a bus to drive through the marchers cutting the crowd in two. Nobody was
hurt, but irritation mounted at this needless interference. Instead of taking
preventive action and pacifying the crowd, the police stepped in with sticks
to further create a mood of anxiety and disruption. Enraged, some persons
(they seem to have been outsiders) threw stones at the police. Without any
warning, the police started firing into the crowd.
Several persons were seriously injured in the shooting, and in the subsequent
lath i-charge (by stick-wielding policemen). Ruthlessly, the police hit out at
anybody who happened to be around, including innocent bystanders. Fr.
SelVatius and Sr. Philomena Mary, both in their mid-sixties, were beaten
severely. Several persons were hospitalised, including 4 with bullet injuries.
The police then went on a systematic rampage, smashing glasspanes and
headlights of the buses which had transported the marchers. Unable to arrest
more than 5 persons that day, the next morning, they went to some nearby
coastal villages and rounded up people at random.
On May 2nd, NFF leaders and others sat on the road in front of the District
Collector's office, protesting against the unwarranted police action, demanding
a judicial inquiry and release of the arrested persons. Chief Minister of
Mr. Karunanidhi, has promised to take action, and has already
sought an answer to the question as to how the police opened fire in the
absence of a senior officer.
4iflssue ofA.1temiltfJoe
in its format anddinJsnsions. Thenumbu ofpagesha1)6.bmi
increased, and ap(],rt/
rom
the usual fare o/news dndvlewS,
we will incorpotatitseripus articles, comments and reviews.
. Ournew World Tourism Critique,· aptly
summa;rises. the .. eha'hge;.qQer. .
Editor
Women's Front of Norway
(In our last issue, we carried news ofthe court trials initiated by asex-tour agency against
the Women's Front ofNorway. Our letter in support of the Front has been translated into
Norwegian and will be used as evidence. I1f:> carry below a press statement announcing
",ictory for the WO.l1cn in the first case.)
June 13-15, 1988 a trial about sex tourism took place in Norway. It was the Scan
Thai Traveller Club, which arranges sex tours to Thailand vs. the March 8
Committee of a local town, which has protested against tile Scan Thai activities.
Verdict has fallen in this libel case. The 13 women in the Committee won!
The court supports the descriptions of Scan Thai as a sex club and that the
women activists correctly characterised Scan Thai's operations as "trafficking
in women" and Ifracist activities".
These characteristics appeared in an article printed in the March 8. nevvspaper,
"Our Paper" giving the background for the club's operations and in the solidarity
slogan used in the March 8 International Women's Day celebration. The court
took no decision concerning the legality of the dub owner's activities.
The owner of the club, lvar Larsen, was originally claiming US Dollars 145.000
in damages. The final result of this case is that Larsen has to pay US Dollars
7.150 towards the expenses the women have had.
This is what the verdict states:
Generally one must see prostitution as a form ofexploitation ofwomen and
as oppression of women. When this oppression of women takes place in the
Third World and is kept up by mass tourism from Western industrial countries,
an element of racial discrimination is undoubtedly added to the sexism.
The COUIt finds that the Scan Thai club report give ideas about Eastern IMJmen
as different, submissive and willing to meet Western men's sexual needs.
Eastern women are contrasted to Western women, who are not given good
grades by Larsen.
The court finds that the club report disguises the nature ofprostitution, and
that the individual club membercan get aincorrect picture ofrea/if}; contrasted
to what reality really is for these women.
The question then is whether Larsen's activities can be characterisedas racist
and participation in trafficking in women.
The court concludes that these terms must be legal and within the Freedom
ofspeech because they are put forward in aideological/political context, and
because they must be seen as having sufficient basis in the actual facts.
The Women's Front of Norway and three women in Oslo also face a libel
case with the same club and its owner - this time for using the expressions
"trafficking in "that the club acts as a pimp" and This trial
starts in Oslo in May 1989.
Archbishop
voices concern
Goa's Archbhishop, the head of the Catholic Church here, has criticised the
"unhealthy trends" caused by tourism in this state and has called for concerted
action to caution people about this.
On the socio-cultural and moral fronts, the Archbishop has decried the alien
life-style and culture, prostitution, the spread of drug abuse, and the erosion
of values catalysed by the promotion of tourism in Goa. .
The letter also warns of tile fole of of tile hotels in influencing
official deCision-making, suppressing public resentment and manipulating
public opinion. The Archbishop has called mass commercial tourism "basically
exploitative in nature': People continue to live in poverty in countries where
tourism is, Of, was, overdeveloped, notes the letter.
DECCAN HERALD, 12 May 1989
Gambia getting tourists
but not always hard cash
by Oakland Ross
At the plush Atlantic Hotel-200 rooms, discotheque, hairdressing salon, video
games, nightly entertainment-<iozens of Londoners and Glaswegians sit by the
pool, roasting in the West African sun.
It is an idyllic scene: the fatted men quaffing their half-pints of ale at the gazebo
bar, while the women sprawl, supine and mainly topless, by the pool. Beyond
a stone wall, punctuated by open grillwork, the blue Atlantic gently breaks
against along, golden beach, and the sewage of Banjul oozes silently out to sea.
Welcome to "the Caribbean of Africa;' where the average life expectancy at
birth is 42 years, where the gross national product per capita is ameagre $260,
and where tourism is booming.
"Our projections are that, in the next five years, we would be handling
something like 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 tourists a year:' said a beaming Junaidi
the Gambian Government's Director of Tourism.
Somewhere - but not here a few clever and enterprising businessmen
are contentedly counting their cash, in kroner, pounds, marks and francs.
Twenty-two high seasons have drifted by since this tiny former British colony
greeted its inaugural planeload of Scandinavian sun seekers -launching what
has since become a thriving local industry but a lot of Gambians are sti II
turning out thei r empty pockets, glancing around in confusion, and wondering
what happened to all the money.
By and large, it never even got on the plane.
"The actual money that comes into the country is less than you
imagine:' said a diplomat in Banjul. liThe money stays with the tour operators
and airlines offshore:'
One of asmall handful of West African countries to go into modern, package­
style tourism in a 'big way the Gambia lately has watched its business soar ­
from just 30,000 arrivals in 1983-84 to 78,000 last year-mainly because of
consistently sunny weather, excellent beaches and asteadily improving tourist
infrastructure.
The limited financial rewards, however-not to mention the industry'S not
always hapfJr' social impad-inevitably raise unsettling questions about the value
of tourism, or at least this kind of tourism, as a potential motor for African
development.
According to Government figures, the total revenue earned last year by the
hotel and restaurant sector of the Gambian economy amounted to just $2.9
million (US), or a paltry 1.4 per cent of the country's not very impressive gross
national product.
"What remains here in foreign exchange tends to be very
acknowledged Abd04 N'jie, permanent secretary in the Ministrv of Economic
Planning.
As often as not, even nighttime entertainment at Gambia is a foreign affair,
with middle-of-the road crooners or nightclub acts flown here from Europe to
No Sex Please
Indonesia will not allow a French investor to establish a prostitution centre
in the country, the home minister, Gen.(Retd.) RudinL said in Jakarta.
A French investor had planned to build a sex centre in the east Java
capital of Surabaya, a city with the largest number of prostitutes in
Indonesia with six red light districts. He was to consolidate the six
prostitution areas into one sex centre.
THE TIMES OF INDIA 13th March, 1989
entertain the guests.
At the Atlantic Hotel which is managed by Copthorne Hotel Management
of Britain, "your resident entertainers" are Britons linda and Ricky Daniels.
Each evening at the Sunwillg Hotet which is partly owned by Vingressor of
Sweden, the tropical moonlit romance of the palm-fringed terrace is enhanced­
some would say obliterated-by a Swedish rock band.
"I think, in terms of its lack of having real benefits for the average Gambian,
tourism is really a mess;' said a local journalist.
Not all the news is bad, however.
An estimated 6,000 to 7,000 Gambians, for example, are employed
or indirectly by the tourist industry. The trade also produces a welter of
off benefits, including seasonal "boomlets" in business for a grab bag of
entrepreneurs, some of them savory, some of them not: taxi drivers, native
artistes, folk performers, gigolos, prostitutes and amateur
"People do benefit in one way or another,' said Pierre N'j ie, executive secretary
of the Gambian Chamber of Commerce.
Increasingly, Gambian interests-either the Government or private investors­
are purchasing part or full ownership of the country's hotels. Currently, four
of the Gambia's dozen or so V\{)rld-<:Iass hotels are owned outright by the local
interests. Meanwhile the industry'S fiscal value to the Government should soon
increase, as generous tax holidays gradually expire.
The Government hopes to squeeze other advantages out of the tourist trade.
As matters stand, hotels are obliged to import most of their vegetables and other
produce from Europe, because that is the only way. they can guarantee a regular
supply.
The market could be met locally but only if Gambian producers gear
themselves to the task. With the help of international development agencies,
that is exactly what the Government hopes to do.
"We would like to maximise the benefits we get from tourism:! says Abdou
the Economic Planning Ministry. "Unless tourism is properly integrated
into the economy, the net foreign exchange earnings are miniraal:'
For the most part, the Gambia has managed to avoid some of the seamier
or nastier effects of tourism. To be sure, there has been an increase in prostitution
and petty crime-both associated with the tourist trade-but local officials and
foreign diplomats say that neither problem has got out of hand.
The tendency of tourists, both men and women, to wander around town in
scanty clothin& however, has provoked some dismay on the part of the
Gambians who, are mainly Moslem and take a dim view of public nudity.
A couple of years ago, the National Women's Bureau of the Gambian
Government pUblished an open letter imploring tourists to cease going around
"in outfits that elicit stares and whispers, tempt young boys to approach
unaccompanied women, and contribute to the more negative impact of
tourism."
It is evident, however, that this plea has not yet managed to shame some
vacationers who stroll along the sun-drenched avenues in the tourist zones al
Kombo and Bakua.
GLOBE and MAIL Toronto, 17th March, 1988
How WAS lttE.
iR'P to AS'A
e.e.RT ?
Hunted by the Camera
by Parag Trivedi
The camera has never been considered an instrument of change. At best it has
been used as a means oi encapsulating time. One never hears of a film being
banned because of its photographic technique or a film using aparticular school
of photography stirring a people to revolt.
What does excite is that which is referred to as "trick photography" which
is a subsidiary of the special effects department. The viewer knows that he is
succumbing to the temporary excitement of an illusion created in the studios.
Thus the camera excites, stimulates and titillates. At its worst, however it can
bring about changes in the culture of a people that would be nothing short
.of revolutionary. This change in asocial milieu that acamera can effect is entirely
unnecessary, absolutely unwelcome and sociologically a disaster.
The lives of a few animals may perhaps have been saved by the WWF's cry
of "Shoot them with a camera:' Had there been an organisation formed for the
conservation of cultures (funded by the UN perhaps) the camera would have
been branded the greatest threat to culture along with the need to earn foreign
exchange. Cultures would be Qeclared a protectorate of this organisation and
all cameramen poachers.
Where the camera is concerned, only the most self-effacing person would
like to be caught in an "as is where is" situation. Point a camera at the
Hunchback of Notre Dame and chances are that he would tell you to zoom
in so that the hunch does not show.
Portrait painters who did the oork of photographers before the advent of the
camera could always be influenced to embellish the face, tuck in the waist and
flare out the rear of their female subjects, while their male clients would be
given that extra bright gleam in their eye, a broader chest and that flattering
look of bravado. The camera does not afford such indulgences. Not in
cultural sense at least.
When it comes to culture, every shutterbug must remember the classic
anthropological dilemma. The story concerns one anthropologist who had,
in the course of his travels, come across a tribe that was still living in the Stone
Age. Not a single aspect of civilization had reached this tribe.
After stayi ng with th is tribe for some ti me he had enough material on them
to ensure everlasting fame and money for himself. He was about to conclude
his stay when the dilemma arose. One of the tribe members was taken
The witch-doctor was called and arrived duly, bringing with him a
combination of jungle medicine, weird rituals and primitive music. As the witch­
doctor went into his ad the anth ropologist felt that he shou Id diagnose the i II ness
and administer a basic medicine.
But before he did that a very valid anthropological question arose: Did he
have the right to interfere in the due process of nature?
The use of a hypodermic would mean a quantum leap of at least 1,000 years
Should he introduce such a radical change to a people who had yet to learn
the fundamentals of anatomy? Would he not be guilty of interfering with the
process of evolution of that tribe? He had to choose between saving the sick
man from possible death at the hands of the witch-doctor and savi ng the whole
tribe from civilization as he knew it.
The shutterbug is in asomewhat similar predicament where Indian culture
is concerned. let us transpose the same case to the village ofTarnetar in Gujarat.
The time of year is August and the occasion is the annual mela. For four days
every year the village assumes great significance to the tribal people who live
in and around Surendranagar.
There is colour everywhere. The women wear the brightest possible colours
with red and orange being favourites, while the men flaunt turbans and jackets
(bandis) of such striking hues that they put the women in the shade.
The dancing starts soon after the villagers have had their ritual dip. The music
is exhilarating - heard in the cities on radio thanks to a Salil Choudhari or
as. D. Burman.
The villagers are drawn to the centre of a large field cleared for
the rhythmiC beating of an old drum. Every person who dances in the
is obliged to pay the drummer. Those who do not wish to pay the drummer
form another circle and dance to music they sing themselves.
The colour has certainly drawn crowds - not all of them connoisseurs with
the Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation quick to exploit the mela for
whatever it is worth both in terms of rupees and dollars. There are conducted
tours from Bombay and Ahmedabad, preceded by press publicity.
There are cameras everywhere. Instamatics, auto-focuses, SlRs, cameras with
foot long lenses, cameras that invade privacy, affect people and ruin cultures.
A fashion photographer had as many as four cameras dangling from his
shou Iders. Initially one does notrealise the effectthat all this gadgetry has on
the rustics.
It is only when you see the selkonscious preening and abashed behaviour
start taking notice. The bristling moustaches are given a last twist when
some tour guide or government official peremptorily summons the men to pose
for some foreigners. The lissom vi lIage gi rl who looks naturally ravishing even
though the only concession to make-up is kaajal in her eyes and a red bindi
on her forehead, looks on curiously, even enviously, as the city-bred model
touches up her lipstick.
A demand has been created. She too would like to have all that colour on
her before she is photographed. The same villager who never needed to shield
his eyes from the sun would like to be photographed wearing the designer
sunglasses of the foreigner who can't believe the tableau before his eyes and
is clicking away wanting to get as much of it as he can before it vanishes, mirage­
like from before him.
The camera does the work that the syringe would, if used by your
anthropologist on the lost tribe. It gets so that villagers hate to be caught off­
guard. They preen in front of pocket mirrors and ask each other how they look
before they allow themselves to be photographed.
The cameras also introduce an element of commercialism. Once he realises
that he agood model the fellow with the extra bright turban or the extra
moustache becomes a pro. He starts quoting per shot offering package
like Rs.5 per shotorthree shots for Rs.12. This way of thinking would have
been alien to him before the camera was introduced to Tarnetar.
He sees urbanised Indians perfectly at home in their T-shirt and jeans. Some
ofthem even speak his language. No one stares atthem let alone points acamera
at them. The fashion model has her hair flying and eyes misted over in a pale
imitation of the kind of pose struck by models for Vogue. The press, the television
crews are all Indian. And yet he is the hunted one made to look like a freak
in a cage while the state tourism corporation makes a quick buck as well as
some foreign exchange by drawing attention to the
Thatthe camera is capable of causing a revolution in anthropological terms
is not acknowledged. What is happening at Tarnetar is only a symbol of the
effed that the opening up of India to tourism can do to the culture of the country.
The cultural imperialism of the West would make every villager want to look
acceptable to the rest of mankind. Pop goes culture.
SUNDAY REVIEW, 20 November 1988
contd. from page 8
has had dire because of the cultural transformations it
implies. But it is not the end of an ethnic group if they begin to drink
Coca Cola instead of their traditional drink. The consequences depend
on many factors and processes of resistance and cultural re.shaping
can spring up in surprising ways. Therefore, tourism is like Coca Cola:
it is not a plague in itself, but if it is not handled carefully it can bring
about irremediable damage. Moreover, we have not forgotten that the
Coca Cola metaphor can also signify a cultural danger in the long term,
an intense cultural conflict in the short term and even, in some cases,
a more violent threat such as the spread of epidemics (by the tourists)
or alcoholism (to indigenous people).
(Source: IWGIA, Copenhagen).
BOOK REVIEW
The Holiday Makers: Understanding the Impact of leisure and Travel
Jost Krippendorf, translated by Vera Andrassy, London: Heinemann, 1987, 160 pp
The Holiday Makers is perhaps a misleading title for Krippendorf's interesting
book because it reflects only one half of the book\ subject matter. While the
title suggests that the book will be an analysis of travel and holidaying,
Krippendorf is as much concerned with an analysis of modern (western)
industrial society, the root from which all discontent (and the need for holidays)
springs. Indeed, his concern for alienated industrial man (sic) sometimes seems
to become an end in itself, rather than the context for his discussion of travel.
By dint of juxtaposing sections analysing the woes of a western life style with
sections on tourism he more or less manages to ensure that the book hangs
together, but in the end, the fragmenting of concerns fails to convince the reader
that the problem of tourism is really resolvable. If finding a solution that links
industrial society and tourism happily together on atextual level is a surprisingly
difficult problem, how much more so at the level of workable tourism policy.
thesis is straightforward enough. Industrial society has become
intolerable. It is trapped in a self-defeating cycle in which humans produce in
order to consume and consume in order to keep producing. To escape from
its pressures, we travel, becoming tourists in pursuit of the happiness denied
us at home. But because leisure and tourism are an integral part of industrial
society and its organisation, the only apparent means of escape is illusory. We
are duped by the promise of paradise; we believe in the advertisements that
tells us that if we opt for this holiday rather than that we will, for two weeks
at least, get just a little closer to 'real' life. For the vast majority of those who
work in industrial societies, caught in the alienating circumstances of work and
inhospitable home lives, holidays, whether the week-end or a trip abroad, take
on the burden of all nostalgia, dreams and desires, for regeneration and
recuperation, escape, communication, freedom, self-realisation, happiness itself.
In his analysis of the discontent of industrial societies Krippendorf offers little
that has not already been spelt out by writers from Schumacher to Charles
Handy. Where Krippendorf is at his most telling and interesting is in his analysis
of the consequences for these wasteland people when they set off on holiday.
He considers the consequences for the tourists themselves and those on whom
they i nfl ict themselves. Little escapes his censorious touch. Ghetto tourism ­
such as 'club' holidays and indeed the entire package holiday set-up in which
people travel to purpose built holiday destinations or 'operatta-like tourist resorts'
- is described as having nothing to do with reality. 'Foreign elements' are
introduced in small doses but the organisers of such holidays are careful to
screen passes before the unwitting tourist's eyes. There will certainly be
no visit to a slum area, but a trip to photograph some poor, happy and
picturesque natives at their work will be somewhere on the agenda. As will
'meaningless folklore entertainment: For as Krippendorf comments 'the tourist
no longer sees the original foreign environment but rather a product he has
helped to create: corrupt living conditions, pushy sellers, toadying and
xenophobia:
But so called 'alternative travel' escapes no more lightly, .and if anything,
Krippendorf reserves more scorn for the expensive backpack, sleeping bag and
camera,. and for the smug hypocrisy where by alternative travelers use the same
facilities, cheap flights, ai rports and so on, produced by the mass tourism they
despise so much. Alternative travel is just tourism by another name. Frequently,
when sold as adventure holidays or educational trips it merely costs far more
and is sold to a more elite group. It remains an 'organised, saleable sanitized
adventure with full board, catalogue price and risk insurance. A unique hit:
People who have higher incomes and more experience in travelling are better
able to camouflage thei r tourist role. The group who pays over the odds in order
to 'play at life in an African village' have merely fallen for a more sophisticated
and expensive version of the 'something for the tourists' trap as the mass package
holiday makers lying on Spanish beaches. At least the latter do not pretend they
are doing anything other than trying to have a good time.
Krippendorf's analysis is equally depressing from the perspective of the host
countries who seem to miss out on all counts. A tiny minority of property
developers and travel companies take all the significant financial benefits. For
the local population there may be an additional seasonal income but this never
comes without substantial social and environmental costs. Decision making
is in the hands of others and local culture is either ignored under a veneer of
bland internationalism, or folksified, and divested of all. inherent meaning. It
is presented in the form of light entertainment or internal decoration, such as
the yokes and farming implements that have become a standard feature on the
walls of Swiss chalets.
Can holiday encounters between the tourists and the locals possibly lead
to greater understanding? No, says Krippendorf, unequivocably. He rejects
arguments that tourism promotes understanding, believing instead that since
no meaningful contact is developed, most tourism merely fosters prejudice.
The only positive thing Krippendorf finds to say about tourism in its current
form is that the vehement anti-tourism that is beginning to develop means that
new solutions must be found soon, particularly in developing countries where
the force of mass tourism is felt most strongly. But it is in pursuing these solutions
that Krippendorf becomes less convincing.
The second half of the book, essentially Krippendorf's analysis of the changes
that must occur in industrial societies before tourism itself can change is
problematic. He asks ail the right questions, 'How can the door of the inner
Self be found in the presence of so much superficiality?' How can we escape
bei ng a part of the current generation of super-consumers? For as he rightly
points out, the manifold supply by the leisure and entertainment industries
serves the purpose of keeping people trapped by consumer-culture happy as
they are. In his solutions Krippendorf allies himself firmly with a number of
other so-called 'New Age' writers, such as Fritjof Capra, A. Gorz etc. believing
that the self-questioning going on in many industrial societies is the key to the
future.
One of the problems for the reader is that either she or he believes that these
changes in human consciousness are really taking place, in which case
Krippendorf's belief in the changes that will also take place in tourism seem
reasonable and hopeful; or the reader is more sceptical and Krippendorf's
analysis seems to verge on wishful thinking, not to say naive. This reviewer
swings between both positions, unable to quite believe in the 'young' on whom
Krippendorf pins many of his hopes. While it is true that there are many
idealistic, brave and outspoken young people in industrial society, there are
equal numbers striving for a position in the so-called 'yuppie' culture, and
despite the predicted swing to the centre or left by many political commentators,
the majority of western industrialised countries remain firmly entrenched on
the right.
It is true that industrialised societies face a crisis, that there is a desperate
need to make work more satisfying, to develop new ways of working, to restore
homeliness to habitats, reclaim the cities and humanize life a little. But is this
very long term agenda a helpful solution to the immediate and pressing
problems of tourism particularly in the developing world? By the time the rich
industrialised countries have got their own houses in order might it not be too
late? Krippendorf states blandly that '...what we need in the first place are not
different ways of travelling but different people. Only a new society and a new
everyday situation can produce a new tourist. A sick society cannot produce
healthy tourists: But how long wi II it take to rear these new healthy societies,
these sensitive, humble and open-minded tourists? And in the meanwhile, who
wi II protect the rights of the poor in the developi ng world whose habitats are
plundered and whose values assaulted by ever-growing hordes of tourists in
search of pleasu re? Krippendorf writes from the perspective of a rich
industrialised country, where there is the luxury to think about the development
of new paradigms. From the perspective of a tribal woman dispossessed from
the land her people have inhabited from time immemorial to make way for
a new tiger reserve for the tourists, his words might seem a little ironic.
To be fair to Krippendorf, the last 3 chapters of his book contain 23 suggestions
for developing a better style of tourism, and included among them is the
necessity of taking steps in the right direction now, without waiting for great
changes. He is excellent in his suggestions about what can be done 'at home',
contd. on page 17
Down with Tourism
There is a class of people - intellectuals and do-gooders mostly - who have
for a long time been asking profound questions like: Can a poor country like
India afford colour television, should a poor country like ours go in for
computers, and so on and on. I have never heard anyone ask this about tourism.
So this morning I ask the question that may disturb a lot of influential people:
"Can a poor country like India afford tourism?" And I answer it myself with a
loud "No:'
The "valuable foreign exchange" that tourism is supposed to earn, we are
told, will ultimately transform our society. It will fill empty bellies, provide
shelter to the millions exposed to cold and rain. Moreover, tourism will provide
employment to millions of unemployed people-a very dubious hypothesis. It's
like saying that if we establish a thousand casinos in our towns and tourism
resorts it wili create a million jobs. No doubt it would and with lagdish Tytler
as minister for Casino, we would have probably been convinced that this was
the path to progress. Mercifully, Tytler's brilliant idea was never taken up. The
fact is that tourism corrupts, and obsessive tourism corrupts obsessively.
Thailand is often held out by our tourism promoters as a model for the Asiatic
world to follow. If one goes by what Bangkok'offers to its honoured guests, it
shou Id be the last th ing that any self-respecting nation in Asia or anywhere else
ought to imitate. Thailand is a country with great culture and history and a
refined people, but tourism has turned its capital into a vast casino and massage
parlour. Should Bangkok be a model for Delhi, Bombay or Goa?
The Catholic Church of Goa recently produced a report on IOurism in the
State, which was published in Renovacao, the pastoral bulletin of the
Archdiocese of Goa. The report said that "elitist" tourism was degrading the
Goan economy, culture and lifestyle and eroding its value system. It specifically
linked tourism with prostitution and drugs. It described tourism as "basically
exploitative in nature" and having so much money power that its operators "will
brook no opposition to its profit-making goal:'
This admirable report, for which I congratulate the church authorities,
predictably attracted some outraged reaction. The Goa Travel and Tourism Club
claimed that tourism is the backbone of Goa's economy. The club's president
went on to say that prostitution and drugs were prevalent everywhere in the
world and were much older than Goan tourism.
Nobody has claimed that tourism started what is universally known as the
oldest profession in the world. But it is certainly true that tourism has given
it a boost.
Khushwant Singh was recently writing about his week-long holiday in Goa.
After reading it I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Khushwant says it cost
him as much as he earned in a whole month from his writing. I'd put the expense
at, say, 30,000 Rupees. Actually a day's stay at one of our five star tourist resorts
can easily cost Rs. 5,000, what with a bottle of soda costing Rs. 12, which is
nore than the daily earning of millions of Indians. Even at Rs. 1.50 per bottle,
I find (drinking at home) that it's a swindle, because one out of three bottles
are flat. (In my boyhood days, I remember, when soda cost tl:lree paise, the
opening of a bottle outside the cinema house could be heard half a mile away).
If soda cost Khushwant so much, you can imagine what a peg of scotch would
have cost him.
Swindle is the word for tourism. While native Indians don't get a chance to
enjoy a holiday at prices they can afford, even American and European tourists
have begun to complain that Indian hotels and restaurants are even more
expensive than those back home. And when you add the cost of travel which
would be three to four times it would cost a western tourist to go to Spain,
Yugoslavia or the Mediterranean, one has to have a total dedication to India
to want to spend a few days with us.
I gather that the share of tou ri sm : n the gross national product has increased
from 0.43 per cent in 1984-85 to 0.64 per cent in 1987-88. This by any standards
is a ridiculous performance.
Abu Abraham, in SUNDAY HERALD 19th February, 1989.
Keeping the Coast Clear
by Zafar Futehaly
The Indian coastline is 7,514 km long. Most of this is free from human
settlements, and it is consequently clean and beautiful. But now a new threat
has arisen from tourism to these coasts which have been hitherto free from
human presence. The beaches of a country where the sun shines for nine
months in a year are a great magnet for everyone in temperate lands, and the
Government of India is in the process of organising itself to receive thousands
of "honoured guests" from abroad in the years to come.
India is naturally excited by the prospects of international tourism and its
much advertised multiplier effect which is expected to stimulate its economy
at many points. Speaking before the International Union of Official Travel
Organisations in Delhi in 1972, the then minister of tourism, Dr. Karan Singh,
spoke about the 200 million international tourists that were expected to come
to India, and the $ 21,700 million which this traffic was expected to generate.
He bemoaned the fact that in 2.4 percent of the world's land area and 15 per
cent of the world's population, we receive only one-third of one percent of the
total tourist spending of. the world. Since then, the figures have gone up
appreciably and under the 7th plan we aim to increase the number of tourists
to 2.5 million by 1990, and to earn Rs. 15,000 crores in foreign exchange.
There is therefore no question that tourism, the industry without smoke, is
highly desirable from the economic point of view. But ecologists are concerned
that if on top of the population explosion which is inevitable, we artificially
build a tourist one, the pressures might become unsustainable unless a great
deal of thinking and planning is done in advance: And let us remember that
it is not only ecological pressures with which we have to contend. The social
effects of tourism have also to be considered, and as the World Bank says in
a working paper, "One such problem is the attitude of the local population
to the tourists requirements of accommodation and service which by local
standards are luxurious... Tourism may be regarded as athreat to the indigenous
culture and mores, and there is a real possibility of a serious deterioration in
standards of local arts and crafts as efforts are made to expand output to meet
the tourist demand:' Not infrequently, resort development has resulted in local
people being denied access to their own beaches.
By referring to these criticisms I am not suggesting that coastal tourism should
be curtailed entirely, or that there should be severe restrictions on the movement
of the people from one country to another. But it is certainly wise to take
cognizance of these factors in advance and attempt the philosophy of the golden
mean so that no unfortunate developments catch us unaware. It should not be
difficult, with imaginative and realistic planning, to overcome these problems
and to make tourism a wholly desirable phenomena from the social, economic
and environmental point of view. After all, in some national parks limits have
been placed to the number of tourists in each season in the interests of
preserving the environment which they come to enjoy.
EXPRESS MAGAZINE, April 19, 1987.
Mary Ellen Kelly
Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to tourists who
blow horns to break up traffic jams.
example is their new Karnali Tented Camp in Western Nepal with spacious
safari-tents set under thatched canopies-tranquil, naturally beautiful-hardly an
expensive physical set-up, in which they offer the best in amenities and services.
Foreigners flock to these retreats and willingly pay the five star tariff.
By using local materials instead of trucking in building supplies, hoteliers
could also cut the cost and time of construction. They could make use of local
labour and knowhow - a boon for any economically depressed area.
When I recently discussed this idea with a tourist official in the
he explained that he'd like to promote this concept; but because
and fabricated structures have a short life, he's forced back into concrete and
cement. Ask a local, however, he'll say that the so-called short life can be
extended easily with proper maintenance and
But for the tourist department and their bulwark of tourist corporations,
maintenance and repair represent real stumbling blocks. Almost all state-run
accommodations represent the depths of an unimaginative decor which
evidently doesn't inspire anyone to keep the rooms spotless and the amenities
in working order. Here, too, a western vision has turned its back on India's
traditional arts and handicrafts. Drab drapes, not inexpensive locally produced
hand looms, which would be easy to keep clean, hang from dingy windows.
Expensive wall-to-wall carpeting, usually stained and worn, covers floors instead
of less costly jute or indigenously made colourful area rugs. A pleasing Indian
ambience, which exists in almost every village you visit, is
thp c;imnlpst hut and it's harmonious in
a government run hotel.
If the beach is golden
It's got to be India!
India is blessed with beautiful panoramas. The move toward adventure
appropriate. The Iist of possible outdoor activities is endless­
wildlife safaris, mountaineering, hot springs
to soothe the mind and body. But, here again, tourist development calls for
caution. India's chain of mountains and its sacred rivers that wind their way
to the sea are all under stress. The delicate eco-system suffers from pollution
and over-use. Environmentalists in Nepal sound a warning: ifthe present rate
of deforestation continues in that country, it could be bald by the year 2000.
India should analyse the reasons behind this dismal forecast. Trekking in Nepal
has come with a hefty price. The Annapurna Sanctuary and Mt. Everest are in
trouble. Some say they should be closed and given a rest for five years.
In India, adventure sports require careful monitoring and uncorruptible
controls. Trekkers, their gaze lost to heavenly vistas, rarely notice their feet
precious vegetation. And these days campfires roar with greater
Trees go up in smoke: wildflowers get buried under trash.
Clear streams get defi led with non-biodegradable soaps and human waste. All
trekking companies should be licenced, should be subjected to a set of strict
rules, should suffer strict fines for any violations - with all proceeds
into the maintenance of the environment.
Within the private hotel sector, creative tax incentives could
conservation. Make it profitable to
waste disposal systems in facilities located in environmental Iv
The Minister of Tourism recentiy published a brochure in which it stated:
"India has launched a massive people's movement of ecological awareness and
conservation. The administration plays its pivotal role of funding and planning.
Conserving primordial rain and tropical forests, establishing wildlife sanctuaries,
planting captive energy forests to supply, fuel wood, fodder and fibre for paper
and rayon industries which are major causes of deforestation, social forestry
schemes, soil conservation and rain water management programmes, they all
form integral parts of ecological conservation:'
The tourist department should throw its own
work hand in hand with environmentalists so that short terms
own industry called tourism don't end up as irreversible long term
have learned the hard way. Now we fight to save our few rprminino
wildlands.
AntiqUity, cultural diversity, physical beauty what wealth India possesses.
But today's realities call for prudence and foresight. If this unchecked plunder
of the coffers is allowed to continue, India's new industry wi II discover an
unavoidable truth about tourists. They're a notoriously fickle lot. Popular
destinations change like fashion's new styles. Worse, if the tourist isn't satisfied
the first time he visits, he won't come back. The world is too big; other places
will capture his imagination and his wallet. In the end, successful tourism must
promote good service and a healthy dose of national pride.
EXPRESS MAGAZINE 29 January, 1989
Earl'Y' this year,' we began. school, studentS
i? Ba.!)galore to the issues of tbiraWQfld;'teurism:DUfllngthe holidays,
partfcipate in campfororganisedtoursi soone
purposeofthe progFammeistohelp them lJe.sensitive We
also hope that some studentswill be motivated to get actively involved
in our work and ideas.
Theprogramme consists of an audio-visuat- we beenusi ng Peter
Holden's 'Don't Fence MeOut'- rollowed bya discussion and written
review. The following is one student's response: .
'I
FOR A fEW DOLLARS MORE
Nusa DUilI. a small villa.Qein Indonesia. is aclassi.c example of what
tourism can do to a whple dan of people. Fence Me out' tells
us the poiQnat1t story ot 200famiUes who have lost their homes just so
that tourists can come and enjoy a few days'holiday.
Nusa Dua. a villaQerich in culture and sbcial life, has almost been sold
out to the visitors by the Government of Indonesia for a little foreign
The most disqustinq feature of the whole is that the
QOremment is destroylnQ the life of its own peoplein the name of raisinq
their standard of liVinQ.
So. the next time you think ot a holiday. think twice. You may be
the lives of hundreds of people.
S. Arjun, IX A
Military School
The Last Shangri-la
hy Sanjoy Hazarika
At the recent SAARC summit at Islamabad, the Maldives made a plea to
nations to recognize the dangers and difficulties that the tinv countries
neighbourhood face.
A few weeks ago, one of our tiny Bhutan, took what was for it
a giant step towards development but perhaps a tiny move forward to the
rest of the world. Without fuss or publ icity, the Royal Bhutanese Government
bought its first passenger jetlinerfrom Britain and then unveiled a New Delhi­
Paro service at a glittering reception at its embassy here. Paro is the only civilian
airstrip in Bhutan, and until recently it took only a few flights every week from
Calcutta and Dhaka. The aircraft were turboprop planes known as Dorniers
and they brought in small groups of European, American and Japanese tourists
during the tourist season in Bhutan, which lasts for about 6 months, until
November when the Himalayan chill sets in.
senior officials there explained their pace
that their Buddhist culture and gentle way of
life should not be disrupted by the clutter, drugs, noise and violence of other
Western and Eastern societies. The way they have approached tourism, is a
classic illustration of both points.
Although there are cheap hotels in
visitors (particularly noisy Bengalis at Durga Puja time), the
high-paying tourists from the West (which of course,
Airways, the country's national carrier, is booked often for
parties of foreign travellers on short visits and big budgets (paying as high as
1,000 dollars for a tour of several days including hotels and trips out ofThimpu).
Once they get to Thimpu, the rules are clear.
"Essentially': said one top foreign ministry official at Thimpu, "the tours go
where the Government allows them to go, they are accompanied by a
government guide who keeps a sharp eye on the travellers:' Period. No straying.
Bhutan evolved this policy after studying the effects that an open door
had on nearby Nepal which attracted hippies in their thousands in the
and 1970's, and became a major drug trafficking and sm uggl ing centre. Its forests
were logged to a point where they could not be regenerated.
Backpackers are rare in Bhutan. I remember seeing two in the two weeks that
I was there. And the country's forest policy is based on d few
one, that no contractors are allowed in the lumber trade and the government
controls all tree-felling. Two, wood are high so that people aren't tempted
too often to dismantle old houses and build new ones. And the hills around
Thimpu, once bare, are testimony to their successful afforestation
You won't find many industries in the hills of Bhutan. There are few in the
foothills that bottle liquor, fruits and jams. But power generation is a big source
of revenue, and the Chukha hydel project, the creation of the labour of thousands
of workers from Bihar and elsewhere, and of engineers who built underground
caverns for the power turbines, supplies electricity to the power hungry plains
of India.
The issue of development of Bhutan's own pace is important because of the
structure of society. The Buddhist clergy is a very infl uential body and it has
consistently been at the forefront of opposition to an "open door" policy on
tourism. The priests fear that uncontrolled tourism will rob the kingdom of its
art treasures and "corrupt" its younger people, who may turn away from
traditional beliefs.
The other day a top Bhutanese official was in Paris to negotiate increased
assistance to his country from the Aid Bhutan Consortium, which funds to some
measure, development projects in the We travelled back to Delhi
On the flight, he told me of a discussion he had had with a Western
official who had demanded that Bhutan do more with industrial projects
so that it could move towards "a modern age". The official quoted his own reply,
and I think it is an example of the beauty and pO'vver of simplicity (I do not mean
naivete), and the graciousness of the country: "You have what you call
development. But what has that done for you? Your forests are ruined; your air
is dirty; your water is polluted and you have no peace of mind. You may be
rich but balance that against these other things. Until now our forests are
unharmed, our air and water are clean and we still have peace of mind. We
would like to keep it that way and develop at our own pace:'
The aid official was silenced.
That is why the acquisition of the jet is significant for Bhutan. They waited
for years to buy it and half of the 60 seat plane is going to be used for cargo,
transport costs from the plains of India, and tackling delayed deliveries
The world's last Shangri-la is a land where cri me is rare and poverty,
the fact that it it is one of the poorest nations on earth, is not associated with
the misery that hurts us on the rest of the subcontinent.
It has its door to the world another chink.
INDIAN EXPRESS 12th February, 1989.
contd. from page 10
the necessity for global thinking but local action. He writes well on the need
to place the control of tourism firmly in the hands of local people. The agenda
in these last few chapters becomes practical and has alot in it for serious thought.
Particularly good are his suggestions about educating people for travel from
earliest primary school up to adult education level. Since leisure is here to stay,
those who will have the leisure need to be taught how to lise it constructively.
All in all, The Holiday Makers is a thought provoking if mixed book.
Krippendorf is enti rely right about a longer term sol ution being needed to put
tourism and travel on asounder ecological and social footing. But for solutions
we cannot simply look to the tourists themselves and their representatives, and
believe that in time they wi II develop a healthy paternalism and act in the best
interests of the host countries. The host countries themselves, particularly
the developing world need to initiate the kind of tourism that willilltim;ltpiv
be acceotable to those most directly affected.
Julia Mosse
We invite Network members to contribute to the Network Letter
NETWORK·
by sharing their work, ideas and plans through these pages.
NEWS
Communication is vita! to the life of a Network, especially when
ROUNDUP
physical distances cannot easily be bridged by closer contacts.
Inter CUlt, Sri Lanka
Known previously as Intercultural Travel: Education Services, the national
secretariat of Inter Cult is located at 41 S1. Joseph Mawatha, Ettukala. 'Sri Lanka
and the travel guide jointly authored by Eileen Candappa, Maureen
About ourselves
Seneviratne and Harry Haas has been widely received by the Sri lanka tourism
trade. A German version is under preparation. A number of other books on
New resource .. materials are available asa
tourism and other subjects are also planned.
completedin 1988 (See ResourcesSection). This beqana
pl'Q9ramme with schoohtudents a brlelreportappears
Bma Swadaya Tours. Indonesia elSewhere inthenewsletter./V..the FourthAnnual General Meednq,.{be
Visitors to Indonesia might be attracted by the Cultural, Educational and members were elected tlS qtHcebearets: Dr.. HenryWilson.
Developmental Exposure Programme (CEDEP) offered by Bina Swadaya Tours,
WOlRe\l l(!Stryear on our emir0mneilt'
study.representecius at . the .serhinat.QD ·'Tourtsm
Uttar
'Pradesh .
Presi9entMahesklLobo;
part of an organisation involved in rural community development. Tours range
from aday around Jakarta to a 3 week comprehensive coverage of Java and Bali.
Special packages arranged upon request. Write to: Dr. Bambang Ismawan, BST,
Jln. Gunung Sahari 1117, Jakarta 10610.
Citizens Concerned About 1Ourism. Goa, India
CCAT, arecendy formed anti-tourism body, includes a large number of religious
and laypeople. PI. a public meeting in late February, they demanded: 'Save our RESOURCES
Coastal Areas, Save Goa'. At a day long sit-in, they highlighted issues such as
the weekly flea market, the full moon parties, drug addiction, nudity and AIDS. Tourism: Manufacturing the Exotic, Document 61, International Work Group
The government's ill-advised tourism policy was likely to have adverse effects for Indigenous Affairs, Fiolstrcede 10, DK-1171, Copenhagen K, DENMARK.
on Goan lifestyle and livelihood. Later they walked in a silent procession to
The objective of this document is to outline the relationship between tourism
the Church Square, where the public meeting took place.
and cultural minorities. It aims to understand the nature of the relationship,
to point out its most harmful effects and to identify some survival strategies
Community and Culture Based Travel \\\)rR Group, Canada
which cultural minorities employ. The contributors provide concrete examples
covering awide geographical and cultural spectrum, using differing perceptions,
This research unit specialises in the study of, and information dissemination
approaches and formulations. A theoretical framework is presented by editor
about, non-mainstream types of tourism, which are known world-wide under
Pierre Rossel in the first paper, Tourism and cultural minorities: double
various names: Soft tourism, socially/morally responsible tourism, cultural
margina!isation and survival strategies. '
tourism, etc. The generic name 'alternative tourism' (An is often used
internationally to describe one or all the above types. In Canada, the term
The Impact of Tourism on India's Environment, by S. Chandrakala,
'community-based tourism' is preferred. Write to Dr. L. Dernoi or Dr. C.
EQUATIONS, Bangalore. 36 pp., 1989. US$ 10, or Rs. 35.
CGIWG, Department of leisure Studies! University of Ottawa, 550
Although there has been earlier evidence of the impact of tourism on the
Cumberland, Ottawa, Ont K1N 6N5.
envirunment in India, there has been an acute shortage of a comprehensive
presentation and analysis of the numeruus and complex issues involved. This
Centro Europeo de formation Ambiental y TUrlstica, Spain study was undertaken during 1988 using secondary materials from our files,
as well as information gathered from tourism activists in various parts of India
CEFAT, the Eu!ppean Centre for Training in Environment and Tourism, is a non­
governmental non-profit organisation aimed at educational training. Its scope
Tourism in South India: Its Impacts on Fisherfolk, EQUATIONS, Bangalore. 44
is both domestic and internatiQnal. Rural tourism is avaluable WiJ!{ of extending
pp., 1989. US$ 15, or Rs. 40.
its aims, and therefore CEFAT helps groups seeking aid by offering technical
In collaboration with the National Fishermen's Forum, EQUATIONS undertook
assistance, enhancing awareness, organising workshops and seminars as well
a survey of tourism covering a vast coastline in the 3 southern states of Kerala,
as by publishing a newsletter. Write to CEFAT, Viriato 21, E-2801O, Madrid.
Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. This report suggests that although there is some
physical displacement, the major impact of tourism in places such as Kovalam
International Union of Food &Allied .\\brRers' Associations (IUF) and Mahabalipuram is socio-economic, where tourism's new structures have
submerged local identities and livelihood. The report also covers trends in
The IUF is an international trade secretariat representing more than 2.1 million
workers from 217 unions in 70 countries. These unions are active in the food,
tourism development, relying on sources within the industry and governments.
beverage, tobacco and tourism industries.
Battling 5 Star Tourism in the Courts: Canacona Beach Resort, Agonda, Goa,
Their affiliates in the hotel, catering and tourism sector (HRC) are aware of EQUATIONS, Bangalore. 6 pp., 1989. US$ 3 or Rs. 5.
the ill-effects of mass tourism and try to define atrade union policy in the tourism
This is asummary of the report of a study commissioned by EQUATIONS in late
sector with the ai m of givi ng more attention to the envi ronment and the people.
1987. The villagers of Agonda, at the southern tip of Goa, have been struggling
A report of their conference on tourism (Limassol, Nov 9-11, 1987) as well against the Canacona Beach Resort for over 6 }ears. The report describes the
as the IUF monthly News Bulletin are available from: problematique, the conflicts, legal contentions on both sides, followed by a
Dan Gallin, General Secretary, IUF, Rampe du Pont-Rouge 8, CH-1213 PI-Lancy,
discussion of the law as acheck to exploitative tourism, and the present position
Geneva, Switzerland.
of court cases.
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 96, H Colony, Indiranagar Stage I, Bangalore 560 038, INDIA.
Phototypesetting: Revisuality Digitised Typesetting and Graphic Design, 4211 lavelle Road, Bangalore, India. lAyout: John
ALTERNATIVE NETWORK LETTER
A Third World Tourism Critique
For Private Circulation Only Vol. 5 No.1 & 2 1989
(We reproouce tIM') items that recently appeared in local dailies in Banga/ore. 7he first,
by Brij Tankha, is an extract from his feature Japan should open up more to imported Discover India - and how!
labour' in the Times of India, May 2S, 1989. the second is an advertisement in the
By Kathy Cox
Deccan Herald ofMay 22.)
Editor of "Fodor's Guide"
What is West isn't necessarily best. But that's the direction in which too many
Without Comment
Indian eyes are focused. The wish to bring in more foreign exchange has been
falsely equated with the wish to create foreign-copied clones. No one seems
The Japanese government, accord ing to recent reports, has taken a decision
to realise that India can upgrade and modernise without rejecting its own
to strengthen controls on the entry of unskilled labour from Asia. This foreign
identity.
labou rcomes largely from South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and
Five star hotels with elevators piping in foreign pop muzak symbolise the
Taiwan. Japan's increasing affluence has not only brought it to the attention
worst in this tendency. It's the rare hotel or inn in India that champions this
of other nations seeking to emulate its achievements, but made it a possible
country's inherent charms-Chapslee in Shimla, the Silver Sands in Mahabali­
haven for immigrant labour from developing countries in search of higher paid
puram, the Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur, the Savoy in Mussoorie, the Windemere
jobs.
in Darjeeling.
Foreign workers are derogatively called japayuki-san (Mr Go To Japan),
the dominating backdrop of fancy western-style hotels, India's real
echOing the 19th century Karayuki-san used to describe Japanese women who
treasures from the past are succumbing to a nefarious battle. Uncontrolled
went to Asian countries for similar reasons.
industrialisation and public encroachment are claiming the temples of
A large number of women - in 1986 there were some 58,000 - many of
Bhubaneswar. The Elephanta Caves are in danger of collapse. The Ajanta and
them from the Philippines, usually come on tourist visas and work illegally
Ellora cave paintings are decaying from carbonisation and ultra-violet rays. The
on salaries ranging from 2,50,000 yen to 3,00,000 yen in bars and cabarets. Today
Gaiety Theatre in Shimla is far from gay, a victim of neglect. The Mogul Gardens
many women are being lured from places in Sri lanka, not just to work in the
in Kashmir and the poor Taj Mahal fare no better. The list could continue, but
entertainment industry, but to marry Japanese farmers.
it's far too depressing...the same holds true for the consequences. We all know
Agencies specialising in this trade have mushroomed and they often work that if these landmarks don't receive adequate attention and care, India won't
in cooperation with local officials. They advertise freely in newspapers: :.\ real just suffer aloss in the number of tourists and aloss in foreign revenue-it'll suffer
international marriage. Lots of foreign beauties from Korea, the Philippines, the loss of priceless links to its pasts.
MalaYSia, Sri Lanka and Thailand: The problem in this import business is that
But talk is cheap and knowledge has not been converted into action.
unscrupulous brokers often work in consort with yakuza gangsters.
Something is wrong. It's as if the burgeoning chain of Taj Hotels has assumed
The influence of 'foreign labour: small and controlled at present, is seen as far more importance than their namesake, the Taj Mahal. Travel north,
carrying the seeds of disruption and discord. Foreign experts have always been east, west and you'll find an Oberoi Sheraton, or some other big splash breaking
welcome and employed at high salaries, but today's japayuki-san is seen as a new ground. While cities can absorb multi-storey structures, oversized
-,',)tential threat. Statements in apolice booklet equate a foreigner with an monoliths anywhere else-along the shore or in the mountains-are eyesores that
Immigrant. interfere with a landscape where Mother Nature once reigned supreme.
Why must hotels be constructed out of uninspired cinderblock and concrete?
In every region of India, villagers, successful unschooled architects have evolved
model dwellings that exemplify a harmonious relationship with the

environment. Hoteliers could do the same. They could erect clustered
accommodations of bamboo in the east; wooden Kashmiror Kulu-Valley-style
homes away from the home in the north; clay huts with thatched roofs in the
south. Already, Tiger Tops has made a success out of this concept, putting up
·····1000 LADY (;utt'UJt\tARTISTS/gNTER.TAINERS
Ii14ustryJo
•..
TransP?rt'
anl.iHealth
kind W:ill. needonlr
,,<,'<"0')
wh':fcan speak Englisb and <
rUsh tlieit/je!aiJed Bio"liatas to:
. ..: -''.

. •.. ....' •.....•..•......••••......•......•..... a lodging that's the epitome of simplicity and unobtrUSIve design. An excellent
contd. overleaf
.. .' .. . ...... . .......•
INSIDE
Gambia: Tourists but not cash ............ .
4
KanyakumariA4arch
5
Tourism & Cultural A4inorities
.. . : ',:. - . - -; - :"" ;' ',,'
•• .•oil.
8
Network News Roundup
12

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->