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THE GAZE
JOURNAL OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
Vol. 1 No. 1 Year 2009

International School of Tourism and Hotel Management
(Affiliated to Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Austria)

THE GAZE
JOURNAL OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
Vol. 1 No. 1 Year 2009

Editorial Board Chief Editor: Prof. Dr. Ramesh Raj Kunwar Managing Editor: Tej Bahadur Dhakal Editor: Dr. Tika Nath Sharma Associate Editor: Shamjhana Basnyat

Advisory Board Narendra Bajracharya Prof. (PH) Mag. Leonhard Wörndl Prof. Dr. Govinda Prasad Acharya Dr. Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha Dr. Shree Govinda Shah

Published by International School of Tourism and Hotel Management Dillibazaar, P.O.Box: 5196, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: 977 1 4434350, 4434185 Email: thegaze@ist.org.np Website: www.ist.org.np

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THE GAZE
JOURNAL OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
Vol. 1 No. 1 Year 2009

CONTENTS
Ramesh Raj Kunwar 1 Community Tourism, Interpretation, Themes and Education Restructuring the Destination Management System Paradigm Post Conflict Tourism in Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities for Preventing Latent Conflict Backpacking 2.0 – how backpakers use Weblogs Hospitality Industry at the Cutting Edge of Globalization with Special Reference to the Hotel Industry in Nepal Visitors’ Attitude towards Tourism Development in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP), Nepal Book Review: Opportunity and Challenges of Tourism Financing

Roman Egger

17

Pranil Upadhyaya

28

Roman Egger and Christof Hofstatter Ram Prasad Ghimire

43

55

Rajeev Dahal

68

Tika Nath Sharma

84

Editorial Note We are very happy to offer The GAZE, the Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Vol. 1, No. 1 to our readers. This journal is published annually in English by International School of Tourism and Hotel Management, which is affiliated to Salzburg University of Applied Sciences of Austria. The purpose of this journal is to disseminate the knowledge and ideas of tourism to the students, researchers, journalists, policy makers, planners, entrepreneurs and other general readers. Articles and reviews in the journal represent neither the views of the concerned publishers nor those of editorial board. Responsibility for opinions expressed and for the accuracy of the facts published in the articles or reviews are solely with the individual authors. We have realized that it is high time that we made this effort for tourism innovation and development. We strongly believe that this knowledge based platform will make the industry and the institutions stronger.

The Editorial Board THE GAZE International School of Tourism and Hotel Management Dillibazaar, P.O.Box: 5196, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: 977 1 4434350, 4434185 Email: thegaze@ist.org.np Website: www.ist.org.np

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Editorial Policy The Gaze is an interdisciplinary Journal which welcomes research articles, research abstracts and book reviews for the dissemination of knowledge about tourism and hospitality. Articles should be original and unpublished, based on primary sources or field work or reflecting new interpretations, written in English, but not exceed twenty pages. The research work should be based on global research methodology in which the researcher will be required to use parenthesis or author date system. The references should be based either on APA method, MLA method or mixed uniformity. Manuscripts should be typed double-space on A4 sized paper with a 4 cm margin on all four sides. The text should be not less than 3000 words. The author should underline nothing except words which are to be italicized. Notes and references should be typed double-space on separate pages which should be included at the end of the article. The text should refer to notes numbered consecutively throughout the article using raised numbers. Bibliographical references should be cited in the text by the Author’s last name, date of publication and page number e.g. (Dhakal, 1991:110), or if author’s name is mentioned in the text by the date and page reference only (1991:110). Entries in the references should be in alphabetical and chronological order of authors. They should include the details in the following order: name of the author(s) - surname first, date, title, name of the periodical, volume number (Arabic numerals to be used throughout), pagination (for articles in periodicals and books with several authors), place of publication and name of the publisher for a book. Tables and maps should be submitted on separate pages, numbered with headings. Notations in the text should indicate where these are to appear. The research should include any area such as ecotourism; rural tourism; sustainable tourism; community tourism; village tourism; cultural heritage tourism; agro-tourism; pasture tourism; pilgrimage tourism; medical tourism; tourism management; tourism administration; sociology of tourism; anthropology of tourism; psychology of tourism; geography of tourism; economics of tourism; sports tourism; shopping tourism; tourism and corporate culture; tourism and environment; tourism marketing; tourism and nationalities; tourism and hospitality management; tourism and law; tourism disaster management; tourism and hospitality education; tourism and media; tourism and conflict; tourism, conflict and peace; and tourism and research methodology. The Editorial Board has right to accept or reject the article for publication. If the article is rejected, it will be returned to the author. Authors receive five offprints free, and a copy of the issue in which their article appears. The editors welcome enquiries from readers willing to review books

Salzburg University of Applied Sciences Salzburg University of Applied Sciences and Technologies (FH Salzburg), is an accredited institution of Austrian higher education, recognized by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. It is one of the most modern universities for applied sciences in Europe. In its various levels of academic programs, it concentrates on current trends in tourism, product development and e-Business. FH Salzburg is situated in Salzburg, Austria, one of the most vibrant tourist regions in the world. The city at the Salzach River is the world famous for its summer and winter tourism. Not only does it boast 22 million overnight stays, but its wide variety of tourist attractions and offerings draws guests who come to attend conventions or music festivals as well as those seeking adventure, culture or relaxation. FH Salzburg aims to offer various programs tailored to the needs of current and future demand of the labor market combined with a sound theoretical underpinning. This is guaranteed by its qualified and highly committed staff from higher educational institutions as well as the industry. It has collaboration with more than 60 partner institutions in Europe, Americas, Asia, Australia and Nepal in international projects as well as faculty and student exchange. International School of Tourism and Hotel Management International School of Tourism and Hotel Management (IST) was established in the year 2003 with an objective to produce world class human resources to cater to the overwhelming need of the hospitality industry by offering various academic degrees and training packages as per the international standard. It is a center for excellence in hospitality education providing an enterprising and stimulating environment in which students can learn and develop their full potential. Hence, IST is also a suffix, which means a person with deep knowledge, practical exposure and appropriate attitude in the particular discipline. IST aims to add "ist" to its students and prepare professionals to become leading managers in the various tourism and hospitality outlets. Affiliated to Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (FHS), Austria, IST offers customized and fast track programs to provide students maximum flexibility and opportunity for progression. Various programs offered by IST is approved by Ministry of Education and Sports of Nepal Government. Since its inception it has established cooperation with numerous universities in Nepal, Singapore, Austria, Australia, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States of America. Likewise, FHS and Tribhuvan University of Nepal have already entered into the bilateral agreement to promote faculty and student exchange, joint research program and accreditation to each other's degree.

Community Tourism, Interpretation, Themes and Education
"Stories New And Stories Old, Stories Kept And Stories Told"
(Gabriel J.Cherem,2000;303)

Ramesh Raj Kunwar *
Abstract This paper examines the importance of interpreting culture of the community at the tourist destinations. The communities will have a lot of stories, myths, legends, ceremonies, traditions, symbols as part of their social structure which are memorized by the certain knowledgeable persons of the local area. They are believed to be the cultural preservationists. If it is to be transferred to the academic actors such as anthropologists, ecologists and qualified tour guides they would interpret it scientifically. This interpretation will play an important role for presenting authenticity to the alienated western tourists. Some alienated tourists are seeking for authenticity. The interpretation of culture helps to reconstruct the culture of the community also called reconstructed ethinicity. Therefore, the ‘interpretation’ as a discourse should be taught at the academia within the framework of tourism education and ideology. The local interpreters or storykeepers and storytellers should be encouraged by the concerned authorities. Key Words: eudaimonia, narrative coherence, narrative fidelity, narrative comparison, discourse, education, ideology and themes. Background In this article the researcher has made an attempt to focus on one of the new areas of tourism study, although it has already been studied in the western countries, it is still untouched in the academia of tourism in Nepal. The theme of this paper is based on tourism, community tourism, storytelling, storykeeping, story matrix, adornment, symbolism,shamanism and interpretation.Over all, this subject of discussion has confined to the key concept of interpretations and interpretators.The question comes who will
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interprete this? How is it interpreted? Why has it to be interpreted? What outcomes will come from interpretation? Who will get benefit from interpretation? Why has become interpretation more important in the field of tourism? In course of getting answers of the above mentioned questions, the researcher has consulted with relevant secondary sources. It is believed that the answers highlighted in this paper will be very useful to the students, researchers, tour operators, tour guides, anthropologists, sociologists, ecologists, journalists, and other general readers those who study and work in tourism. Whatever the theory, concept, approaches and perspectives are developed in earlier studies have been adopted in this study. Global research methodology and eclecticism have become the main impetus for this study. As mentioned above when the stories are properly interpreted then it becomes the authenticity (see in detail Bellhassen et al., 2008: 668-689). Authenticity means truth, central of the ultimate "truths" that modern tourists search for outside of their rather superficial home lives (see in detail McCannell,1976; Kunwar, 2002:117-121). Authentisization of the cultural products is a process of becoming the real cultural tourism or ethnic tourism or village tourism or community tourism or ecotourism. The nature of storytelling and storykeeping is what A.R.Radcliffe-Brown(1952) has methodologically used the term as nomothetic inquiry and the culture which is explained by the storykeeper of traditional community is anthropoligacally called memorial culture. Tourism A challenge is often mounted to those who participate in tourism, those who manage it and those who study it. The challenge to tourist (Pizam and Mansfield, 2001; in Pearce, 2006: 162) is why they spend their money on travels and its associated activities when there are appealing and perhaps more tangible socially visible products to be consumed. Managers of tourism environmentally are faced with queries about why they seek to encourage more visitors. If they are unsure of the long term consequences of visitors activities, tourism researches too can be challenged here the perspective is offered that presumably talented well-educated researches might more usually contribute to their society by applying their social sciences skills to passing issues such as those found in medicine and social welfare (Pearce, ibid.). A comprehensive answer to these challenges can be found in the concept of eudaimonia, a Greek philosophical term that can be approximately translated as human flourishing (de Botton, 2002; in Pearce, ibid.). In essence, the concept asserts that a valued purpose in human life…. In tourism context eudaimonia draws attention to the issue of what is some times termed' ‘the quality of life’ with the additional meaning that this involves deep satisfaction and enjoyment of experiences as well as learning, personal growth and skill development (Pearce, ibid.). This reveals that tourism has already become a quintessential activities of modern man. When the book entitled Tourism: A Community Approach written by Peter E. Murphy came out in 1985, since then the study of community tourism became very popular in the field of tourism. The academics have interchangeably used the term as "people tourism", "responsible tourism", "appropriate tourism", "green tourism", "soft tourism","new

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tourism","alternative tourism", "cultural tourism", "ethnic tourism", "rural tourism", "village tourism", "sustainable tourism", and "ecotourism" All these type of tourism came into existence against of the "mass tourism," which was confined to the city or urban areas in 1960s. The purpose of developing one of the above mentioned form of tourism is to uplift the living standard of rural people and the development of rural areas on one hand and to send the children or students of western countries to the rural areas or villages for providing ‘edutainment' (Urry, 2002; Kunwar,2006:231) on the other.The term 'edutainment' refers to two different words like education and entertainment. This is a kind of recent trend of spending holiday in Western European countries. Community and Community Tourism Before describing community tourism, it would be highly appropriate to define what community is. The word community has so many connotations and usages that it is almost impossible to define precisely. Sometimes it refers to people living near one another and participating in a daily rhythm of collective life (Hawley, 1950; in Smelser, 1993:144). Schnore (1973; Smelser, op.cit.) defines, community as a population rooted in one place whose members are independent on a daily basic and performs many activities that satisfy the population’s economic and social needs. Sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies (1855-1936) has classified the community into two types: Gemeinschaft (guh-Mine-shoft) and Gesellschaft (guh-ZELL-shoft). The former is typical small of rural life. It is small community in which people have similar backgrounds and life experiences. The second type is an ideal type, characteristic of modern urban life. Most people are strangers and perceive little sense of commonality with other community residents (Schaefer and Lamm,1992:146; see in detail Gulik,1997;Kunwar,2006:215216).Similarly, Emile Durkheim in his book Division of Labour (1933;original edition 1893) has also found two types of society known as mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity. Mechanical solidarity implies that all individuals perform the same task .No one needs to ask. Both social interaction and negotiation are based on close, intimate, face-to-face social contacts.Organic solidarity involves a collective consciousness resting on the need a society's members for one another(Schaefer and Lamm,1992:145-146). The villagers or rural communities, Gemeinschaft, according to Gulik (1997:984, are folk, primitive, neutral ("true"), simple, provincial, tribal society,moral inherently stable, human in scale, particularistic, homogenous, few alternative models of behaviour, personal, constrained, integrated, conformist, sacred, superstitious or myth-oriented. If tourism is developed in places with the model of 'ecotourism' or 'rural tourism' or any other related form of tourism, the destination, according to Lane (1993:15), each found comprising much more space, settlements under 10,000, sparcely, populated natural environment, some farm/forestry involvement, many outdoor activities, infra-structure-weak, strong individual activity base, small establishments, locally owned business, much part-time involvement in tourism, tourism support other interest, workers often live close to workplace, often influenced by seasonal factors, few guests, guests relationship personal, amateur management, local in atmosphere, many older buildings, conservation limits to growth

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ethic, specialist appeal, niche marketing. As was stressed by Fredrick Barth (1969; in Toffin, 2007: 17–18), people living within certain boundaries choose a few cultural attributes – dress, language, aspects of lifestyle – as overt signs of their distinctiveness. Signs such as jewellery, costumes, lifestyles, shapes of houses and the like clearly serve as identify markers. They are culture – carrying links that help identity to those who belong to particular groups. According to U.K. based non–governmental organization Tourism Concern, community tourism has been defined as a form of tourism which aims to include and benefit local communities, indigenous peoples and in the rural south (or the developing world). Community tourism, according to Tourism Concern. 2000, should…. • be run with involvement and consent of local communities (……) • be given a fair share of profits back to the local community (……) • involve communities rather than individuals • community residents who save their culture as well as to those visiting the communities. A benefit–based approach to managing tourism consider both the benefits and disbenifits residents and focuses on management actions that ensures benefits to their community. (Diver, 1996; in Besculides et al., 2002:304). • be environmentally sustainable (…) • respect traditional culture and social structures • have mechanisms to help communities cope with the impact of western tourism • keep group small to minimize cultural and environmental impact. • brief tourism before trip on appropriate behaviour • not make local perform inappropriate ceremonies, etc • leave communities alone if they do not want tourism (…) Interpretation Academically the anthropological study was first carried out by A.R. Radcliffe-Brown in between 1906-1914 in Andaman Island. Later on his book Andaman Islanders came out in 1922. This book is full of myths, stories, legends, celeberations etc. of Andaman Islanders. His objective of studying was to reconstruct the history of Islanders. But this work became impetus only for anthropological study not for community interpretation in the field of tourism. Likewise, in course of studying the culture of mankind, it is Clifford Geertz who wrote one book The Interpretation of Cultures in 1973 which gave birth of new innovation of interpretating other's culture in the field of anthropology. Though this book became quite popular in the field of cultural interpretation, the tourism authorities could not catch it in the field of community tourism. According to Conservation International, a Washington DC - based environmental non-government organization, high quality interpretation 'can also improve business by increasing repeat visitation and occupancy rates, providing unique marketing opportunities

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and allowing hotels to charge higher rates' (Sweeting et al., 1999:27; in Weiler and Ham,op.cit.,552). Other players of tourism industry may have expectations of the operator and /or tour guide and have little or no understanding of what 'interpretation' is or what benefits quality interpretation services might engender for individual companies and tourism industry as a whole. ' …where some operators and other industry reperesentatives use the terms 'education' and 'interpretation' interchangeably (Weiler and Ham 2001:553). In the early 1970s, the evolving ideas and principles were assembled into a publication specially about interpretation. There is no single definition of interpretation that has been adopted by practitioners. Interpreting Our Heritage by Freeman Tilden was the first book written solely to define the profession of interpretation, and contained two concepts central to the philosophy of interpretation: that "Interpretations the revelation of a larger truth that lies behind any statement of fact" and that " Interpretation should capitalize on mere curiosity for the enrichment of the human and spirit (Tilden, 1977; in Lindberg et.al.,65). Until the 1980, the most influential developments in interpretation occurred in the United States (Machlis and Field, 1992). Clearly, interpretation is not just one of the many roles that an ecotour guide plays; when it is done well, it is the distinguishing feature of 'best practice' in guiding. It has also been argued that the use of interpretation, and more particularly the application of interpretive principles by the tour guides. There are at least five such principles: 1. Interpretation is not teaching or 'instruction' in the academic sense. 2. Interpretaion must be enjoyable for visitors. 3. Interpretation must be relevant for visitors. 4. Interpretation must be well organised so that visitors can easily follow it. 5. Interpretation should have a theme, not just a topic. Themes are whole ideas, morals to the story, an overriding story message that a visitor takes home (Lewis, 1980; Ham, 1992;in Weiler and Ham,op.cit.,556). The tourist decision making process is in fact not a single decision but a series of decisions, beginning with a decision to travel. Other pre- trip decisions can include choice of destination, season and dates of travel, budget, choice of travelling partner(s), mode(s) of transport accommodation, and selection of other tourism products such as packaged tour and guided ecotours. Although interpretation involves the transfer of information about places and cultures from guides to tour clients, guides are not teachers in the sense that visitors must master or remember all the information (Weiler and Ham,2001:554). Since they are not accountable to master the information, the only motivation they have to pay attention is that it promises to be a rewarding expenditure of their time. Ecotourists are therefore a voluntary audience. Ham termed this type of audience a ' noncaptive' audience because, unlike students in a classroom ( the classic'captive' audience), tour clients are not held prisoner by an external reward system involving grades and qualifications. The best tour guides know this, and they work hard to capture and maintain their audiences' attention.

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Although entertainment is not interpretation's main goal, it must certainly be considered one of its essential qualities. Visitors who join guided tours are pleasure-seekers. Of course, what constitutes 'fun' will vary among different types of visitors, and successful guides pay close attention to these differences and idiosyncrasies. Some studies have even demonstrated that the more an interpretative medium reminds an audience of academia, the less interesting and provocative it becomes (Washburne and Wager, 1972). Experiences in both developed and developing countries throughout the world suggest that effective interpretation may have many qualities, but a common are everywhere is that it is fun for its audiences (Ham and Sutherland, 1992; in Weiler and Ham,op.cit.). As far as education and ideology is concerned, Zais (1976: 317; in Maureen et al., 2009: 191) defines, "education is directed toward expanding ones awareness of human environment and how to cope with this environment". "... is tourism higher education ideological? Ideology refers to an overarching network of guiding ideas that frame direct and inform thinking. Ideology has been defined as A structure ... structures can captures, can impose themselves; but they can usually be entered willingly, they can be abandoned and they can even be demolished and new ones created in their place ..." (Barnett, 2003:57; in Maureen et al., 2009: 193). Ideology within the context of (tourism higher) education has been analysed mainly in terms of curriculum planning and knowledge (Barnett, 2003; in Maureen et al. , 2003: 193). The initial flourish was largely stimulated by Ernos Mills, who worked as a nature guide in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains between 1889 and 1922. Mills developed principles and techniques which laid the foundation for interpretation. Mills was a keen advocate of monitoring his visitors' behaviour and responding accordingly. He prompted guides to concentrate on inspiring, visitors by communicating big ideas rather than masses of unrelated information. For example, some tourism operators use interpretation as a value- adding excersise to attract higher-yield markets. Heritage management organisations utilizing interpretation emphasise communication conservation cultures and a conservation ethic. Cultural tourism operators stress cultural sensitivity and occuracy.Ecotourism operators typically attempt to positon themselves in the middle of all of these perspectives… (McArthur, 1999:64). Nearly two decade ago, Barbara Cherem and Gabriel J. Cherem while talking about the heritage interpretation, they put some questions "why should we confine interpretation only to sites (Cherem,1977; 2000:303) such as parks, museums, historic sites, and zoos? Why could not we interpret the heritage of an entire community to its residents and to its visitor? Consequently, the concept of 'community interpretation' was created in 1980" (Cherem, 1981; Cherem, 1982; McLennan, 1984; Cherem, 1988b). Cherem and Cherem (ibid.) have defined community interpretation as "telling" the natural and cultural stories of a community to its residents and visitors. "The term story is key here, because they believe that the story is the basic unit or building block of community interpretation programs. Indeed, psychologist Rene Fuller has suggested "that the story may be the basic building block, the engram... of human learning" (Zemke,1990). They have used the term story meaning a narrative of factual content embedded into "vivid

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events and images that carry strong emotional coloring" (Egan, 1989). As one result a program called "Interpret Hawaii" was initiated by Glen Grant at Kapiolani Community College. The program was designed to empower local hosts to interpret their own heritage. Tour guides, docents, hotel activity coordinators, and others were provided a background in Hawaiian natural and cultural heritage. Cherem’s discourse on community interpretation has encouraged to keep continue to focus on the given issue in the academia of tourism studies. This study is also an outcome of Cherem’s discourse. The term discourse encompasses multiple meanings and understandings (Hannam and Knox, 2005) and it has multiple definitions and applications in social inquiry. Discourses may be defined as "those practices that systematically form the objects of which they speak" (Foucault, 1972:49; in Ayikoru et al., 2009: 200) which in turn define the limits of what can (and cannot) be said. Jaworski and Compland (1999:3; in Ayikoru et al., 2009: 200) have noted that "discourse is reflecting social order but also language shaping social order and shaping individuals’ interaction with society". Social reality is produced and understood through discourse… discourses that give meaning to them. Later on, in 1987, Cherem linked the concept of interpretation with "appropriate tourism" (Cherem, 1988; in Goeldner et al., op.cit., 303). Appropriate tourism was envisioned as the analog of the appropriate technology concept that was popular in the 1960s. It was envisioned as tourism that was appropriate to the scale, values, and unique heritage of a community or locality. It was defined as "tourism that springs from and helps perpetuate the heritage identity of an area." The area's heritage identity includes both its cultural heritage and its natural heritage in other words, its "sense of place." The same kind of concept was followed by the present writer, with the help of then Department of Tourism.The writer as an anthropologist and tourism educationist realized that the culture of the Tharus who live in Chitwan Sauraha has not been properly interpreted to the international visitors. Therefore, with the support of then Department of Tourism, HMG, Nepal, launched a seven day workshop in Sauraha. The purpose of this program was to provide the cultural features of the Tharus and the way of interpretation regarding their culture community by the guides to the visitors. Chitwan Sauraha is located outside the Chitwan National Park where there are more than 60 lodges who annually welcome approximately 69, 464 tourists annually. This data is based on the record of 1997 (Kunwar,2002:82-83). The theme was the interpretation of Tharu Culture to the visitors. The training was given to the native guides those who were working at different lodges. However, the writer was not familiar with the literature of "community interpretation". The Story Matrix Every community, area, or locality of the world has a unique heritage identity - which includes both its cultural heritage and natural heritage, through time and into the future. To help document and organize the cultural and natural stories of an area, Cherem (ibid.) developed a tool called the heritage identity matrix, to more simply the "story matrix". It is divided into cultural heritage (or cultural tourism resources) and natural heritage (or ecotourism resources).

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The cultural heritage portion of the story matrix is broken into four categories. The first of these is "nonmaterial culture." By this is meant all of the values, attitudes, beliefs, norms, and other aspects of culture that are held within the heads and within the hearts of a particular group of people. Those non-material elements help define that culture and make it unique in the world. The second category is "selected persons". By this is meant a selected individual, either well known or not, who in some way embodies an important element of that culture. The selected person could be a master artist or a master craftsperson. Selected persons are embodiments of the nonmaterial culture. The third category, "material culture," is the easiest to grasp. Material culture represents the tangible objects, artifacts, buildings and various other structures that a culture produces. The above mentioned two types of culture was first classified by Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski (1944). All of the material cultural elements are totally dependent on the non-material culture. The last category is that of "cultural landscapes," which is really an intersection category between cultural heritage and natural heritage. Put very simply the cultural landscape is the imprint of humankind on the land. It is another expression of the nonmaterial culture. The cultural landscape is the configuration of building, structures, farmscapes, and other landscape features that the particular culture superimposed upon the natural environment. The cultural landscapes category bridges us into the natural heritage portion of the story matrix (ibid.). Ritchie and Zins (1978:257; in Mathieson and Wall (1982:158-159) while studying cultural tourism, have isolated twelve elements of culture which attract tourists to the particular destinations; (i) handicrafts, (ii) language, (iii) traditions (iv) gastronomy (v) art and music, concerts, paintings and sculpture (vi) history (vii) work and technology (viii) architecture (ix) religion (x) dress (xi) educational system (xii) leisure activities (see in detail Ryan, 1991). It is not clear how they have excluded story, myth, legend, ritual, symbols, folk songs and folk dance from their twelve cultural elements. The natural heritage categories of the story matrix are fairly straightforward. Flora and fauna are addressed by the categories of "plants" and "animals". The category of "land" takes in topographic elements, landform, and soils of the area. The category of "water" takes in not only open bodies of water. Whether they be ocean coastlines or lakes or streams or rivers, but also the situation underneath the ground in terms of the availability of water resources in the groundwater table. The last category lf "climate" involves the broad sun/cloud and temperature patterns, weather patterns, precipitation patterns, and other regular seasonal variations of the area. Storykeepers and Storytellers The story matrix is an organizing tool to document and categorise in a balanced manner all of the heritage identity stories of an area through time. In categorizing an area's stories, it is further necessary to say that all areas have living stories, sleeping stories, and dying stories. It is the purpose of community interpretation and appropriate tourism programs to discover, to revive, to tell, and to perpetuate as many of these stories as possible - because collectively those stories define the area's unique sense of place. Gabriel J. Cherem calls people who are responsible for discovering, rediscovering, and reviving an area's stories

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"storykeepers." These are people who are actively involved in the study, documentation, preservation, and conservation of both the natural and the cultural stories of an area. Traditionally, most societies have had persons responsible for safeguarding its stories. As an example, Alex Haley in Roots refers to the "griot" as serving this role in certain African cultures. In contemporary times, anthropologists, biologists, historians, ecologists, preservationists, and conservationists are among those serving roles of "storykeepers." (Cherem, op.cit., 306). The role of storytellers seem very important in ethnic, cultural, village, rural and ecotourism. "Storytellers," by extension then are those persons who are involved as interpreters, as local hosts and guides, as writers and photographers in community interpretation and appropriate tourism programs. They take the stories that have been revived and kept by the storykeepers, and they tell those stories both area residents and visiting guests. When the unique heritage identity stories of an area are realized, organized, kept and told to residents and visitors alike "we have the sound basic of a community interpretation and appropriate tourism program" (ibid.,307). How would the story change if it were being told by other? (Jones and Brinkert, 2008:58). Stories have persuasive functions and more generally they may contribute to the reproduction of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, ideologies, norms or values of a group or of society as a whole"(Van Dijk, 1993; 125; in Jones and Brinkert, 2008:47). Fishers (1989; in Jones and Brinkert, 2008:48) argued that all human experience consists of narrative texts. People, naturally stories, think in terms of stories and organize information into narrative forms without consciously intending so. Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact (Robert McKee; in Jones and Brinkert, 2008:45). Fisher argues there are two key tests of validity of a narrative – the extent to which the story hangs together, or has narrative coherence; and the extent to which the story rings true, or has narrative fidelity (1987). Fisher later added the concept of narrative comparison, or the extent to which a story is consistent with other stories about the same basic things A coherent narrative (narrative coherence) exhibits three characteristics: (i) internal or argumentative consistency; (ii) external consistency, which is a measure of the extent to which the focal story matches other stories considered accurate and (iii) believable character (Brown, 1990; in Jones and Brinkert 2008:49). A narrative fidelity its truthfulness, rests in its ability to present values that aligned with the values of its audience. The narrative fidelity plays a fundamental role in evaluating the quality of persuasive appeal. In addition to coherent and fidelity, Fisher also talked about how a narrative compares with other narratives. For, as Fisher argued "the meaning and value of a story are always a matter of how it stands with or against other stories". As Wittten (1993:106) summarized, the narrative form contributes further to a narrative’s credibility by imposing a sense of coherence on the desperate elements the narrative contains. This effect occurs through structuring devices of plot, which unifies episodes; narrative sequence which unifies time; and characterization, which unifies action (Jones and Brinkert, 2008:48), "a plot can be seen as a theory of events" (Ochs, 1997:193) Historian and folklorists appreciate that people become emotionally

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attached to narrative and that stories are the most lasting, powerful and effective means of cultural transmission. Campbell’s work on myth is an excellent example of scholarship that illustrates the universal power of a good story (ibid.). Story encapsulates the narrator’s values and reduces uncertainty about that which is being described (Brown, 1990; in Jones and Brinkert, 2008:49). Brown also asserted that the strength of narrative fidelity may be assessed by focusing on the "extent to which the story fits with the history, knowledge, background and experiences of the audience members (1999:171; in Jones and Brinkert, 2008:49). So far as shamanism is concerned, this is another important aspect of community culture. If this aspect is also interpreted by the guide, there would be another contribution of interpretation and will make more authenticity. Therefore, it is very important to know about what shaman is? The shaman is a magician able to manipulate, to pacify to control or to subjugate the spiritualistic energies resident in the environment. These energies may be elemental, animal or vegetable, human or relating to the realms of gods, demons and spirits. Through his magic the shaman can influence the elements responsible for rainfall, drought and food, earthquake, avalanche and landslide, thunder and lighting. He can control the fertility of the social, assuring bounteous crops and averting famine. He can prevent disease. He can protect the lives of men and women and lives of their animals, the fertility of their crops and their reproductive potency. He can foretell the future and influence family and political affairs. The shaman’s vision is a holistic one, where the distinction between the outer physical environment and the inner human body is blurred (Dowman, 1995:9). Though this interpretation is based on the perspectives of Tibetan shamanism, there is not found major differences between other forms of shamanism as well. The challenge of dealing with the concept of ‘fashion" lies in distinguishing what is new form what is not. One way is to use Georg Simmel’s notion of "adornment" as a common thread from past to present, while asking how the qualities of that thread may change with time. The question becomes, does the nature and meaning of adornment change? Simmel stresses both the personal and social dimensions of adornment. Adornment intensifies or enlarges the impression of the personality by operating as a sort of radiation emanating from it …. The radiations of adornment, the sensuous attention it provokes, supply the personality, so to speak, is more when it is adorned. [Adornment allows] the mere having of the person to become a visible quality of its being (Simmel, 1950:39-40;in Liechty, 2008:121), Thus it is in commanding "sensuous attention" and in enlarging and intensifying the personality’s "sphere" that adornment becomes a means of communication . Adornment is social practice; it is the "being-for-the-other which return to the subjects as the enlargement of his own sphere of significance" (Simmel, 1950:432; Liechty, 2008:121). The adorn body is the social body ("thebeing for – other") though the social meaning of adornment practice is historically contingent like identity, adornment is simultaneously about distinction and identification; it is used to set individuals and groups apart from some and to signal sameness with others. Liechty (2008:121) has used the term adornment in its broadest sense, to include not just jewelry and body markings but also all items of apparel. These items of apparel also demands interpretation. Because the markers will not be understood until and unless it is interpreted properly. In the case of Nepal, the community tourism has been developed as an income generating

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programme in Gorkha, Tanahu, Lamjung, Palpa and Nuwakot. The approach is based on village level community institutions. This is owned and operated by local population. The strategy lies in its people – centered approach and the integration of three pillars: education, organization and socio– economic development. These are like the three legs of tripod (tripod model) (see in detail Shakya, 2003:217– 236; Kunwar, 2006:234). Community residents can realize cultural benefits from tourism in one of two ways. First, tourism exposes the host to other cultures and can result in benefits such as tolerance and understanding. Second, the act of presenting one’s culture to outsides strengthens the idea of what it means to live within a community these increasing cultural identity, awareness, appreciation, family bonding, sense of ethnic identity, pride, cohesion, and support. As mentioned above, benefits are defined as an improved condition to individuals and communities. They can be categorized as personal (physical and psychological), sociocultural, economic and environmental. Stein and Anderson (1999; in Besculides et al., op.cit.) studied the benefits to communities from two state parks in Minnesota. These included increased pride and identity, cohesion, exchange of ideas and increased knowledge about the culture of the area. Interpreters The guide is a critically important part of the ecotourism or cultural tour in the case of non-personal or 'static' tour, the guide may be a guide book, a brochure or a specialised publication on special site characteristics. These types of non-personal interpretation sources are vitally important because the independent traveller may rely heavily on one source of information, such as a guide book. The high demand for such information has led to an industry of guide books, of which the Lonely Planet guide have become particularly successful (Eagles,2001:614). In this study the interpreters should be understood as tour guide who is involved in tourism. However, the local trained guides are demanded by several tour groups in different tourist destinations. In the case of sensitive sites, crime-ridden communities, difficult travel situations, and highly specialised conditions, some site managers require all tourists to be accompanied by a trained guide. These responsible for hiring guides and interpreters usually require training in the subject matter of environmental studies and in the techniques of interpretation. It is much easier to teach a formally trained biologist for example, techniques for public speaking, safety and interpretation (ibid.). The tour guide's 'role' has been the subject of scholarly discussion and analysis for just over a decade. Arguably the main conceptual framework used to dissect and analyse the various roles and functions of the tour guide has been Cohen's model (1985). This model acknowledges both the traditional 'pathfinding' role and the more recent 'mentoring ' role of all tour guides.Weiler and Ham (2001:550) feel that the main value of this model is the recognition that guides have accountabilities both with in the group ( i.e. to facilitate learning and enjoyment of individual clients and to nurture and manage interaction between clients)

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and outside the group (i.e. to facilitate and mediate interaction between clients and host communities. Weiler and Davis (1993; in Weiler and Ham,op.cit.) added a third dimension to the model for nature-based tour guides: interaction with the natural environment itself. Like the term " ecotourism" interpretation has been plagued by a great deal of emphasize on definition plagued at the expense of getting on with establishing authenticity, quality and accountability. To deliver these elements it is useful to briefly explore how interpretation evolved, how it has been used, and why it has generally not been given the chance to meet its potential(ibid.). Good interpretation is still thought about at breakfast the next morning or over the dinner table the following week. If properly delivered, interpretation not only enriches an ecotourism experience, it provides the foundation for remembering and reliving it. Cohen defines the pathfinder as a geographical guide who leads the way through an environment in which his followers lack orientation or through a socially defined territory to which they have no access (1985:7), and distinguishes this from the mentor who is akin to the leader of a religious pilgrimage –'a specialist’ (who) services as a 'guru' to the novice, adept, or seeker, guiding him towards insight, enlightenment or any other exalted spiritual state(ibid.,8). The former facilitates access whereas the latter builds on that to which the traveller has access, integrating what is seen into a coherent and meaningful image of place (Bowman,1997:123). In a territory as well developed for tourism as the Holy Land, the pathfinder is rarely needed. Foreign visitors can, and often do, visit tourist sites in the Holy Land without assistance. However they will rarely achieve a coherent sense of what they visit, whereas a guide encourages them to develop a sense of having visited the real place. With real pilgrims, guides (who are normally male) decode and already significance, and in secular tourism they not only introduce elements of a landscape considered by them to be significant, but also construct for tourists an interpretive framework, 'conceptions of a general order of existence'(Geertz, 1973:90), enabling them to share his sense of the place's significance (Bowman,1997:123). The process involves the guides in selecting, glossing and interpreting sights (Cohen, op.cit.,14-16). Interpretation is not however, simply a facet of the process but its entire impetus. The guide must translate '…the strangeness of a foreign culture into a cultural idiom familiar to the visitors(ibid.,15), thus offering tourists unambiguous signs of a particular ideological order( Bowman, op.cit.) Visitors satisfaction is a complex variable, influenced to some extent but not entirely by expectations and on-site perceptions, for which it is often very difficult to obtain valid measures ( Blamey and Hatch, 1996; Childress and Crompton, 1997; Ryan,1998; in Weiler and Ham,op.cit.,551). Experienced guides make their commentaries meaningful by using common language and by employing analogies, metaphors and other methods of bridging the unfamiliar world of the tour route, content and environment to the things already known and familiar to the group (Ham, 1992). Similarly, when commentaries focus visitors' attention on things they already care about an attentive audience is almost guaranteed. Ham (1992) terms this type of communication 'personal' since it connects what is being described…(ibid).

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From the tour operator's perspective, for example, a guide's duties often include: • Ensuring the safety, health and comfort of clients; • Providing courteous and quality customer service; • Responding to the needs and expectations of visitors from other cultures and those with special needs due to age, a disability or special interests; • Managing interactions within clients groups; • Delivering the tour cost- effectively; • Providing high quality, informative and entertaining commentary; and • Meeting the legal and moral obligations and expectations of protected area managers, host communities and clients( Weiler and Ham,2001:551). As Miller (1956; in Weiler and Ham,op.cit.,555) demonstrated nearly a half century ago, humans can manage more information with legs effort if it is organised into no more than 59 categories or units. Skilful tour guides, according to most contemporary writers practise thematic interpretation by imparting compelling messages to their clients about the places they visit. Additionally, Weiler and Crabtree's (1998; in Weiler and Ham,op.cit.,557-558) study found that despite the guides' strong performance on most evaluative criteria dealing with site knowledge, tour management and interpersonal communication skills; they performed the poorest on indicators pertaining to interpretation methods and conservation themes. These include: 1. Delivering organised and thematic interpretation (e.g. evidence of a theme, sequencing, introduction and conclusion), and 2. Providing messages on ecologically sustainable practices and behaviour and communicating minimal impact themes on-site and post-tour. Bibliography Barth, Fredrick (ed.), 1969, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, Boston: Little- Brown. Bellhassen, Yaniv, Kellee Caton and William P. Stewart, 2008, "The Search for Authenticity in the Pilgrim Experience", Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 668-689. Besculides, Antonia, Martha E. Lee and Peter J. McCormic, 2002, "Resident’s Perceptions of the Cultural Benefits of Tourism" Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 29, No. 2 PP. 319-330. Brunner, J., 2001, Making Stories, New York: Famar, Straus and Giroux. Campbell, J., 1972, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, NJ: Princeton University Press. Cherem, Barbara, 1981, "Community Interpretation in Chelsea " The Historical Society of Michigan Newsletter, Vol. 7, No. 2. Cherem, Gabriel J., 1977, "The Professional Interpreter: Agent for an Awaking Giant", Journal of Interpretation, Vol. 2, No. 1, PP. 3-16.

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……………….,2000, "Community Interpretation: The Key to Appropriate Tourism" in Charles R. Goeldner, J.R. Brent Ritchie and Robert W.McIntosh (eds.) Tourism Principle Practices Philosophies, New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp.303-307. …………., 1988a, "Interpretation as the Vortex: Tourism Based on Heritage Experiences", Proceedings of the Interpretation Canada National Conference, Ottawa, Ontario. …………, 1988b , "Community Interpretation and Tourism", Paper Presented at the Second World Congress on Heritage Presentation and Interpretation, Warwick, England. …………., 1990, "Appropriate Tourism through Heritage Interpretation ", in Robert W. McIntosh and Charles R. Goeldner (eds.) Tourism Principles , Practices , Philosophies, New York: John Wiley. …………., 1982, "Life Space Analysis in Interpretation", Proceedings of the Interpretation Canada National Workshop, Banff, Alberta. Cohen, Erik, 1985, " The Tourist Guide: the origins, structure and dynamics of a role," Annals of Tourism Research, 12(1) pp.5-29. Crick, Malcolm, 1997, "Life in the Informal Sector: Street Guides in Kandy, Sri Lanka", in David Harrison (ed.) Tourism & the Less Developed Countries, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 135-147. Dowman, Keith, 1995, The Sacred Life of Tibet, Harper Collins Publishers India. Eagles,P.F.J., 2001, " Information sources for planning and management" in David B. Weaver (ed.) Encyclopedia of Ecotourism, CABI Publishing, pp.611-626. Egan Keiran, 1989, "Memory Imagination and Learning: Connected by the Story", Phi Delta Kappan (February). Fisher, W. R., 1984, "Narration Paradigm", Communication Monograph, (51), PP. 1-22. ……...., 1989, "Clarifying the Narrator Paradigm", Communication Monograph, (56), PP. 55-58. ……...., 1985, "Clarifying the narrator paradigm", Communication Monograph , (56), pp 5558. Gee, Chuck Y., James C. Makens and Dexter J. L.Choy, 1997, The Travel Industry, New York: John Wiley & Sons, INC. Geertz, Clifford, 1973, The Interpretation of Cultures , London: Harper Collins Publishers. Glenn, Bowman, 1997, "The Politics of Tour Guiding: Israeli and Palestinean Guides in Israel and the Occupied Territories", in David Harrison (ed.) Tourism & the Less Developed Countries, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp 121-134. Gulik,John,1997, "UrbanAnthropology",in John J. Honigmann (ed.) Handbook of Social and Cultural Anthropology,Vol.Two,First Indian Edition,New Delhi: Rawat Publication,pp 979-1029 Haley, Alex, 1976, Roots, Doubleday. Ham,S., 1992, Environmental Interpretation: A Practical Guide for People with Big Ideas and Small Budgets, Colorado: Falcrum/ North American Press.

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Ham, S., 1983,"Cognitive Psychology and Interpretation: Synthesis and Application", Journal of Interpretaion, 8(1) pp.11-27. Holloway, J.C., 1981, " The Guided Tour: A Sociological Approach " Annals of Tourism Research,8 (3) pp.377-401. Jones, Tricia and Ross Brinkert, 2008, Conflict Coaching, New Delhi: Sage Publications. Klemm, R., 1984, "Community Interpretation Not Just Another Tourist Trap", Makai 6 (II), University of Hawaii. Kunwar, Ramesh Raj 2002,Anthropology of Tourism A Case Study of Chitwan Sauraha, Delhi: Adroit Publishers. ………………….2006,Tourists and Tourism Science and Industry Interface, Kathmandu: International School of Tourism (767). ………………….2009a, " A Study of Tourism Disaster Management", Sipahi,Kathmandu: Directorate of Public Relations, Nepal Army Headquarter, pp. 103-109. ……………………..2009b, "Tourism, Crisis and Disaster Management", Souvenir, Kathmandu: Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM),pp.31-37. ………………….2009c,"Community Tourism and Community Interpretation",Village Tourism for Proverty Alleviation,Kathmandu: VITOF,pp.16-22. Lane, Bernard, 1993, " What is Rural Tourism", in Bill Bramwell and Lane Bernard (eds.)Rural Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development, Clevedon: Channell View Publications, pp.7-21. Liechty, Mark, 2008, Suitably Modern: Making Middle Class Culture in Kathmandu, Kathmandu: Martin Chautari. Lindberg, Creg, Meganepler Wood and David Engeldrum ( eds.)1999, Ecotourism: A Guide for Planners and Managers, Deharadun: Natraj Publishers. Machlis, G. and D. Field,1992, On Interpretation: Sociology for Interpreters of Natural and Cultural History,Oregan: Oregan State University Press. Mathieson, Alister and Geoffry Wall, 1982. Tourism: Economic, Physical and Social Impact, London: Longman. Maureen, Ayikoru, John Tribe and David Airey, 2009, "Reading Tourism Education NeoLiberalism Unveiled," Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 191-221. McArthur, Simon, 1999, " Introducing the Undercapitalized World of Interpretation", in Kreg Lindberg Meganepler Wood and David Engeldrum (eds.) Ecotourism A Guide for Planners and Managers, Vol.2, Deharadun: Nataraj Publishers,pp.63-85. McCannell, Dean, 1976, The Tourist: A New Theory of Leisure Class, London: Macmillan. Mukherji, P.C., 1899, A Report on a Tour of Exploration of the Antiquities in the Terai Nepal, Archeological Survey of India, Reprinted in Babu Krishna Rijal, 1996, 100 Years of Archeological Research, S.K. International Publishing House, Nepal. Murphy, Peter E., 1985, Tourism: A Community Approach, New York: Methuen. Ochs, E. , 1997, Discourse as Structure and Process, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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Pearce, Philip L., 2006, Tourist Behaviour: Themes and Conceptual Schemes, First Indian Edition, New Delhi: Viva Books Pvt. Ltd. Radcliffe- Brown , A.R.,1952, Structure and Function in Primitive Society, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul LTD. Ryan, Chris, 1991, Recreational Tourism: A Social Science Perspective, London: Routledge. Schaefer,Richard T. and Robert P.Lamm,1992 Sociology,New York: MCGRAW-HILL,INC. Shakya Martina, 2003, "Community Tourism: Development Sustainable Land use in the Hill Areas of Nepal, " in Manfred Domroes (ed.), Translating Development, New Delhi: Social Science Press, PP. 217-236. Smelser, Neil J. , 1993, Sociology, New Delhi: Prentice Hall. Toffin, Gerard, 2007, Newar Society: City, Village and Periphery, Lalitpur: Himal books. Urry,J.,2002, The Tourist Gaze, New Delhi: SAGE Publications. Van Dijk, T., 1993, "Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis", Discourse and Society, (4). Weiler, B.and S.H.Ham,2001, " Tour guides and Interpretation", in David B. Weaver (ed.) Encyclopedia of Ecotourism, CABI Publishing, pp. 540-563. Willen, M., 1993, "Narrative and the Culture of Obedience at the Workplace", in D.K. Mumby (ed.) Narrative and Social Control: Critical Perspectives, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, PP. 97-118. Zemke, Ron, 1990, "Story Telling: Back to Basic", Training (March).

Restructuring the Destination Management System Paradigm
Roman Egger *
roman.egger@fh-salzburg.ac.at Abstract The internet already constitutes the most important information medium for travel planning. Destination management systems (DMOs) attempt to collect and deliver the information available about a destination as comprehensively as possible, frequently with the result that the abundance of information makes it almost impossible for the guest to interpret it appropriately and to plan his travel reasonably. In this paper, the author presents a web solution that, through the individual networking of providers, enables destination information to be prepared as content-to-go and made available in a decentralised system. Key Words: Virtual Networks, Content-to-go, Business Webs, Collaboration, Destination Management Systems Introduction Sheldon’s (1997) statement that "information is the lifeblood of tourism" has rightly been frequently quoted in the literature. Tourism is an extremely information-intensive industry, with the result that it is only logical for information and communication technologies (ICT) to be used along the entire tourist value creation chain. It is in particular at process level that ICT increase efficiency and effectiveness, and differentiates at the product level. Compared with other industries, the tourist industry has a relatively low degree of innovation. The reason for this is to be found in the many individual providers, leading to small market structures. This is counteracted in particular by ICT, which make a considerable contribution to the commercial development of the market. Ideally the guest perceives the booked service not as an aggregation of part-services but as a cohesive total product. This requires successful coordination between the individual service providers. Destinations are to be regarded as bundles of services, the concept "destination" being dependent on the guest’s perception. For instance, a US citizen can perceive Europe as a destination, a German tourist Dubai, or a passenger the "Freedom of the Seas", the currently largest cruise liner in the world. The decision in favour of a destination is based on the guest’s expectation that his needs will be satisfied there. Thus it is only in exceptional cases that the hotel itself is the reason for the journey. Instead, culture and society, sites and landscape, sporting opportunities etc are the actual motivators for travel.
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The need for information that is highly up-to-date and of good quality is in particular of relevance if a large number of suppliers are involved in the creation of a total product. In this respect, the idea of a network in tourism has always been more of a necessity than a novelty. 1. Theoretical background 1.1 Centralised structures and information deficit The increasing competitive pressure on the international markets is forcing destinations and their providers to ensure that they can achieve sustained success with a clear positioning and communication of the unique selling proposition (USP) and with the quality of the product. This is a consequence of numerous trends within the tourism industry. The development of the low-cost carriers for instance permits travel at short notice and as inexpensive as possible, while at the same time permitting a larger choice of destinations. The opening of new markets, the trend towards short holidays and the continuing fall in the share of regular customers is also intensifying the competitive pressure. Service and quality campaigns in an information-intensive business such as tourism depend in particular on the quality of the information available. A market that is characterised largely by small structures particularly needs a stronger network between the participants in order to be able to prevail internationally with a differentiated programme at a high level. In the last years, the Internet has become the most important information medium for travel planning. (Rosendorf 2005; Krause 2007; ACNielsen 2006) In particular, the search for information on hotel websites is, according to the ADAC Travel Monitor (2008) the number one source of information for 50% of Internet users. For the hotelier, this means that he must apply a deep concept of destination and present his business in the network of the destinations offered online. It is only by providing plenty of information about attractions and activities at the destination that the hotelier can influence the travel decision-making process of potential guests to his own benefit. Since this information, however, is not in the hands of the hotelier (third-party content), there is the problem of making available the necessary content with the appropriate quality, topicality and scope. As long as a lack of a virtual network prevents the reciprocal and dynamic exchange of data, all the parties involved (destination management organisations, providers of culture and leisure activities, accommodation providers and finally the guests) will suffer from this information deficit. The following sets out why the lack of a network between the product providers at a destination leads to a considerable deficit of information. Culture and leisure facilities have to some extent their own websites and are listed in the Internet sites of tourism organisations. However, they are only found by search machines if the guest specifically looks for them. However, since guests mostly do not know what cultural and leisure facilities are available in the region, they do not look for them. For this reason, niche providers are only found by visitors who already know about them. A considerable percentage of the culture and leisure facilities thus remain unused, and the true attractiveness of the destination remains concealed. The result is intense competition for attention on the web, together with a lack of websites which can serve as multipliers. As a result, neither economies of scale nor economies of scope worth mentioning can result.

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Hoteliers have realised that potential guests as a rule do not come to the region because of the accommodation but because they wish to visit a destination and for this reason are grateful for information about possible activities in the region. Consequently, the hotel websites describe not only the advantages of the hotel but also possibilities for excursions, museums, theatres and skiing areas that are within easy reach. A link is usually not provided, since this causes the guest to leave the hotel's website, and instead there is a rough description of these programmes. The texts and images are taken from the providers when the website is created, but only very rarely updated subsequently. Since only a part of the text is taken over, the information content is limited. Photos are frequently of poor quality and information is often out of date or even incorrect because price changes or new opening hours are not entered on a regular basis. The work that this involves is too much for hotel businesses. At present, potential guests have great difficulty in planning a holiday via the Internet. Even the search for a hotel is difficult, but is mastered by tourists nevertheless, as the figures for online bookings show. A greater problem for the guest is putting together a leisure programme. The hotel websites only provide limited information. The tourism organisations list and describe what is on offer, the result being such a plethora of possibilities that the tourist is completely at a loss. He cannot see what programmes might be interesting in his specific situation (family with children, senior citizens, young persons) and in addition within a reasonable distance from his hotel. The details about opening hours and prices can be found on the providers’ websites, which must be checked through individually. Destination management organisations are usually subject to political and geographical limits. However, this does not correspond with the wishes of the guests, who consider destinations according to topographical, cultural, linguistic etc. aspects. Employees of the tourism associations frequently themselves do not have the latest information about a destination and for this reason suffer from a deficit when providing information and advice. DMOs are not allowed to express preferences for any partner and must therefore refrain from making recommendations to the guests. 1.2 ICT supports virtual networking at destinations The use of ICT creates new networking opportunities at both the informational and the transactional level. Numerous processes in the tourism value creation chain can be performed virtually with the help of Internet, Intranet or Extranet solutions. The virtual value creation chain therefore no longer consists of sub-processes conducted linearly. Instead, it represents a freely-configurable matrix with a number of starting points (Morris and Morris, 2002). Among the numerous descriptions and definitions to be found in the literature, the following is especially appropriate for this paper: "A tourism network system is the one that compromises a multiplicity of autonomous, interdependent, enterprises without physical borders of separation from the environment, that rely on the Internet infrastructure to integrate and exchange value" (Ndou and Passiante 2005: 440-451). The primary objective of a Virtual Tourism Network should lie in the creation of a sustainable win-win partnership (Hakolahti and Kokkonen, 2006), in which the partners involved can interact dynamically, creatively and proactively. Such networks are characterised by a

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healthy blend of cooperation and competition in which the provision of up-to-date content plays an essential role. However, the desired common use of information can only be efficient and available widely if all enterprises can participate in the network with a minimum of expenditure and cost. This requires an innovative, but easy-to-use system. In this context, a trend toward open platforms and standards can be observed (Ndou and Passiante, 2005). As a prerequisite for the implementation of an innovative and successful VTN, a radical change in thinking and acting on the part of organisations is necessary, along with the establishment of new business models (Ndou and Petti, 2004). Increasing tendencies towards integration ensure that even SMEs can no longer cut themselves off from these developments. The European Commission indicated as early as 2003 that SMEs must prepare themselves mentally and technologically for participation in virtual networks (European Commission, 2003). Particularly organisations with complex structures, as are often found among destinations, can gain timerelated, monetary and qualitative advantages along with increased flexibility through virtual networking (Ndou and Petti, 2004). Consequently, it is not surprising that most of the established Virtual Tourism Networks (VTN) can be found at the destination level. Contemporary literature regularly refers to Destination Management Systems (DMS) in this context. (Egger et al. 2007) In recent years, most destinations have developed or introduced a DMS. Put simply, a DMS constitutes a portal that bundles the information of relevance to the destination. As a result, interactive access is possible to this content, the aim being to present, advertise and market the destination as a single entity. Thus destination management systems have a centralistic character. In contrast, true networks have a decentralised structure and have nodes that can be interpreted as areas of greater density. Although a DMS creates economies of scale and scope through the bundling of content, the value created through a true selfregulating network between the individual partners is of much greater importance. To date, the potential of VTNs is far from having been exhausted. This is due firstly to the insufficient integration and networking of the actors, and secondly to standardisation and compatibility problems. (Ndou and Petti, 2004; Buhalis, 2003) 2. TANDEM – not another DMS 2.1 Content-to-go as new approach In order to counteract the information deficit and the need for networking at destination level as described above, the Department for Tourism Research of the FHSForschungsgesellschaft mbH has developed a prototypical web solution using funds from the EFRE Innovative Measures programme. The project, originally conceived under the research project name TIGS (Tourism Info Gate Salzburg), was, after evaluation, acclaimed by the EU as being particularly innovative. In the course of 2007, the prototype, now under the name TANDEM, was further developed at the departments own expense to market readiness. TANDEM is a web solution that permits the structural decentralised networking of the individual actors. The aim of TANDEM is not to develop a new centralised source of information, i.e. a further DMS in the form of a web portal, but instead a platform to present destination information and to make this information available automatically as content-to-go

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for integration in third-party websites. The key starting position and the precondition for system development was the use of the existing infrastructure and abilities of the participating partners. The TANDEM system acts as a virtual interface between content providers (attractions and activities) and content subscribers (accommodation enterprises). A web interface can be used by content providers to make available the information to the other partners. Content subscribers in turn select from the data available the installation packages that are to be shown on their websites. The content subscriber creates a kind of subscription with destination information according to target-group specific, geographical or seasonal relevance. In addition, the subscriber defines the presentation of information to be included using a few clicks in order to adjust it to the look and feel of the site. Alongside colour, font, etc., there are now five different representational forms available to the information subscriber. Fig. 1: Representational forms of the subscriptions

Source: own depiction Integrating a code line provided by TANDEM enables the selected subscription to then be presented on the hotel's website. Fig. 2 shows an example of the integration of content using a picture bar on a hotel website.

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Fig. 2: Integrated content

By compiling the information subscription, the hotelier thus assumes a function as provider of recommendations for his guests, as previously was only available locally at the hotel reception. The end customer only sees the destination information collected from TANDEM and presented on the website, and has no direct contact with the TANDEM system. 2.2 Technical specifications In technical terms, the technology can also be viewed as a Content Syndication System. A number of established data formats, such as RSS and ATOM exist for these systems. On the other hand, a number of efforts are being made to develop custom data formats for information exchange in tourism, such as Harmonize. The latter provides a semantic description of tourist products that is modularly scaled for use as an ordering and booking system. The Harmonize data structure is correspondingly complex. The problem area addressed by TANDEM neither requires nor justifies this level of complexity, and so it has been decided to use an internal data structure for the TANDEM prototype system that is as simple as possible while remaining sufficient. (Egger, et al. 2007)

T b 1T N E d t s r c u e a. ADM aa tutr
For the tourist as end user • Tte il • B i fd s r p i n( e s r re ecito Tae) • D s r p i n( o p e et x ) ecito cmlt et • D n m ci f r a i n( . .p i e , yai nomto eg rcs o e i gh u s . . pnn or, .) • Poo ht • D n m cr u ep a n r( o n - o p i t yai ot lne pitt-on) • P b i h rd t i s ulse eal For the subscriber •A d e s drs •G o r p i a c o d n t s egahcl oriae (aiuelniue lttd/ogtd) •C t g r s t o aeoiain •U L R Itra nenl •C n a tp r o otc esn •E m i -al •T l p o e eehn •I v i e noc Ades drs

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The data supplied by the provider can have two general characteristics. Either it is static (all data that never or rarely changes, such as the service description or the geographical location) or dynamic (such as opening hours, prices, special offers, maintenance and facility holidays). Static information is presented in either the short teaser or a longer description form. For dynamic information, freely configurable "dynamic lines" can be created. If the provider makes changes to the dynamic content (e.g. changes the opening hours), these changes will be synchronised automatically on the content user’s site. Fig. 3: Schematic description of TANDEM

Source: own depiction There are several alternative technical solutions available for content syndication, a coarse distinction being possible between "push" and "pull" solutions. 1) PULL by Webclient: XML Feed, formatted via SLT and integrated in the subscriber’s website 2) PULL by Webclient: HTML page prepared by the system, integrated in the website via <iframe> 3) (pull by subscriber’s web server) PHP script in the subscriber’s web space collects the data from the TANDEM system 4) (push by TANDEM) HTML pages and image files uploaded to the subscriber’s web

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space, integrated via Server Side Include (SSI) In order to minimise interoperability problems, the existing infrastructure and the competence of potential participants were identified. Since the interviews with the content users were not particularly profitable, due to their lack of understanding of technical details (XML, PHP, SSI), a trial was developed, consisting of a set of files which the content users uploaded to their web space. These files were constructed in such a way as to test various features of the web space and provide information on them when accessed via the web server. These studies showed that a prototype solution using XML or PHP on the content user’s webserver was inappropriate. Instead, a decision was made to implement solution 2 (iframes). Work is currently being done on alternative 4 (push from TANDEM). The push alternative does present the content user with higher configuration expenditure, but at the same time, it is the only method that allows content to be optimised for search engines. Since for the iframe alternative the content of the iframe is loaded from the TANDEM server, it is not interpreted as an element of the website and thus is not perceived by search machines. (Egger, et al. 2007) Since both providers and subscribers have geographical references, TANDEM can provide point-to-point route planning between the hotel and the point of interest (POI). For any POI integrated in the hotel website, the guests need only click on the route planning link without knowing the address of the hotel or of the POI. Route planning gives the guest not only precise details of the route but also a first feeling for distances and the time needed between the hotel and the POIs he is interested in. 3.2 Value creation through TANDEM In order to demonstrate the potential of TANDEM, the following once again examines the participants discussed earlier and shows how the deficits resulting from a lack of an information network can be eliminated by participating in TANDEM. Culture and leisure facilities maintain their data in a centralised system and present themselves through TANDEM not only, as in the past, in the lists maintained by the tourism organisations, but also automatically on the various websites of the accommodation enterprises, the latter also providing access to the appropriate guest group. Each change in opening hours or prices is entered only once centrally within the TANDEM system and is then immediately updated on all the other websites. Hoteliers select the leisure programme for their guests from TANDEM and present it on their homepages, with the necessary information, capable of dynamic integration, being automatically updated. This leads to a minimum effort in creation. There is no maintenance activity whatsoever. The hotelier can show not only that he has an attractive accommodation and catering programme but also that the guests will find an attractive leisure programme in the immediate surroundings. At the same time, TANDEM can also be used to find the integrated text elements of search machines. This increases the hotel's competitiveness,

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combined with an increased transparency of the range of destinations. Destination management organisations can also integrate the TANDEM system information in their websites and thus have an ideal data basis in order to be able to offer their guests a maximum of information and advice quality locally. Non-commercial programmes such as hiking trails or natural monuments, which were hitherto only represented on the destination websites, can be displayed on the hotelier’s websites via TANDEM, and the existing borders between destinations are increasingly blurred. Potential guests profit most from TANDEM. They receive a selection of culture and leisure activities preselected and of relevance to their interests. The quality of information, given that it is completely up-to-date, is very high. The question of local transport is clarified. Tourists know that they can obtain further information and support on the use of the recommended programmes once they have arrived at the hotel. They can plan their holiday with a minimum of effort on the Internet. Using TANDEM creates a new distribution of roles within the destination. The optimum provision of relevant information to the guests, as can be done via TANDEM, leads to a competitive advantage of the destination as a whole, the TANDEM system making the range of destination information more transparent, attractive and in addition more easily accessible. In an age of cheap flights and short stays, this is a very substantial advantage. Tourists can use TANDEM to obtain the information they need more simply, more quickly, in more detail and more up-to-date than for other regions. This increases customer satisfaction, which has a sustained effect on purchase and repurchase behaviour. The entire development of TANDEM was supported through the permanent involvement of businesses from the field of industry in the role of friendly users. By means of polls, workshops and test accounts, the information concerning background conditions and participants’ expectations was obtained that was needed for a market focused concept. At present (April 2008) TANDEM is in the market launch stage. TANDEM is currently being piloted in cooperation with the two DMOs of the City and Province of Salzburg. The business model provides for the FHS-Forschungsgesellschaft acting as "altruistic operator". Content providers pay EURO 300/year per product in as many languages as they require if they are commercial programmes, while providers of free tourist programmes (for instance hikes) can enter their products free of charge. Content subscribers pay EURO 150 per annum for an unlimited number of subscribed programmes. 4. Discussion and Conclusion In contrast to previous efforts to link service providers from a single destination with each other, TANDEM does not attempt to use a centralised system to make information available to end users. It appears to be significantly more effective and efficient to provide a platform which enables the individual providers to connect with each other in a self-regulating process. The approaches presented in this paper are only a few of the possibilities that a system like

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TANDEM can offer. It is of course possible to consider expanding information networks at the transaction level. This might mean that customers could reserve admission tickets to a museum via the hotel web site, for example. Consequently the implementation of dynamic packaging solutions would no longer be restricted to destination websites. Of course, the system can also be used in the reverse direction. Attractions and activities could recommend hotels in their area and offer reservation possibilities or even implement TANDEM as a Content Management System for their own web site. The future challenges for a successful implementation of TANDEM on the market are also multifaceted. For a system like TANDEM, characterised as it is by a strong networking effect, there must first be a critical mass of users and/or partners. In this respect, it is necessary to develop a business model that can be presented simply and comprehensibly and minimises the entrance barriers. The high value of such a system is to be found in the overriding goal of creating a win-win situation for each and every participant. The objective of securing competitive advantages for all those involved, combined with an exceptionally customer-oriented focus, requires a neutral system operator. In this respect, it will be necessary to view and operate a system such as TANDEM as a tourist infrastructure. (Egger et al. 2007) References ACNielsen (2006). Global Purchase Influencers Report; http://asiapasific.acnielsen.com/au/ files/PurchaseInfluencers.pdf. [Accessed: the 2nd of February 2007] ADAC (2008) ADAC Reisemonitor; http://media.adac.de/index.cgi?p= 4d6564696173657276696365&pdf=591.pdf. [Accessed: the 13th of April 2008 14:34] Buhalis, D. (2003). e-Tourism: Information Technology for Strategic Tourism Management. London: Pearson (Financial Times/Prentice Hall). Buhalis, D. and Molinaroli, E. (2003). Entrepreneurial Networks and Supply Communities in the Italian eTourism. Information Technology and Tourism. 5: 175-184. Egger, R. and Hörl, M. and Joos, M. and Jellinek. B. (2007). Virtual Tourism Content Network TANDEM – a Prototype for the Austrian Tourism Industry. In Sigala, M. et al. (Eds.) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism (pp. 175-184) Springer Verlag, Vienna, New York. European Commission (2003). Adapting e-business policies in a changing environment: The lessons of the Go Digital initiative and the challenges ahead. COM(2003)148 final. Brussels. Hammersley, B. (2003). Content Syndication with RSS. Sebastopol: O'Reilly. Hakolahti, T. and Kokkonen, P. (2006). Business Webs in the Tourism Industry. In Hitz, M. et al. (Eds.) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism (pp. 453-462) Springer Verlag, Vienna, New York. Krause, Christian (2007). Reisemonitor 2007. Trendforschung im Tourismusmarkt. ADACVerlag, Munich. Morris, L. J. and Morris J.S. (2002). The changing role of the middlemen in the distribution

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of personal computers. In: Retailing and consumer Services 9: 97-105. Ndou, V. and Passiante, G. (2005). Value creation in tourism network systems. In A. Frew (Ed.), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism (pp. 440-451). Springer Verlag, Vienna, New York. Ndou, V. and Petti, C. (2004). Virtual Networks in the Tourism Industry. In Frew, A. (Ed.) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism (pp. 446-457). Springer Verlag, Vienna, New York. Rosendorf, Ruth (2005). T-Mona. Der Sommer Urlauber in Österreich. Österreich Werbung; www.austria-tourism.biz/mafo. [Accessed: the 19th of May 2006 10:05] Sheldon, P. (1997). Tourism Information Technology. Oxford: CABI.

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Post Conflict Tourism in Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities for Preventing Latent Conflict
Pranil Kumar Upadhayaya
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Abstract Nepal’s tourism sector passed through a decade long (1996 -2006) armed conflict. On the backdrop of the relationship of peace as a precondition for tourism, this paper first explores both negative and positive impacts of armed conflict on the tourism sector of Nepal. This paper, through a number of case studies argues that destination image building is largely influenced by various nontourist actors like media and labor relations apart of others. It, apprehending the potential of tourism for conflict mitigation in the postconflict period, recommends for a major paradigm shift to sustain the survival of Nepalese tourism from frequent irrupted manifestations of conflict during the ongoing fragile period of transformation in Nepal. Keywords: tourism, armed conflict, impacts, post-conflict challenges INTRODUCTION The Himalayan democratic republic of Nepal ranks among the least-developed countries in the Asian and pacific Region. The landlocked position, diversified topography, geography, climate, harsh terrain providing limited useable natural resources, distribution of people with specific lifestyle, traditions and needs have always posed major challenges for her economic growth and development. In this context, the Government's principal efforts are directed toward identifying and mobilizing resources for balanced economic growth. However, the same landscapes with mountains and flat plains in north and south areas posses the immense natural resources for the development of tourism. The unmatched natural and cultural heritages primarily remain Nepal's prime tourism assets. These traditional culture and unspoiled nature are key features of tourism industry to attract tourists from varied tourist market segments like holidays, pilgrimage, adventurous and special interest tourists from all over the world to Nepal. (Bhatta, 2006; Boeker, 2000). These potentials of tourism in Nepal provide her unlimited potentials and seamless opportunities to develop this sector and provide positive impulses for economic development (Boeker, 2000; Sharma & Upadhayaya, 2008).
*

. ( ) .

,

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With the prevailing of centralized political practices for long time in Nepal, tourism potentially a major sector of economy also remained largely in centralized form in a total period of six decades of opening of Nepal as a tourist destination. This sector was not only confined in limited territories like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, Everest & Annapurna regions with rapid progress but also dominated by limited number of people recognized as elite class monopolistic groups (Bhattarai, 2003; Bhattarai, Conway, & Shrestha, 2005; Upadhayaya, 2006). But the start of a decade long (1996-2006) armed conflict waged by the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-M) became a noticeable turning point to deteriorate the destination image in her short history of tourism sector development. The escalation of this armed conflict coinciding with instable political conditions, negative media hype, travel warnings from tourist generating countries, and other conflicting factors compelled the dramatic fall in Nepal’s image from peaceful tourist land to an insecure destination on the tourism map of the world. All major sectors suffered during a decade long conflict, and tourism was no exception (Adhikari, 2005; Bhattarai & Dahal, 2007; Grandon, 2007; Karki & Seddon, 2003). Tourism sector, as a major source of foreignexchange earner, has remained volatile, and tourism earnings are largely dependent on the political and security situation (NTB, 2008a) The present article, on the backdrop of the end of a decade long armed conflict and continuing peace process, first explores the causes of the CPN-M led armed conflict, and its impacts on tourism sector from both negative and positive perspectives. With the entering of Nepal in post-conflict stage after signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), tourism is passing through fluctuations on tourists arrivals in the current fragile political transition. Conflict still continues but on different manifestation. This paper, in this context, further analyzes the challenges and opportunities for tourism for its desired growth and concludes with some specific coping strategies and recommendations for its sustainability. Study methods The research paper is based on both primary and secondary sources of information. Primary information is collected from a total of 70 hoteliers selected through non random (purposive and snow-bowl) sampling from the places like Kathmandu in central Nepal, Pokhara in western Nepal, Chitwan National Park area in central southern Nepal, and Lukla & Namche Bazar in Everest region in eastern Nepal. Apart of information acquired simultaneously through semi structured interviews and survey questionnaires from these respondents, it also uses information derived from a focus group discussion held among the representatives of tourism related associations, executives of Nepal Tourism Board, resource persons of tourism related academic institutions and Universities, tourism journalists, representatives from Tourist Police, and Tourism Development Committee in the year 2008 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Moreover, this article also utilizes one and half years of review of published and unpublished literatures, publications, reports printed data made available by tourism related

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institutions, research centers, internet sources, and university libraries on the nexus of conflict and tourism in Nepal. CAUSES OF ARMED CONFLICT The reasons for Nepal's armed conflict are quite complex and interrelated. Upreti (2009) ranges these reasons as diverse as structural (socio-economic), ideological, geographical, international, environmental, and political. Nepal was in unitary political system under absolute monarchy for three decades from 1960 – 1990 that could not give the feeling of collective ownership and include participatory development approach. Nepal remained a state of elites in a situation of prolonged absolute poverty in the wider sections of population at grass root levels. Though first popular people’s movement in 1990 replaced three decades long unitary Panchayat (partly less system) political system by multiparty democracy with constitutional monarch, the one and half decade (1990–2006) of post-democracy era was a volatile period filled with political instability, lack of structural equality in social, economic and political systems, lack of good governance (Upreti, 2009). The changes of nine Prime Ministers in a period of ten years (1991–2000) are well remarkable to this instability which limited the positive amplification to all sectors of economy including tourism. Nepal could not witness equitable economic growth for a long time even after the restoration of democracy in 1990. These factors were barriers to include socio-economically deprived people in the mainstream economy. This period not only excluded the participatory development process but also marked and practiced the culture of self-centered politics amidst the various political parties. Those parties were by and large opposing and demonstrating each other in unrestrained manners (Grandon, 2007). Pyakuryal (2007) quoting agreement and observation of general Nepalese people mentions that the CPN-M movement in Nepal was guided by two major elements: the inequalities of socio-economic structure and volatile and non – inclusive nature of Nepali politics. A decade long armed conflict not only destroyed physical infrastructure, but also human capital and social fabric. Impact of armed conflict on tourism The decade long (1996 – 2006) armed conflict caused not only the breakdown of peace & harmony in the country but also the loss of 13,347 thousand of lives and 200,000 displacements, damage of infrastructures including private & public properties worth billions of rupees, and increased hardships for the poor, marginalized, disadvantaged and vulnerable in getting access to basic needs, resources and services (INSEC, 2007; NRC, 2005). Negative impacts Among negative, conflicts jeopardizing the economic development posed serious threats to the national economy in general and loomed manifolds tangible and intangible crisis on both shorter and longer term over tourism in particular.

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Table I: Fluctuating figures of tourism affected by armed conflict r l t dp l t c la t v t e i N p l eae oiia ciiis n ea Ya er Number % Change o tuit f ors arvl rias 1995 363,395 1996 393,613 83 . 1997 421,857 72 . 1998 463,684 99 . 1999 491,504 60 . 2000 463,646 -. 57 2001 361,237 -21 2. 2002 275,468 -37 2. 2003 338,132 2. 27 2004 385,297 1. 39 2005 375,398 -2 6 . 2006 383,926 23 . 2007 526,705 3. 73 2008 500,277 -. 50 Source: MoTCA (2009) Average lnt egh o sa f ty 1.7 12 1.0 35 1.9 04 1.6 07 1.8 22 1.8 18 1.3 19 79 .2 96 .0 1.1 35 -9 0 .9 1.0 02 1.6 19 1.8 17 %Change Revenue generated % Change from tourism (in USD million) 168 1. 166 1. -.1 17 159 1. -6 0 .0 125 5. 3.8 15 181 6. 1.3 02 168 6. -7 7 .3 103 4. -1 5 .9 168 0. -2 3 .9 128 9. 80 . 199 7. -. 67 184 4. -. 17 128 6. 97 . 206 3. -. 42 319 5. 5.0 26

19 .8 -.3 22 25 .7 14 .1 -.6 32 42 .0 -3 3 .6 21 .2 40 .7 -3 2 .7 -1 2 .2 17 .2 -.2 00

The decreased number of tourists caused cut throat competitions among tourist service providers. Many hotels could not survive due to decline in tourists numbers, lowering of hotel rates, squeezing of night life for tourists due to the state of curfew and emergency and were closed both temporarily and permanently (NTTR, 2006). A total of 5 hotels in Kathmandu in central Nepal, 10 hotels in Pokhara in western Nepal, and 21 hotels in Chitwan in southern Nepal were closed due to decrease in tourist arrivals, and consequent shrinking of businesses and revenue (Source: Primary information from the field, Sep 2008 – Feb 2009). Other negative affects include increment on illegal operations of tourism activities and loss of government revenue, and illegal poaching of Rhinos in National Parks and Wildlife Conservation areas. This situation aggravated the unemployment situation and livelihoods resulting irreparable damages to the tourism industry of Nepal. Armed conflict and lack of peace was not only the reasons of ailing tourism industry. The other crucial factors, on the backdrop of the armed conflict and the state of placelessness, which compelled the lowering of tourist arrivals are namely unrealistic and negative

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media hype by various visual and print medias (specially from India), negative travel advisories issued by foreign diplomatic missions, limited number of international airlines operations mainly after the year 2000, extortions from tourists and attacks on monopolistic elites in tourism by CPN-M armed rebels, and attacks and destruction of state owned airports. The mass media clearly have a role to play as a critical source of information to potential tourists and to providers of tourist information (Nielsen, 1968, p. 183). Its role is influential for both destination image building and deterioration during the time of political instability and insurgency. The tourism image of Nepal has been deteriorated a lot during the period of armed conflict in Nepal (Bhattarai & Dahal, 2007). Positive Impacts Nepal's armed conflict broke out on the backdrop of the multitude of interwoven causes in complex environment leading to frustration in majority of people. Pragmatically, this conflict needs to be seen in two schools of thoughts in context of natural resource conflict (Upreti, 2002. p. 44). Among the two schools of thoughts one as 'pathological and dysfunctional' and the other as 'functional means for social change' as existing differently, the latter view accepts that conflict is a constructive social process to establish group boundaries, develop a sense of self-identify, community building, and progressive economic and social change. Some remarkable positive consequences of Nepal’s armed conflict in socio- economic aspects of tourism based on above theory of conflict can be seen as institutionalization of collective labor movement, massive international publicity of the tangible beauties of Nepal, and paradigm shift on the attitude towards domestic tourist segments. Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and transformation of armed conflict to post Conflict stage King Gyanendra citing the need to defeat CPN-M dissolved parliament, sacked people's elected Prime Minister, and resumed state administrative power in his hands on February 1, 2005. The Kings’ these actions of suppressing political parties bought a turning point in Nepalese politics. This brought both political parties and CPN-M on the same table for a new joint struggle that was materialized through a 12-points agreement signed between Seven Parties Alliance (SPA) of political parties and CPN-M on 21 November 2005 in Delhi, India. Upreti (2009) observes a 12-points agreement as the start of Nepal's trajectory towards peace. This historic fusion between CPN-M and democratic political parties in popular "People’s movement" held on 6-24 April 2006 against King’s autocratic rule and dictatorship overthrew him and compelled to reinstated the earlier dissolved parliament on 24 April 2006. A "Comprehensive Peace Agreement’’ between the Government of Nepal and CPNM, after the removal of the terrorist tag & red corner notice on the CPN-M on 03 May 2006 and signing of the 25-point "Code of Conduct" between CPN-M and the government on 26 May 2006, was signed on 21 November 2006 making permanent the ceasefire and

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formal end of the war which had been in place after the successful April movement in 2006. The CPN-M joined the mainstream coalition government on 1 April 2007. It is transformed as the largest democratically elected political party of Nepal after its overwhelming victory in the constituent assembly (CA) election held on 10 April 2008. The 601 members CA is assigned to draft a new constitution for a new Nepal. Continuity and new manifestations of structural conflicts as the post-conflict challenges of tourism amidst post-conflict tourism recovery The end of a decade long armed conflict with CPA in November 2006 and joining of the interim government of interim parliament by CPN-M as a legitimate mainstream political party on 1 April 2007 were milestones for peace building and re-establish the lost destination image of Nepal on the world tourism map. Tourism industry has taken a sigh of relief in the aftermath of the changed political context and restoration of peace in Nepal. Tourism has emerged as one of the fastest growing economic sectors with 526, 705 international tourist arrivals in 2007 (MoTCA, 2009) and 500,277 (though less by – 5%) international arrivals in 2008. This remarkable recovery reflects the peace dividend to the economy that was nearly pulled apart by the decade-long conflict (Manandhar, 2008 & Upadhayaya, 2008). Though tourism sector in Nepal is gradually recovering in the current transition phase, it is also facing continued challenges in the complicated transition phase in the post conflict peace process (Bhattarai & Dahal, 2007). The recovery in tourism sector in post-conflict stage is found threatened and confronted with new forms of conflicts that have cropped up through the plethora of general strikes, bandha (closures) from outside tourism and labor disputes from inside tourism as one after another posing continuous challenges to the fragile period of transition. A Post Editorial (2008) covering a report issued by UNDP World Food Programme (WFP) states that there were a total of 755 bandha (closures) & strikes in the year 2008 in Nepal. The peace process in Nepal has become challenging and weakened at present due to many local ethnic conflicts for political rights, little management of those conflicts by cooperation amongst the political parties, and the growing danger of developing more & more militia streams in Terai in southern Nepal (Ghimire & Nahikian, 2009). The post-conflict period has witnessed a number of direct and indirect conflict related incidences on various tourism establishments and tourists which would be relevant to highlight. The above mentioned incidents are deep-seated tangible incidences for the deterioration

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T b e I : A chronological list of conflict related incidents in tourism sector (including hotel al I sub-sector) in post-conflict period February 2009 M r t a d z nw r e sw r s r o s yi j r di i h m na t c w t w a o s oe hn oe okr ee eiul nue n nua tak ih epn b t em n g m n o H t lB i i gC i ai J a h ,K t m n uw i ei p a e u y h aaeet f oe ejn hn n yta ahad hl n ecfl demonstration and continuous negotiation with management regarding the i p e e t t o o L b rL w mlmnain f ao a. N p lF e H t lW r e sU i na f l a e t t eG n r lF d r t o o n t o a ea re oe okr no fiitd o h eea eeain f ainl Trade unions (GFONT) of Communist Party of Nepal United Marxist & Leninist (CPN-UML) closed hotels & resorts in Chitwan for 22 days demanding 10 percent s r i ec a g i t eo e a lp c a e( p r o a c m o a i n&f o ,d i k , evc hre n h vrl akg aat f comdto od rns h a t s r i e ,s c e a i ls r i e ,b n u t&s a . elh evcs ertra evcs aqe p) H t ll b r a f l a e w t t eC N Mc m o ti r l yi P k a ad m n i gt oe aos fiitd ih h P- ae u n al n ohr eadn o implement minimum wage act. A H W a f l a e t t eC N Mc o e E e e tP n r m R s r a D m n s t a e NRA fiitd o h P- lsd vrs aoaa eot t aa, iutd b t e nK t m n ua dH t u ai P i h ih g w ya l g n t en nf l i l e t ewe ahad n ead n rtv iha leig h o uflmn of minimum salary as proposed by the government and. It compelled tourists to l a et eh t lp i rt t ec m l t o o t e rs a s ev h oe ro o h opein f hi ty. 58 hotels and resorts of the tourist hub at Nagarkot were shut down for almost f u d y d m n i ga i c e s o R p e 1 3 0f ra ll v l o w r e sb t e or as eadn n nrae f ues ,0 o l ees f okr y h C N M a f l a e ANHRWA A o n 8 0 t u i t s a i g i 3 h t l w r f r e P- fiitd . rud 0 orss tyn n 6 oes ee ocd t l a et eh t la d o c n e l dt e ee r i rc n i m db o i g f rs a i o ev h oe n/r acle hr ale ofre okns o ty n h t l T eh t l w r o e e a t ran g t a i na t el v lo P i eM n s e i oe. h oes ee pnd fe eoito t h ee f rm iitr n p e e c o M n s e o H m A f i s S c e a yo M n s r o T u i ma dC v l rsne f iitr f oe far, ertr f iity f ors n ii A i t o ,r p e e t t v o H t lA s c a i no N p l t er p e e t t v A H W . vain ersnaie f oe soito f ea, h ersnaie NRA Earlier to this negotiation, President of ANRHWU’s Bhaktapur wing received a d r c i nb t eM n s e o T u i ma dC v lA i t o a df l o e i . ieto y h iitr f ors n ii vain n olwd t A H W a f l a e t C N Mr s r c e t ee t yo t u i t f rad yi N g r o NRA fiitd o P- etitd h nr f orss o a n aakt a hill spot with 42 hotels situated towards 32 km northeast of Kathmandu. The agitation demanded to meet a 15 point demand1 and closed the hotel for four d y .T u i t w r g v nah s yt r a d et t ep e a l n u c r a n y as orss ee ie at het u o h rviig netit. A lN p lH t la dR s a r n T a eu i n( N R A m m e so h t li P k a a l ea oe n etuat rd no AHW) ebr f oe n ohr h l e w r sf rt r ed y o m n m mw g r wd a d m n i gaf a i c e e t atd ok o he as n iiu ae o el eadn lt nrmn of Rupees 1,300 for all in minimum wage given to hotel workers. C N Mc d e r s a t dc l e t n f r e u d n t o sf o t e k n t u i t b P- ars etre olcig ocfl oain rm rkig orss y e t b i h n c l e t o c n e si B r t a t ,G o e a ia dM n n i A n p r a salsig olcin etr n iehni hrpn n aag n naun i w s ,i L k a E e e t K n h n u g i e s a dL n t n i c n r ln r hi n et n ul, vrs, acejna n at n agag n eta ot n s i eo p b i l p e g n n tt c r yo te t r i n . pt f ulcy ldig o o ar u xotos Mr. Hari Shrestha, the owner of Hotel Woodland in Kathmandu was beaten after d s u e w t l b ru i n ipts ih ao no. H t l i D u i h la dN g r o w r c o e f rt r ed y d m n i gt m i t i oes n hlke n aakt ee lsd o he as eadn o anan

January 2009

December 2008 December 2008

November 2008

January 2008

January 2008

September 2007

March 2007 December 2006

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minimum wage standard and ensure fair treatment. December 2006 H t l a D u i h la dN g r o ,p p l rh l s a i n f rt u i t o a h u oes t hlke n aakt oua il ttos o orss n n or d i ef o K t m n u w r f r i l l c e b C N-M o s a f l a e l b ru i n rv rm ahad, ee ocby okd y P ait fiitd ao no f r3d y . o as October 2006 F v a s c a i n r l t dt t et u i mi d s r s o i gt e rs l d r t t ie soitos eae o h ors nuty hwn hi oiaiy o b s n s c m u i y a n u c da dp r i i a e o t ec o ed w o a lt e r uies omnt, none n atcptd n h ls on f l hi businesses on October 17, 2006 to oppose severe hardship from the rising d n t o d i e e t r i na dt eu r a o a l d m n o t eu i n . T ea t oain rv, xoto n h nesnbe ead f h nos h c was to give pressure to the government to come out from its paralyzed state, protect the business community, and to take immediate measures to stop u f v r b eb h v o . naoal eair Feb – Aug 2006 Hotel Yak and Yeti was closed for almost 8 months due to bettering of the row between management and labor unions, and non –cooperation movement by CPN-M affiliated labor union and GFONT. The demands from the labor unions i c u e f i w g s f c l t e ,a dp r a e ts a u . nldd ar ae, aiiis n emnn tts Sources: Compiled from various issues of Nepal Travel Trade Reporter; Nepal Tourism Board ENews; The Kathmandu Post; The Himalayan Times; The Rising Nepal; Nepalnews.com; Grandon ( 0 7 ,a dP i a yi f r a i nf o t ef e dv s t( e t m e 2 0 –J l 2 0 ) 20) n rmr nomto rm h il ii Spebr 08 uy 09. of the destination image at a time when Nepal was in the verge of media scrutiny. Still, not a single tourist was intentionally touched, harmed, hurt or harassed, threatened, targeted, kidnapped, and/or made hostage apart of some minor incidences against tourists (Aditya, 2002; Grandon, 2007; TAAN, 2003; Sharma & Upadhayaya, 2008). Nepal, defined as unsafe in general, was practically not an unsafe destination for tourists (Despatch Reporter, 2000). The impact of such unfavorable circumstances is well visible from the trend of the fluctuating numbers of arrivals of tourist by air in last four years and especially in postconflict year 2008 when this year could not catch the momentum of growth like the previous year 2007 as shown in table III. T b eI I F u t a i gn m e o t u i ta r v l b a ri p s - o f i ty a s al I: lcutn ubr f ors rias y i n otcnlc er Yas er Tuit arvl b ar orss rias y i % Change 2004 297,335 2005 277,346 - 7.21 % 2006 283,819 - 2.29 % 2007 360,350 + 27 % 2008 374,661 +4 % 2008 (Jan – Aug) 224,679 2008 (Jan – Aug) % Source: MoTCA (2009)

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The trend of growth instead of raising further or remaining stable is largely affected in the second post-conflict year 2008. As a result of unfavorable environments, there were continuous decreased tourist arrivals from April to October 2008 for almost seven months (Graph I) for the first time in the past two years after the mainstreaming of the CPN – Maoist in the peace process. Sonmez (1998) for such a context states that the political turmoil (which in case of Nepal is the fragile period of transitions) has lingering effects and can effectively impede travel to affected areas and create an enduring barrier to international tourism. Ritcher and Waugh (as cited by Kunwar, 2006) also mentions that tourism may decline precipitously when political conditions appear unsettled.

Source: MoTCA (2009) The first three months January, February, and March in year 2009 have also witnessed continuous decrease in tourist arrivals (MoTCA, 2009). The total international tourist arrivals of 224,679 numbers by air in eight months (Jan – August) in 2009 is less by - 3.3 % in comparison to the total arrivals in the same period in previous year 2008 (Table III). This reveals, as Neumayer (2004) also states, the unstable nature of tourism, which is highly sensitive to any uncertainties, especially conflicts. The role of both armed conflict and post-conflict environments for backstopping the labor unions and uprising of disputes between employers and labor unions in context of enduring political influence to and affiliations of such trade unions should also be attributed for the subsequent consequences in hotel sub-sector from negative perspectives and fragility of tourism as a whole. Nevertheless, it has also positive consequences in the other forms. As the result of continuous demand and struggle of labors/workers unions like Hotel Worker’s Association, Nepal Independent Hotel Workers’ Union and All Nepal Hotel and

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Restaurant Workers Association during and after the armed conflict period, a joint agreement was signed between Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) and these associations on December 31, 2006 (Pradhan, 2007). This agreement incorporated the implementation of 10% service charge from January 1, 2007 in all the member hotels (non-star to five star categories) of HAN putting an end to their more than two decade long dispute. However, there are new and renewed demands in favor of workers are being raised which is creating time and again conflict between employees and employers. Though the unlimited closures and wheel strikes are homegrown concrete reasons to affect negatively on the tourism sector of Nepal, the dependency of long haul tourists arriving Nepal via countries like India and Thailand for transit connections, political demonstration in Bangkok in 2008, conflict & protest and travel ban in Tibet for some time in 2008, and terrorist attacks at Hotel Trident & Hotel Taz in Mumbai in 2009 have also taken a toll on the negative growth of tourist arrivals in recent months. Beirman's (2003) observation through a number of case studies demonstrates that a crisis in one country has ripple effect on neighboring destinations proves such lag over affects happened in Nepal. The regional armed conflicts compounding with ethnic conflict in the Terai region of the country erupted after the declaration of interim constitution on 15 January 2007. This, though scattered and in small scale based on different political ideologies and principles, has undoubtedly hampered the Terai tourism. It has aided in building negative image and perception of the whole macro destination Nepal. Foreign diplomatic missions of major tourist generating countries like USA, UK, Australia, etc. even in the post-conflict stage, have issued travel advisories with highly cautious publicity of Nepal. The urging to the diplomatic cores to review their travel advisories by government minister in the changed context of Nepal's politics coinciding with the occasion of the Nepal Tourism Board’s 10th anniversary in December 2007 confirm the lack of full trust and confidence of tourist generating countries in the existing situation of peace in Nepal. The predisposition of US towards Nepal on political ground becomes convincing while looking at a new travel warning to Nepal issued on May 22, 2009 which is the only negative advisory to Nepal at present. It states: The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Nepal …This replaces the Travel Warning for Nepal dated November 21, 2008 and updates safety and security information. The U.S. Government’s designation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" organization under Executive Order 13224 and its inclusion on the "Terrorist Exclusion List" pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act remain in effect (US Department of Sate, 2009). Most of the remote parts of the country and where majorities of poor communities live are very potential areas for developing tourism in Nepal. Tourism needs to be developed as the main tool for poverty alleviation. In this context, there are some interrelated challenging tasks in tourism sector in the aftermath of the conflict like to mitigating the possibility of the recursion of conflict and helping to enhance sustainable peace building.

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Some key challenges to be met through careful planning and honest executions for postconflict peace building through tourism include sustaining the growth of post-conflict tourist arrivals, bringing about a consensus between different stakeholders in the multidimensional sector of tourism, building common national agendas and action plan for tourism, forging to strengthen public private partnership, decentralizing tourism in inclusive and participative character to correct unequal distribution and imbalance of tourism profit, and rendering capacity building supports to local agencies in far flunked rural areas which are exotic for the potentiality of tourism but excluded yet. However, the timely fulfilling of these important tasks and tourism industry to grow require political stability, and congenial environment. The practices of strikes and bandhs (closure) have continuously adverse impacts on tourism industry of Nepal. Strong political will and favorable and effective policies and programs of the government are the preconditions. Responding (Coping strategy) by seeking pledge from political parties on tourism The Nepal Tourism Board holding a program to welcome all the political parties represented in the CA sought a firm commitment from them on July 15, 2008 to foster tourism. This was held on the backdrops of the lack of positive peace like increased conflicts, uncontrolled demonstrations, strikes, and, bandas held by political parties and their affiliated youth and social associations which are felt pushing tourism to the brink of uncertainty (Post Reporter, 2008). A joint media release by Nepal Tourism Board and tourism related professional associations showing the grief concern over ongoing trend of closures and appealing for the undisrupted movement of tourists carrying vehicles (ground transportation) proves the gravity of the fragile situation of peace process. Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) issuing a press release on 15 March 2009 has also mentioned that this sub-sector of tourism has been adversely affected due to the prolonged multiplicity of conflict related incidences like strikes, bandhs, insecurity, and labor problems. Post-conflict tourism Opportunities Though both national and international media intentionally covered Nepal’s crisis during and sold insurgency stories, but some international Medias like BBC, CNN, and Deutsche Welle, etc. also covered Nepal’s beautiful mountain topography, geography, vegetation, climate, landscapes, deep valleys, varied ethnic people, their cultures, and collective traditional lifestyles. The global coverage of Nepal’s attractions while covering Nepal’s crisis during violent conflict periods had dramatic impact on the growth of tourist arrivals on later phase. The potential tourists’ recapping of the fascinating and beautiful image of Nepal, realizing the saga of the armed war, knowing" homegrown" successful peace accord, and listening about the continuity of peace process has positive affects on tourism in the aftermath of conflict. Nepal has been able to draw the attention of international media due to the success

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of its "home grown" peace process and CPA 2006. Every corner of the world knows Nepal through the media in the changed context without Nepal’s own effort to advertise in global channels like the CNN or BBC. This gives a vast oppetunties for tourism. The CPN-M led government, after some amendments in old policy 1995, brought the new Tourism Policy 2065 (2009) in March 2009. This policy attempts to promote rural, agro, adventure, health, and education tourism. It has incorporated the policy of participatory tourism development approach in which the concept of home stay for tourism is major focus in incorporate the wider participations of grassroots rural people on rural areas. However, its effectiveness is yet to be seen in future. CONCLUSION Nepal’s a decade long (1996-2006) armed conflict and the recent political revolution of 2006 brought great political structural changes. During the conflict, tourism like other sectors of economy suffered. This sector responded stubbornly to the conflict with a number of coping strategies designed to prevent and sustain However, there are also some structural changes and starting of the processes of structural changes seen in tourism during the conflict. Economic agendas, desired level of economic growth and income are further inevitable challenges and opportunities for post-conflict peace and nation building. Tourism in Nepal has immense potentials for socio-economic mobilization and growth not only due to the abundant of nature, culture and heritage as gifted strong bases but also due to its comparative low capital intensive nature in contrast to other sectors of economy. Tourism, by nature, is also a complex and multifaceted phenomena. It can bring prosperity through jobs, foreign investment and foreign exchange. At the same time, it can damage environments, stress societies, erode culture & values, manifest conflict, and heighten it. Managing this dual nature of tourism is critical and of high importance for Nepal in a context where local participation and involvement in the promotion of tourism, decision making powerfully dominated by the mercantile classes and educated elites, with vested economic interests. In Nepal, like in any other developing country, this sector is highly instable and sensitive to various political, socio-cultural and economic factors manifested locally and also due to international reasons. The nation was vulnerable due to such disorders during the decade long armed conflict. The conflict sensitiveness of tourism in the aftermath of conflict is the need of the hour for its sustainable development and it utilization to alleviate poverty and achieve socioeconomic progress of sections where unemployment-fueled conflict has just ended. For it, there is in the need of careful and indigenous planning and implementations framed with appropriate guidelines. The case study of Nepal shows that the early stage of peace process after the end of protracted armed conflict showed rapid recovery in tourism sector. The peace process has

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become complicated due to the lack of cooperation amongst political parties. However, the complications of the peace process were, of course, not a concern for tourists as long as it did not affect the stays of tourists in Nepal. The increased tourist in the year 2007 after the end of a decade long conflict in 2006 again dipped in 2008, though not as drastic as the decline during the armed conflict period, as it became evident that the political trouble that persisted had an impact on the comfort of tourists as well. Bandhas (closures) called by groups of all hues and colors, became a common occurrence, making it very difficult for tourist to travel around the country. International medias both in past and at present has projected incorrectly to Nepal as in insecure destination for tourists. This needs to be tacked proactively by reactivating the crisis management coordination cell in more effective way. In context of enduring political influence to and affiliations of trade unions that has made impact on tourism sector in general and hotel sub-sector in specific, it is crucial to transform the Labor Act 1992 more balanced - both for the laborers and the investors and thus seeking the durable solution of labor issues where both employers and employees can reach a win-win situation in a cordial atmosphere. This is emphasized to prevent the negative image of tourism, a highly sensitive service industry, which has unwillingly experienced negative impressions during conflict and postconflict periods due to negative media hype and media exaggeration as well as labor disputes in tourism sector. REFERENCE Aditya, A. (2002). Social Peace, National Prosperity, and Participatory Tourism – Strategies for Sustainable Tourism in 21st Century Nepal. Bangkok: Nepal Association of Travel Agents. Adhikari, R. (2005). Policy paper on Building Confidence in Tourism through Crisis Management. Kathmandu: Nepal Association of Tour Operators. Beirman, D. (2003). Restoring Tourism Destination in Crisis. Wallingford, Oxon: United Kingdom. Bhattarai, B. (2003). The nature of Underdevelopment and Regional Structure of Nepal – A Marxist Analysis. Delhi: Adroit Publishers. Bhattarai, B. M. , & Dahal, B.M. (Eds.). (2007). Report on Peace and Press: Vital Forces for Tourism Development. Kathmandu: Nepal Travel Media Association (NTMA). Bhatta, D. P. (2006). Ecotourism in Nepal. Kathmandu: Anju Bhatt. Bhattarai, K., Conway, D., & Shrestha, N. (2005). Tourism, Terrorism and Turmoil in Nepal. Annals of Tourism Research, 32(3), 669-688. Boeker, U. M. (2000). Ecotourism in Nepal: The Example of the Royal Chitwan National Park. In R. Thapa & J. Baaden (Eds.), Nepal. Myths & Realities (pp.100-118). Delhi: Book Faith India.

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Despatch Reporter. (2000). Nepal Is Not An Unsafe Destination. Retrieved August 22, 2009, from Nepal news.com web site: http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishweekly/ sundaydespatch/2000/jan/jan30/national.htm#1 Ghimire, S. & Nahikian, A. (Eds.). (2009). The Student Workshop Proceedings on PEACE – BUILDING IN NEPAL. Kathmandu: Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South & School of Public Health, Harvard University. Grandon, R. (2007). Nepalese Tourism: the Challenges. Kathmandu: Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents. INSEC (2007), Nepal Human Rights Year Book 2006, Kathmandu: Informal Sector Service Centre. Karki, A. & Seddon, D. (2003). The People’s War in Nepal Left Perspectives. Delhi: Adroit Publishers. Kunwar, R. R. (2006). Tourists and Tourism Science and Industry Interface. Kathmandu: International School of Tourism and Hotel Management. Manandhar, R. B. (2008, September 19) Tourism Responding To Peace Process.The Rising Nepal, p. 6. MoTCA (2009). Nepal Tourism Statistics 2008. Kathmandu: Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Nielsen, C. (1968). Tourism and the Media. Melbourne: Hospitality Press Pty Ltd. Neumayer, E. (2004). The Impact of Political Violence on Tourism. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 48(2), 259- 281. NRC (2005), Annual Report 2005, Grensen: Norwegian Refugee Council. NTB. (2008a). Annual Operation Plan 2008/09. Kathmandu: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). NTTR. (2006). Conflict & its impact on tourism. Nepal Travel Trade Reporter (NTTR), VII (33), 30-31. Post Editorial (2008, July 10), ‘Post Editorial’, The Kathmandu Post, p. 4. Post Reporter.(2008, July 15) NTB seeks parties’ pledge on tourism. The Kathmandu Post, p. 2. Pradhan, Y. (2007). Hotels Levied 10% Service Charge. Nepal Travel Trade Reporter, 8, 24-25. Pyakurel, B. M. (2007). Micro-Economic Impact of Conflict in Nepal (With special Reference To Local Economic Growth And Tourism). In P. Bhattarai (Eds.), Tourism Development Study 2007(pp. 7 – 13). Kathmandu: Tourism and Culture Promotion Center. Sharma, S. & Upadhayaya, P.K. (Eds.). (2008). Report on the proceedings of National Workshop on Post-Conflict Tourism in Nepal: Opportunities and Challenges. Kathmandu: Human and Natural Resources Studies Centre, Kathmandu University & Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South. Shrestha, M. B. (2000). Nepalese Aviation and Tourism. Kathmandu: Pramila S. Shrestha.

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Sonmez, S.F. (1998). Tourism, Terrorism and Political Instability. Annals of Tourism Research, 25(2), 416 - 456. TAAN.(2003, November 14). There is no security threat for the trekkers in Nepal (as a press release). Kathmandu: Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN). Upadhayaya, P.K. (2006). Contribution of International Organizations and Agencies in the Development of Tourism in Nepal. Unpublished Master Dissertation, Purbanchal University. Upadhayaya, P. K. (2008). Lasting Peace as the Precondition for Sustainable Tourism. Nepal Travel Trade Reporter, X (51), 24-25. Upreti, B. R. (2002). Management of Social and Natural Resource Conflict in Nepal Realities and Alternatives. New Delhi: Adroit Publishers. Upreti, B. R. (2009). Nepal from war to peace: legacies of the past and hopes for the futures. New Delhi: Adroit Publishers. US Department of State. (2009). Nepal Travel Warning. Retrieved August 28, 2009, from US Department of State Web site: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/ tw_927.html

Backpacking 2.0 – how Backpackers use Weblogs
Roman Eggera, Christof Hofstätterb

Abstract The term Web 2.0 is currently on everyone’s lips and the phenomena and concepts surrounding the new interactive web also present the tourism industry with new challenges. Over the past years, weblogs have become firmly established, especially on the subject of travel. For backpackers in particular – according to the authors’ hypothesis – weblogs could offer an attractive alternative to traditional information media because backpackers depend on ad-hoc information along with authentic reports from other travellers due to their relatively long travel times and often spontaneously chosen stopovers. This paper examines the question of how suitable weblogs are as an alternative source of information for backpackers, the associations that exist vis-à-vis the various blog typologies and to what extent these are already being used today. Keywords: Backpacker, weblog, Web 2.0, travel guides Introduction For a long time, the tourism industry neglected the market for young vacationers and students. Only in recent years have these companies begun to realise the true potential behind this segment. According to the European Travel Commission, around one fifth of all international tourists belongs to this group of guests. (ETC 2006 [onl.]; Richards/Wilson 2003, p. 6). As a sub-market, backpacking tourism is characterised by budget-conscious and flexible persons who primarily travel alone or in small groups, are often educated and usually come from Western middle class families. (Scheyvens 2002, p. 145; Riley 1988, p. 313) Backpackers associate their wanderlust with concepts like freedom, independence and adventure. Many view this period as part of their education or as a rite-of-passage, marked by fun and independence, before assuming the role of the responsible "adult". (O’Reilly 2006, p. 998) However, this freedom requires a high level of flexibility. Depending on the situation and the travel circumstances, travel plans may change at a moment’s notice. (Uriely et al. 2002, p. 522; 534) Consequently, a need arises for ad-hoc information on accommodations, means of transportation or activities at the respective destination. In the process, however, backpackers
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are often confronted with numerous obstacles. These primarily include linguistic and/or cultural barriers as well as the limited availability of information media, all of which make the information and coordination process more difficult. (cf. Prestipino 2006 [onl.]) Backpackers have access to internal and external information, which they can absorb either consciously or unconsciously. (Jarvis 1994, p. 168; Crotts 2000, p. 149; Pikkemaat 2002, p. 25; Kim et al. 2007, p. 424) According to Jarvis (1994), backpackers first search for information internally (stories from friends, personal travel experiences, etc.) before they begin looking for external sources of information. The following sources of information are available to them during their travels: (1) Offline media: Personal recommendations, travel guides, travel agencies, tourist information (2) Online media: Travel websites and portals, weblogs, podcasts, communities/forums In their study, Kain und King (2004, p. 207) examined the influence of individual sources of information on the decision to buy a variety of Australian backpacking products and services while travelling. This study showed that regardless of the product, personal recommendation (word-of-mouth advertising) plays the most important role for backpackers. Besides recommendations as the most popular source (Jarvis 1994, p. 96), travel guidebooks are also a primary source of information for backpackers once their journeys are underway. (Newlands 2004, p. 227; Prestipino 2006 [onl.]; Richards/Wilson 2004, p. 23) The desire to hold on to the experiences and impressions gained comes naturally to the seasoned traveller (Axup 2006, p. 34), so privately run weblogs have also been enjoying increasing popularity within the backpacking community for a number of years. Generally, backpackers use one of the blogger services that are available free of charge (such as Blogger.com) in order to keep family, friends and acquaintances informed as well as to document their experiences. Weblogs as a Media Format in Web 2.0 If the term Web 2.0 reached the "peak of inflated expectations" of the Gartner Hype Cycle in 2006, a year later it is already in the middle of the disillusionment stage. This is less due to the fact that the expectations placed on Web 2.0 were not fulfilled, and has much more to do with the fact that today the term represents a new self image and increased selfassurance on the part of the makers and users of the Internet. (Beck 2007, p. 5-17) In the broadest sense, the "interactive web" comprises Internet applications and platforms in which users become active voluntarily by creating their own content, managing and commenting on existing content and using their virtual presence for networking activities with other users. (Kilian et. al 2008, p. 3-22) The now inflationary use of catch phrases surrounding the "interactive web" has also had an enormous impact on the tourism industry. This is not surprising as social activity and thus interaction and communication with members of a social system are inherent to travel, making tourism especially suited for Web 2.0 approaches along the entire customer buying cycle. Web 2.0 is often used in conjunction with the term "Social Software" (SSW); in some cases

Egger/Hofstatter: Backpacking 2.0-how Backpackers use Weblogs 45

authors even use the phrases synonymously. However, for the purpose of this discussion, Social Software is considered to be a subdivision of Web 2.0. Hippner (2006) defines Social Software as "web-based applications that facilitate the exchange of information, the establishment of relationships and communication for human beings in a social context and are guided by specific principles." Here, the focus lies less on the actual information and more on the structure that grows from linking the information together. SSW is based on the fundamental concept of self-organisation, whereby the individual or the group is the focal point and a social reaction (social feedback) is facilitated by means of social ratings (comments on weblogs, assigning points, etc.). (ibid) The resounding success of SSW over the past years can be attributed in large part to weblogs. These are simple-to-create, up-to-date websites that consist of contributions presented in reverse chronological order. (cf. Przepiorka 2006, p. 14; Schmidt 2007, p. 13) Normally, weblogs combine text, images and links to other weblogs and/or websites. These electronic diaries have virtually no limits with regard to their content. They are used both in a tourism context as personal travel journals and journalist publications just as they are for internal and external business communications or as a tool for knowledge management or project management. (Picot/Fischer 2006, p. 3) In the last few years the number of travel and tourism blogs within the blogosphere has risen dramatically. According to one study by Blogjungle, the topics "travel and tourism" are the most important blog topics among German Internet users. (Blogjungle.de 2007) According to an international survey of bloggers, 73 percent of the blogs can be classified as "personal" (e.g. online diaries) and the remaining 27 percent as "non-personal" blogs (with a focus on specific topics and content that are generally targeted at a larger readership). (Koh et al. 2005) From a communications-sociological perspective, customer-to-customer blogs (C2C blogs) focus primarily on self-presentation and identity management (Schmidt 2006, p. 70). Backpackers can reach a very large and specific audience with relatively little effort, while their objective is to present themselves in an authentic manner. In the case of weblogs, self-presentation and the identity construct derived from it make reference to the reader because readers are able to comment on articles, thereby giving the authors feedback on their own personal narrations. (ibid) In the case of online journals written by backpackers, readers tend to deem the content as trustworthy, since backpackers have similar personal interests and personalities and resemble one another in their temporary living conditions. News on accommodations, tour operators, destinations, means of transportation that are recommended or to be avoided are typical for travel blogs, along with a number of other topics. (Axup 2006 [onl.]) Corporate blogs or B2C blogs are an extraordinarily difficult subject (Bauhuber 2007, p. 4). The trouble lies in the controversial discussions on whether the corporate blogs can be considered a part of the blogosphere or not. Pivotal here is the fulfilment of the essential characteristics in question such as the authenticity and credibility of corporate blogs. (Alby 2007, p. 41) In practice, corporate blogs often exist in a blended form that consists of service blogs, product blogs, customer relationship blogs and crisis blogs, and are mainly used for image, discussion and information purposes (Röttger/Zielmann 2006, p. 39). Business are

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able to make tourism products and services popular through "web-based word-of-mouth advertising" (Du/Wagner 2006, p. 789) on the Internet and establish close customer relationships with backpackers. Moreover, Welker (2006, p. 158) notes the obvious link between weblogs and journalism. The fact that postings are always written by an author, generally contain non-fictional content and often include a date – sometimes even with the name of a place – clearly demonstrates this connection. Since late 2006, the Lonely Planet Travel Guide, also known as "The Backpacker’s Bible" (Axup 2006, p. 101; Richards/Wilson 2003, p. 20; Sørensen 2003, p. 860), has had its own "Travel Blog" on which 326 professional travel journalists post entries on over 173 countries (Piquepaille 2006 [onl.]). Weblogs seem naturally suited as a media format for backpackers because they support simple location and time-independent creation of web content that can include both multimedia functionality and interaction with other users. But what significance do blogs actually have for backpackers during their travels and to what extent are weblogs used compared to traditional Internet pages (websites and portals) and offline sources of information (travel guides, personal recommendations, travel agencies)? Methods Backpackers are generally well educated and are thus highly skilled in using media like the Internet. It therefore seemed appropriate to develop an online survey for the test subjects to fill out (backpackers during their trips). The survey was placed on the homepages of Internet terminals in selected hostels so that backpackers who use the Internet in the hostel would be a part of the sample. The survey was created with "UCCASS" software and stored on a server. This enabled test subjects to complete the survey online during a specified period of time. Electronic data generation facilitated the export of the data into SPSS, where they were analysed. While developing the survey, the authors used insight gained from Richards/Wilson (2003) who are considered to be pioneers in the field of backpacker typology. The semantic differential method was used to determine the associations with weblogs. Research results were lacking for the European backpacker market. This is why the authors interviewed selected experts for quality assurance purposes during the first phase in order to present realistic response options. In the selection of these experts, the authors made sure to take as many industry-related aspects as possible into consideration (travel journalism, backpacker hostels, tour operators and backpackers). The authors enlisted the help of the editors of "Packed Magazine" in order to find suitable hostels in which to conduct the online survey. The selection criteria included a high frequency of backpackers en route, the presence of an Internet terminal on site, willingness to cooperate without compensation and easy accessibility for the survey manager to perform control visits. Taking these criteria into consideration, the authors were able to find five hostels in Vienna willing to participate as partners in the study. The preliminary questionnaire was then examined in a pre-test. Here, close attention was paid to the quality criteria, the intelligibility of the formulations (Atteslander 2006, p. 277 et seq.; Burzan 2005, p. 106) along with the functionality (technical errors) (Welker et al. 2005,

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p. 97) of the online survey. The pre-test was conducted with a bug tracking software that enabled online communication between the programmers and test subjects. This made it possible to divide the error reports into various types (feature, usability, cross-browser ability, bugs). The final online survey was created as a result of this feedback. After the pre-test, the field time was set at a minimum of four and a maximum of ten minutes. This would prevent lurkers1 from "clicking through" the survey. (Welker et al. 2005, p. 78) Criticism of Methodology Online surveys are often criticised due to the fact that they do not reach the majority of the population, but rather solely address active Internet users. It is extremely difficult to determine a statistical population dependent on the research question due to the expansive nature of the Internet. The statistical population (N) comprises all backpackers who use the Internet during their trip. Since no exact number can be determined, or rather the individual test subjects who belong to the population are not uniquely identifiable, a random sample was avoided in favour of an ad-hoc test in a predefined market. The issue with ad-hoc tests is the problematic generalisation of the results (Bortz/Döring 2006, p. 401). In this project the sample was taken in five hostels in Vienna, where international backpackers were indeed present at the time the survey was conducted, but the results in this constellation were only possible under the prevailing conditions. The answers regarding the daily expenses at the holiday destination, e.g. in Southeast Asia or South America would vary significantly due to the much lower price levels, particularly with respect to the information included in the first part of the survey (Backpacking). The same applies to the length of stay. This is generally shorter in Europe than in backpacking destinations like Australia or New Zealand. Results According to the log file analysis conducted, 247 different visitors accessed the survey homepage during the survey period and 121 test subjects actually took part in the survey. This yields a participation rate of 49 percent. The figure below illustrates the number of visitors during the survey period. It is evident that the number of visitors is higher on certain days. This can be attributed to the fact the survey manager asked the hostel directors to inform the backpackers about the survey when they checked in. F g r 1 V s t rs a i t c f rt eo l n s r e iue : iio ttsis o h nie uvy

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Sample Profile An equal number of male and female subjects took part in the survey. The majority of those surveyed (55%) indicated that they were younger than 26 years of age and another 33 percent stated that they were between 26 and 30. The fact that only 12 percent of the backpackers are over 30 years old lends credibility to the assumption that backpackers represent a young type of vacationer. According to survey results, more than half (56%) have an academic degree and 13 percent of that number are post graduates. Almost a third (31%) of those surveyed came from Australia and New Zealand; together with backpackers from the USA (20%) and Canada (4%) they comprise the majority of backpackers in Austria. It is interesting to note the small number of backpackers from typical backpacker nations like Israel, Japan or South Korea. Almost a third of those surveyed (31%) take advantage of the individual and flexible travel route planning options available to them as single travellers. Almost half (49%) of those questioned travel in pairs, although this information gives no clues as to what the relationship between the two travel partners may be. Particularly noticeable here is the fact that women are more likely to travel in groups than men. Most test subjects travel for a period of 2 weeks to 3 months (47%); although even in Europe there are "long-term travellers" en route with their backpacks for periods exceeding one year (7%). What Sources of Information do Backpackers Use? To enquire into the frequency with which backpackers use the various sources of information during their travels, the authors used the classification presented by Prestipino (2006) as a guideline. This took into account three offline media sources and four online media sources. F g r 2 T eu eo v r o si f r a i nc a n l w i et a e l n iue : h s f aiu nomto hnes hl rvlig

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To obtain information, backpackers mainly rely on word-of-mouth advertising (92%) and the classic travel guide in book form (88%). The widespread use of online media is clearly demonstrated by a usage rate of 83 percent for traditional travel websites and portals. Considering "new" media, almost half of the backpackers surveyed use weblogs (49%) and communities (44%). Even though these usage rates cannot compete with traditional information channels, this underscores the significance of new media nonetheless. 16 percent of the backpackers view podcasts, albeit rarely. The authors conclude that podcasts with improved content presentation will gain popularity – with the trend leading away from audio podcasts and towards video podcasts. Awareness Level and Use of Weblogs Among those surveyed, almost 59 percent indicated that they were familiar with weblogs; 83 percent are also avid users. Of these, another 56 percent are merely blog readers, 15 percent also comment on the entries they read and 17 percent indicated that they read blogs and also actively write their own weblog. The most active group – those that read, write and comment on blogs – comprises 12 percent of those surveyed. Figure 3: Active Use of Weblogs

Usage Frequency of Travel Guides and Weblogs in Comparison Of the 121 backpackers surveyed, 45 percent use a travel guide to obtain information on a daily basis, while only 4 percent use a weblog to the same extent. The comparative use of the two forms is much more balanced when viewed from a weekly perspective. 34 percent of those surveyed use traditional travel guides on a weekly basis and 22 percent of the backpackers use a blog in the same period. Thus, with regard to usage, weblogs have been unable to compete with travel guidebooks.

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How Suitable are Travel Guides and/or Weblogs for Current Information while Travelling? To find the answer to this question, the random sample was divided into two groups. All 121 participants were able to comment on the suitability of the travel guide, whereas only 71 backpackers indicated that they were familiar with weblogs and were thus able to comment on them. Although weblogs are still very far behind the traditional travel guides with respect to usage frequency, weblogs are considered to be a suitable medium for the exchange of current information during a trip for the majority of those surveyed. F g r 4 S i a i i yf re c a g o i f r a i nd r n at i iue : utblt o xhne f nomto uig rp

What Attributes do Backpackers Associate with Weblogs? Various studies (cf. Axup 2006 [onl.]; Muenz 2007 [onl.]; Eck 2007, p. 30 et seq.) indicate that the current relevance, independence and authenticity of weblogs play a deciding role for users. In the survey, the associations of backpackers to various weblog typologies were polled on a scale of 1 to 5 using the semantic differential method. The survey differentiated between privately run online journals, corporate blogs and journalist blogs. In a direct comparison we notice that the privately run blogs are clearly ahead of the two other blog types when it comes to authenticity and independence. Conversely, backpackers associate journalist

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blogs and corporate blogs with more current information and a more well-structured presentation of postings. The figure also illustrates that journalist blogs – when compared directly with corporate blogs – receive higher marks in every category. Discussion and Outlook The online survey conducted gives an initial rough estimate on the significance and relevance of weblogs for backpacking tourism. The insight gained should serve as a starting point for further research activities. In a second step, it might be possible to perform qualitative content analyses of weblog entries in order to reach additional conclusions about the informational content of the postings. The current survey has demonstrated that traditional travel guides continue to be the most frequently used source of information for backpackers while travelling. The reason for the clear results in support of this medium lies in its excellent portability and, consequently, the instant availability of information. With a usage rate of 83 percent, travel websites and portals clearly demonstrate their now significant level of penetration. Almost half of the backpackers surveyed use weblogs and online communities, although there is still more potential to be tapped into here. It is a well-known adage that travel is a learning experience. According to Pearce and Foster (2007, p. 1287), the educational value obtained through travelling is increased by reflecting on one's own experiences – for example, by writing an online diary (weblog). Enabled by more affordable and quicker transportation options, improved infrastructure facilities in backpacking destinations and the information made transparent and available worldwide thanks to ICT, backpacking trips are becoming increasingly popular. With the growing numbers of backpackers, the critical mass is also expanding rapidly in the relevant peer-to-peer networks in which backpackers exchange information with one another. It is therefore conceivable that in the future conventional travel guidebooks may begin to blend with portable electronic devices (notebook computers, mobile phones, PDAs, etc.) in order to provide the backpacker community with detailed information quickly and in real time. The content is created by likeminded backpackers who are already publishing the information of tomorrow today. References Alby, Tom (2007). Web 2.0: Konzepte, Technologien, Anwendungen [Concepts, Technologies, Applications]. Munich, Vienna: Hanser. Atteslander, Peter (2006). Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung [Methods of Emprical Social Research]. 11th Edition. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag. Axup, Jeff (2006). Methods of Understanding and Designing For Mobile Communities. Dissertation. School of Information Technology & Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane. Axup, Jeff (2006). Blog the World. Retrieved 27.06.2007 [http://www.vodafone.com/flash/ receiver/15/articles/05_page01.html]

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Bauhuber, Florian (2007). B2B-Blogs in tourism – Inside of the blog tourismus-zukunft.de. In: Waldhör, Klemens (ed.). Proceedings of the First International Conference on Blogs in Tourism, Krems: Krems Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH; p. 1-13. Beck, Astrid (2007). Web 2.0: Konzepte, Technologien, Anwendungen [Concepts, Technologies, Applications]. In: Beck Astrid et al. (ed.). Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik [Practical Business Informatics]: Web 2.0. Issue 255; p. 5-16. Blogjunle.de (2007) Press release: Tourismus, Politik und Autos sind die Topthemen beim Bloggen [Tourism, Politics and Cars are the Most Popular Blog Topics]. http:// www.blogjungle.de/common/templates/blogjungle/presse/downloads/ Blogjungle-PM02-07_final_versionB.pdf [Retrieved 12.01.2008] Bortz, Jürgen and Nicola Döring (2006). Forschungsmethoden und Evaluation für Human- und Sozialwissenschaftler [Research Methods and Evaluation for Human and Social Scientists]. 4th Edition. Heidelberg: Springer. Burzan, Nicole (2005). Quantitative Methoden der Kulturwissenschaften [Quantitative Methods of Cultural Sciences]. Constance: UVK. Crotts, C. John (2000). Consumer Decision Making and Prepurchase Information Search. In: Pizam, Abraham and Yoel Mansfeld (ed.). Consumer Behavior in Travel and Tourism. New York: Haworth Hospitality Press; p. 149-168. Du, Helen and Christian Wagner (2006). Weblog success: Exploring the role of technology. In: International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Vol. 64; p. 789-798. Eck, Klaus (2007). Corporate Blogs: Unternehmen im Online-Dialog zum Kunden [Companies in Online Dialog with the Customer]. Zürich: Orell Füssli Verlag AG. Etc (2006). Tourism Trends for Europe. Retrieved 09.08.2007 [http://www.etc-corporate.org/ modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=100&ac=5] Hippner, Hajo (2006). Bedeutung, Anwendungen und Einsatzpotenziale von Social Software [Significance, Applications and Potential for Using Social Software]. In: Hildebrand, Knut and Josephine Hofmann (ed.). Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik [Practical Business Informatics]: Social Software. Issue 252; p. 6-16. Jarvis, Jeff (1994). The Billion Dollar Backpackers: The Ultimate Fully Independent Tourists. National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University; Melbourne. Kain, Denise and Brian King (2004). Destination-Based Product Selections by International Backpackers in Australia. In: Richards, Greg and Julie Wilson (ed.). The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice. Clevedon: Channel View Publications; p. 196-216. Kilian, T.; Haas B.; Walsh, G. (2007) Grundlagen des Web 2.0 [Fundamentals of Web 2.0]. In: Kilian, T.; Haas B.; Walsh, G. (ed.) Web 2.0: Neue Perspektiven für Marketing und Medien [New Perspectives for Marketing and Media] Walsh, and Thomas Kilian. Berlin: Springer. Kim, Dae-Young et al. (2007). Gender differences in online travel information search: Implications for marketing communications on the internet. In: Tourism Management.

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Vol. 28; p. 423-433. Koh, Andy et al. (2005). Ethics in Blogging. Singapore Internet Research Centre Report Series. School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University; Singapore. Miller, Thomas and Jeff Walkowski (2004). Qualitative Research Online. Madison: Research Publishers LCC. Muenz, Stefan (2007). Die Blogs und das Authentische [The Blogs and the Authentic]. Retrieved 26.06.2007 [2http://webkompetenz.blogspot.com/2007/03/die-blogs-und-dasauthentische.html] Newlands, Ken (2004). Setting Out on the Road Less Travelled: A Study of Backpacker Travel in New Zealand. In: Richards, Greg and Julie Wilson (ed.). The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice. Clevedon: Channel View Publications; p. 217-236. O’Reilly, Camille (2006). From Drifter to Gap Year Tourist: Mainstreaming Backpacker Travel. In: Annals of Tourism Research. Vol. 33, No. 4; p. 998-1017. Pearce, Philip and Faith Foster (2007). A "University of Travel": Backpacker learning. In: Tourism Management. Vol. 28; p. 1285-1298. Picot, Arnold and Tim Fischer (ed.) (2006). Weblogs professionell: Grundlagen, Konzepte und Praxis im unternehmerischen Umfeld [Professional Weblogs: Fundamentals, Concepts and Practice in a Business Environment]. Heidelberg: dpunkt.verlag; p. 312. Pikkemaat, Birgit (2002). Informationsverhalten in komplexen Entscheidungssituationen: Darge-stellt anhand der Reiseentscheidung. Europäische Hochschulschriften [Information Behavior in Complex Decision Situations: Presented Using Travel Decisions. European College Writing]. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Piquepaille, Roland (2006). Lonely Planet’s Travel Blog. Retrieved 19.07.2007 [http:// www.blogsforcompanies.com/2006/12/06/lonely-planets-travel-blog/] Prestipino, Marco (2006). From Information Behaviour of Independent Travellers to Requirements for Information Systems. Retrieved 25.06.2007 [http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/ im/fileadmin/user_upload/personen_downloads/p12.pdf] Przepiorka, Sven (2006). Weblogs, Wikis und die dritte Dimension [Weblogs, Wikis and the Third Dimension]. In: Picot, Arnold and Tim Fischer (ed.). Weblogs professionell: Grundlagen, Konzepte und Praxis im unternehmerischen Umfeld [Professional Weblogs: Fundamentals, Concepts and Practice in a Business Environment]. Heidelberg: dpunkt.verlag; p. 13-27. Richards, Greg and Julie Wilson (2003). Today’s Youth Travellers: Tomorrow’s Global Nomads. Amsterdam: ISTC/ATLAS. Richards, Greg and Julie Wilson (2004). Motivations and Behaviour of Independent Travellers Worldwide. In: Richards, Greg and Julie Wilson (ed.). The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice. Clevedon: Channel View Publications; p. 14-39.

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Riley, Pamela (1988). Road Culture of International Long-Term Budget Travelers. In: Annals of Tourism Research. Vol. 15, No. 2; p. 313.328. Roettger, Ulrike and Sarah Zielmann (2006). Weblogs – unentbehrlich oder überschätzt für das Kommunikationsmanagement von Organisationen? [Weblogs – Indispensable or Overestimated for Communications Management in Organisations?] In: Picot, Arnold and Tim Fischer (ed.). Weblogs professionell: Grundlagen, Konzepte und Praxis im unternehmerischen Umfeld [Professional Weblogs: Fundamentals, Concepts and Practice in a Business Environment]. Heidelberg: dpunkt.verlag; p. 31-50. Scheyvens, Regina (2002). Backpacker Tourism and Third World Development. In: Annals of Tourism Research. Vol. 29, No. 1; p. 144-164. Schmidt, Jan (2006). Weblogs: Eine kommunikationssoziologische Studie [Weblogs. A Communications-Sociological Study]. Constance: UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. Sørensen, Anders (2003). Backpacker Ethnography. In: Annals of Tourism Research. Vol. 30, No. 4; p. 847-867. Uriely, Natan et al. (2002). Backpacking Experiences: A Type and Form Analysis. In: Annals of Tourism Research. Vol. 29, No. 2; p. 520-538. Welker, Martin et al. (2005). Online-Research: Markt- und Sozialforschung im Internet [Market and Social Research on the Internet]. Heidelberg: dpunkt.verlag. Welker, Martin (2006). Weblogs: Ein neues Werkzeug für Journalisten [Weblogs: A New Tool for Journalists]. In: Picot, Arnold and Tim Fischer (ed.). Weblogs professionell: Grundlagen, Konzepte und Praxis im unternehmerischen Umfeld [Professional Weblogs: Fundamentals, Concepts and Practice in a Business Environment]. Heidelberg: dpunkt.verlag; p. 157-172.

Hospitality Industry at the Cutting Edge of Globalization With Special Reference to the Hotel Industry in Nepal
R.P. Ghimire *

Abstract Globalization has brought unprecedented transformational changes in all aspects of tourism and hospitality industry throughout the world creating a number of opportunities and challenges to the industry. It is apparent that opportunities are not spontaneous which demand considerable time and efforts to realize the benefits whereas challenges are mostly immediate and by and large spontaneous. At present hotel industry in Nepal, with mostly conventional outlook and 'modus operandi' does not seem wellprepared to reap the benefits and face challenges of globalized hospitality industry. Therefore, hotel industry of Nepal should understand the contemporary issues and challenges of globalization and its impact on hospitality business and prepare themselves to grab the opportunities and face challenges with strategic move and enhanced competitiveness. For this the government also needs to be proactive in order to develop Nepal as a competitive tourist destination by improving the relatively low level competitiveness indicators. Key Words: Globalization, Hospitality Industry, Service Innovation, Tourism Competitiveness Introduction Globalization is no more a buzz word today; it is an influential part of real life. Neither it is confined to any particular sector; it is all pervasive to every sphere of human life. It is both a process and an outcome characterized by a greater degree of interdependence between nation states. It leads to swift and worldwide interconnections and interrelationships in all spheres of life which is typified by the rapid movement of people, information, capital and goods and services across national borders worldwide. Like other sectors and industries, globalization influences all aspects of tourism and hospitality industry. Similarly, hospitality industry plays an important role in bringing people physically together in a global community.
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Tourism industry as the largest export service industry and one of the largest employers in the World is at the very core of globalization in international business. Globally travel and tourism currently employs nearly 240 million people and creates 10 percent of world GDP (WTTC 2008). Thus tourism and hospitality has become a major force in the rapidly evolving contemporary global market place. As a service industry, hospitality industry is an industry of 'intangible products’ which differentiates it from other industries like manufacturing industries. That is why hospitality industry is often characterized by the peculiar nature of intangible products. The nature of hospitality service is quite different to that of manufacturing products. Hospitality services have much to do with the feelings, attitude and experiences. In hospitality industry customers are more involved in the production process than in any other industries. Similarly, people are the part of service products since the quality and effectiveness of services heavily rely on the way people interact with each other. In hospitality industry, time factor and distribution channels are also quite important. Likewise, the services can't be inventoried. Hospitality industry is an important feature of global interdependence. Although the history of hospitality is very long, hospitality industry as we know it today began to take a form in the early 1950s and 60s, leading the way for growth into dynamic industry as we know today. Modern hospitality industry’s growth has moved almost parallel to the natural outgrowth of globalization. International hotel chains were evolved in the early 50s, grew in the 60s and, have been expanding in the following decades. Hospitality is a part of life in Nepali society since long back. However, it was the second periodic plan (1962/65) that emphasized on the need of modern hospitality industries in the country. The 1972 Tourism Master Plan reiterated the need and significance of modern hotel accommodation and travel facilities for tourism development in the country. To this end, the government established Hotel Management and Tourism Training Center in 1972 basically to cater the human resource needs for tourism and hospitality industry in the country. Similarly, Tara Gaon Culture and Tourism Centre was established in 1974 for the promotion of Nepali type hospitality in the country. Hyatt Regency Hotel of Kathmandu is an outcome of Tara Gaon Development Committee’s (formerly Tara Gaon Culture and Tourism Centre) noble effort to establish unique Nepali type hotel industry in the country. During the initial phase of the growth of hospitality industry, Nepal Industrial Development Corporation invested a large sum of money for the establishment of Star Hotels. It could not be that much effective and, thus did not last long. However, it is the private sector that truly initiated developing the hotel industry in the country; and, is continuing to lead the sector. Dwarika Hotel is a testimony of Nepali type architectural heritage. Pioneer star hotels like Soaltee Oberoi and Hotel de’la Annapurna had really a great contribution in establishing and flourishing hospitality industry in the country. Global Employment Pattern Globalization has witnessed rapid changes in the global employment trend along with the technological advancement and a shift in labor market patterns for the last couple of decades. However, in 2008 the financial crisis globalized from the developed countries

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experienced the worst job crisis ever since the Great Depression of 1930s. In 2008, an estimated 6 percent of the world’s labor force was unemployed. It is estimated that the global number of unemployed youth increased to 76 million. Despite the global economic downturn, the service sector continues pulling further ahead of agriculture in contributing to employment in the world. Service sector occupies 43.3 percent of jobs against 33.5 percent of agriculture sector and 23.2 percent of the industrial sector. Among the service industries, hotel and restaurant is one of the fastest growing sectors. However, the scenario is different in South Asia where agriculture sector accounts 46.9 percent as compared to 30.4 percent of service sector. In the case of Nepal, the scenario is still bleaker. At present around 60 percent of labor force is engaged in agriculture. This signifies the need to further expand service sector like tourism and hospitality industry (ILO 2009). At the global level, vulnerable employment accounted for more than half of the total employment in 2008 which was highest in South Asia. While analyzing the employment trends for women, it is found that more than 60 percent women in South Asia are engaged in agriculture as compared to 37.5 of the world and 3.4 percent for the developed countries. On the other hand, only 20.3 percent of women are engaged in service sectors as compared to 45.3 and 84 percent for the world and developed countries respectively. Available data shows that only 3.4 out of 10 South Asian women of working age are working. It clearly indicates that South Asia has untapped female potential and significant decent work deficit, so is the case for Nepal though such disaggregated data are lacking (ILO 2008). Similarly, the vulnerable employment ratio is considerably higher for women (52.7precent) as compared to men (49.1 percent). This situation signifies the need for further expansion and development of hospitality industry both at national and international level. Trends and Implications of Modern Hospitality Industry Hospitality industry has been undergoing a period of unprecedented transformational changes since a couple of decades which is likely to continue in the future. It has undergone a number of general trends in the global village. Customers are changing and a new breed of customer has been emerged. Similarly, technology is changing too fast to embrace e-commerce and etourism. Hospitality industry today is operating under a very dynamic and transparent environment that creates pressures to enhance competitive strength and demands more effective customer relations management through online interaction, marketing and service delivery. Similarly, twenty first century has witnessed rapid changes in the nature and structure of global markets. Emerging markets like India, China, Russia and the Gulf countries have provided tremendous opportunities for the growth of hospitality industry. Values and ethics are also changing in the direction of sustainable and responsible tourism. The concept of responsible tourism has influenced consumer demand for certain types of tourism experiences and products. International institutions and provisions like the UNWTO, WTO, GATS, TRIPS, and TRIMS have been much more influential than ever before. Similarly, modern customers are not passive service recipients; they are well informed, educated and thus demanding. Customers are well known about the facilities and hospitality services before they reach

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tourism destinations. The general trend has specific implications. New breed of customers has caused super segmentation of hospitality services; a shift from service to individualized unique experiences that often challenge standardization of hospitality services for tailor-made flexibilities. For example the leisure guests might have a quest to acquire pleasant memory to be recounted amongst friends and family members whereas the conference guests might be more interested on efficient handling of their conference sessions. Increased knowledge and awareness of responsible hospitality industry demands the industries to move in line with the potential guests and make the people feel that hospitality industry is contributing for the common good of local populace. As in other industries, hospitality industry has focused on innovative services and operational efficiencies to address the dynamism of this sector. Due to the advancement in information and communication technologies, market access has also undergone a sea change. New tourism markets like India, China, Gulf Countries etc. have emerged and there has been wider access to these emerging markets than ever before. However, satisfying the needs and expectations of visitors from different background is a daunting task. Globalization has created a tough competition among the service industries both at local as well as global level. Similarly, the demographic change that has been recently taking place has created both opportunity and challenges to the hospitality industries. Therefore, hospitality industries need to maintain striking balance between the aging consumers and the youngsters since service needs varies significantly to the age group. As in the case of other industries, branding has been extremely influential in hospitality industries. Visitors seek predictable services through credible brands. Technological advancement has significant impact on all types of industries. However, human touch is more prominent in hospitality industries and thus customer relation management has been more vital than in the past. Despite the all-pervasive globalization, the retreat to localization is getting momentum along with the struggle for identity and the growing concern and recognition of socioeconomic and cultural reality. That is why hospitality industry should blend global knowledge and local realities keeping this reality in mind while designing and operating hotels in the country. Globalization and the highly dynamic and transparent online environment of hospitality industry demand enhanced competitive strength through research, innovation and development. National Scenario of Tourism Development With magnificent natural beauty; rich culture, traditions and historical heritage and uniquely harmonized socio-cultural diversity, Nepal has a tremendous potentiality for tourism development. This sector has a potential to be an engine and dynamo for the Nepalese economy. However tourism development is still far below the expectations as it has yet to be able to attract sizable number of tourists throughout the world. While the pace of tourism development at the initial phase was commendable, the recent trend has not been found much encouraging. The growth in the number of tourist arrivals is also not consistent, it’s highly fluctuating. The number of tourist arrivals increased significantly

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with continuous growth till 1992. During 1990s it increased with minor fluctuations. However, it declined severely from 2000 to 2002 and remained almost constant with slight improvement during 2003-06. Nepal welcomed the highest number of tourists in 2007 with 526 thousand tourist arrivals. In 2008, the number of tourist arrivals declined by 4 percent (MoTCA 2009). The reason of this decline can be attributed to the frequent ‘Bandhas’ and transitional governance. The level of enthusiasm in the world community of the unique peace could not sustain long. However, compared to the decline of World tourist arrivals and the prevalence of external and compounding intervening factors of tourism development in the country, this scenario should not be regarded as much discouraging situation. Tourism is a major contributor to the Nepalese economy. Travel and tourism industry is expected to contribute directly 3 percent to GDP in 2008. The contribution of travel and tourism economy to Goss Domestic Product is estimated to be 6.8 percent. The percentages are higher than South Asian average and lower than the Worldwide average. Similarly, travel and tourism economy is estimated to contribute 5.3 percent (548000 jobs) of the total employment in the country. It generates 14.8 percent of total export earnings (WTTC 2008). However, Nepal lies almost at the bottom of the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 shows that Nepal is ranked in 118th position in 2009 Index which was 116th in 2008. The Travel & Tourism Indicators broadly grouped into three categories indicate that travel and tourism business environment and infrastructure is very low in Nepal despite the very competitive price in the travel and tourism industry (10th in rank). It lies at 120th position out of 133 countries. Tourism infrastructure is very poor with 1.1 score out of 7 scale. The indicator for hotel rooms ranks 116th position. Similar, is the situation with ICT which ranks 130 with a score of 1.5 points. Both ground and air transport are shown considerably weak with 2.3 score points (WEC 2009). The government has recently formulated a new tourism policy with a long term vision of developing Nepal as an attractive, pleasant, safe and unique destination in the global tourism map through conservation and promotion of natural, cultural, biological and human-made heritages of the country that would contribute in bringing out significant improvements in the living standards of the people through tourism activities with a substantial contribution towards national income by sustainable use of the national assets and heritages. Similarly the government has publicly announced its Tourism Vision 2020 with a clear vision of developing Nepal as an attractive, safe, exciting and unique destination through sustainable use of national assets and heritages. It has valued tourism as a major contributor to a sustainable development of the country that would contribute for attaining higher economic growth along with distributive justice and economic transformation. Similarly, the government has come out with more clear vision about the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders of tourism. Recently the government has become more proactive in developing tourism infrastructure in the country in line with the policy of tourism diversification. Moreover, the government has already initiated to commemorate Nepal Tourism Year 2011 with the objective of establishing Nepal as a premier holiday destination through collective efforts to regain Nepal’s image abroad, enhance national

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capabilities to cater the needs and expectations of domestic as well as the international tourists and to speed up the pace of infrastructure development as required by the tourism sector. It is expected that the national campaign would create an impetus for tourism development in the country. Hospitality is part and parcel of tourism industry and thus the situation of hospitality industry largely relies on the status of tourism development in the country. As per the statistics of Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, at present there are 669 star hotels with 13088 rooms and 26063 beds. The statistics is often questioned for its comprehensiveness and reliability. Neither the ministry nor the Hotel Association of Nepal has comprehensive and reliable database. However, it is a fact that no five star hotel has been established in the recent past rather some well known star hotels like Hotel Sherpa, Blue Bird Hotel, Hotel Yellow Pagoda and Hotel Kathmandu closed down. The government as well as the private sector should seriously study the reasons for closing down of such huge establishments. Nepalese hotel industry has completed a full cycle, experiencing both downswing and upswing periods. The industry was robust in the past. However, as tourism development was deteriorated by the political instability and the decade long violent conflict, hotel industry in Nepal suffered a lot during the period of crisis. The industry passed through the hardest time ever. Undercutting rates and fostering unhealthy competition was the biggest mistake in the history of the hotel industry that aggravated the situation. It was simply unsustainable and the customers used to question the reliability of the services at such a low rate. The hotels continue to suffer in the transition period with the increasing costs and undue pressure from unions. Revenue is decreasing but the unions are forcing the hotels to increase pay and facilities simply to gain popularity among the members and for some other political reasons. Hotels have been made a breeding ground of miscreants, misbehaviors and political battle field. People other than the hoteliers either could not grasp the particular characteristics and sensitivity of hotel industry or they simply ignore it. Hotels have to use costly generator even if there is only one guest or not at all. Forget about the size of initial investment, there are so many other operating costs that hotels have to bear during the period of crisis be it power crisis, political crisis or something else. Business environment is vital for the existence and growth of any industry. Whereas the global business environment has become very competitive and, sooner or later all the countries including Nepal have to compete with the global competitors on equal footings, we are yet to realize the essence of conducive business environment in the country and its potential impact on lives and living standards of the people. The new tourism policy has recognized the specific problems and constraints of hotel industry in Nepal and has duly made policy provisions to provide incentives, facilities and conducive environment to this service industry. By establishing tourism industry as a basic industry, the government has a policy to provide different facilities and concessions to the hotel industry. For this purpose hotel industry shall be classified as per the legal provisions, and the facilities shall be made available accordingly. The policy has encouraged foreign investment in tourism by introducing a provision of residential visa, as an honor, to the foreign investors and his/her dependent family members investing specific amount at a

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time in the tourism industry in Nepal, so long as the investment exists in the country. Services such as electricity and water supply required for tourism industry shall be provided with due priority. Arrangement shall be made to provide special facilities and concessions with due priority and as per the necessity to hotels, restaurants, resorts and other tourism enterprises established in the rural areas. A special relief package shall be provided to the tourism industry during the time of adverse business environment to let the industry run with due operational efficiency during such crisis. Similarly, the policy has clearly spelt on the arrangements to maintain harmonious and cordial labor relations in the industry. However, must of the provisions are indicative rather than specific and concrete that fully depends on other sectoral policies like industrial policy, trade and commerce policy and legal provisions corresponding to such policies. Thus, there is a challenge of getting these words converted into actions since such policy provisions remained largely ineffective in the past mainly due to the lack of proper coordination and due promptness on the part of policy implementers. Opportunities and Challenges The global demand for travel and tourism has provided unprecedented opportunities to the hospitality industry through out the World. Despite the global financial crisis and its overall impact on the World tourism as international tourism declined by 8 percent between January and April 2009 compared to the corresponding period last year mainly because of this crisis, both inbound and outbound tourism market in Asia has been expanded along with the increase in the number of middle class in the region (UNWTO 2009). A recent NTB publication shows that despite the overall decrease in tourist arrivals by 7.8 percent during January to May 2009 compared to that of last year, the number of tourist arrivals increased significantly from some Asian countries like Sri Lanka (19.7%), China (36.2%), Thailand (87.8%) and Singapore (65.1%). With the vast number of population, increased number of middle class, age-old religious and cultural ties with the fast growing neighboring countries and tremendous tourism development potentials backed with the repository of culture and nature and the recent policy initiatives, there is an ample avenue for tourism development in Nepal provided that it gears up its efforts to promote tourism in the Asian region. Similarly, the provisions of recently formulated tourism policy have projected the rays of hope for Nepalese hotel industry. However, a number of issues and challenges should be addressed to reap the benefits of tourism. The new trend in tourism and hospitality industry has raised a number of issues for the global tourism and hospitality industry all over the World. The global hospitality industry has to come up with international expansion to reach at the critical mass required for marketing success along with the common product and branding for predictable services. By virtue of its nature hospitality industry is influenced by other economic and social sectors and sub-sectors posing certain challenges to the industry. Some major issues and challenges faced by hospitality industry today are discussed in brief in this section. The global financial turmoil and economic slowdown originated from the US has spread through out the World as a global economic crisis. The crisis has hit hard to the entertainment and hospitality industry since entertainment, leisure and tourism are very vulnerable to economic uncertainty and volatility. During times of economic crisis people tend to save money rather

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than spending it in travel and tourism activities which involve optional expenses. According to a recent Smith Travel Research Publication, hotel industry demand through out the World decreased by 9 percent, room revenue fell by 24 percent and occupancy declined by 11.5 percent in June 2009 (www.hotelnews.com). Customers today are not only looking for quality goods and services but also the provision of memorable experience. Quality service is important but not sufficient. It needs to be unique and memorable. Thus creating customer value through innovation is the first and foremost challenge of hospitality industry today and in the days to come. Globalization itself is a challenge to this industry since it offers comparison and increases competition among the service providers. Attending the desired experiences of very individualized customer has become a tough challenge of this industry. Similarly, competition has tended the globalized industry to focus more on branding and positioning in the World market. Some scholars believe that globalization has also devastated the lives and lifestyles of indigenous people. Sustainable eco-initiative in tourism and hospitality industry has become a burning issue today. Eco-design of hotels, eco-green housekeeping, energy conservation, water resources management and other environmental considerations are some major issues of hospitality industry today. Similarly, climate change has posed a serious threat to the modern society and the hospitality industry cannot be aloof from these serious challenges. Considering the swift melting of Himalayas and glaciers and a range of other direct and indirect impacts on natural environment, it is likely that climate change will have very severe and far reaching impacts on Nepalese tourism and hospitality industry. The highly fragmented nature of Nepalese tourism and hospitality industries has hindered it to assess, identify and quantify the possible impacts of climate change on tourism, tourist destinations and tourist's perceptions. Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has posed serious challenges to the hospitality industries of developing countries like ours. General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) sets up a legal and operational framework for the gradual elimination of barriers to international trade in services. GATS makes it easier for large tourism and hospitality transnational companies (TNCs) to invest in the local tourism industries of the third world countries since they enjoy the same benefits as local tourism and hospitality industries. After certain time, in the case of Nepal 2010, large transnational hospitality industries, can create and operate branch offices in the third world countries. The agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) removes the requirement for foreign companies to utilize local input. On the other hand protection to the local tourism industry would be an unfair practice. Tourism policy can introduce no more limitations of foreign investment in tourism and hospitality industries today. Low level of human resource development in this industry is another pertinent issue especially in the case of Nepal. It is the human resource that put value to other resources. Similarly, competitiveness can be enhanced only through effective human resource development. Nepalese hospitality industry is still largely guided by traditional approaches, norms and behavior. Managership and ownership mostly remain in the same place. Similarly,

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there is a very close type recruitment practices in Nepalese hospitality industry posing serious challenges on retaining talents in the country and on the other hand facing deficiency of competent human resources in the industry. Excessive unionism is another serious challenge faced by Nepalese hospitality industry. Today, forced recruitment of unskilled manpower to sensitive positions under pressure to the management by trade unions and the unruly behavior of some of the staff have hampered overall operational efficiency and service delivery of hospitality industries. Of course, workers/staffs have a right to organize. This right should be exercised purely for the welfare of workers, management reforms and decent collective bargaining rather than any vested political interest. Similarly, justification of service charge is yet to be established since there is no significant difference in service delivery in terms of time, cost or quality. Issue of corporate social responsibility is also getting momentum these days. Nepalese hospitality industries are also facing the difficulty of low occupancy rates and thus causing heavy reliance on food and beverage services to sustain the industry. Similarly, in the absence of common code of conduct of hospitality industry there is unhealthy competition among the industries which was more evident during the crisis period. In the absence of database of demand and supply of human resource development there is quite mismatch in demand - supply dynamics in Nepalese hospitality industries. Likewise, research and development is virtually yet to be introduced in this field. Hotel industries including the Hotel Association of Nepal are often challenged for confining themselves within the boundaries of their hotels. Hospitality industry suffers from different unfortunate events, episodes and incidences from time to time whether it is September 11, Oil crises, Tsunami or Bird or Swine Flu. Recently, the hotel industries suffered a lot from an awkward situation created by the outbreak of Swine flu. Hotels would wish to put rigorous checks in place to wean out the flu suspects, the fact that they can not be hard to their guests. Similarly, given the rate of environmental degradation and the stress on unplanned and unfettered urbanization, it is possible that tourists may not like to stay in hotels in such poorly managed locations. Recommendations: Globalization has brought both opportunities and challenges to the hospitality industry through out the World. Opportunities are not spontaneous and very often take considerable time and efforts to realize the benefits whereas the challenges are immediate and by and large spontaneous. Therefore, the opportunities should be tapped for the benefit of Nepalese tourism and the image of the country whereas the challenges should be faced meticulously to prevent further difficult situation as well as address the difficulties. It is apparent that there is a myriad of challenges in front of the hospitality industry in Nepal. These challenges, if not addressed properly in time, might cause Nepalese hospitality industries especially the hotel industries severely marginalized. Ultimately that would hamper tourism development in the country. Against this back drop the following measures are suggested: a) As globalization has become a major force of international business, hospitality industry

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b)

c)

d)

e)

should understand the visible and underlying current and future trends of globalization and its impact on it and prepare itself accordingly to grab the opportunities and face challenges of globalized hospitality business. Hospitality industries unprepared for the opportunities and challenges are bound to be left behind. Therefore, hotel industries in Nepal should foresee the situation that hotels have already reached a point in which there is no other viable option than to enhance competitiveness, expand across national boundaries, reach the critical mass required for marketing success and benefit from the economies of scale that accompany such expansion and growth. Competition with the internationally oriented hotels is inevitable since there will hardly be any space and working measures to protect the domestic industries. Information technology is a major factor influencing economies of scale and operational efficiency as well as shaping the opportunities for hotel industries to organize themselves so as to address the need of very dynamic and transparent online business environment. Therefore, tourism and hospitality industries should update themselves in order to catch up ever changing information and communication technology which is getting smaller but with high and far-reaching effects. Nepal as a tourist destination should be made more competitive. Without developing Nepal as a competitive destination by improving the relatively low level of tourism competitiveness indicators as shown by the World Tourism Competitiveness Report, hotels alone can not gain competitiveness in the international market. Branding is also very important as it is expected to surpass location as deciding factor in hotel choices. Similarly, Nepalese tourism and hospitality industry have to exert every effort to enhance quality and competitiveness through customer engagement and personalized services, innovation and development of new products and services, adoption of information technology, concentration on the areas of comparative advantage and standardization, monitoring and continuous follow ups. Systems approach should be adopted in service management. Due attention should be paid to create customer value through innovation and dedicated service. The World class famous hotels' networking and personalized touch to the potential customers through email messages with details of their booking status, facilities and services may be quite interesting to the star hotels of Nepal. Nepal needs to amplify the richness of Nepali type tourism and hospitality recognizing the relativity of other places. We have to understand relativity of other places to enrich endogenous values not to abandon it. To this end, we have to seek every avenue to balance between modern technology and endogenous treasures that would produce standard quality service as well as unique personalized experiences to the guests. The government should encourage Nepali type of hospitality by providing incentives to the entrepreneurs. There is a need to specialize and develop expertise to strengthen Nepal’s strategic positioning in tourism and hospitality industry by establishing uniqueness in the hospitality services. On the other hand, we have to enhance quality by developing standards like trade skills, service, business and professional standards. Similarly, we need to formulate common code of conduct to promote fair competition among the industries. While

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f)

g)

h)

i)

j)

implementing these standards we should not abandon flexibility. Demographic characteristics and service segmentation are vital to balance service standards and flexibility. Similarly, we need to move far ahead to promote our brand, to form strategic alliances and to practice mergers as and when it is necessary to strengthen our industries in order to compete with foreign companies and industries. Responsible tourism and hospitality management has become a buzz word these days that demands considerable efforts and resources to realize in the real life situation. However, there is no alternative or place to maneuver this trend. Therefore, hospitality industry should adopt multi-pronged strategy in time with environmental considerations, equity considerations and diversification and sustainability considerations that would promote responsible hospitality management in the country. The hotel industry in Nepal should strive its best to enhance its image as child friendly, labor friendly and environment friendly hotel. Distance between the employers and employees should be narrowed down for maintaining harmonious relations between them that would provide an opportunity to the management and the staff to jointly move closer to the guests. In this connection, hotel industry, with modern outlook, positive thinking and friendly behavior, should seek political support in order to inculcate reasonable degree of rationalism and decency among the staff since they are seen highly influenced by political parties. Similarly, since staffing with necessary skills and capabilities to run the hotel industry in an international competitive business environment is the key challenge in front of the hotel industry, the industry should move ahead in forging effective partnership with the hotel management institutions in the country. The issue of melting Himalaya due to climate change has become a serious challenge for Nepal. Therefore, it requires integrated but swift actions on the part of the government and tourism stakeholders. Responding climate change requires two pronged strategy: adaptation to climate change and mitigation of climate change. Adaptation to climate change can be achieved through risk management plan, appropriate building structure, environment friendly hotel designs, proper treatment of sewage, awareness program and carbon trade. Similarly, mitigation measures include energy efficient buildings, awareness program, enforcement of environmental management system, use of renewable energy sources and tree plantation. Globalization has posed a serious threat to national tradition and culture. With the influence of global media the young generation is not much interested in national culture and tradition. Culture is vital for Nepal tourism. Therefore, tourism trade associations like Hotel Association of Nepal should make joint efforts on continuous basis to preserve age-old arts, culture and other national heritages. People should be made aware that culture may be linked with the identity of particular ethnic groups. However, it is a national asset and it is the responsibility of every citizen to promote and preserve national heritages with cultural and historical value. Nepal should be able to effectively communicate to the target market and based on the promises of product strength that it can actually deliver. Tourism promoters should constantly

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review the messages they are sending to the potential visitors. Therefore, destination marketing that is designed to influence visitor behavior including the type of products and activities they choose, times of the year they visit, types of accommodation they stay in and their expenditure patterns, should be jointly carried out by both the destination marketing organization, Nepal Tourism Board, and individual operators like hotels and travel and trekking agencies. In this connection hotel industries should be more proactive and extrovert in joining hands with Nepal Tourism Board and airlines and tour operators to fully reap the tourism benefits of tourism potentials of the country. Similarly, tourism marketing should focus on Nepal’s emerging tourism generating markets like China, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and the Gulf countries. k) Modern hospitality industries need to address transformational issues like the increasing importance of branding, demanding educated customers, shrinking but very influential information and communication technology that is being extensively used in hospitality industries and emerging new tourism markets varied with different needs and expectations. Therefore, hospitality industries should move strategically for survival and thriving. They should prepare strategic plans by foreseeing the trends and adopting appropriate strategies specific to the context and the country. Practice of alliances, franchising, management contracts, joint ventures, mergers and acquitions might be helpful in strengthening their position and competitiveness. Establishing networks and connection to the national, regional and international industries would contribute to accelerate innovation in this industry. l) Given the highly seasonable characteristics of Nepal’s tourism business, the hotel industries should adopt a two fold strategy of forging partnership with the major players and stakeholders of tourism business to reduce the impact of seasonality factor by promoting Nepal for all seasons and seek alternative use of its infrastructure during off season. This requires high degree of professionalism and entrepreneurship as well as effective partnerships and coordination among the tourism stakeholders. m) Tourism research should be geared up with joints efforts of the government, pioneer educational institutes like NATHM, trade associations like Hotel Association of Nepal and the national tourism organization Nepal Tourism Board to understand the needs, motivations and expectations of the potential visitors periodically and focus on the ideal visitors since the type of visitors make huge differences. In this connection, relationship especially between the educational institutions and hospitality industry should be managed, developed and nurtured so as to create a solid foundation for tourism and hospitality research in the country. Relationship management approach can be helpful in enhancing such relations. Similarly, a well functioning tourism information management system should be established as tourism research is constrained by the relatively weak tourism information system in the country.

Bibliography Angelo, R.M. and Andrew N. Vladimir. 2004. Hospitality Today: An Introduction. Michigan:

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American Hotel and Lodging Association. Cooper, Chris, Rebecca Shepherd and John Westlake. 1996. Educating the Educators in Tourism: A Manual of Tourism and Hospitality Education. United Kingdom: World Tourism Organization and University of Surrey. ILO. 2008. Global Employment Trends 2009. Geneva: International Labor Organization. ILO. 2008. Global Employment Trends for Women 2008. Geneva: International Labor Organization. Lockwood, A. and S. Medlik. 2001. Tourism and Hospitality, in the 21st century. Delhi: Butterworth Heinemann. Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation. 2009. Nepal Tourism Statistics 2008. Kathmandu: MoTCA. Powers, Tom and Clayton W. Barrows. 2003. Introduction to Management in the Hospitality Industry. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Sufi, Tahir. 2008. "Hospitality Industry: An Overview of Strategy, Structure and Globalization" in Journal of Hospitality Application & Research. Mesra Ranchi: Department of Hotel Management BIT. UNWTO, 2009. UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, Vol. 7, No 2, June 2009 (http:/ /www.unwto.org/facts/eng/pdf/barometer/UNWTO_Barom09_2_en_excerpt.pdf ) World Economic Forum, 2009. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009. Geneva: WEC World Travel & Tourism Council, 2008. The 2008 Travel & Tourism Economic Research: Nepal. United Kingdom: WTTC. www.hotelnews.com, access: August 22, 2009

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Visitors Attitude Towards Tourism Development in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP), Nepal
Rajiv Dahal
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Abstract Visitors are important stakeholders of the tourism development in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP) 1. Much of the economical activity in the region is out of such visitors`. Their action and attitude to a larger extent has contributed both positively and negatively in the region. Visitor`s motivation to travel in the region and the satisfaction out of such trips significantly contribute to the viability of the tourism in the region in the longer run, thus ensuring sustainable tourism development in the region. This paper is an outcome of the survey conducted in the SNP region in the year 2008. This paper attempts to assess the visitors’ attitude towards the state of tourism development in the region and identify the impending issues that threaten tourism development in the region. Keywords: Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, tourism development, visitor satisfaction Introduction Tourism, from its early days, has provided an alternative to the normal place of living which usually resulted in travel to the exotic and fragile places. Mountains have lured that kind of traveller from early days of Vedic Ages to this modern hi-tech age. Most of the rishis (sages) travelled to mountain in search of eternal soul, which had very character of mysticism, calmness and spirituality (Shrestha, 1995; Chauhan, 2004). Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, 2005) states that mountains are an oasis of spiritual calm and peace, where one can rediscover the simple pleasure of life. FAO (2005) highly characterises the importance of mountains to travellers worldwide, with more than 50 million tourists visiting such region every year. The main reason behind such travel owes to the clean environment and natural beauty of these areas. Mountains equally provide recreation opportunities along with the traditional lifestyle of the people residing in those areas. Though it provides alternative to the urbanised world, conversely, less has been done to tap the potential benefits out of tourism development in these region. Mountain areas cover a significant part of the world’s surface. Particularly, the mountains of Nepal and India often referred to as ‘Himalayas’ had and still have that sorts of mystic
* . , ,

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aura embedded in their vast diverse landscape and topography. Mountains cover about 39.3 million km2 (26.7%) of the Earth’s total land surface excluding mountainous areas in Antarctica and Greenland (Blyth, Groombridge, Lysenko, Miles and Newton, 2002). Similar comparison can be found in Table 1 (Kollmair, Gurung, Hurni and Maselli, 2005), which shows the proportion of protected areas in mountains and non-mountainous areas with respect to the total land surface of the Earth. Table1: Proportion of protected areas in mountains, 2005

Ae ra 1000 km2 Mutis onan 39,300 Non-mountains 107,600 T t ll n s r a e oa ad ufc 146,900 S u c :K l m i e a .( 0 5 ore olar t l 20)

% 2. 68 7. 32 100

Protected area in 2005 1000 km2 % 4490 2. 76 11,803 7. 24 16,293 100

Percentage protected%
1. 14 1. 10 1. 11

Similarly, about 10 per cent of the world’s population live in the mountains, while 40 percent occupy the watershed areas below them. Thus, half of the world’s people depend directly or indirectly on the mountains. Mountains provide water, energy, minerals, and forest and agricultural products and are areas of recreation. They also store the biological diversity necessary for the sustainability of human life. In this sense, it can be safely said that mountain environments are essential to the survival of global ecosystems (Challenge, Vision and Mandate, 2000). Mountain ecosystems are fragile (Sharma, 1998; Banskota, Papola and Richter, 2000). Biophysical condition of the mountain ascertains certain distinctive characteristics such as: higher degree of fragility, marginality, limited accessibility, diversity, specific niche resources/products, and specific human adaptation mechanisms (Jodha, 1997). The geological and geomorphic processes at work make mountain areas inherently unstable and prone to soil erosion, landslides and mass wasting (Sharma, 1998). In the same vein, Nepal and Chipeniuk (2005), while analysing the conceptual framework for mountain tourism states that improper and undeveloped infrastructure has resulted to the isolation of these mountain region and has created difficulty not only in accessing these areas, but cutting off the external linkages of these mountain economies. This physical and economic isolation has excluded the mountains and their populations from development, resulting in political and economic marginality (Sharma, 1998). Mountain people suffer from unemployment, poverty, poor health, and insufficient sanitation. In contrast to popular perceptions, however, some mountain areas have not only improved their economies radically, but they have also preserved their environments, biodiversity, and cultural heritage ("Fragile Mountain Ecosystems: The Hindu Kush Himalayas", 2000). Tourism is the fastest growing industry worldwide and in view of the development needs of the mountain economies of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region2, Sharma (1998) strongly opines that tourism is bound to grow. HKH countries use a diversity of

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approaches to tourism. In the context of Mountain tourism, Shrestha (1995) opines that, it has become prominent to its increasing significance throughout the world. On the outstanding attractions of the mountain environment with special reference to the Himalayas, Shrestha (1995) has stated that Mountains have a mystic aura, not only for explorers, scholars, and mountain climbers, but also for the general public. Nepal, for the most part, has encouraged ‘mass tourism’ mainly through private sector initiatives and largely remained demand driven (Sharma, 1998). Until the early half of the nineteenth century, the mountains of Nepal still had both the charm and challenges to be conquered. It was only after the historic ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in the 1953 that completely changed the pattern of travel to mountain areas thus showing a sign of mass tourism that was evident elsewhere. Now, people started travelling to mountain areas in search for alternatives from the usual 'hustle - bustle' living. This resulted in the greater concern for the impacts in the mountain areas ranging from littering, garbage problem to the acculturation of the local culture, furthering the complete transformation of the traditional local economy. These changes have made tourism as the only means of living in these Himalayas (Sharma, 1998). This research aims to assess the state of tourism development and identify the possibilities of developing ecotourism in the region. Tourism trend in the SNP Though mountaineering in the Everest region started in the early 1950s, it was not until the late 1960s that trekking tourism began to show steady growth. From a mere 20 trekkers in 1964, this area now sees more than 20,000 trekkers per year. During the peak season, tourists exceed the local population by a factor of five. Similarly, the number of lodges increased from 7 in 1973 to 17 in 1980, 74 in 1990, reaching 225 by the end of 1997 (Mattle, 1999, cited in Nepal, 2003). Total accommodation capacity in these lodges is close to 4000 beds per night. Lodging provides direct employment to some 757 persons, and at the height of the tourist season, more than 8000 potters may be employed. There has been a remarkable progress in the services and facilities available to trekkers and mountaineers (Nepal, 2003). Tourism development followed an upswing path in Khumbu as a result of two main events; one was the construction of Lukla airfield in 1964 and the other being the establishment of the first tourist lodges in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With the government’s decision in 1992 to allow private airlines to operate domestically, tourism development intensified, increasing in number of visitors and lodges. More medium sized and up-scale lodges were opened, while numerous tea-shops sprouted along the main trails, as well as specialized shops such as bakeries. The supply of uninterrupted electricity in 1995, which originated from a new power station at Thame, added a new dimension to the quality of life in several villages. By the late 1990s annual visitors in Khumbu numbered three times the local population (Nepal et. al., 2002). With regards to the type of tourism in the SNP, Rogers and Aitchison (1998) have distinguished 4 types of tourism, namely - general trekking; trekking-peak tourism;

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mountaineering; and cultural tourism. They note that the four are not mutually exclusive, but differ in terms of their significance and the issues that arise for resource managers. Regarding the effect of tourism development on the settlements and the resulting effect on the growing number of lodges along the trekking trails, Nepal et al. (2002) explain that tourism has brought about significant changes in settlements and housing and has led to the expansion of developed areas in the main tourist's destinations, a tendency which is especially visible in Khumbu. There are clear motives for people to abandon their houses in the center of the villages and construct more spacious buildings, usually lodges, on the periphery. This trend can be seen in villages like Namche Bazaar. Lodge construction has been propelled by the increasing number of individual trekkers, and above all, the high incomes tat can be generated by operating such establishments. The first lodge in Khumbu was constructed in 1971. By 1980, there were a total of 17 lodges in Khumbu, a figure which rose to 225 by 1997, representing a 13-fold increase between 1980 and 1997/98. Lodges have been built in more and more villages in Khumbu, for example, 12 villages had lodges in 1980 but 38 villages and settlements had them by 1997 (Nepal et. al, 2002). On a positive note, this has significantly improved the economical conditions of the locals mainly through employment, but so has intense competition. This has resulted in decrease in the profit out of such ventures to meet the growing competition. Even though tourism is remarkably well integrated into the local economy, its development has come at a price. Environmental and social changes have transformed the natural environment and the cultural heritage of the Great Himalaya regions. Income disparities – although not a new phenomenon – have increased in contemporary societies. The impact on forests is clearly felt in some locations, such as tourist centers and high altitude areas. Accumulations of garbage and trail degradation are additional impacts resulting from high visitor numbers (Nepal et. al., 2002). Methodology The remaining part of the paper reports on research that focused on tourist`s experiences of the tourism and the other developmental state at Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National park, Nepal. Survey questionnaire were administered to tourists to ascertain their views on the state of tourism development in the region. For the visitor survey structured, semistructured and unstructured interviews were used to get an insight into the visitor experience, reaction and opinion on the state of tourism and ecotourism in the region. Open-ended questions were incorporated so that participants could express their personal thoughts about the development and developmental needs of the region. Similarly, ‘closed’ and ‘Likert scale’ questions were used to collect data on: visitors’ demographics, choices and preferences of services, opinion on existing facilities and services; perceived role of governmental and non-governmental organization in the region. The data collected was statistically analyzed by utilizing SPSS Version 17 to complement respondents’ descriptions of their experiences. A total number of 250 tourists were handed the questionnaire along the trail to the Everest region. A response rate of 96% was achieved with the return of 240 valid questionnaires. The high response rate may be attributed to the continued presence of the researcher at the hotel or lodges. At times the tourists would take time to fill-out the

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questionnaire and hand over to the lodge owners. That could be the probable reason where 10 tourists did not submit the questionnaire to the researcher neither to the lodge owner. Few responded with loosing the questionnaire. There were few visitors who refused to participate usually declined because of time constraints or they preferred to trek rather than participate in survey. The survey responses provided depth of information related to respondents’ interest, intention and about the various facets of development in the region. Survey findings The survey findings include: trend of visitors flow to SNP; respondents’ demographic characteristics; their purpose of visit to SNP; analysis of trip pattern; respondents comments on park resources, existing products and services, state of infrastructures, role of governmental and non governmental organization and local population; respondent’s comments on state of nature conservation in the park; and the feedback and suggestions. The general trend in SNP shows that male visitors exceed the number of female. Similarly, this research also shows the same trend, where male visitors are by large predominant in SNP. The finding shows that out of total number of respondents (n = 240) the male percentage constituted to be 65.83 percent and the female to be 34.17 percent. Majority of the respondents were students representing 28 % of the total respondents, followed by consultants 3.8 %, mountain guides 2.5% and teachers with 2.5 %. The majority of the respondents reported to hold or are pursuing universities degree (undergraduate degree, Master degree and PhD), accounting for nearly 70.1 % of the total respondent. Most respondents were aged in their late 20s to late 50s (81.3%) and resided in Britain (17.1%), Germany (12.5%), Australia (11.7%), United States (8.3%), Canada (5.8%), Asia (12.1%). The average length of stay at SNP was found to be 16.52 days, and is similar to mode (14 days) and median (16 days). This is far higher than the national average, where the average length of stay in 2007 was recorded as 11.96 days (MoT, 2008). When asked about their starting point of their trek, 83.3% stated that they took the Lukla route, while 4.2% took the Jiri route and rest 7.5% took other routes, namely Phaplu. Important factors while choosing a holiday Respondents were asked to rank the five factors (destination, price, popularity, conservation interest, referrals) using the numbers 1 to 5 (where 1=most important and 5=least important). Majority of the respondents choose "destination" as most important factor (81.7%) while choosing a holiday, while least important factors (45.8%) was found to be "popularity" of the destination. "Price" was another important factor with 43.8% of the score. Surprisingly the factors those are very important for the sustenance of the region such as "conservation interests" and "referrals" received more on the less important scale, with scores of 42.1% and 38.3% respectively. Low ranking of "Conservation interests" factor should be of particular interest to people who have been vocal of the development of ecotourism and sustainable development in the region. In the absence of

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such conservation oriented tourists, the region possesses challenges of meeting the needs of the future tourists. This provides an opportunity to policy planners and park managers to adequately disseminate information about the vulnerability of the resources of the region and the conservation activities undertaken to mitigate such challenges. Probably this could enlighten those tourists upon the possible negative impacts that such tourists may bring about. This would at least serve as a "shot-gun" approach in mitigating such challenges brought about by tourism to the exotic, fragile and vulnerable natural resources the area possess. Also regarding the benefits one seeks on holiday, respondents were asked to rank factors using numbers 1to 7 in the order of importance. Majority of the respondents ranked "experiencing remote and unspoiled nature" to be the most important factor (30.4%), followed by "visiting uncrowded destinations" (25.0%) and "increasing confidence through challenging activities" (23.8%). Similarly, the most response for least important factor is "see unusual plants and animals" with responses counting for 22.1%. This could be probably because of the image of the destination. Many know this region because of Mt. Everest. Trekking and mountaineering activities with the Sherpa people have been the prime attractions for many tourists. Many are unaware of the existing flora and fauna of the region. This could be because of the too much focus on Mountain and Sherpa. Marketers need to package and disseminate about this so that people with this particular interest can travel to the region. Moreover, this segment is not much affected by the weather condition which is of main concern to mountaineers and trekkers. This would ultimately affect in reducing the challenge of seasonality. Analysis of Trip pattern Majority of the respondents were travelling first time (74.6%) to the SNP and the rest are the repeat visitors (14.2%). It was interesting to find that most of the respondents (89.2%) were highly satisfied with their trip to the region, while there were very few respondents (1.3%) who were dissatisfied with the trip. Similarly, most of the respondents said that they wanted to revisit the SNP: 89.2% wishing to return, while 2.5% were not interested to revisit the region. Purpose of visit People have different interests and tend to indulge in activities best suited to their recreation pursuit and maximize satisfaction out of it. With regards to the SNP region, primary motivation of travelers since the early days of the expedition and exploration has been the Everest and the Sherpa people living in the region. The research attempted to understand the motivations behind their travel to SNP, and the responses are as follows: 59.6 % solely for trekking; 17.9 % for mountaineering/expedition; 12.1% for observing local people and culture; and 7.9% for exploring flora and fauna. As anticipated majority of the respondent were there for trekking and mountaineering, but it can be seen that people and culture and the wildlife viewing are also getting relevant, particularly for the marketers and product developers.

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Travel arrangements Regarding the travel arrangements, visitors were asked if they travelled in group or individually, and also whether the trip was guided or not. It can be found that 43.3 % of the respondents had organized tea house trekking with a professional agency, followed by 24.6% indulging in Independent trekking without a guide, 20% had self arranged trekking with a guide, and 10.4% had organized camping trekking through a professional agency. The main concern for park managers and development could be the travelers travelling without a guide. In absence of the interpreter or guides, chances are higher where their activities would have an adverse effect on the local resources and people. Lack of able guidance and interpretation, chances are higher that the activities of the travelers go unnoticed, uncontrolled and not monitored. This could further lead to confrontation among the locals. Furthermore, there are cases of missing travelers, and also threat to their safety and security. Proper advice should be given to the travelers on this issue and the agency should convince such tourists to travel with the help of guide. This on the other hand will create employment opportunity for professional guides. One other major issue here is the use of camping. During the research, it was seen that camping trekking is getting unpopular these days. This is because of the availability of hotels or tea house along the trail. With the increase in tourist flow, it can be seen that most of the locals along the trails to the Everest Base camp and on the other routes are converting their home into hotels or building new ones to accommodate them. This on the one hand should be very important in economic terms, but what should be of great concern is the use of forest wood for development, or use of alien materials while building these entities. Also, with increasing affluence because of tourism, it can be seen that people are competing on building bigger and bigger entities. This clearly undermines the local traditional tools and technologies, and if seen from the pollution terms, this is creating more and more visual and architectural pollution in the region. This can be particularly seen in Namche Bazaar and Lukla. Opportunities of unhindered views have been threatened by such increasing settlements. Furthermore, this trend is closely associated with mass tourism, rather than ecotourism. This should be of particular concern to policy planners and park managers who find the conservation to be of satisfaction level at SNP, despite this fact of concrete build-ups and urbanization of once isolated regions. If the choice is to be made for sustainable tourism, then this should be controlled and measures should be formulated and adopted to control these developments. Purchase of trip to the SNP To better understand how the trips are organized, questions were asked on visitors’ travel arrangements. The results show that international agencies are playing important role in arranging trips to SNP (41.7%), but those organizing their trip through a Nepali agent are larger than through international agencies (47.9%). On an average, respondent stated that they spend around USD 1199.18 per person. This question got 73 responses only, many shied away stating that this is personal question and did not fill this out. Although, there were few who responded, many answered it vaguely, adding up even their international flight fare. Also, the question clearly asked to quote the figure in US$,

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many responded in different monetary notations. This could be because they did not want to answer it rightly. Those other than US$ were converted into US$. The spending on the trip to the Everest can be linked with the prices of the trip arrangements, airfare, and fooding and lodging expenses. With this respect, most of the respondents viewed that the price of the trip to SNP to be moderate (60.8%), while 19.2% respondent viewed the price of the trip to be expensive. 15.8% of the respondents viewed the price to be cheaper than other destination. Respondent’s feedback Questionnaire had several issues related to the park management and the state of the existing products and services. A Likert scale of 1 to 5 was used for this section of the questionnaire, where 1=very dissatisfied; 2=dissatisfied; 3=neither satisfied nor dissatisfied; 4=satisfied and 5=very satisfied. Data have been rearranged summarizing information collected. To facilitate the analysis, the scale of the evaluation has been reduced to three options. Responses on these issues are described below: Flight Frequency Flight frequency to the region is affected by the weather conditions and the number of fleets by the operators. Despite the fact that there are only few operators who operate on this route, 23.3% of the respondents were very satisfied with the flight frequency. Similarly, 35% of the respondents were satisfied, 24.2% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the flight frequency. On the other hand, 14.6% of the respondents were not satisfied with the flight frequency. Facilities at the airport (Domestic) Forty-seven percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with the facilities at the Kathmandu Airport. Only 13.4% of the respondents were satisfied with the facilities at the domestic airport in Kathmandu. Thirty-eight percent of the respondents were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the flight frequency. There are several reasons behind unsatisfied respondents, such as information on flight availability, information on weather conditions, inadequate facilities and services at airport. At many times, travelers are denied information about the flight availability when they have been waiting for hours since the early morning wee hours (at 6am in the morning) till mid day. The single source of information is the Television, which plays Nepali programs most of the times, occasionally the English News Broadcast by those Television station. Agony of the travelers can be easily understood over these issues. Researcher had witnessed this every time during the flight to Lukla for the field visit. Moreover, the airport staffs including the security staff have to be professional to deal with the situation, with politeness and dealing tourism as a sensitive issue rather than just any other commons travelling in the packed-busses in the cities. Tourists pay more than double in every flight they board, but the service they receive is not satisfactory, rather services are not provided at all. When the neighboring destinations are getting more

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and more professional to ripe the benefits tourism brings about, it is high time that all concerned took issues more seriously. This is a high time to think beyond the traditional concept of hospitality at villages or mountain regions or at specific tourism entities like hotels. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (responsible for the management of airports in Nepal) should focus more on this issue and move ahead with facilities and services up gradation at the domestic airport. The impression a tourist gets at the airport will last longer and creates good impression of Nepal. Similarly, majority of the respondents (52.9%) were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the facilities at the Lukla airport. There is a narrow difference (4.6%) between those who were satisfied (22.5%) and those who were unsatisfied (17.1%). The reason behind this could be the inadequate facilities at the airport, same as that of Kathmandu airport. Accommodation facilities and other services With regards to accommodation facilities and other services that of guides and porters, it was found that respondents were highly satisfied with the availability of rooms and the cleanliness and sanitation of such rooms. Similarly, most of the respondents were satisfied with the services provided by hotel staffs, guides, cooks and porters. The responses have been summarized in three categories of satisfied, dissatisfied and neither satisfied nor dissatisfied in the table 2. T b e2 Q a i ye a u t o o f c l t e a ds r i e al :ult vlain f aiiis n evcs F c l t e a ds r i e aiiis n evcs Aalblt o ros viaiiy f om C e n i e sa ds n t t o o r o s lalns n aiain f om Tie fclte olt aiiis Food and Beverages served S r i e o t eh t ls a f evcs f h oe tf H tw t rf c l t o ae aiiy H a i gf c l t etn aiiy L c t o o c m i gs t oain f apn ie G i es r i e ud evcs Co srie ok evcs Pre’ srie otrs evcs Quality of camping equipment Stsid aife 8. 80 7. 17 4. 25 4. 67 7. 92 3. 33 2. 75 1. 71 6. 96 5. 00 6. 46 2. 09 N i h rs t s i d ete aife n rd s a i f e o istsid 64 . 96 . 2. 75 2. 46 1. 17 4. 38 4. 08 4. 04 75 . 1. 83 29 . 2. 50 Dsaife istsid 56 .4 1. 58 2. 58 16 . 34 . 2. 08 2. 30 16 . 13 . 16 . 17 . 0

However, there are few aspects such as – toilet facilities, hot water facility, heating facilities which require immediate attentions. It is commendable to find the modern toilet facilities and the other facilities such as heating and hot water facilities, but it seems that tourists are not happy with the state of these facilities. Most of the hotels with heating and hot water facilities use solar energy for its operation. And in that altitude, which is

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characterized by extreme cold and uneven sunny days, the solar panel cannot store the heat required to meet the demands of the tourists. Since, tourists pay for these services; they are not convinced with the facilities they receive. The problem here could be short term monetary gains. Tourists usually opt for hot bath, since they see that being usually mentioned in the hotel premises or in the hoarding boards. Furthermore, upon enquiries, the people working at hotels say that tourists will get "hot" shower. In fact, they should be cautious in saying so, with giving due consideration on the weather condition. Also, in absence of nice sunshine, they tend to use firewood to heat the water, which takes a longer time to cater to the needs of tourists. This is one of the reasons behind tourists being dissatisfied with the state of hot water facility and heating facility. Also, it can be seen that responses on the "camping site" and the "quality of camping equipment" are few, because most of them stay in tea houses than camps. Those who responded were few, who are not sure of the facilities available, so choose to answer neutral (i.e. neither satisfied nor dissatisfied). Role of Government and non-governmental organizations It was found during the research that most of the respondents (more than 40% in each case) were "neither satisfied nor dissatisfied" with regards to the role of government and non-governmental organization. This could be because most of these organizations are not that active in the region, except the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC). People are aware of the role of this department, because they are there at the entry points to SNP where the permits of Tourists are checked and are made to those who don’t make it from Kathmandu. Also, at times the hoarding boards with maps of the parks or rule to be followed in the Park, heightens the role of DNPWC. Except these, not much can be seen done by these organizations. Responses have been presented in the table 3. Table 3:Role of Government and non-governmental organizations Organizations Mnsr o Tuim iity f ors Department of National Parks and Wllf Cnevto (NW) idie osrain DPC Department of Immigration Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) Stsid aife 2. 33 2. 59 2. 21 2. 92 2. 42 2. 21 N i h rs t s i d ete aife n rd s a i f e o istsid 4. 13 4. 33 4. 33 4. 13 4. 29 4. 25 Dsaife istsid 46 . 29 . 1. 05 42 . 17 . 21 .

Responses on infrastructure development and other issues Majority of the respondents are satisfied with the state of communication facilities, trail conditions, hospitality of local people, safety and security and authentic sights. These issues are very important for a destination to lure tourists. Improved communication facilities

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over the years have certainly contributed to the improved satisfaction of the tourists. These days the region is well connected by the modern telecommunication facilities like mobile networks, e-mail and internet. This gives tourists an opportunity to talk to their loved ones, and even continue their day to day work with the help of internet. This area is one of the safest regions in Nepal. This is a proof to the fact that despite the insurgency in Nepal for 10 years, there has been steady growth in the number of tourists in SNP. SNP region has been famous for two reasons, firstly because of Mount Everest and secondly to the Sherpa people residing in the region. These people are famous world over not only because of their climbing skills but equally because of the hospitality they show to their guests whether foreigner or anyone from Nepal. Hospitality has been part of their lifestyle, traditions and culture. Table 4 summarizes the infrastructure and other issues. Table 4: Responses on infrastructure development and other issues Infrastructure development Stsid aife and other issues C m u i a i nf c l t e omncto aiiis 3. 80 Hat/eia fclte elhmdcl aiiis 1. 33 T a lc n i i n ri odtos 8. 54 A a l b l t o d r c i ns g so t et a l viaiiy f ieto in n h ri 2. 54 Garbage disposal and waste 1. 83 management in the region H s i a i yo l c lp o l optlt f oa epe 8. 92 S f t a ds c r t aey n euiy 7. 63 M s u sa dc l u a a t a t o s uem n utrl trcin 4. 63 F s i a sa de e t etvl n vns 4. 04 C s o sa dt a i i n utm n rdtos 6. 88 Clua dsic rgo utrl itnt ein 6. 79 Tasotto/rfis rnpraintafc 4. 33 L c ls r i e a dp o u t b i ge p n i e oa evcs n rdcs en xesv 3. 17 Lte/abg itrGrae 2. 25 G r a eb n abg i 1. 34 Entrance fee to SNP being expensive 4. 26 I f r a i na a l b l t f rt u i t nomto viaiiy o orss 2. 80 N i h rs t s i d ete aife n rd s a i f e o istsid 4. 08 5. 50 58 . 3. 54 3. 00 63 . 1. 79 3. 96 3. 96 2. 04 2. 04 3. 08 3. 46 2. 25 3. 04 4. 33 4. 79 Dsaife istsid 1. 33 1. 50 46 . 3. 38 4. 84 33 . 17 . 33 . 13 . 08 . 0 1. 34 2. 09 4. 48 4. 50 37 . 1. 38

Although many of the services are considered by tourists to be highly satisfactory, there are few other issues like – medical and health facilities, availability of direction boards along the trails, availability of information to the tourists, litter, garbage, garbage bins, garbage and waste management in the region were of particular concern because of the low level of satisfaction amongst tourists. Health and medical facilities are the most important issues in the region. Tourists are not that concerned of the health issues because of the information available about the Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) at Namche and Pheriche. That is the reason why 55% of the respondents were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the health issues.

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With regards to litter, garbage and garbage bins, majority of the respondents (each of these items recorded more than 40% of the responses) stated that they were dissatisfied with these issues. These are relevant to the state of garbage and waste management in the region that could be one of the reasons where nearly 48.4% of the respondents stated that they were dissatisfied with the state of garbage and waste management. Other important issue that recorded low level of satisfaction is the availability of information to tourists and the direction signs along the trail (33.8%). Most of the tourists were unaware of the attractions besides Mt. Everest trek and about the Sherpas. Most of the tourists were unaware of the local festivals like Mani Rimdu and Dumje. Similarly, many were unaware of the flora and fauna in the region. Also, there are no direction sign with adequate information at many of the places. One such example could be seen at the information board situated in between the route to Everest Base Camp, Khumjung Valley and the Gokyo region. This board provides the information to Gokyo region to be 7 hours trek, but in fact it is a two days trek for visitors. This route is particularly vulnerable route than Everest Base Camp trail, because of the elevation one has to gain in just one day (more than 1000 meters has to be climbed in one day). This makes the area more vulnerable to the altitude sickness, for which this area is famously called as the "death valley". This kind of misinformation or no information at all does affect the level of satisfaction amongst the tourists. Respondent comments on state of nature conservation in the park Majority of the respondents (50.8%) opined the state of nature conservation in SNP to be in good condition, followed by 29.6% to be in fair condition. Six percent of the respondents found the nature conservation to be in excellent condition, while only three percent of the respondents viewed it to be in poor state. Conclusion This study has reported on the state of tourism and ecotourism development in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP) and provided analysis of a survey investigating tourists’ experiences of the region. Tourists are an important aspect of ecotourism development, their needs and demands usually shape the state of tourism in the region. Since the early days of tourism inception in the region, tourism development in the Everest region has been demand-driven rather than supply-driven. That is why it is important to look at the tourists’ perspective of tourism development. This research found out that many tourists are not aware of the consequence of the activities they undertake in this region, thus making them directly or indirectly responsible for many of the undue problems in the region, such as that of garbage, litters and drug abuses. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, tourists’ activities are largely unchecked or not monitored, thus no control over the activities they perform. Secondly, even if tourists are accompanied by guides, they depend upon these guides to take care of the results out of such activities. When these guides are themselves unaware of the do’s and don’ts, the adverse effect on the resources of the region is far reaching. It was found during this research that availability of information

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to tourists and guides could play a greater role in mitigating such undue effects out of their activities. Although it was found that majority of the tourists were highly satisfied with their trip to the SNP, there were few issues that needed immediate action. Some issues that were identified and that need immediate attentions are – medical and health facilities, availability of information, availability of direction boards along the trail, toilet facilities, hot water facilities, heating facilities, litter, garbage, garbage bins, garbage and waste management. Tourists were greatly dissatisfied with the above mentioned issues. Improving the above stated issues will not only better the tourists’ stay in the region, but equally benefit the locals residing in the region. Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP) has important ecosystems that are important to Nepal and to the whole world. The scant resources of the Everest region need urgent consideration from all stakeholders so that the resources are not spoiled and tourism remains a mainstay of the economy in the longer run. However, with the present state of tourism, it is highly improbable to preserve and conserve the natural and cultural resources of this region. That is why this researcher strongly argues the development and adoption of ecotourism model as an alternative to the present state of tourism so that the sustainable tourism development is ensured and its benefits could be shared among all concerned. Notes: 1 – The Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP) extends over 1150 km2 and lies in the northeastern highlands along the China-Nepal border. SNP region boasts with the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest (8,848m) and other mountains along with the hardy Sherpa people. 2 – The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, refers to a mountain chain extending over 3,500 km encompassing the mountain areas of parts or all of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan ("Fragile Mountain Ecosystems: The Hindu Kush Himalayas", 2000). Acknowledgments This research would not have been possible without the support from Fuji Xerox Kobayashi Setsutaro Memorial Fund. The author expresses sincere gratitude to the Fund officials for providing me this opportunity to conduct research. The researcher is greatly indebted to Supervisor Professor Malcolm J.M. Cooper, for his vision, inputs, suggestions, continued support and above all his tireless effort in editing my research work. Furthermore, the author wishes to thank the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation Officials and staffs (both at Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar, Nepal), Nepal Tourism Board, (R & D Director - Mr. Kashi Raj Bhandari), Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) staffs, Mr. Gyaneshwor Mahato for assisting and supporting this research.

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Correspondence Any correspondence should be directed to Rajiv Dahal, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu-shi, Oita-ken, Japan (r.connect@gmail.com). Bibliography Banskota, K., Papola, T.S., and Richter, J. (eds.) (2000). Development in Mountain Areas of South Asia - Issues and Options. In: Growth, poverty alleviation and sustainable resource management in the mountain areas of South Asia. Proceedings of the International Conference held from 31 January – 4 February 2000 in Kathmandu, Nepal. ICIMOD / Deutsche Stiftung fur internationale Entwicklung / Zentralstelle fur Ernahrung und Landwirtschaft, 590 pp. Blamey, R.K. (1997). Ecotourism: The Search for an Operational Definition. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 5 (2), 109–130. Blamey, R.K. (2001). Principles of Ecotourism. In: D. Weaver (eds), The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism. Oxon: CAB International, 688p. Blyth, S., Groombridge, B., Lysenko, I., Miles, L. and Newton, A. (2002). Mountain watch – environmental change and sustainable development in mountains. Cambridge: UNEP-WCMC; 2002. Briassoulis, H. and Straaten, J. V.D. (eds.) (1992). Tourism and the environment: regional, economic, cultural and policy issues. (Environment & assessment; v. 6). Edition: Rev. 2nd Edition. Publisher: Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2000. vi. 380p. Brower, B. (1991). Sherpa of Khumbu: people, livestock and landscape. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Buyers, A. (1987). A geological study of landscape change and man accelerated soil los: the case of Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Khumbu, Nepal. PhD Dissertation, Department of Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. Buyers, A. and Banskota, K. (1992). Environmental impacts of backcountry tourism on three sides of Everest. In: World Heritage Twenty Years Later. Gland: IUCN, pp.202-26. Ceballos-Lascuráin, H. (1993). The IUCN Ecotourism Consultancy Programme. México, DF. Challenges, Vision, and Mandate (2000). ICIMOD Annual Report 2000. Retrieved Dec. 5, 2006 from http://www.icimod.org/archive/icimod/ann_reports/2000Annual/2000ann.htm Chauhan, Y.S. (2004). Ecotourism in Nepal. New Delhi: Kalinga Publication, 240pp. Eagles, P.F.J., McCool, S.F. and Haynes, C.D. (2002). Sustainable tourism in protected areas: guidelines for planning and management. IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. xv+183pp.

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Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (2005). Mountain tourism: making it work for the poor. Retrieved July 20, 2009 from ftp://ftp.fao.org/paia/mnts/info/info_en.pdf Hambrey, M.J., Quincey, D.J., Glasser, N.F., Reynolds, J.M., Richardson, S.J. and Clemmens, S. (2009). Sedimentological, geomorphological and dynamic context of debris-mantled glaciers, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) region, Nepal. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28 (11), 1084-1084. Hvenegaard, G. (1994). Ecotourism: A status report and conceptual framework. Journal of Tourism Studies, 5(2), 24-35. Ives, J.D. and Messerli, B. (1990). The Himalaya Dilemma: reconciling development and conservation. London: Routledge/United Nations University. Jodha, N.S. (1997). Highland–Lowland Economic Linkages. Issues in Mountain Development 97/8. Kathmandu: ICIMOD. Kamal, Md. A. H. M. (2000). Ecotourism for local community development in the mountain areas – a study on the potentiality of ecotourism in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. The Netherlands: Intercultural Open University, Opeinde. Kollmair, M., Gurung, G.S., Haruni, K. and Maselli, D. (2005). Mountains: special places to be protected? An analysis of worldwide nature conservation efforts in mountains. International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management. Vol. 1. Pp. 181-189. Kunwar, R. R. (1999). Fire of Himal: an anthropological study of the Sherpas of Nepal Himalayan region. New Delhi: Nirala Publications, 314pp. MacLellan, L. R., Dieke, P.U.C. and Thapa, B.K. (2000). Mountain Tourism and Public Policy in Nepal. In: Tourism and Development in Mountain Regions, eds. P.M. Godde, M.F. Price and F.M. Zimmermann, pp173-197. Oxon: CAB International. Mathieson, A. and Wall, G. 1982. Tourism: economic, physical, and social impacts. Harlow, Essex, England: Longman/New York: Wiley. 208p Nepal, S.K. (1999). Tourism induced environmental changes in the Nepalese Himalaya: A comparative analysis of the Everest, Annapurna and Mustang regions. Ph.D. dissertation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Berne, Switzerland. Nepal, S.K. (2000). Tourism, national parks, and local communities. In: R.W. Butler and S. Boyd (eds), Tourism in National Parks: Issues and Implications. Chichester: John Wiley, pp. 73-94. Nepal, S.K. (2003). Tourism and the Environment-perspectives from the Nepal Himalaya. Nepal: Himal Books, 233pp. Nepal, S.K., Kohler, T. and Rudolf Banzhaf, B. (2002). Great Himalaya - Tourism and the Dynamics of Change in Nepal. Switzerland: Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, 92pp. Nepal, S.K. and Chipeniuk, R. (2005). Mountain tourism: toward a conceptual framework. Tourism Geographies, 7 (3), 313-333. Nepalnews.com, Tuesday, 19th May, 2009. 80 climbers scale Everest in a day. Retrieved on

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22th May’ 2009 from http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2009/may/may20/news06.php Rogers, C. (2007). The lure of Everest: getting to the bottom of tourism on top of the world. Kathmandu: Mandala Publications, 326pp. Rogers, P. (1997). Tourism, Development and Change in the Sagarmatha National Park and its Environs. Aberystwyth: University of Wales, 278pp. Rogers, P. and Aitchison, J. (1998). Towards Sustainable Tourism in the Everest Region of Nepal. Nepal: IUCN, 120 pp. Sharma, P. (1998). Environment, Culture, Economy, and Tourism: Dilemmas in the HinduKush-Himalayas. Issues in Mountain Development, 98 (3). Retrieved December 5, 2006 from http://www.icimod.org/archive/icimod/publications/imd/imd983.htm Sharma, P. R. (1995). Culture and Tourism: defining roles and relationships. Kathmandu: ICIMOD, 48 pp. Shrestha, T.B. (1995). Mountain Tourism and Environment in Nepal. Kathmandu: ICIMOD, 48 pp. Smith, V. (eds.) (1989). Hosts and guests: the anthropology of tourism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (2nd edition). Stevens, S.F. (1993). Claiming the High Ground: Sherpas, subsistence and Environmental Change in the Highest Himalaya. Berkeley: University of California Press, 537pp. Stevens S.F. (2003). Tourism and deforestation in the Mt. Everest region of Nepal. The Geographical Journal, 169 (3), 255-277. Thomlinson, E., & Getz, D. (1996). The question of scale in ecotourism: Case study of two small ecotour operators in the Mundo Maya region of Central America. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 4(4), 183-200. Watanabe, T., Ives, J.D. and Hammond, J.E. (1994). Rapid growth of a glacial lake in Khumbu Himal, Himalaya: Prospects for a catastrophic flood. Mountain Research and Development, 14 (4), pp. 329-340. Weaver, D.B. (eds.) (2001). The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism. Oxon: CAB International, 688p. Wight, P. A. (1993). Sustainable tourism: balancing economic, environmental and social goals within an ethical framework. Journal of Tourism Studies, 4, pp. 54-66.

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Book Review
Tika Nath Sharma *

Book Title: Opportunities and Challenges of Tourism Financing (A Study on Demand and Supply, Status, Structure, Composition, and Effectiveness of Tourism Financing in Nepal.) Author: Bishnu Prasad Gautam, MBA, Ph.D. Publisher: Dissertation.com, Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.A., 2008. Year of Publication: 2007 The fact that this book is published by Dissertation.com at Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.A., I can infer that it was a doctoral dissertation completed at an unnamed university. The Acknowledgement section of the book shows names of professors in the Faculty of Management Studies but does not indicate the name of the university. Perhaps, the name of the university would have been raised by the excellent academic exercise the author has produced. Written as a doctoral dissertation, the book is systematically organized in a research format in seven chapters, with the exception of Appendix. This reviewer was puzzled to read "see Appendix A.1, A.2", etc., many of them, but the book had not a single Appendix, thus confusing the reviewer. It would have been better not to refer to the Appendix in the book, which was probably omitted due to the length of the Appendices. Chapter 1 starts with the concept and scope of tourism in general and then the scope of tourism financing, which is the main theme of the research (now book). "Overview of the Nepalese economy" establishes the connection with tourism industry, its share in the Nepalese economy, reasons for slowdown during the last decade and quarter. The book goes on to clarify rationale and specifies 17 objectives of the study. Research Methodology is also summarized in Chapter 1. Both secondary and primary data were used in the study. The secondary data were collected from the publications of Nepal Rastra Bank, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal Tourism Board, and Central Bureau of Statistics. Primary data were collected by the author by using preliminary survey, interviews, and questionnaires distributed to a sample of tourism business enterprises, banks, and financial institutions. Compiled data were tabulated by using microcomputer software such as Microsoft Office Excel, SPSS for Windows and E-views. Primary data were analyzed by applying mathematical models such as ANOVA, t-Test, Phi-Coefficient and Chi-square.
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The main objective of the research (book) was to analyze the impact and effectiveness of tourism financing in Nepal, detailing its structure, status, pattern, and composition. In Chapter 2 Dr. Gautam reviews the literature on tourism and tourism financing. The established procedure of research is to review previous publications and to show relevance of information and data to your own research. The author has done that very well. On page 19, paragraph 3 he writes, "Despite of increasing importance, tourism has attracted relatively little attention in the literature in Nepalese perspective". Although saying a "little attention", the author has quoted numerous articles, books, speeches, studies, reports, and doctoral dissertations of Nepalese as well as foreign writers written from early 1960s to the time of his research undertaken in 2005. Based on Dr. Gautam’s literature review, Mr. Georges Lebrec, the French government’s advisor on foreign affairs seems to be the pioneer in Nepal’s tourism planning. Mr. Lebrec had visited Nepal in 1959, 1964, and 1966, recommending the establishment of Nepal Tourism Office as well as the preparation of tourism promotional materials such as posters, brochures, postage stamps, and documentary films to show Himalayan peaks, Flora and Fauna. No wonder why planned tourism had not started in Nepal until the 1980s. Statistics on foreign tourist arrivals in Nepal was recorded first in 1962 and then in 1970, 1980, 1985, 19990, and 1995. Only since 1995, foreign tourist arrivals were recorded and published every year. The doctoral study of Dr. Viet Burger conducted in 1978 was cited as the first and important academic research work in Nepal’s tourism. That study reported several features and benefits of tourism for Nepal. Among them were employment opportunity, income, foreign exchange earnings, seasonality, capital-intensive nature of the industry. A number of research findings, including doctoral level ones, have been reviewed in Chapter 2, showing growth patterns, problems, challenges, economic impact, opportunities, policies, and planning of tourism sector. Literature was also reviewed on tourism financing and investment. A study conducted by Oliver Bennett in 1991 showed that Nepal had very similar visitor numbers to Fiji, exceeding those of Sri Lanka but proportionately far below those of India. The study cited a number of reasons for Nepal’s weak performance. Among them were lack of hotel demands by domestic tourists, limited involvement of government, many hindrances for obtaining relevant permission by foreign investors, small budget for marketing tourism, the role of tourism department as "Controlling" rather than "supporting" agency, failure of Nepal to attract significant foreign investment, and Nepal’s dependency on foreign aid and its lack of share in the tourism infrastructure. Reviewing all the reviews of the book is not the purpose of this article. In Chapter 3 the author has given a profile of tourism industry in Nepal. From what the book author termed as "Ancient Tourism" through the landmark Master Plan of 1972 to the ups and downs of tourist arrivals up to 2004/05 have been displayed. Tourism products were created with photographs of key items such as Mountain Climbing, Trekking, Rafting, Jungle Safari, Bird-watching, and Mountain Flight.

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In the areas of tourism policies, plans, and programmes, the following reports were written: • General Plan for the Organization of Tourism in Nepal, 1959, by Georges Lebrec. • Nepal Tourism Master Plan, 1972 by joints Cooperation of Government of Germany and HMG Nepal. • Nepal Tourism Market Strategy, 1976-1981 by Joseph Edward Susnik, marketing advisor from Yugoslavia. • National Promotional Committee Report, 1983 by HMG Nepal. • Nepal Tourism Master Plan Review, 1984 by HMG Nepal. • Tourism Policy, 1995 by HMG Nepal • Second Tourism Infrastructure Development Project, 1995 by HMG Nepal • Tourism Sector Development Programme, 1997 by HMG Nepal. Although various policies, plans, and programmes were formulated through the years, very slow progress was evident in Nepal’s tourism sector. Nepal government institutionalized tourism by forming Department of Tourism in 1962, Ministry of Tourism in 1978, Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation in 1982, Tourism Council in 1992, Nepal Tourism Board in 1997, and Nepal Tourist Organization in 1998. As bewildered as I (the author of this paper) am, the trend of merging and separating various sectors in Nepal government’s Ministries seems to be a part of creating political positions for party members even at the present time. However, establishing Hotel Management and Training Centre in 1973 to prepare skilled manpower in tourism was a fantastic programme of HMG/Nepal. Renamed as "Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management" in 2004, this institution produced nearly 19,000 skilled manpower from 1984 to 2005. Tourism related business enterprises are operating mainly in the form of hotels and resorts (accommodation), travel agencies, trekking agencies, and rafting agencies. Starting with the democratic movement in 1990, the numbers of these tourism enterprises gradually grew over the years. Of these, hotels/resorts and travel agencies represent 70 percent of the total number. Despite formulation of various legislative acts related to tourism, Nepal was not able to develop long-term vision, planning, leadership in the tourism industry although some progress was evident. Chapter 4 is full of statistics concerning tourism financing, starting with the theoretical framework. The chapter is divided into two parts. Part one describes sources of tourism financing. The main sources of tourism financing in Nepal included government, foreign aid and loan assistance, commercial banks, financial institutions, and contractual saving organizations. The role of Nepal government is minimal, allocating only one percent of the budget for tourism development. Foreign aid and loan are important sources of finance for the development of Nepal in general but the allocation for tourism sector experienced ups and

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downs due to international and domestic situations, ranging from 2.5 percent of the total in 1979/80 to 21.8 Percent in 2003/04. Another tourism financing sources is commercial banks. Loans given to the tourism sector on an average represented only 1.1 percent of the total loans extended by commercial banks. The amount was less than that of foreign aid/loan for tourism. Nepal Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC) also played an important role by extending an average of 29.4 percent of its total loans to the hotel sector. Financial institutions played a nominal role in loan disbursement to the tourism sector. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an important financial source in many countries. In the case of Nepal, FDI environment could not be successful because of political instability, lack of incentives, lack of legal environment for foreign investors, and labour practices. Part Two of Chapter 4 displays an empirical analysis of tourism financing by applying simple linear regression analysis to show the relationship of foreign exchange earnings from tourism as independent variable to government internal revenue, tax revenue, trade volume, and gross domestic product as dependent variables. Findings suggested positive impact of foreign exchange earnings on most of the development indices. The coefficients were at 1 percent level of significance. Further analysis showed that tourism development had significant impact on GDP at nominal price, especially on economic growth of the country. Also, various sources of financing such as government, banks, and financial institutions, foreign aid/loan acting alone and in combination had significant impact on the growth of Nepal’s economy. Chapter 5 is an analysis of tourism investment financing based on the survey of tourism business enterprises. Data were collected distributed questionnaires from the following representative sample: Accommodations (hotels, resorts, lodges) ………………………………… 48 Travel agencies ……………………………………………………………. 28 Adventure agencies (trekking, mountaineering, rafting) ………………….. 38 Other businesses (curio shops, restaurants, cyber cafes, retail craft shops, retail garment shops) …………………………………. 16 Total ……………………………………………………………………….. 130 Three of these enterprises were public limited companies. A total of 107 (89%) enterprises were Nepalese and 13 (11%) were foreign owned (6 Indian, 2 Japanese, 2 Chinese, 1 Thai, and 1 Canadian, operating from 3 to 31 years. Types of equity financing were predominantly Nepalese promoters’ shares (82%), foreign direct investment (12%), and public issues (6%). There was a gradual increase in the private sector equity investment and satisfactory increase in public shares. Debt financing included loans from banks and financial institutions, comprising 96 percent of the total, and the other loan obtained from the informal sources (promoters, relatives, money lenders, etc.), comprising only 4 percent. The average composition of tourism financing between 2000 and 2005 was Capital

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Financing (30%), Debt financing (47.8%), and Financing of Current Assets (23%). The aggregate balance sheet of tourism business enterprises was presented in the book from the year 2000 to 2005. Borrowing constituted 54 percent of the total Liability, followed by Share Capital representing 33 percent. On the Assets side, Fixed Assets accounted for 82 percent compared with 16 percent Current Assets. It is natural that tourism enterprises obtained money from share capital as well as borrowing and invested in asset development such as buildings, cable cars, etc. Among the tourism business enterprises, Accommodation sector spent the most amount of money in Fixed Assets, showing an average increase of 27 percent per year. Dr. Gautam has simplified technical accounting terms into common person’s language by terming capital/liabilities as "sources of funds" and assets as "uses of funds". This is followed by detail analyses of "Sources and Uses of Funds classified by types of Tourism business enterprises, namely, namely Accommodation, Travel Agencies, Adventure Businesses, and Other Tourism Businesses. The presentation in tabular form is then statistically compared among various tourism business enterprises by employing ANOVA. The results were found to be significant at 5 percent level. In layman’s terms, this means that various enterprises differed in the size of sources and uses of funds. Additionally, t-Test analysis for Two Sample means was performed to compare sources and uses of funds. Comparing Accommodation with Travel, significant differences were found on all sources and uses of funds at 5 percent level. Significant differences were found in 24 of 36 comparisons between one tourism sector and another. The book author has compared sources and uses of funds among ownership types, namely, Proprietorship, Partnership, Private Limited, and Public Limited by applying ANOVA and t-Test. The overall results showed significant difference in the sources and uses of funds for a period of six years. Differences were also noted in the average amounts compared based on ownership as well as types of tourism businesses. Continuing on in Chapter 5, the book author presents and discusses the Essential Aspects of Financing based on the survey as: A. Financial Planning B. Cost of Capital C . Selection of Financing Sources Respondents on the Financial Planning indicated that 68 percent of the tourism organizations do their financial planning within the organization only while 29 percent of them do so both within and outside the organizations. Interest rates being the major factor in the cost of capital, the rates for accommodation sector declined from 13 percent in the year 2000 to 11.5 percent in 2005. It was interesting to note that rates of interest charged by lending institutions were higher for travel agencies, adventure agencies, and other tourism businesses than those charged for accommodation sector. The book author gives the reasons for this discrimination/favour as the ability of hotels and resorts to provide collateral for the loan.

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According to the survey, tourism businesses in Nepal are using various sources of financing their enterprises as internal, external, domestic, foreign, formal, and informal. In terms of operating performance, sales revenue of tourism businesses did not show impressive growth, registering even negative figures in 2002 and 2005. Tourists drastically decrease if there is a recession and if there is physical insecurity to travel. Profit margins provided by the respondents were in the negatives. This is an area in which a researcher can never receive accurate response. The book author examines various analyses used in accounting terms to determine the strengths and weaknesses of tourism businesses, such as ratios and capital turnovers. These were found to be generally on the weaker side. Respondents were asked if it was easy to raise equity capital and borrow money. The responses were mixed. The majority (65%) of tourism businesses did not receive loans as they had proposed. An overwhelming majority (88%) of those who received loans had utilized the loan while impact of the loan was average. The project dropout rate was only 18 percent, which was a good news. The most prominent reason for the project dropout was "Strikes and Bandha (closure). Only a small percentage (9.2%) of tourism projects had time and cost over-runs. Only one-third of tourism enterprises had other businesses to look after, hence, not able to pay full attention to their tourism enterprise. Nearly three-quarter of the enterprises surveyed had no immediate plans for further investment. Those who plan would raise funds from various sources. In terms to human resources, 72 percent of the tourism enterprises were found to be small with less than 30 employees, 30 percent of which had less than 10 employees. Sales per employee was the highest for travel agencies (Rs. 532,000) and the lowest for adventure agencies (Rs.112,000). Hotels and resorts had a disappointing sales figures of Rs.122,000 per employee but highest amount of assets per employee at Rs.735,000. In terms of labour relations, only a small number (17.5%) of surveyed enterprises had trade unions. Those who had reported to have excellent to average relations with the trade unions. Due to psychological factor, such a report from the management side is understandable. Problems of tourism enterprises in rank order as recalculated by this reviewer were: 1. Lack of promotion budget 2. Insufficient infrastructure 3. Lack of new products 4. Strikes and Bandhas (closure) 5. Lack of quality products 6. Lack of trained human resources Hindering factors for the development of tourism businesses were (recalculated by the reviewer):

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1. Cost of land and rent 2. Related service facility 3. Credit facility 4. Community attitude Of these, community attitude was not a very strong hindering factor. A Chi-square test proved the differences in the intensity of the four hindering factors. The final point covered in the survey of tourism enterprises was to determine the intensity of importance of factors affecting the development of business. The ranking of these factors as recalculated by this reviewer were: 1. Level of competition 2. Market potential 3. Business prospects 4. Availability of funds Chapter 6 is the analysis of survey of banks and financial institutions concerning their financial practices in general and in relation to the tourism sector. It was found that most of the banks and financial institutions used specific format for loan, requiring feasibility report or project proposal. For most of them, loan processing was not different for the tourism enterprises. From the point of view of the lending institutions, factors to consider in the credit proposal in the order of importance were: 1. Management of the company 2. Business prospect 3. Market position 4. Relation in the affiliated company 5. Labour relation 6. Collateral/security In order to determine the degree of importance between and among the above factors, Phi-Coefficient statistic was applied. Results indicated the relationship at 5 percent level of significance for the first three factors. Labour relation had significant relation with Affiliated Company but not with the other factors. For the lending institutions, cash flow and borrowers’ ability to pay were the most important factors to consider for offering credit, followed by profitability, capital structure, liquidity position, and working capital. Phi-Coefficient was used to determine the relationship of each variable with the other for various degrees of importance. Significant relationships were found between some variables but not between all of them. Concerning the effectiveness of tourism financing, repayment habit was found to be average for 71 percent of the borrowers and poor for 25 percent of them. Most (75%) of the lending institutions did not practice restructuring loan.

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The impact of loan to the tourism sector was considered by 57 percent of banks and financial institutions as "average" and by 29 percent of them as "poor". Chapter 7of the book presents summary of findings, conclusions, limitations, policy implications and suggestions. The book author hopes that the tourism business in Nepal in coming years will grow and that proper financing practices will be followed. He recommends for further research. Impression of the Book This book Opportunities and Challenges of Tourism Financing is one of the rare books on Nepal’s tourism, specializing in tourism financing. It is a common practice to publish articles based on Master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation in journals. Research abstracts are also published, but complete thesis are rarely published in a book form unless the writer himself does so. This book published by Dissertation.com and printed in the United States is in itself a proof of the value of the book. The book is systematically organized, well written, and covers plenty of facts and figures. Language errors are unnoticeable. The book is an excellent academic exercise. Practicality of the information depends upon the user. The strength of the book is its use of noted statistical analyses for proving differences, importance, and relevance between and among finance related variables. Such a use can establish confidence in an educated reader. This book is useful to tourism or finance students, teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, government policy makers, politicians, and interested readers alike if they can interpret the data. Full credit of the book goes to Dr. Bishnu P. Gautam to have disbursed the knowledge.

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Published by International School of Tourism and Hotel Management Dillibazaar, P.O.Box: 5196, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: 977 1 4434350, 4434185 Email: thegaze@ist.org.np Website: www.ist.org.np

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