16

=z
\tVe invite Network members to contribute to the Network Letter
NETWORK
by sharing their work, ideas and plans through these pages.
NEWS
Communication is vital to the life of a Network, especially when
I:' ii:;; ROUNDUP
phvsical distances cannot easily be bridged bv closer contacts.
Tourism, Environment and the Law, Bangalore Resources
About 25 delegates from various regions in India participated in EQUATIONS'
Searching for Alternative and Responsible Tourism in Hawai'j's Coastal Zone,
national workshop at the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, August
by Minerbi, Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism, East-l-lIest Center,
26-30, 1990. Anita Pleumarom represented the ECTWr, dnd made presentations
Nonolulu. May 1990. 16 pp.
on the Rappaport group's plans for massive tourism development at Tha
Chatchai, Phuket, Thailand. Other presentations were made on topics relevant Based on a 1988 research report, this paper examines community linkages of
to the workshop theme, including an excellent session led by lawyer Mario various forms of tourism enterprise, from resort enclaves, to community-based
Almeida froni Goa. Follow-up meetings have taken place already in Tamil Nadu models. It concludes that the state of Hawai'i must decrease its overdependence
dnd Karnataka. For a report (and copies of papers presented), write to on conventional tourism by adopting a formal policy for alternative and
EQUATIONS. responsible tourism, ensuring that local people, and not outsiders, benefit from
the industry.
Training Asian Tourism Activists, Thailand
The Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism is offering il4 week training Tourism in Cambodia: ACase Study, by Maya
course in March 1990 to activists from Asia-Pacific nations. Organised in Third World Tourism, PO Box 24, Chorakhebua/
collabQration with EQUATIONS and two alternative travel groups in Thailand, lanuary 199(2 98 pp.
the course will analyse tourism in its global socio-political context, impacts
the only report of its kind avai lable on Cambodian tourism, this case
on local people and re50urces, and strategie!'J of response and action. Write
into three chronological sections: historical aspects, the present
to ECTWT, PO Box 24, Chorakhebua, Bangkok 10230.
for future development. Maya Krell does an excellent job
of discussing tourism development, intricately woven into a sensitive
jnderstanding of Cambodia's recent and ravaged political past. Recommended
reading for everyone interested in tourism in Indo-china.
Camel Trophy Rally
Kovalam: Paradise lasH, by Christian Kamg ASA Study Report, India 1989/9(2
SInce 1979,1. Reynolds, the company manufacturing CAMEL
Berlin September 7990. 80 pp.
tobacco products, has been organising off-road' car rallies in
so-called virgin areas, especially in the Third World. Next year
Kamp undertook her study as part of a German scholarship scheme, ASA, with
(1991) it is planned in the Himalaya, coinciding with Visit India
the support of EQUATIONS in India, Her focus is on the social and economic
Year. The European partners ofTourism \\1th Insight have called impacts of international tourism in Kovalam, a beach resort in Kerala, South
for an international campaign against this rally. which merely India. Apart from providing empirical data based on interviews with both tourists
promotes the company and its unhealthy products. The rally
and locals, the report contains reflections of Kamp's insight into structures,
is an ecological threat stimulates male chauvinism (only men
problems and ohenomena connected with tourism.
can participate) and reinforces western stereotypes. Write to
EQUATiONS, or to Ludmilla fueling, Mittenwalderstr. 7, D-lOOO Annals ofTourism Research, Pergamon Press, Inc., Maxwell House, Fairview
Berlin 61, Germany. Park, Elmsford, NY 10523, USA. Quarterly, annual subscription US$ 740.
jafar Jafari (University of Wisconsin), Annals is an internc>tirm':l
multidisciplinary, social sciences journal. While striving for a balance
and application, Annals is dedicated to developing theoretical constructs,
Travel at Medium Level. JaRarta, Indonesia
focuses on academic perspectives from various disciplines. Free sample copy
The Centre for Development of Tourism at Atma Jaya Un iversity, in collaboration
available on request to the publisher.
vl/ith 3 other organisations, hosted an Asian workshop on Alternative Tourism
'at medium level: November 5-10, 1990. K. T. Suresh represented EQUATIONS,
Protest in Paradise,Centre for Development Education (ZE8), Gerokstr. 17,
on t\ Contextual View of Alternative Tourism'. An informal
0-7000 Stuttgart 1, Germany. Video-documentary, PALISECAM (NTSC on
Indonesian participants will function in future, with the objective
30 minutes.
examining in detail 'the developments and impacts of tourism'. Write to Dr.
Produced to coincide with the visit of JGF (Vigilant Goans Army) to ITS 1990
Gerard Bonang, Atma Jaya University, J1 n. Jenderal Sudirman 51, Jakarta 12930.
in Berlin, this video depicts the ecologicat socio-cultural and economic
Tourism and Racism, Hawai'j implications of tourism in Goa, and the protest against mass tourism since the
announcement of the Master Plan for Tourism in Mid-198?
The bth annual consultation of the North American Network on Ethical Travel
was held at Camp Mokuleia, Hawai'i, October 25-30, 1990. Monika Kircher­
Kc,hl represented TEN (Tourism European Network) and James Stark the
Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism. Cecil Rajendra, lawyer-poet from
Please note the correct numbers at which 10 contact us:
was invited to read his work on tourism, and Paul Gonsalves to discuss
Phone: 812·542313
control strategies, based on experiences in India. The consultation was
with the Hawai'i Council of Churches and the Hawai'i Ecumenical
Telex: 845-8600 esci IN (ATTN 007)
Coalition on Tourism. The deliberations raised several concerns featured in our Fax: 812·542627 (ATTN 020)
It',liI "torv thi, i<;'(!p (pil/',E" 101. For a report, write to Virginia
Cable: EQUATIONS BANGAlORE-560 038 INDIA
CRT/NANn; 2 Kensington Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960, USA.
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 96, H Colony, Indiranagar Stage I, Bangalore 560 038, INDIA.
Design and 73Jpesetting: Revisuality Iypesetting and Graphic Design, 4211 Lavelle Road, Bangalore, INDIA.
ALTERNATIVE NETWORK LETTER
A Third World Tourism Critique
For Private Circulation Only Vol. 6 NO.3 December 1990
n the fond hope that its promotional gimmickry will attract tourists and the
international travel trade, like lemmings to the sea, the Tourism
Krishna For The Masses
has declared 1991 as Visit India Year, supported by amdssive internatlonai
I
T
he Uttar Pradesh government's department of tourism and culture
campaign - India, the Destination of the Nineties. Is it, really?
has proposed several new schemes to develop the Vrajbhoomi
For one, we've got some competition: 1991 is also Visit Indonesia Year, as region of Mathura district into a 'heritage zone' for the promotion
well as the Year of African Tourism. The six ASEAN nations will be gearing up of what it terms'cultural tourism'.
for 1992, Visit ASEAN Year! With the kind of infrastructure and tourism­ "The concept of a heritage zone implies a strategy of local development
orientation that already exists in these countries, no prizes for guessing the based on the specificity of the situation instead of the application of
winner in the game of tourism numbers. generalised principles of urban planning," says a spokesman for the
lndian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Moreover, the socio-political turmoil in India over the past few months
and which is likely to continue through 1991 - is hardly conducive for attracting
"There is no truth higher than /VIe, 0 Dhananjaya
any but the most adventurous or foolhardy of travellers. Rahul Singh, in a recent
Everything rests upon me, as pearls are strung upon a thread,"
in the Indian Express, comments on the near-medieval dark ages scenario says Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita (7.7). Nowhere can this be
today in India, and wonders whether this indeed is what we wish to present seen more dearly than in Krishna's territory Vrajbhoomi.
to our 'honoured guests' from abroad. The Vrajbhoomi area extends along the river Yamuna for about
100 kms. stretching about 30 kms. inland from either bank. It falls in
And in the midst of all this, our political leaders are busy with their petty
the wen-defined 'trapezium zone' around the city of Agra, which consists
games. Governments changing hands, others toppling or barely surviving,
of 80 kms. of land which is banned from any kind of industrial production
officials and bureaucrats shunted to suit the needs of those who have just
so that pollution levels can be kept down. Close to Vrajbhoomi, the Taj
clambered on to the seats of power - endless and meaningless jugglery. The
Mahal shines amidst the arid topography and a swarm of villages like
metaphorical allusion to the 'dark ages' is not enough: we are further back in
a lotus immaculate in miasmic environs.
history, to the decline of Rome, with a vengeance. Our Neros do not merely
At first sight Mathura and Vrindavan appear just that - both
fiddle, they play musical chairs.
pestilentially dirty, with open drains and a thick scum of sewage flowing
While the immediate presents agrim and dismal picture, the long-term does
into the river along the famous ghats; people bathe in and even drink
not appear to hold much promise either. The road to socia! reform is a rocky
this water. Hordes of beggars and the blind and the maimed, squat
with empty bowls and flaunt their sores along the towns' narrow lanes.
m1Irm
Shrivelled old widows extend their hands for alms; young and pretty ones
Why Visit India?
gaze from dark window-grilles, doomed to a life of enforced seclusion
WJ
and hymn-singing, subsisting on daily rations (250 grams of rice, 25
and slippery one, as we have seen in the year just past. It is intimately grams of dal. and one rupee) donated by wealthy benefactors.
with a cultural resurgence that reeks of chauvinistic obscurantism. Efforts to Prosperous pundas and self-proclaimed guides inflict themselves on
bring about positive social change will be challenged by the status quo. Yet groups of uncertain pilgrims. In the local museum, exquisite heads of
not a voice is raised about the damage that is being done even nov\'. Buddha. dating back almost 2,000 years, contemplate gaudy blue and
green walls from under long, tranquil eyelids. Stagnant kunds and
In the name of 'development: several major projects have been initiated: the
sarovars, their surfaces green with algae, proliferate. Vrajbhoomi's 6,000
Narmada Valley dam is probably the best known for the opposition it has
temples, in various stages of disrepair are always crowded.
encountered. Nuclear plants at Kaiga and Koodangulam have been approved
But if the reality of the region's decay is irrefutable. the
despite public concern and protest. While they pose an obvious ecological
enveloping it are just as tangible for ordinary citizens, such as, the
threat - especially in view of the fact that no independent assessment of such
policemen controlling a midnight stampede in a temple during the Teej
projects is allowed - their human and social costs are incalculable.
festival, who felt this aSSignment was a reward for their good deeds in
Already tourist arrival statistics are on the decline. Since there is a
a previous birth; or the kajri singer whose lyrics describe how at the sight
trend towards 'socially' or 'ecologically-sensitive' travel in the West, it is
of distant raindouds. heart quivers in anticipation like a leaf in the
that more and more visitors will raise questions on the propriety of promoting
contd. olerleai
India as an attractive destination, given the situation that prevails. Our planners
should, moreover, realise a fundamental strategic point: the best method of
INSIDE
tourism promotion is the assurance of security and stability. Paying attention
Major Role for Private Sector ... ___ ............................. 3
to basic socicrpolitical issues and their resolution would yield greater dividends
India News and Views ... ...................................... 8, 9
than the massive investment involved in selling India.
Selling Hawaiian Culture....................................... 10
Paradbe in turmoil holds lillie allure.
Network News Round-up ..... .................................. 16
Paul Gonsalves
2
(·ontd. from page t
breeze. "Krishna is everywhere - in our own children. in the cows
scavenging in the gutter." they say.
Local people point tirelessly at landmarks. That is the jail where
Krishna was born; here he grazed his cattle; on this tree he hung the
clothes of bathing gopis; this is where he departed for Kansa's palace
on a chariot; Yashoda churned butter on those steps.
It is this religious heritage that will be maintained in the proposed
'heritage zone; to attract tourists who pass through, but do not stop, at
Vrajbhoomi on their way to Agra,
"Mentally, we have not accepted the idea that pilgrims are also
tourists," says INTACH's Martand Singh.
The peak pilgrim season is sawan-bhadon or late summer and
monsoon. The UP state department of tourism puts the 1986 estimate
of pilgrims at 37,15,548 and the 1989 estimate at 38,54,356, approxi­
mately, for Mathura and Vrindavan alone. If visitors to the rest of
Vrajbhoomi .are included, the number is roughly one crore. But they feel
that by 1996, 65 per cent of Vrindavan will be involved in pilgrim related
activities.
"Krishna doesn't have to be marketed to pilgrims, who come
motivated by shraddha, and expect few facilities:' says a spokesman for
INTACH. "But the 'highway tourist' has to be offered a hygienic and
stimulating package."
The question being debated today is whether Vrajbhoomi can take
a greater load on its infrastructure as a pilgrim spot. At present Mathura's
sewage, accommodation and transport facilities are strained to the limit.
This is most apparent at the 250-year-oldghats, slimy and crumbling
by the turbid river, into which raw sewage from 17 outlets in Mathura
and 13 in Vrindavan is dumped. Another source of pollution is the
massive sari-dyeing industry upstream.
"The parikrama marg (circumambulatory path) which pilgrims
traverse, often prostrating themselves all the way and anointing their
lips with its dust, is now a narrow maze of slush and garbage," says a
despairing Swami Sevak Sharan of the Vrindavan Swaroopotthan
Paribhavana.
"Less than 200 years ago the river flowed next to the ghats," says the
Swami. "There were 24 forests around Vrindavan and sadhus trekked
all the way to Govardhan through dense jungles. Deforestation began
about 80 years back. As a result the river is receding and silting 'L!p. And
as the town has no bridges, we have to wade or row through sewage to
cross over to the other side",
Mathura collects about Rs one crore and Vrindavan about Rs 67 lakhs
in toll money from vehicles going through the area every year. The
Vrajbhoomi Sangrakshan Evam Vikas Samiti suggested in 1985 that
this sum, along with the donation money from temples, be used for
conservation and developmental projects. But "the proposal was
opposed by the local nexus of seths and sahukars, the mahants in the
temples, and big industrial houses which maintain expensive ashrams
for their personal use."
Similarly an offer to clean up Vrindavan came from Sulabh Inter­
national, as part of an integrated sewage disposal plan. "But the Jal
Nigam got this plan vetoed," he points out. "Then they dug sporadically
for four years, supposedly for flush latrines to be given a base; they closed
down the local pumping station, and connected new houses to choked,
old sewers. Everything is filthy.
"Apart from the local pundas, who have become mercenary touts
instead of keepers of a holy tradition, pandits from other places who
have no knowledge of or relation to Vrajbhoomi's essentially rural
culture, have bought up land in the green belt."
There seems blatant enough proof then of an old and unspoilt culture
having passed away at Vrajbhoomi. In the Swami's view, "we need to
return to basic sources of energy, to indigenous technology_ We don't
need hotels and commercial entertainment. We can barely cope with
pilgrims - how can we cope with an influx of tourists?"
THE TIMES OF INDIA, August 8, 1990
'BANGKOK'
in Budapest
L
aszlo Voros, owner of a thriving new sex company called
Intermosaik, announced his plans at a packed news conference
where journalists were given pornographic magaZines and served
Hungarian champagne by topless waitresses.
"Human rights and democracy express themselves in the field of
sexuality as well," said Voros, just one day after Hungary's newly elected
parliament swore into office the country's first post-communist
government.
Was he trying to make the Hungarian capital into an East European
Bangkok, a popular destination for Western tourists seeking sexual thrills;
"Yes," he replied.
Pornography and brothels were banned under communist rule but the
sex business has boomed since the Communist Party abandoned Marxist
ideology last year and returned the country to Western-style politics.
Hard-core pornographic magazines are readily available, sex clubs are
springing up and candid adverts for sex partners are appearing in
newspapers for the first time. The Warsaw Pact's first sex shop opened in
Budapest last November.
Voros said he was ready to open two brothels with a total of 38 pros­
titutes as soon as the penal code was changed. He also plans 50 yellow
"sex taxis" driven by prostitutes. The women would drive customers to
a hotel or to their apartment for services costing 3.000 forints ($46) for
Hugarians or 200 marks ($120) for Westerners.
"Up to now foreigners has to search for sex partners here and were
exposed to the risk of Aids or other diseases." said Voros a plump 37-year­
old who said all his employees would be under medical control. "Nowthey
will be able to find a service without searching for it."
Voros suggested brothels would help save marriages. "If a worker has
a girlfriend he has to hire an apartment and then there is a divorce." he
said. "If there is a brothel it is no problem:'
THE NATION, May 26, 1990
Contd. from page 11
be extended the privilege of Thai entry fees to temples and
museums.
As the air gradually clears up, of course, either the tourists will
have to be required to run further or else the discount will have
to be reduced.
The energy crisis: Again, the answer is so simple, so low-tech in
this era of hitech soluti ons to everything that ails us, that no one
has thought of it till now. What we need are treadmills. That's
right - you remember those things that your hamsters used to
race along on incessantly wondering why, till it occurred to them
they could do it in the middle of the night and wake everybody
up?
You don't see it? Consider this: we're looking at up to 20 million
arrivals and departures annually. Let's say that every inter­
national airport in the country had just one big arrival treadmill
and another big departure treadmill. While passport officials and
such like had their way with the travellers, the travellers would
keep moving, which would be psychologically comforting,
creating the illusion at least that they were getting somewhere,
But the main point is this: the treadmills would be hooked up to
electricity generators. Properly organised. the torrent of tourists
would produce treadmill energy equivalent to all the power you'd
get from damming every river and drowning every forest in the
country,
Another likely place to install the treadmills would be in banks.
In fact. this would involve the whole population, not just tourists.
and given the time one often spends waiting in banks this one
source of energy alone could conceivably be sufficient that
Thailand would soon be a net exporter of electricity to
neighbouring countries.
Traffic: The jogger's discount aimed at air pollution must be
instituted immediately. Design and construction of the treadmills
for energy should be undertaken without delay. The final
solution to the traffic problem will take a little longer, though,
with more radical measures being called for.
First of all. cars must be altogether banned from the city. This
is bound to cause some initial outcry, of course; but citizens
should quickly realise there's not much difference between
sitting in your Benz at home and sitting in your Benz in the
middle of the Eternal Traffic Jam.
Once the cars are gone. every street will become a pedestrian
shopping mall, with this difference: when the tourist (or the local
shopper too, for that matter) walks, they won't go anywhere.
That's right; you guessed it - they will be on gigantic treadmills.
These treadmills will cause the shops to move by on roller
conveyors. You will stay in one place, window-shopping while you
tread along in the same spot. Naturally, you will also be able to
board a passing shop, if you have a mind to buy something.
Science fiction? Not at all. Sheer brilliance of vision and
economy of design, is what it is. Get this - properly geared to
the generators, the power from the street treadmills should not
only be sufficient to propel the shops, there will be surplus
megawatts to spare for the national grid.
So the solution to the traffic problem is in part the answer to
the national energy crisis as well. And the pollution problem
simply fades away, what with the absence of hydrocarbon
exhausts and the extra millions of organic vacuum cleaners
running around the place filtering the air.
The answers are at hand, then. It only remains to deliver them
15
to the concerned authorities and then sit back to await offical
honours and public adulation.
But I have been unable to contact any of these authorities on
the phone, since there seems to be something wrong with my
exchange, or with theirs. And driving there is out of the question,
since the traffic jam in my part of town is not expected to start
breaking up this season. if ever. I mailed a copy of the proposal
two weeks ago. but there's been no reply, and I wonder if they've
received it. I'd walk all the way across town. of course, given the
importance of the message. but unfortunately I have developed
a persistent bronchial ailment, and my doctor says it would be
death for me to spend longer than 10 minutes in the open.
This may be the last chance: if the right people don't read this
morning's Post, I fear my proposal will be too late to do any good.
by Ham fiske, BANGKOK POST, 9 December 1990
Spreading AIDS
An· estimated 4,000 prostitutes in Thailand are carrying the
AIDS (Acquired Immunity DefiCiency Syndrome) virus. and
could be infecting as many as 1,600 customers per day, reports
in Bangkok s a i d ~ The killer disease, which was almost unheard of
in Thailand before 1984, has spread rapidly in the past six years,
said the Health Ministry. A total of 23, 191 cases of people showing
symptoms of the HIV infection, which can·lead to AIDS, was
reported in 1990, the ministry said. AIDS-related diseaseshave
so far claimed 49 lives in Thailand while 200 people are suffering
from the so-called AIDS-Related. Complex {ARC}, the last stage
before full-blown AIDS.
INDIAN EXPRESS, NOVember 18, 1990
Tourism in Sri lanka
Tourism, dampened by years of civil war, is back again here and
hotel prices are rising accordingly.
The Sri Lanka Hotel Association raised its minimum five-star
rate on Saturday to $ 65. The new rate will be monitored by the
State Tourist Board and legislated by Parliament soon, it said.
To survive the lean years, hotels resorted to cut-throat
competition. Five-star hotel rooms cost $ 20 to 40 a day, making
them the cheapest in the region.
After several seasons of deserted palm-lined beaches and
empty hotels, the tourist trade is running 75 percent higher than
last year, said Tourist Board chairman Prema Fernando.
The last good year was in 1982 when more than 400,000
foreigners visited the Island and spent $ 125.8 million. Last year,
the figures were down to 182,000 and $ 75.6 million.
INDIAN EXPRESS, November 5, 1990
Anew paper by Emesto T. Rodrigues, The Crisis of Cultural
Ecolology: The State, the Nuclear Estate and the Luxury Tourism
Industry, Miriithu Publishing House, LDndon/Panaji, November
1990, is available from EQUATIONS.
Rs. 40 in India, 'US$5 elsewhere.
14
Pyongyang Woos Tourists
by Stuart Arnold
N
orth Korea, still one of the most secretive and enclosed countries in
Asia, is taking the first steps towards opening its frontiers to western
tourists. With debts to western banks of around $900 mi II ion, it sees
tourism as a way of obtaining greater amounts of foreign exchange.
In 1988,40,000 tourists visited the country, though most were in the dele­
gations from Eastern Europe. In the first half of last year 30,000 arrived and in
the second half numbers were swollen by attendance at the Wo'rld Student
Games.
More hotels are being built and transport facilities improved. Chae Hwa Sop,
Deputy Director-General of the State General Bureau of Tourism, says Korea
now has links with more than 200 tourist companies in 40 countries. Facilities
are to be developed "under the banner of friendship and peace:' He adds: "We
are happy to contact all countries including the'United States and Japan, but
we have a long way to go. At present we are in the primary school state:'
North Korea is bordered by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of
China. It remains cut off from the South by the 28th parallel at Panmunjom,
where in 1953 the armistice was signed ending the Korean War.
There have been hints that leading companies like Hyundai from South Korea
would be keen to sign joint venture agreements to develop tourism in the North,
but these have been denied by Pyongyang.
It is now possible to travel on an individual basis to Pyongyang and North
Korea certainly offers tourists original experiences. The capital, largely destroyed
in the Korean War, has been rebuilt as a well planned and attractively laid out
city.
Restrictions on private cars and scarcity of petrol means that the wide highways
remain comparatively clear. There is little pollution outside the industrial zones
and no graffiti, so often the scourge of western cities. There is an excellent,
inexpensive and advertisement-free metro system and a strong accent on
extravagant public buildings.
The impressive 150,000-seater stadium, built initially to attract­
unsuccessfully-some events of the 1988 Olympic Games, hosted the well­
attended World Youth Festival. Marble theatres that house the ci rcus and opera
take the breath away while each sport is staged in its own arena.
The attractive Folklore Museum shows customs of the Korean people from
primitive times. Modern historians will be interested in the Revolutionary
Museum and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum, depicting the
struggle during the 1950-1953 war.
Sadly the tourist will find himself rigidly programmed. He will be taken to
the Children's Palace of Culture, to Number One Department Store, and to the
obligatory impressive High School.
He will go to a cooperative farm visited by hundreDS of tourists before him,
but he will find it virtually impossible to talk - even through an interpreter
- to the average Korean in the street.
The country is isolated. Kim II Sung wall posters are everywhere. Unusual
for a communist state, it has already been decreed that his son - the "Dear
Comrade" Kim Dong II - will succeed him.
Outside Pyongyang the seaside resort and harbour of Wonsan has its
attractions, while at Nampo the tourist is left to wonder at the West Sea Barrage,
an eight-kilometre-Iong dam built across the lower reaches of the Taerlong River
which took 30,000 labourers over six years to build. Kaesong, a city iamous
for its ginseng, is only 12 kilometres from Panmunjom on the armistice linc.
The natural scenery is the most stimulating. The mountain areas of Mt Paekdu
in the north of the country and Mts Kumgang and Myohyang, closer to the cdpitClI
offer climbing, hiking and swimming opportullitip\ while ('xuding the real
atmosphere of this "Land of ,\1ornin;.;
The present National Development Plan, wh: l:ilti i!qq ). el( kll()V,'
ledges that greater investment must lw nwie (\\,' ;,tlJi( lur the development
of the tourist infrastructure. Chae HWd Dop thllt highwt1\:; \\'ill bl'
improved and new cableway projects will open up more of the mountain sites.
Yet he acknowledges that a whole new national tourism plan will first have
to be developed.
He says: "A new guide book will be published and we are increasing our
training programme. For example, ',600 interpreters are at present being trained
at our universities, and asimilar number of guides are leaming the trade. Almost
2,000 waiters have 'on the job' training courses in our hotels. It is a beginning:'
North Korea already has its first golf course - expensive even by Japanese
standards - and is taking its first tentative steps in the international conference
market.
It plans to extend its air links. At present there are direct flights only to Moscow,
East Berlin, Peking and Khabarovsk. Visa and entry restrictions are being eased.
North Korea is likely to remain a "speciality" destination, through hopeful
forecasts talk about 400,000 tourists as a realistic target by the year 2000. Kim
II Sung and his successor may find that anything like those numbers will bring
in far greater outside influences than he would wish, and may prove alien to
the regime. - GEMINI
Indochina benefits Thailand
I
ndochina is expected to playa major role in supporting Thailand as the
gateway for regional tourism over the next five years. This follows moves
by anumber of private companies to forge closer ties with the Indochinese
states to help strengthen the flow of tourists to Indochina via Bangkok.
Siam Bay and City Hotels Group general manager Hans Frutiger said tourism
in Thailand would continue to grow if the country served as the gateway to
Indochina.
Thai Airways International vice president marketing Nares Horvatanakul
recently announced that the airline would increase the number of flights
between Thailand and the Indochinese countries and would also add new flights
such as Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang in Laos.
Mr Frutiger said the trend towards Thailand serving as agateway did not mean
the local tourism industry would become dependent on Indochina's popularity
as hotel operators here are already openi ng up near to new attractions. He said
this would help extend tourists' stay here and offer them more places to visit.
Although there has been concern expressed about a possible oversupply of
hotel rooms in Bangkok, Mr Frutiger said the situation would not be too bad
as some new investors were expected to cancel their projects.
The Board of Investment earlier announced that " new hotel projects granted
promotional privileges had stili not placed investment guarantees with the Bol,
while still more had missed the guarantee deadline and lost their privileges.
The increased presence of a number of international hotel chains in Thailand
is expected to further promote the name ofThailand among potential tOUrists.
Mr Frutiger said an oversupply could be expected in the near future, but it
would not be too serious. He said experierK hoteliers and the international
chain properties would survive, but some new hotels and provincial properties
would experience difficulty.
New hotels are expected to experience problems recruiting experienced staff
and could also have weak marketing networks. The provincial hotels will face
similar problems, he said, as well as difficu(ties with poor infrastructure.
Siam Bay and City Hotels currently has two properties - Siam Bayshore and
Siam Bayview, both in Pattaya - and is building a propf'rtv ir Bangkok. The
one-billion-h,lht Ciiy Holel on Sri Ayutthaya Road will have its soft opening
on June 1 \ ... its two towers will orer': The Sri Ayutthaya Wing will
rrovide 2::(;,i !"i;!(', plus d full range iJt facilities including eight food
(lPcI "i":' 'I ,I

;:i 1. 1 ,:,\:

',i
i'lbi centre.
(."·:P("'u" I,) record 45 %occupancy in June and July,
pcak tourism He said the company
:<,,\',c
i
:di1;1buri and planned another in Hua Hin.
BANGKOK POST, May 9, 1990
3
Major Role for Private Sector
T
he recently released draft approach to the Eighth Five Year Plan
pronounces that circumstances are propitious for a rapid expan­
sion of tourism, perhaps in recognition of the exceptionally
good performance of the industry in recent years. This year could see
certain concrete policy measures being introduced for the industry, since
1991 has been designated as the Visit India Year.
The Eighth Plan approach paper pOints out that "tourism has demon­
strated its potential in contributing substantially to foreign exchange
earnings", and stresses that future expansion should be mainly through
the private sector.
Foreign exchange earnings through tourism showed a perceptible
increase in the Seventh Plan, after the relative stagnation of the Sixth
Plan. According to the Economic Survey (1989-90), the share of travel
receipts declined from 19.8 per cent in 1980-81 to 10.9 per cent in
1984-85, primarily due to the slow growth in tourist traffic. The share,
however, increased during the first three years of Seventh Plan, mainly
due to the increased foreign tourist inflow. The average annual growth
of foreign tourism during this period was nearly 11.7 per cent, as opposed
to the Planning Commission's estimate of a rate of growth of 7per cent.
Tourist arrivals (excluding nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh)
registered an increase of about 7.8 per cent between December 1988 and
December 1989, from 1,239,992 to around 1,337,232. Provisional
estimates indicate that foreign exchange earnings increased from Rs
2,103 crore in 1988·89, to around Rs 2,456 crore in 1989-90. Says Jayanta
SanyaJ, Additional director general, Department 9f Tourism "our strategy
would be not only to increase the rate of growth in terms of the number
of tourists, but more importantly, to maximise the rate of growth of
revenue per tourist".
While international tourism has made a significant contribution to
foreign exchange earnings, domestic tourism has also provided consid­
erable economic benefits. A study by the Ministry of Tourism (1987),
which highlighted the importance of domestic tourism, pOinted out that
this sector accounted for nearly 1.95 per cent of the national income and
1. 79 per cent of the total employment, as compared to figures of 0.25 and
0.31 respectively in the case oJ international tourism.
However, criticising the information gap in the tourism sector, the study
stated that the government does not have "any reliable estimate of the
total volume of domestic tourism traffic in the country. While the volume
and structure of domestic tourism are still to be determined, statistics on
tourism supplies and their utilisation are still unknown...the existing
information gap in the field of tourism has also resulted in the incomplete
or partial understanding of the sector, and the consequential errors in the
development strategies, and the identification of tourism with five-star
culture".
Due to definitional problems, there are varying estimates on the
number of tourists. The estimate made by the tourism department for
instance, indicates a tourist traffic (measured in terms of use of accomm­
odation units) of nearly 45 million in the current year. As against this,
another estimate indicates domestic traffic of nearly 360 million,
assuming that tourists account for 10 per cent of domestic airline and
railway traffic.
Although the state government.s have responded to the persistent
demands of the central government for instituting a regular system of data
collection, especially from accommodation establishments, offici aI
sources point out that the reliability of such data is yet t:J he
However, considering that massive investments would be forthcoming
from the private sector during the Eighth Plan, spokeSlllt'l1 from t1w
industry feel that it is imperative to create a sound data which in
turn, would help in assessing emerging demand patterns.
The encouragement of private sector investment was cited as one of the
major objectives for the tourism sector in the Seventh Plan. This was
reiterated in the report of the National Committee on Tourism (NCT).
While according greater responsibility to the private sector in terms of
some of the functions that have hitherto been performed by the state,
the NCT stated that "".it is neither necessary nor feasible for the state
to continue with large investments in the sector as before".
The response cf the state governments to the central government
directive to declare tourism as an industry has been encouraging. While
as many as 16 states and union territories have given tourism the status
of an industry, hoteliering has acquired the status of an industry in four
states.
Efforts are also being made to diversify tourism from conventional areas
like culture tourism, towards non-traditional areas like wildlife and
adventure tourism. beach tourism, convention tourism etc. Further, in a
bid to attract tourists, the government has initiated various measures.
which include among others development of special tourist circuits,
diversification of tourism resources, fiscal and monetary incentives for
attracting private investment, liberalisation of policies relating to air taxis
and strengthening of training dnd marketing efforts.
The response of the private sector in setting up hotel chains, according
to official sources, has been very encouraging. Foreign collaborations are
being s0ught. considering the capital-intensive nature of the industry.
The Taj group of hotels for instance. is seeking a tie-up with Club
Mediterranean of France for beach resorts, while the Oberoi group is
considering collaboration with Accor hotels of France for a chain of
hotels in the three star category. The Modi group and Mahindras are also
seeking tie-ups with Day's Inn (USA) and Mandarin Oriental group of
Hongkong.
I
n a recent announcement by the government, new approved hotels
set up in selected areas, would be exempted from expenditure tax for
a period of 10 years, and would be given 50 per cent exemption from
income tax subject to the condition that such projects would become
operational by 1993.
The industry is also seeking the abolition of expenditure tax in view of
the fact that hotels having a higher domestic tourist occupancy are being
adversely affected by these imposts. Some spokesmen point out that
expenditure tax can at least be confined to room sales without being app­
lied to food and beverages and every other source of income of the hotel.
Loan requirements for specialised needs ofthe tourism industry are
being met by the Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI). in line
with the recommendations of the N CT. The corporation has sanctioned
loans upto Rs 52.78 crore for 39 projects, of which Rs 12.76 crore (for 19
projects) have been disbursed upto the end of March 1990. Over 60
percent of the assistance has been for new projects, and the remainder
for expansion, renovation and expansion-cum-renovation.
Among the type of projects which have been financed. nearly 80
percent of assistance has been approved for hotels in the three-star and
Ii \"e'st af cateqof)('s. Next. in order of importance come the four-star hotels
followeo hv oil,::" projects like car rentals and amusement parks.
Thc, jwo\';ti the economic benefits that tourism
call oi!,"! c::t:irh to taken a pragmatic view as far as development
lor < concerned. As Sanyal aptly puts it "the new
P('tTi :-:,,, oi't(mri:'!l! area for percolating economic benefits to the
lp:;:, llt'\\ L,,·;ng increasingly recognised by the central and
st cll( qO\'Er:lr:;t'r:!:· 'h (is industry as a whole.
THE INDEPENDEN I, JUlle i7,. 1990
4
GOA: Tourism Decried
At a public meeting on 16th October organised by the JOf" (Vigilant
Goans Army), speakers from several village action groups narrated
their experiences in the face of five"star tourism. Resolutions moved
at the meeting demanded the scrapping of the Shendrem Beach
Resort, the Seema Agonda holeL Club Med Canacona, and one
by Lufthansa in Canacona. They also urged disinvestment from the
Leela Kempinski and Ramada hotels, compliance with demolition
orders, an immediate halt to international charter fliqhts to Goa, and
a call to the WTO to 'stop interferinq with Goa's
The JGF has also condemned the
lo allow the Flea Market to be re-started from November 21 st at Anjuna
beach. The market had been closed since April 1989 after several raids
by the Anti-Narcotics squad, the Customs and the Excise departments.
Its re-opening, according to the "GF, is a sell-out to the drug dealers
and other vested interests. Letters indicating support of the JGF
position should be mailed to the JGF, Liberty Apartments, Feira
Alta, MapQsa, 403507, Goa.
More Hotels for Goa
The Goa government has cleared 18 develooment oroiects for promotion of
tourism in Goa. The projects, cleared by
include nine beach resort projects, a fJlaygrour
and roads leading to beaches.
Falling within the 200 to 500 metres of the high-tide line and beyond, the
projects were cleared as per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of
environment and forests.
An official spokesperson said the projects were cleared at a committee
meeting held under the chairmanship of chief minister, Dr Luis Proto Barbosa.
Of the 18 projects approved, six fall under the government's purview and the
the
on the coastal belt both in north and south
Benaulim, Utorda and Varca.
TIMES OF INDIA, August 30, 1990
Co-inciding with 1991, Visit India Year, and in view of the severe
socio-economic problems confronting our country, several concer­
ned groups and individuals have come together and initiated a
nation-wide campaign on tourism issues. For further details write to:
The Coordinator
Indian Campaign on Tourism Issues
(ICTI)
Post Bag 13, Mapusa
Goa 403507
INDIA
Save Goa Campaign, U.K.
On the 23rd of March '90 at the Goan Overseas Association (GOA) Clubhouse,
in Beckenham, Kent, U.K. the "SAVE COA CAMPAIGN" was formed. Its main
stated aim is to protect Goa's unique environment for future generations and
to halt the devastation of Goa's coastal multinational
mmnln"" The CarnDaign hopes to mobilise opinion to support
Goa and the threatened Goan coastal communities.
be addre5sing the pattern of international tourism
of the "SAW GOA CAMPAIGN" Prof. Sergio Carvalho,
Convenor and Roland Martins, Secretary of the Goan Vigi lant Movement UGF
-- Jagrut Cocnkaranchi Fauz) out lined the mass destruction that is being caused
to ecology and social fabric by massive unplanlled tourism development.
They condemned plans to bui Id 35 luxury complexes along Goats entire 72 km.
beachline and the forcible displacement of ancestral coastal
highlighted the incalculable environmental, social and cultural
of the proposed tourism strategy to bring 8 million tourists to a
1.2 million inhabitants. Prof. Carvalho his grave concern over
increase of sodal problems in society such as AIDS,
IJrOSlil Ull 01 1 and drug abuse that are the direct result of mass tourism. He added
be a playground for the rich and GoallS playthings for the rich:'
condemned promotions by western holiday Companies that portray
where Westerners can procure easy sex and willing
wives.
Goa, as far as tourism is concerned is the only place on Earth where the nature
and structure of International Tourism is being qupstioned as well as actively
opposed. We see it as the first seed in a worldwide movement to preserve the
cultural and ecological diversity of our small and fragile planet against the
onslaught of powerful materialistic structures that are globali!:>ing ('" :mrnnrl;-,to
short-term
r"n,n:lliOnC to address
and minds of ordinary people everywhere. Issues
freedom, continuity and change. Uncertainties
over these issues are currently changing the face of the World's Body Politic
At a meeting of the SAVE GOA CAMPAIGN held in London on 28th April
'90 it was decided that volunteprs of SGC visit Goa this summer and get a first
hand position of the present situation in Goa. It was also decided that in the
autumn and winter months-Goa's peak tourist season-SGC will organise
lobbies and pickets of Holiday Companies and others involved in the
Environmental rape of this gentle coast and the dispossession of its hospitable
and toiling inhabitants.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chair of the SAVE GOA CAMPAIGN
Fernandes pointed out IGoa is an international Environment Resource like
Amazon or the Tasmanian wilderness, it is therefore an international
responsibility to protect Goa's Eco-system for the World especially at a time
our planet itself may be in peril: He welcomed the support given
to the campaign by the Goan Overseas Association (UK), Tourism Concern UK
and British Environmental groups.
SAVE GOA CAMPAIGN, 143D Oxforr! Road, London Nl ILR. Phone: (071) 7001763
5 million more
TI
e six ASEAN member countries hope to receive a mini­
mum of 22.5 million tourists by the end of 1992 - that's
five million more people than was earlier predicted.
The new projection will be Submitted for consideration to the
Sub-Committee on Tourism (SCOT) during the ASEAN Tourism
Forum 1990 (ATF '90)
The projected figure was arrived at and presented for the first
time, during ATF 1988 in Manila when the six countries
Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
- discussed the Visit ASEAN Year 1992 campaign following the
decision made by the ASEAN Summit in the same year.
But as the economic and tourism situations in Southeast Asia
and ASEAN are very favourable, tourist arrival figures have been
much larger than was earlier projected.
The projection has now been updated and revised. The latest
figures are 14.6 million in 1988(17%), 16.5 million in 1989(12%),
18.4 million in 1990 (11%), 20.3 million in 1991 (10%) and 22.5
million in 1992 (1O%).
Tourist arrivals in most ASEAN countries exceeded projections
in 1989. This was especially the case for Thailand, which was
visited by about 4.9 million people instead of the expected 3.9
million in the YAY's plan.
The new projection will be reported to SCOT's meeting when
the tourism governors of the six countries sit down for talks.
This is the first time that representatives of the ASEAN
Tourism Association (ASEANTA) will take part in the meeting
with SCOT. This follows the result of ATF's meeting in Singapore
last year,
YAY is not just aimed at promoting tourism in the region. It is
also involved in the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the
foundation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which
started in Bangkok.
The official announcement of YAY was made last year in Berlin
by tourism ministers from the Philippines and Thailand,
attending the International Tourism Exchange in Germany,
BANGKOK POST, January 9, 1990
of
S
ave Nilgiris Campaign (SNC) co-ordinator D. Venu­
gopal has said the heavy toll of lives and extensive
damage to property, soil and land in last month's
deluge in Nilgiris could have been greatly reduced had the
warnings of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) study
made after the 1978 floods been heeded.
He said deforestation and conversion of land for agri­
culture, tea plantations and residential purposes, which the
GSI study listed as the main reasons for landslides and soil
erosion in the Nilgiris, were allowed to be carried out at
an unprecedented pace without even the minimum
recommended precaution. Mr. Venugopal said ironically
the heavy downpour hardly helped in alleviating the acute
drinking water scarcity in the district as the reservoirs
were either silted up or in disuse.
DECCAN HERALD, November 16, 1990
13
Tourist Power
T
he land of Smiles is beaming away, on the whole, with 5.3
million tourists expected to spend 120 billion baht this
year, and a projected 20 million visitors - annually by the
end of the century no doubt leaving behind enough hard
currency to put a chicken in every pot and cover every square
metre of roaL ..lrface in Bangkok with a Benz.
The Thai economy is thriving, and these are happy times.
Though it has been noted in some quarters that 'infrastructure'
problems threaten.
For example, the fact that all of Bangkok is about to size up and
become one large fossilised traffic jam could tend to slow the rate
of national progress
At the same time, pollution has started to make window
shopping difficult, obscuring as it does all the lovely merchan­
dise; and eventually somebody's going to notice its' hard to enjoy
your Benzes when you're dead of a lung disease.
Another fly in the ointment is that currently there are insuffi­
cient energy resources to meet the demands of development.
And it seems that any attempt to correct the latter situation will
have catastrophic consequences for the natural environment.
Coal-fired generating stations cause too much air pollution. But
where the government proposes new dams for hydroelectric
power, the conservationists cry murder, whole forest ecologies
will be wiped out. And where the authorities then come back
with plans for nuclear power stations instead, everybody jumps
up and says this, too, will play havoc with the environment not
to mention increase taxes beside.
So what is to be done? It is surpriSing that no one seems to
have thought of one particularly elegant and inexpensive
solution to many of these difficulties. Harness the tourist.
In large part it has been the success of tourism promotion since
the Year of Tourism in 1987 which has both fueled the rest of
Thailand's economic surge and added to various attendant
horrors. So why not use the tourists themselves to set things
straight? What follows are only a few modest proposals, mere
indications of what might be done with this patently under­
exploited resource - the tourist.
Air pollution in Bangkok. It is high time that private sector
interests undertook some of the costs of restoring our environ­
ment. To this end, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT),
together with the National Environment Board (NEB) and the
Thai Hotels Association, ought to promote a new package for the
visitor-as part of it, all hotel guests who jog half an hour a day
in Lumpini Park or other designated areas should receive a 10%
discount on room rates. Part attendants will punch the room cards
of the joggers when they arrive and leave, while video cameras
will monitor the jogging tracks, alert for malingerers. The more
athletic among the hotel guests, those who can manage one
whole hour a day, will get a 30% room discount, while those who
use a special jogging lane marked off on Sukhumvit Road
between the hours of 7.00 a.m and 7-00 p.m will get a full 50%
off. Just think of it. Such elegance; such simplicity. Such is how
the inventor of the wheel must have felt when he (or she) saw
what he (or she) had done.
You don't see the point? Just think of it: millions and millions
of little vacuum cleaners panting away, day after day, their lungs
annually filtering hundreds of tons of toxic and otherwise
irritating wastes from Bangkok's air, taking all this gunk back
home to wherever they came from.
Eventually the discount system could cover local handicrafts
and restaurant meals as well. Truly dedicated joggers might even
Contd. on p,lgf' 15
12
Belize
Joseph King, IPS
C
oncerned about the apparently unplanned development of Islands and
Inland waterways here, the Government of Belize has announced steps
to improve the protection and preservation of its natural resources and
environment
In arecent policy statement in the Belize parliament, Deputy Prime Minister
and minister of industry and natural resources Florincio Marin said there'is cause
for concern over lithe rapid rate of growth and the potential for even further
development along our coastlands and cays (offshore Islets)".
Blessed by a political and social calm which contrasts with the social turmoil
and war which have plagued other Central American States, Belize has
experienced rapid expansion in recent years, particularly in Tourism.
Two International hotel chains have now moved into the Central American
Country. The U.s. Radisson Group has taken over the 76-room Fort George,
Belize's largest existing hotel, while another chain is scheduled to open its
100-room complex, The Ramada Royal Reef Hotel, later this year. Both are on
the Belizean mainland.
Numerous smaller resorts, fishing lodges and hotels have sprung up on several
of Belize's offshore islands or "cays", putting pressure on local residents and
fishermen, who use the cays as bases from which to fish for lobster, shrimp,
condi, crab and fish.
Belize's 282 km coastline bordering on the Caribbean Sea is protected by
the World's second largest barrier reef, which runs along the entire length of
the country. The reef provides a bounty for Belizean fishermen, who are
organized in cooperatives, the only business allowed to carry out commercial
fishing within the reef.
However, complaints voiced recently in Belize's major newspapers point to
a major conflict of interest between fishermen and the proprietors of privately
owned of leased cays.
The measures announced by the Belize government are aimed at ensuring
access to all beaches and riverbanks. The policy statement reveals that steps
will be taken to prevent the construction of permanent fixtures along all beaches
and waterways, including rivers.
In areas zoned for housing construction, all construction will have to be at
least 20 metres from the mean high-water mark, except in special cases such
as eroded beaches or very narrow strips of land where the minimum distance
from the waterline will be just over 6 metres.
The measures also seek to protect mangroves, beach lands and waterways
threatened by developers. The expansion of housing and construction here has
resulted in the reclamation of some mangrove swamps, which playa vital role
in the food and reproductive cycles of many marine species.
Belize's 335 cays are specially targetted in the new policy, under which a
moratorium has been placed on the lease or granting of titles for any
government-owned cays pending an adequate inventory of the islets, which
cover an area of some 809 square ki lometres.
A conservation and management committee has now been appointed to
determine if any of the cays need to be placed under the protection of Belize's
National Parks System, which restricts commercial development, hunting or
fishing in given areas.
The commission's attention will undoubtedly be focused on the Turneffe
Island Chain, agroup of islands and atolls just outside Belize's Barrier Reef which
have aroused the interest of developers who want to establish an Eco.:rourism
type resort there.
lilt is al ready obvious that the Tumeffe Islands, because of thei r terrai n, wildlife,
flora and fishing resour(es will require to be placed under the National Parks
Systems Act'; Marin told parliament.
"Development must be balanced with the major environmental factors if our
true objectives are to be achieved'; he said. •
Peking contests
F
ive months of contests for Peking's waiters, door attendants and
other tourist-industry workers to test their friendliness and
hospitality were announced by the China tourism.
But those providing poor service will be penalised by having their
photographs exhibited in public.
The competition's goal is to improve quality among the industry's
workers ahead of the influx of some 7,000 athletes and 100,000
tourists expected here for the Asian Games.
Peking wants "to testify to the world that, under the leadership of
the Chinese Communist Party, socialist China has the capacity to
host a grand international sports meeting," explained a brochure
distributed to the media.
Even tourists can get in on the action. Those who have had specially
printed cards rubber-stamped at eight main attractions - including
the Forbidden City and the Great Wall - can compete in a free
lottery.
Chinese bicycles would be awarded to first-prize winners and
cameras for second prizes, said another brochure.
The service-industry competitions from April-September will
award prizes and make the most courteous and hospitable waiters,
chambermaids and doorkeepers into examples for their peers in this
country, not known for its service.
There will also be awards for the best-decorated dining rooms, as
well as the best menus and most well-attended toilet facilities.
The tourism board also plans to hang thousands of banners on the
front of buildings and broadcast inspirational slogans from 20 cars
equipped with megaphones.
Meanwhile, staff employed by sports facilities have been primed
for many weeks on the niceties of English greetings and broad smiles,
according to the official press.
China has reopened air links between Tibet and neighbouring
Nepal in a welcome boost for tourism, the sole Western hotel
manager in the troubled regional capital of lliasa said. The route was
opened amid fanfare in 1987 but then suspended because of pro­
independence demonstrations and rioting in Lhasa.
Martial law, imposed in the city in March last year, is still in force.
A Royal Nepal Airlines jet brought more than 100 passengers into
the remote Himalayan region last Saturday on the first flight in the
scheduled weekly service. Air China will fly to Nepal's capital Kath­
mandu once a week.
"We think it might remain quiet this summer," Holiday Inn's
Austrian manager Hubert Liner said by telephone, referring to last
year's protests. "We expect a very good summer," he added.
The United Nations is also planning a tourism survey with a view
to attracting much-needed funds to the region's two million people.
Foreign tourists can now only travel to Tibet tn organised groups of
at least three people. This could be reduced to one this summer, Liner
said, but a guide and driver would still be compulsory.
Travellers in Lhasa last month said the city was tense. Four tanks
took up positions on March 3, in the central square outside the
Jokhang Temple, the most revered shrine in Tibet and the focus of
anti-Chinese protests in which scores of Tibetans have been shot dead
by security forces since 1987.
BANGKOK POST, April 4, 1990
(Toe: New Approach
N
ot very long ago, the word 'marketing' was alien to the public sector
Indian Tourism Development Corporation (iTDC). Indeed most people
may still think it is. "Put up with our shoddy service or go stay some
other pi ace;' was the attitude, admits a sen ior executive of the hotel company.
But times are changing now, or so it seems. Backed by an improved financial
performance last year, ITDC is all set to refurbish the hitherto in-famous image
of its hotel chain.
"Probably for the fi rst ti me, we at ITDC are seriously looki ng at factors such
as segmenting, positioning and a service oriented approach;' says R. K.
Lakshman, chai rman of ITDC. In fact, the decision to appoint the former deputy­
chairman of ITDC Ltd who has both a strong marketing background and
substantial experience in the hotel industry, via the Welcomgroup reflects the
government's intention to revamp the organisation.
According to Lakshman, ominous signals from the market place forced this
realisation upon them. For quite a while, competition has been hotting up in
the five-star category as well as the four and th ree-star segments. Th us, it became
imperative for ITDC to spruce up or keep losing a lucrative guest base. "No
dou'bt, ITDC's major task is to promote tourism but then;' as Lakshman poi nts
out, "promotion needs marketing skills and developing an image which will
click with potential guests': Ever since he took over in October 1988, Lakshman
has been aware of the need to evolve a new approach.
His first year in office has seen a concentration in the strengthening of the
financial performance of the organisation. Here he seems to have met with some
success. Post tax profits increased by 50 per cent to Rs.9 crore and foreign
exchange earnings crossed Rs.50 crore for the first time. Having achieved a
healthy bottomline, Lakshman feels that the time is now opportune to make
an attempt to compete effectively with the private sector chains like the Taj,
Oberoi and Welcomgroup.
Is this just another pie-in-the-sky or has ITDC chalked out its gameplan? The
first step in the new direction - regarded as a major one by the hotel industry
- has been finalising a collaboration with a well-known international chain.
ITDC has tied up with the Radisson group which operates more than 300
properties worldwide.
The Radisson tie-up will offerthree distinct advantages. "Since the group has
developed hospital ity into a fi ne art, ITDC will benefit immensely by imbibing
the service culture;' says asenior marketing executive of Hotel Ashok in Delhi.
Equally important is the fact that Radisson operates one of the largest travel
services in North America. Though, ITDC also runs the Ashok Tours and Travels,
it hasn't been doing so very successfully and the service quality, says an industry
insider, is abominable. By combining hospitality with a well networked
infrastructure of travel services for tourists, ITDC hopes to offer a complete
package. Besides, the expertise of Radisson in promoting beach and holiday
resorts will help ITDC expand its offer to customers.
Lakshman's plans do not stop with the Radisson tie-up. "Like the private sedor
chains, we will also offer promotional packages, additional services and
faci I ities;' he promises. But ITDC's strategy will differ from that of the private
sector chains in one significant way. While the latter are concentrating more
and more on the business traveller who provides the most money, ITDC will
continue to attract the tourist. "Of course, we will lure the corporate executive
- but for holidays:' says Lakshman. The geographical location of the ITDC hotels
is advantageous. Betting on this, last year, ITDC commissioned two properties
- in the three-star category at Puri and Pondicherry. There is also an ambitious
plan to complete revamp and throw 'Open the old Viceregal Lodge in Si mla to
tourists. Here too, the Radisson connection will no doubt be useful.
Since the primary focus has been to attract tourists. ITDC has also promoted
'India' restaurants overseas - mainly in the Soviet Union. "These restaurants
will provide the potential tourists a glimpse of what they can have in India;'
says Lakshman. In the years to come, ITDC plans to open a dozen odd
restaurants in the US and the Far East. In tandem with this will be an overseas
advertising campaign that will extend to both the print and electronic media.
contd. on page 7
5
End up like Mongolia
by Neil Fleming
The mother cheetah was out in the open with her three cubs when the first
tourist bus came up out of the plains. She swung her head in the delicate
cheetah's way, eyed the noisy dusty intruder and decided to stay put.
Within minutes, spotted by a fellow tour driver, the first bus had been joined
by a second, crammed with tourists eager to point and click their cameras. A
third, fourth and fifth bus arrived, so the story goes, and the mother cheetah
found herself surrounded. Nervous now, she considered the options and
decided the cubs must be moved to safety. They were very young.
She took the fi rst one in her teeth and, as the shutters whi rred, carried it to
safety through the encircling wagons. She put it down, turned, went back for
another, and as she did so an eagle dropped out of a clear sky, snatched the
first cub in its talons and was gone.
The cheetah paused, bewildered and angry. Then she went back into the
circle and killed both remaining cubs in her frustration.
In 1988, Kenya earned $15 million from tourism, an increase of 19.5 per cent
over 1987. That yearfor the first time, more than 1 million people, tourists and
locals, entered the country's game parks.
Tourism is Kenya's largest foreign exchange earner, accounting for about 17.5
per cent of the plus side of the trade balance sheet.
About 890,000 people will come from Western Europe, Japan and the United
States this year, the government projects, and it hopes there will be 1.1 million
visitors by 1993.
But will there?
"A continent ages quickly once we come;' wrote Ernest Hemingway in The
Green Hills ofAfrica, his 1935 big game hunting classic. 'We are the intruders
and after we are dead we may have ruined it but it will still be there and we
don't know what the next changes are. I suppose they all end up like Mortgolia:'
The "next changes;' unimaginable to Hemingway, shooting his lions and
rhinos with innocent abandon, were among the most dramatic examples of
natural destruction by man. In the two decades since the first Earth Day in 1970
focused attention on saving the planet, few areas have been so spoiled as the
great game parks of East Africa.
Tourism, poaching, agriculture, population and pollution have combined to
turn many of the green hills into dusty, empty wastelands. Only in the very recent
past have governments woken up to the fact that the old Eden is gone, and
Mongolia is just around the corner. Rescue attempts may be too late.
In Amboseli Park, 160 kms south of Nairobi, there is almost nothing left.
Tourist vehicles by the thousand have churned once fertile land into mud, the
mud has dried and the wind has blown it over everything, killing the vegetation,
wrecking the food chain and driving the animals to seek refuge elsewhere.
But there is nowhere for them to go. In 1948, Kenya's population was 5.4
million. In 1979 it was 15.33 million. In 1988 it was 22.7 million, and by 1993,
according to government projections, it will be at least 27 million.
For 10 years, the borders of the game parks have been front lines, the scene
of a desperate bid by wildlife authorities to prevent the encroachment of
herdsmen, snare-setters, firewood gatherers, savannah burners, people whose
crops have been damaged by grazing gazelles or those who brazenly plough
up areas designated as reserves.
Today the fight extends outside the 25,334 square kilometres of the parks,
as overpopulation pollutes and denudes surrounding environments in the
struggle for land, food and fuel.
'We have a 2,000-square kilometre catchment area here:' says Alfred Mayoli,
chief warden at Lake Nakuru National Park, afragile ecosystem in the Rift Valley.
It's home to 1 million flamingos, 20 black rhinoceroses, 80 to 100 leopards
and thousands of buffaloes. "But people have taken all the trees around the
park and now we have gullies, erosion, pesticides and sewage flowing into the
park;' he says.
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, Nairobi
6
Alternative Tourism Debate
S
ince Chiang Mai, 1984 a wide range of groups like the critics of tourism,
NGOs' commercial tour operators and even the World Tourism Organi­
sation have shown increasing interest in various forms of Alternative
Tourism. The"number of directories and guide books etc. published are
testimony to the viability of Alternative Tourism.
Despite this we are still faced with the problem of rapidly growing mass
tourism. According to conservative estimates there will be 600 million tourists
by 2000'AD increasingly travelling to the Third World. It is likely that many
of them will be 'alternative tourists'.
Alternative Tourism stands in the problematic position of becoming
another sector or segment of the mass tourism market. In fact the interest of
the established tourism industry in Alternative Tourism is an indication of this
trend. As such even those involved in Alternative Tourism from a Third World
perspective are likely to be co-opted by the industry leaving them powerless,
while the basic issues in tourism remain unconfronted.
It would be illusory to believe that by our practical involvement in Alternative
Tourism alone, we are able to influence tourism trends, much less minimise
the negative effects of mass tourism. It would be far better to go through aprocess
of soul-searching so as to bring changes in the face of World tourism. Mere
self-satisfaction in our efforts in Alternative Tourism is obviously insufficient.
At EQUATIONS we believe that both in global and national contexts our task
is to question and bring pressure upon tourism trends. Our response to the
challenge to tourism is that it requires nothing less than apolitical and economic
reorganisation of the industry towards democratisation.
Obviously, this is no easy task given the prevailing socio-economic realities
of most Th ird World societies. For tourism to change, its structural context must
also undergo a basic change. Such changes do appear to be taking place in
some of our countries and they are to be welcomed.
The process of change is not always smooth; on the contrary it is often painful
and traumatic. It demands tremendous amounts of energy, often at great cost,
from those who initiate and are involved in the processes of change. Are we
to meet the challenge?
Ex.tract from a paper by K. T. Sur6h, at the workshop on Travel at Medium Budget, at
Jakarta, November 1990)
/.
JGoT YooR JJRVING
A WJNDERFUL liME
- WISH YOU WERE
.•
So HERE
lAM!

letter to Equations
Dear Sir,
I have been in touch with anumber of NCO's, environment groups and organisations
specialising in lobbying and awareness building functions for grassroot protest groups
in North and Central India. The negative aspects of tourisms' 'modus operandi' in
India does not seem to be an important issue within their present curriculum. While
and EQUATIONS on the dedicated work done in
stronger a(tion must be olanned now
can see the issue on 'negative tourism' in context to India being counteracted
on three fronts:
1. Lobbying and direct confrontation with planners and executors through media
support, NCO solidarity and research study.
2. Holding of regular workshops specially in those areas that faced the burden of
mass tourism and involving in them awider spectrum of the population.
3. Working towards creating aviable alternative so as to counteract the 'foreign
exchange' bug that justifies every adverse effect of tourism development.
I know from experience how difficult it has been for VENTURE TOURS to gain
financial stability while pursuing an ideal. Very often we have had to reluctantly
use the corporales and international affiliated organisations (specially transporters)
in out-lying areas and other cities most often at exhorbitant prices. To provide
meaningful tours we have to conduct our own research studies cutbng substantially
into our meagre profit margins. The Department ofTourism has categorically refused
our recognition application based on our solidarity support to the Narmada Dams
issue which they say is anti-tourism.
The first step in prwiding aviable alternative is to build astrong network of support
companies with like minded ideals throughout India. We must work towards training
these individuals and companies within the framework of our thought and working
structures. The function of EQUATIONS is not only to work towards creating an
awareness on anti-development issues governing tourism but to work simultaneously
introducing the concept of t\lternative Tourism' to individuals and companies
in your newsletter covering this
Michael Cordeiro, Venture Tours (India)
E-36, Jangpura Extension, New Delhi-l100l4 (India)
11
Boost to Kerala
The tourism scene in Kerala ie; in a for asea change with a multi-crore waterfront
hotel here marking the shift to the big sell strategy.
The hotel is part of a series of ambitious schemes of the "Tourist Resorts
the latest subsidiary of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC),
which so far seemed to rely on the "small is beautiful" concept.
Besides, big hotel groups like the Taj have come forward to invest in the state
for promoting tourism taking advantage of the "open door" policy of the left
Front government.
At present the work is in full and the hotel is fast coming up on the
sprawl ing mari ne drive of the 84 of the total 108 rooms giving a view
over the Arabian sea.
The hotel, the biggest in the KTDC hotel chain in the state has been
sanctioned aRs 3.40 crore loan from the Industrial Finance Corporation of India
(lFCI) and the Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI). The balance will
be met by the Kerala government
Among the distinctive features of the four star hotel complex are its direct
access to the sprawling backwaters leading to the sea mouth though a private
boat jetty in front of the hotel.
The project manager, Mr K. Ranjan, says negotiations are under way with
the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) to get some more land
to build a swimming pool, an essential ore-reauisite for getting five star
recognition.
Along with this prestigious project liThe Tourist Resorts Kerala" is taking up
the development of a numberof beach resorts in the state beginning with the
Varkala beach resort and the Kappad beach resorts.
It is also planned to develop a few river resorts starting with Athiapally and
Vazhachal, the home of three glorious waterfalls in Thrissur district.
Backwaters are also emerging as one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kerala
with the state tourism department launching two multi-crore luxury cruisers
here alone recently. These vessels furnished with all modern faci lities for on
board conferences and picnics are expected to sell the state's tourism in an
unprecedently better manner in the coming years.
TIMES OF INDIA, August 2, 1990
Industrial Resentment
The travel and tourism trade have criticised the Government of India's move
to close down some of its tourist offices abroad. This is expected to create an
adverse impact on overseas tour operators and check the growth of inward
tourism.
The decision to close down the offices in Singapore, Chicago, Stockholm
and Sydney in the first phase, has shocked the tourism promoters who are now
gearing up to receive foreigners next year which has been declared the Visit
India Year-1991.
The trade in south has, particularly, resented the decision to close down the
office in Singapore which has been looking after tourist needs from that island
and neighbou ring countries. Started nearly two decades ago as aregional base
for South East Asia, tourist office at Singapore is responsible for promoting
tourism in India. The arrivals from the island have almost doubled. In 1980/
the island contributed some 16,500 visitors, mainly leisure travellers, to India
and this increased to more than 29/000 last year.
Statistics prove the importance of tourists offices abroad. Travel circles feel
that the closure of these offices would terminate many years of promotional
efforts that had led to the steady growth in tourist traffic from these countries.
The decision would also discourage the local travel agents in these countries
in promoting India as a tourist destination because of lack of information on
India.
INDIAN EXPRESS, August 30, 1990
Concern over delay
The Committee on Public Undertakings has expressed grave concern over the
delay in setting up a National Tourism Board so that the overlapping of functions
among the different agencies involved in the tourism development is obviated.
In its action taken report on its earlier recommendations about the India
Tourism Development Corporation limited, laid in Parliament today, the
Committee regretted that so far no decision had been taken by the Government
about the setting up of a National Tourism Board.
The plea that the department of Tourism had regu lar meetings with the State
Government and other agencies involved in the promotion of tourism was not
convincing. It urged the Government to set up this board to evolve an integrated
approach towards development and promotion of tourism in the country and
to effectively control the activities of different agencies involved in the tourism
field.
The committee had earlier asked the ITDC to go in for lower category hotels
which the private sector was not willing to start. The COPU said it was 'shocked'
to note that the decision taken earlier by the Government to merge the Hotel
Corporation of India with the ITDC was not being implemented. It urged the
Government to do this soon to ensure co-ordinated operations and a more
extensive and accommodation network.
The committee also asked the Government to consider the ITDe's plea for
liberal policy in regard to release of foreign exchange to step up its marketing
efforts so that the corporation could participate ir travel fairs and trade meets
abroad.
It also suggested that shops in the shopping arcades of ITDC hotels should
be allotted through auction and not through advertisement and subsequent
selection by a committee since the latter had loopholes.
Criticising ITDe's manpower planning, the committee said that as a result
of poor planning the company now found itself in a situation where on the
one hand more staff was expected to be rendered surplus upon the reduction
in fleet of vehicles run by the company, on the other it would be unable to
redeploy them in its other business functions which were already overmanned.
INDIAN EXPRESS, August 29/ 1990
Hotel plan flayed
Over 300 writers artists, public figures and leading academicians of the country
have appealed to the President and the Prime Minister not to convert the
Rashtrapati Nivas at Shim la, presently housing the Indian Institute of Advance
into a five-star hotel.
said "what Dr Radhakrishnan had envisaged
be restored to
exploitation of the most materialistic
The building is intimately associated with the colonial era of Indian history
and with the struggle for Indian independence and negotiations that led to
Partition. Crucial meetings between Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and
Mohar.lmed Ali Jinnah took place here during the Simla Conference in 1945.
Built of Himalayan grey stone in the English renaissance (Elizabethan) style,
during the Viceroyalty of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava (1884-88), it occupies
a commanding position at Summerhill here in over a 40-hectare estate of
buildings and gardens.
Formerly known as the Viceregal lodge, it became part of the estate of the
President of India after Independence and was renamed Rashtrapati Nivas.
The Rashtrapati Nivas was donated by the late President, Dr Sarvepalli Rad ha­
krishnan, for the purpose of an autonomous and residential institution for advan­
ced study and research in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
According to academicians of the liAS, the proposal to establish a hotel
"amounts to an insult to the memory, dignity and prestige of the late President;'
who conceived the idea of setting up of the institute here.
An architect, Professor A. Maitra of the Delhi School of
Architecture, sent by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural
(INTACH) in 1986/ has recommended that the Rashtrapati Nivas be
to drY use and hence be restricted to academic purpose only.
THE STATESMAN, August 3, 1990
I
10
Hawaiian Culture
n the past thirty years, Hawaii has become a tourist Mecca,
a coveted vacation spot for residents of the mainland and,
increasingly, for Japanese. The economy depends upon
tourism, and specifically upon the marketing of a particular
cultural ambience, which idealizes and invents the culture of
native Hawaiians.
Economically and politically, Hawaiians are the least powerful
group in Island SOCiety. Their numbers decimated by foreign
diseases during the 19th century, Hawaiians are outnumbered
by Japanese, haoles (whites) and Chinese who dominate the
state's politics and economy. Yet, a version of Hawaiian culture
is promoted and sold to visitors - and Hawaiians are hired to
participate in the process. This commercialization affects the
self-perception and self-definition of indigenous peoples. When
low-status indigenous peoples participate in mass tourism and the
selling of native culture they often begin to adopt a model of their
own culture that is, at least, in part, a foreign model, crafted for
commercial ends.
Ethnic Atmosphere
The selling of the Hawaiian ambience begins on commercial
airline flights, where attendants of Hawaiian descent are enlisted
to extol the tourist industry's imagt:: of the Islands as exotic,
relaxed, and friendly. The commercial motives of "sincere"
Hawaiian friendliness seem only too apparent, but most visitors
are willing to suspend disbelief in order to enj oy the experience.
Hawaiians are conspicuously on view in the tourist industry, but
most fill service roles. For the airport greeting, one tour company
hires a handsome Hawaiian youth to parade in a red and yellow
malo (loincloth) and cape, in imitation of the Hawaiian chiefs'
traditional dress.
Nearly all tourists stay in Waikiki, where they are effectively
segregated from the rest of Island society. In vVaikiki, visitors can
attend staged Hawaiian lu'au feasts and "Polynesian" reviews
featuring Tahitian dancing to supplement the less spectacular
Hawaiian hula.
One of the most popular attractions on Oahu is the Polynesian
Cultural Center. Owned by the Mormon Church, the center
resembles a human zoo. For a hefty admission fee, visitors can
view "real" Polynesians (Mormon Church College students)
enacting "traditional" activities in native dress and authentic
settings. The church understood that there was money in the
marketing of culture in Hawaii.
Cultural Revival
The construction of ersatz Hawaiian culture for the benefit of
outsiders has influenced Hawaiians' own perception of their
identity. This is nol merely an effect of mass tourism; a century
and a half of contact preceded the influx of tourists. In the contact
period, Hawaiian chiefs enthusiastically sought to adopt the ways
of powerful foreigners, and led their people to the apparent
destruction of traditionallifeways. Mosl Hawaiians today are city­
dwelling wage laborers, long alienated from the land and the
rural lifestyle of their heritage.
The revival of Hawaiian culture in the past 15 years sparked
a resurgence of interest in the language, which few Hawaiians
can speak fluently, and in "traditional" arts such as chanting,
weaving feather leis, and the hula. The more militant arm of the
cultural revival focused on the issue of land, and demanded
reparations for the Hmds Hawaiians had lost. In the process of
defimng the Hawanan identity, nationalists have taken cues from
a variety of sources: early desc:iptions of Hawaii - most of these
written by foreigners, the writings of 19th century Hawaiians,
and the accounts of elderly informants. The resulting version of
Hawaiian culture is somewhat eclectic, and does not correspond
to a specific time period.
Recreating Tradition
Hawaiian nationalism also looks to rural communities for
authentic cultural models. Trying to recreate ties to the land,
some nationalists have established subsistence communes in
remote areas. But tourism's effect on Hawaiians' self-perception
is not limited to city-dwellers or to those working in the industp!
Mass cOIIlIIlunications reach most rural areas, and tourism
omni present.
Keanae is a village on the windward coast of MauL Remote by
local standards, Keanae is one of the few remaining places where
Hawaiians still grow taro on land inherited from their ancestors.
The village was designated "the most Hawaiian community in
the Islands" in 1975. Local journalists have portrayed it as "the
Hawaii that used to be", Mass tourism has done much to enhance
Keanae's awareness of its cultural traditions. The village is an
official Hawaii Visitors' Bureau point-of-interest, and is noted as
an attraction on tourist maps.
An official marker (portraying a stylized Hawaiian chief in a red
and yellow cape) used to stand alongside the highway above
Keanae, with the legend. "Hawaiian village". A local woman
sometimes chats with tourists at the overlook. She describes the
Keanae life in terms of "fish and poi", the traditional staples.
Although villagers see themselves as having chosen a
"traditional" lifestyle, to day's country-dwellers are wage laborers
who grow and market taro to supplement their salaries. Villagers
may praise the ideal of aloha and wax sentimental over the simple
life, but in reality no one lives solely on fish and poi.
Nationalists and country-dwellers both tend to idealize the
rural lifestyle as pristine and harmonious. Both are living up to
a model of Hawaiianness. Certainly the nationalist and the rural
models of Hawaiian culture are not the same as the version
promoted by the tourist industry; the point is that neither are
they isolated from it. Tourism introduces a different kind of self­
consciousness when it advances foreign models of native culture.
Mass tourism may effect the final demise of an unself-conscious,
"authentic" native identity. Ultimately, the agent is not
acculturation, but the participation of indigenous peoples in
marketing a model of their own culture.
Jocelyn linneken Source: Cultural Survival Quarterly Summer 1982
rFr/ notp· Although thi<; r'l.rtidc is 8 yeArS oM the situation in Hawaii is today
perhaps even more fragmpnted as participants in the recent Consultation on
Tourism and Racism would testify.}
7
Endangered Beaches
T
he decision taken by the Union Tourism Minister, Mr Arun
Nehru, and the Environment and Forest Minister, Mr Nilamani
Routray, early this month to reduce the no-construction zone
limit for beach resorts and hotels from 500 metres to 200 metres, apart
from setting the clock back on environmental preservation, is fraught
with several dangers. Mrs. Maneka Gandhi had earlier raised the limit
to 500 metres and was contemplating stringent measures to bring the
offenders to book. I\mong them was demolition of structures
construction. The sec-saw battle to save our beaches has indeed been
on from Mrs. Indira Gandhi's time. As early as in 1981 Mrs. Indira
Gandhi had urged that the 500-metre limit be implemented. In 1985,
on a representation from the Department of Tourism, the limit was
reduced from 500 metres to 200 metres in the case of beaches in Goa,
Puri-Konarak, Madras-Mamallapuram and Thiruvananthapuram.
Mrs. Maneka Gandhi had been a trifle too impetuous in her
anxiety to preserve our beaches. Her bid to have 2,849 hectares of
beach forest land allotted to a leading hotel chain in Orissa
peremptorily cancelled in the teeth of opposition from the local
chamber of commerce and industry is a case in point. As a result, the
hotel chains appear to have become even more determined
to acqui re beach fronts.
Goa's 70 km beach which 33 hotels are being contemplated
is particularly vulnerable. Not surprisingly, soon after Mrs. Gandhi was
divested of most of her responsibilities, leading hotel chains in the
country began taking blueprints out of their cupboards again. The
monitoring committee set up by the Environment and Forest Ministry
for hotels in Goa was dissolved.
Among the unsavoury fall-outs of the measure will be further
reduction of the public's access to the beaches. The level of pollution
is also likely to rise. Goa is already facing the myriad perils
sops to tourism. The livelihood of its fishermen is in danger. Ultimately,
over-kill may hurt the tourism industry itself.
Editorial, DECCAN HERALD, June 25, 1990
Atoll sale protested
Papeete, Tahiti - Two hundred islanders occupied a Pacific atoll over
the weekend to protest moves to sell the tiny uninhabited island to
Japanese investors who plan to transform it into a vast complex for
vacationers.
The coral atoll of Tupai located near Bora-Bora 270 km northwest
of Papeete, has been the target of investors who have been negotiating
with a notary in Tahiti for its purchase.
The protestors, some of whom claim to be the descendents of a Bora­
Bora king who ruled over the atoll, said they were co-owners of the
land along with the notary and opposed its sale to a Japanese
consortium of Advance Pacific Developments and Emerald PaCific
Developments.
THE NATION, May 11, 1990
Coutd. from page 5
Again, the Radisson tie-up wi II be a major selling point as the north American
tourist Gill easily identify with a familiar group.
In effect, fTDC is trying to combat competition by creating a distinct niche
to give all those tourists who want a feel of India and a knowledge of its culture.
How far Lakshman will succeed in this endeavour is difficult to predict. The
all pervading bureaucratic culture at fTDC and those government mandarins
who like to manage things from behind the scenes must be circumvented. Given
thi". (1<; al<;o IT DC'.; rom mClrkpf it j<; Eoing to hI" <llong ;mo oiffi.lll! orivp
BUSINESS INDIA, May 28, 1990
A Soviet Las
A Nevada company has signed an agreement with the Soviet government to
operate four small casinos in Russia, a company official said. Officials hope
to open the first casino along the Black Sea in less than two months, according
to Simon Furman, general manager for
will spend about $1 million to open the four casinos in existing
"The casinos will carry the Las Vegas name because it is known
worldwide:"
The first casino will have six or eight table games and 35 to 50 slot machines.
It is expected to open this summer in the Dagomys Hotel in Sochi, a popular
Soviet resort town on the Black Sea.
Furman said Uniauad will split the profits from the Soviet government.
THE NATION, May 11, 1990
Tourists invading Grenada
by Julie Vorman, Reuter
S
even years after US military tanks rolled ashore, Grenada is now the site
of daily invasions by platoons of tourists armed with cameras and straw
hats who arrive aboard luxury cruise
of the well-heeled visitors who spend a day on the Caribbean island
have only vague recollections of the brief fighting in 1983 that ousted Grenada's
Marxist government. They prefer instead to admire the red-roofed colonial
buildings around St George's harbour or tour a spice plantatior
Promoting tourism is one of the top priorities of the newly-elected centrist
government of this Caribbean island of rain forest and beaches.
In 1989 nearly 136,000 cruise ship passengers visited Grenada and another
62,000 tourists were overnight visitors on the island. The numbers have doubled
since 1983.
Among the tourists now are some of the American soldiers who were among
the 7,000 troops once stationed on the island.
"These guys came and saw what a pretty th is is and decided to come
back;' said one local merchant who owns a business that sells air
conditioners.
Tourism pumped $27 million into Grenada's economy in 1986, according
to the government. It ranked second as the nation's income earner, behind
agricultural of nutmeg, mace, cocoa, cinnamon and bananas.
One of the campaign pledges of Prime Minister Nicholas Braithwaite, who
took office last week, is to significantly increase the number of hotel rooms
on the island from the current 1,000 by offering investment incentives.
"Tourism and manufacturing are important ways to better your economy;'
Braithwaite told Reuters. "Tourism brings jobs for construction workers, airline
baggage handlers, taxi drivers, cooks, and hotel managers:'
The island with a population of about 100,000, has an estimated unemploy­
ment rate of 28 percent. Annual per capita income was about $1,450 last year,
compared with $950 prior to the US invasion.
During the past three years Grenada has successfully wooed at least a half­
dozen manufacturers to establish small plants on the island, offering preferential
treatment for export to the United States under the Caribbean Basin Initiative.
The Initiative allows duty-free trade between Caribbean nations and the United
States for most products.
SmithKline Beecham and Johnson and Johnson are among the companies
that have plants on the island. Plants here make such products as surgical caps,
lingerie, cosmetics and contact lens kits.
"I see a lot of potential for growth;' said one diplomatic observer. "The new
government should be in a position to take advantage of it:'
Braithwaite, whose coalition government defeated a comeback attempt by
former leader Sir Eric Gairy in a general election on March 13, has promised
to reorganize the island's Industrial Development Corporation, which he said
docs little to ourcJucratic red tape for potentia! investors.
NATION, March 23, 1990
8
9
Big Leap Forward
Stars for Surat
INDIA News & Views
Indian tourism has taken rapid strides during the last few years. It provides the
major chunk of our foreign exchange earnings and is poised to achieve new
peaks in the coming years. The growing interest in Indian heritage and innovative
efforts by the government in promoting people's awareness about what India
has to offer have given a massive boost to tourism.
India wants to earn foreign exchange worth Rs 4000 crore from tourism by
1990. This may appear over-ambitious but is certainly noC when judged against
trends. The global earnings from tourism in 1986 was of the order of
billion contributed by 340 million tourists, and will become the world's
major industry by the·year 2000 according to international experts. Economic
analysis of the tourist market indicates that the industry would grow at an annual
rate of 3.5 per cent. However, in spite of India's many-splendoured image, we
have been able to get only less than one per cent of th2 world tourist trade.
Tourist arrivals in India crossed one million for the first time in 1986. In 1987
the trend was sustained and a total of 1,163,744 tourists visited the country as
against, 1,080,050 in 1986. A little more than 1.24 million foreigners came to
India in 1988, while the number of domestic travellers was six million, on a
rough estimate. The country however accounts for only 0.4 per cent of the tourist
traffic generated in the world and 1.4 per cent of the revenue. India earned a
tourism the
If we have to achieve our ambitious income targets serious efforts would be
needed and adequate infrastructural supports in the form of hotels, transport
and guides have to be provided. A lot of money will have to be made available
over the next five years or so. The requirement of hotel rooms by the end of
this year would be 59,000. Even after taking into consideration all the hotels
under construction, the shortfall in rooms is estimated to'be 9,000. Moreover,
an addition of 25,000 rooms will be needed by 1995 to cater to the ever­
increasing tourist traffic. This itself will entail an expenditure of Rs 2,500 crore
according to government estimates.
The Yunus Committee made certain significant recommendations for
promoting tourism in the country. These
* A plentiful supply of tourist cars and coaches.
* Development of ten new tourist destinations, with conference facilities.
* More charter flights.
* Introduction of air taxi schemes.
* Partial privatisation of Indian Airlines and Air India.
One of the grey areas in tourism industry is the avai labi I ity of hotels. It will
be wrong to say that New Delhi has not done anything to facilitate the
construction of new hotels. Government officials say, a major move has been
to take hotels out of the purview of the MRTP Act. A decision of major sIgnI­
ficance has been to reduce the import duty on as many as 75 relevant items
from 200 per cent to 45 per cent. The Travel Association of India has
made a projection that if by 2000 AD India is to play host to 2 mill ion tourists,
it must have 100
1
000 star hotel rooms. The government policy has to be so tuned
to encourage the construction of 60,000 additional star hotel rooms in another
11 years. According to the Association, a total investment of Rs 10,000 crore
in infrastructure (including augmentation of airline fleet) will be needed by 2000
AD.
According to Mr Oberoi, the well known hotelier, besides strengthening
infrastructure, the matter which needs immediate attention is the 'culture shock'
foreigners are subjected to as they arrive here. "Must a foreigner as he goes
to his hotel at Nariman Point from the airport in the morning see scores of people
defecating on the street. The drive from Dum Dum the city is anything
but pleasant. The only exception is Delhi. Foreigners are aware of our poverty,
but they certainly don't expect naked demonstration of scars:'
However, there is another side of the picture which too has to be kept in mind.
This relates to the tincturing of the environment and cultural degradation
indulged in by a section of foreign tourists. Goa is one of the most important
examples of this. The tourism secretary recently stated. "There are potential
dangers both to the physical and cultural environment and on-going interaction
between tourism officials and scientists is essentiaL... Tourism cannot be
promoted in isolation but can become an effective means of preserving the
archaeological heritage and also in promoting our unique culture:'
The Yunus Committee has also emphasised the need to integrate tourism
with the lives of people. Tourism at the same time
l
has to be strengthened as
because it provides precious foreign exchange and
need and has been
cionifir::mt "fi',ut in this direction has
Year.
The original idea mooted in April 1989, at the Madras Conference of the Travel
Agents Association of India (TAAI), was to declare 1991 as the Visit India Year.
However, after a great deal of re-thinking, it has now evolved into the Tourism
Year, as the objective is seen in a wider, long-range per5pective than just
attracting more tourists to india
l
in anyone given year. According to B. K.
Goswami, director general of Tourism, 1991 will be acurtain-raiser to the 90's
the Decade of Tourism.
Meghalaya Beckons
With the expectations of an increasing number of tourists
year, the government of Meghalaya has proposed to take up about 15 new
schemes at acost of Rs 2.4 crores tor providing more amenities to the tourists.
The schemes include
of tourist festivals
l
production of films, development of wildlife and natural
resources, purchase of boats, floodlighting the monuments and providing more
wayside amenities.
Mr P. e. Chakraborty, managi ng director, Meghalaya Tourism Development
Corporation (MTDC), told The Economic Times that tourist inflow to Meghalaya
was the highest in 1987 at 1.79 lakh, including 194 foreign tourists.
There is much room for further development. About 80 per cent of the total
traffic is the tourist who needs moderate and cheaper
accommodation. Construction of "yatri-niwases
'l
in Shillong and Tura has now
been cleared by the "nnrnnri :ltD '" ,th"rih!
The new
lake resort UmiarTl with
at Umiam, Orchid
Khlehriat. The existing accommodation faei lilies dre inadequate
the rush in the tourist season though the average occupancy rate is about fifty
per cent. Mr Chakraborty said thdt Meghalaya still does not have ahotel of the
international standard.
Meanwhile the MTDC has strengthened its fleet by addition of four more
coaches and has also encouraged entry of private operators into the area. At
the same time, it has taken up schemes to develop the Siju Limestone Cavelin
Garo hills as a tourist attraction and also to set up a Pitcher plant sanctuary
at Baghmara. The current allocation in the state budget u.nder tourism
last vear's allocation of Rs 0.90 crore. The draft
THE ECONOMIC TIMES, August 10, 1990
India's Switzerland
Sikkim would be India's answer to Switzerland. Yes, that is precisely what Mr
Nar Bahadur Bhandari, Sikkim's chief minister for over adecade, declared here
at apress meet, adding that his topmost priority today was strengthening tourism
infrastructure in the tiny Himalayan state.
Mr Bhandari's confidence in boasting of Sikkim having the best and most
efficient tourism infrastructure within a few years from now stem from his recent
relaxation of restrictions on foreign tourists in Sikkim. The
to Sikkim had doubled and we are finding it
them with bare Mr Bhandari said.
Stating that tourism would emerge as the main revenue earner for the state,
Mr Bhandari said that his government would exploit all avenues to maximise
investments in tourism infrastructure. Whi Ie the state government has already
approached the Union ministry of tourism, Mr Bhandari has also initiated talks
with the Taj group of hotels. Hedid not rule out the possibility of entering into
joint ventures with the private sector.
It is learnt that representatives of the Taj group has
and were on the look-out for a site for their proposed
hand over even government tourist and bungalows to
entrepreneurs:' the chief minister said adding that he was against the
hotels or restaurants.
Mr Bhandari
nr",,;,i,nn facilitip;; for tml.-I.-inoc
THE ECONOMIC TIMES, August 14, 1990
Industrial investment of around Rs 10,000 crores in and around Surat is set to
cause aspurt in the hospitality industry in the city. Since Surat has almost no
hotels in the three
l
four and five star category at present, most of the activity
is expected to be concentrated in this segment to cater almost exclusively to
the business traveller.
The main constraint however
l
is likely to be steep land prices which would
result in an extremely high construction cost per room and would make it
difficult to obtain quick recovery of investment. According to industry sources,
the construction cost in the city would be over Rs 10
A beginning has been made by the Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation
(GIIC) which has entered into a collaboration with a non-resident Indian (NRI)
group - the JHM Group, to set up afour star hotel on the banks of the river Tapti.
The 140 room Rama Regency, is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 1990
with 40 rooms and one restaurant. Though promoters are hoteliers in the United
States with 17 different units and agroup turnover of US $12 million, the Indian
hotel will be managed by Residency Hotels (P) Ltd. Residency will provide
countrywide reservation facilities for the Rama Regency. According to the
management group it is the first four star hotel in Surat, giving it a head start
over the others and it has a fairly low construction cost
l
having obtained land
at merely Rs 82 lakhs through its collaborator Glle. This will enable it to break
even earlier.
The Rs 11 crore project is to be funded by term loans of Rs 6.27 crores and
a promoters' contribution of Rs 2.93 crores. Of this, GIIC will contribute Rs
92 lakhs to the equity and the group will chip in with Rs 1.67 crores.
The company plans to raise Rs 180 crores from the public through an equity
issue at par scheduled to open for subscription on September 10, 1990. 581
Mutual fund has been given a firm allotment of Rs 23 lakhs out of the issue.
ECONOMIC TIMES, August 30
1
1990
Leela venture Stayed
The Division bench of the ourtcomprising justice G. D. Kamat
and Justice Ratnaparki on Tuesday stayed the massive Leela Venture five star
hotel from carrying on with their project at Mobor, Cavellossim, south Goa.
The court passed the injunction while admitting a writ petition filed by the
Goa Foundation which had alleged several violations of environmental and
town planning laws by the company. According to the hotel promoters, the
project was due to open for business by the end of September 1990.
The Goa Foundation had filed a detailed writ petition in August asking for
d stay of the five star project on several grounds. The foundation alleged that
the hotel had completed the construction of cottages despite astop work order
from the southern planning and development authority in February 1990.
The foundation also alleged that several constructions had been carried out
within 200 metres of the high tide line despite a direction from the High Court
in the Ramada case that no construction be ever allowed in such a zone.
The petitioners drew the attention of the court to several published interviews
of Tourism Minister Churchil Alemao which stated the PDF Government was
going to regularise the hotel's illegal constructions within 200 Ill! in exchange
for contrihutions to develop sports in the State.
The foundation also challenged the construction of a lagoon to be filled with
salt water since it was comrletely unauthorised. I n addition the petition
that the project's promoters had constructed several bore wells within 500 mt
and also fenced up the are£! upto the high tide line in violation of conditions.
When the hotel owners sought 'during the admission hearings to an
the court that no further constructions would be made 200 mt
from the se;ward boundary of their plot, the court accepted the
but then went on to injunct the hotel from any constructions upto 500 mt from
the high tide line.
INDIAN EXPRESS, September 7, 1990
8
9
Big Leap Forward
Stars for Surat
INDIA News & Views
Indian tourism has taken rapid strides during the last few years. It provides the
major chunk of our foreign exchange earnings and is poised to achieve new
peaks in the coming years. The growing interest in Indian heritage and innovative
efforts by the government in promoting people's awareness about what India
has to offer have given a massive boost to tourism.
India wants to earn foreign exchange worth Rs 4000 crore from tourism by
1990. This may appear over-ambitious but is certainly noC when judged against
trends. The global earnings from tourism in 1986 was of the order of
billion contributed by 340 million tourists, and will become the world's
major industry by the·year 2000 according to international experts. Economic
analysis of the tourist market indicates that the industry would grow at an annual
rate of 3.5 per cent. However, in spite of India's many-splendoured image, we
have been able to get only less than one per cent of th2 world tourist trade.
Tourist arrivals in India crossed one million for the first time in 1986. In 1987
the trend was sustained and a total of 1,163,744 tourists visited the country as
against, 1,080,050 in 1986. A little more than 1.24 million foreigners came to
India in 1988, while the number of domestic travellers was six million, on a
rough estimate. The country however accounts for only 0.4 per cent of the tourist
traffic generated in the world and 1.4 per cent of the revenue. India earned a
tourism the
If we have to achieve our ambitious income targets serious efforts would be
needed and adequate infrastructural supports in the form of hotels, transport
and guides have to be provided. A lot of money will have to be made available
over the next five years or so. The requirement of hotel rooms by the end of
this year would be 59,000. Even after taking into consideration all the hotels
under construction, the shortfall in rooms is estimated to'be 9,000. Moreover,
an addition of 25,000 rooms will be needed by 1995 to cater to the ever­
increasing tourist traffic. This itself will entail an expenditure of Rs 2,500 crore
according to government estimates.
The Yunus Committee made certain significant recommendations for
promoting tourism in the country. These
* A plentiful supply of tourist cars and coaches.
* Development of ten new tourist destinations, with conference facilities.
* More charter flights.
* Introduction of air taxi schemes.
* Partial privatisation of Indian Airlines and Air India.
One of the grey areas in tourism industry is the avai labi I ity of hotels. It will
be wrong to say that New Delhi has not done anything to facilitate the
construction of new hotels. Government officials say, a major move has been
to take hotels out of the purview of the MRTP Act. A decision of major sIgnI­
ficance has been to reduce the import duty on as many as 75 relevant items
from 200 per cent to 45 per cent. The Travel Association of India has
made a projection that if by 2000 AD India is to play host to 2 mill ion tourists,
it must have 100
1
000 star hotel rooms. The government policy has to be so tuned
to encourage the construction of 60,000 additional star hotel rooms in another
11 years. According to the Association, a total investment of Rs 10,000 crore
in infrastructure (including augmentation of airline fleet) will be needed by 2000
AD.
According to Mr Oberoi, the well known hotelier, besides strengthening
infrastructure, the matter which needs immediate attention is the 'culture shock'
foreigners are subjected to as they arrive here. "Must a foreigner as he goes
to his hotel at Nariman Point from the airport in the morning see scores of people
defecating on the street. The drive from Dum Dum the city is anything
but pleasant. The only exception is Delhi. Foreigners are aware of our poverty,
but they certainly don't expect naked demonstration of scars:'
However, there is another side of the picture which too has to be kept in mind.
This relates to the tincturing of the environment and cultural degradation
indulged in by a section of foreign tourists. Goa is one of the most important
examples of this. The tourism secretary recently stated. "There are potential
dangers both to the physical and cultural environment and on-going interaction
between tourism officials and scientists is essentiaL... Tourism cannot be
promoted in isolation but can become an effective means of preserving the
archaeological heritage and also in promoting our unique culture:'
The Yunus Committee has also emphasised the need to integrate tourism
with the lives of people. Tourism at the same time
l
has to be strengthened as
because it provides precious foreign exchange and
need and has been
cionifir::mt "fi',ut in this direction has
Year.
The original idea mooted in April 1989, at the Madras Conference of the Travel
Agents Association of India (TAAI), was to declare 1991 as the Visit India Year.
However, after a great deal of re-thinking, it has now evolved into the Tourism
Year, as the objective is seen in a wider, long-range per5pective than just
attracting more tourists to india
l
in anyone given year. According to B. K.
Goswami, director general of Tourism, 1991 will be acurtain-raiser to the 90's
the Decade of Tourism.
Meghalaya Beckons
With the expectations of an increasing number of tourists
year, the government of Meghalaya has proposed to take up about 15 new
schemes at acost of Rs 2.4 crores tor providing more amenities to the tourists.
The schemes include
of tourist festivals
l
production of films, development of wildlife and natural
resources, purchase of boats, floodlighting the monuments and providing more
wayside amenities.
Mr P. e. Chakraborty, managi ng director, Meghalaya Tourism Development
Corporation (MTDC), told The Economic Times that tourist inflow to Meghalaya
was the highest in 1987 at 1.79 lakh, including 194 foreign tourists.
There is much room for further development. About 80 per cent of the total
traffic is the tourist who needs moderate and cheaper
accommodation. Construction of "yatri-niwases
'l
in Shillong and Tura has now
been cleared by the "nnrnnri :ltD '" ,th"rih!
The new
lake resort UmiarTl with
at Umiam, Orchid
Khlehriat. The existing accommodation faei lilies dre inadequate
the rush in the tourist season though the average occupancy rate is about fifty
per cent. Mr Chakraborty said thdt Meghalaya still does not have ahotel of the
international standard.
Meanwhile the MTDC has strengthened its fleet by addition of four more
coaches and has also encouraged entry of private operators into the area. At
the same time, it has taken up schemes to develop the Siju Limestone Cavelin
Garo hills as a tourist attraction and also to set up a Pitcher plant sanctuary
at Baghmara. The current allocation in the state budget u.nder tourism
last vear's allocation of Rs 0.90 crore. The draft
THE ECONOMIC TIMES, August 10, 1990
India's Switzerland
Sikkim would be India's answer to Switzerland. Yes, that is precisely what Mr
Nar Bahadur Bhandari, Sikkim's chief minister for over adecade, declared here
at apress meet, adding that his topmost priority today was strengthening tourism
infrastructure in the tiny Himalayan state.
Mr Bhandari's confidence in boasting of Sikkim having the best and most
efficient tourism infrastructure within a few years from now stem from his recent
relaxation of restrictions on foreign tourists in Sikkim. The
to Sikkim had doubled and we are finding it
them with bare Mr Bhandari said.
Stating that tourism would emerge as the main revenue earner for the state,
Mr Bhandari said that his government would exploit all avenues to maximise
investments in tourism infrastructure. Whi Ie the state government has already
approached the Union ministry of tourism, Mr Bhandari has also initiated talks
with the Taj group of hotels. Hedid not rule out the possibility of entering into
joint ventures with the private sector.
It is learnt that representatives of the Taj group has
and were on the look-out for a site for their proposed
hand over even government tourist and bungalows to
entrepreneurs:' the chief minister said adding that he was against the
hotels or restaurants.
Mr Bhandari
nr",,;,i,nn facilitip;; for tml.-I.-inoc
THE ECONOMIC TIMES, August 14, 1990
Industrial investment of around Rs 10,000 crores in and around Surat is set to
cause aspurt in the hospitality industry in the city. Since Surat has almost no
hotels in the three
l
four and five star category at present, most of the activity
is expected to be concentrated in this segment to cater almost exclusively to
the business traveller.
The main constraint however
l
is likely to be steep land prices which would
result in an extremely high construction cost per room and would make it
difficult to obtain quick recovery of investment. According to industry sources,
the construction cost in the city would be over Rs 10
A beginning has been made by the Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation
(GIIC) which has entered into a collaboration with a non-resident Indian (NRI)
group - the JHM Group, to set up afour star hotel on the banks of the river Tapti.
The 140 room Rama Regency, is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 1990
with 40 rooms and one restaurant. Though promoters are hoteliers in the United
States with 17 different units and agroup turnover of US $12 million, the Indian
hotel will be managed by Residency Hotels (P) Ltd. Residency will provide
countrywide reservation facilities for the Rama Regency. According to the
management group it is the first four star hotel in Surat, giving it a head start
over the others and it has a fairly low construction cost
l
having obtained land
at merely Rs 82 lakhs through its collaborator Glle. This will enable it to break
even earlier.
The Rs 11 crore project is to be funded by term loans of Rs 6.27 crores and
a promoters' contribution of Rs 2.93 crores. Of this, GIIC will contribute Rs
92 lakhs to the equity and the group will chip in with Rs 1.67 crores.
The company plans to raise Rs 180 crores from the public through an equity
issue at par scheduled to open for subscription on September 10, 1990. 581
Mutual fund has been given a firm allotment of Rs 23 lakhs out of the issue.
ECONOMIC TIMES, August 30
1
1990
Leela venture Stayed
The Division bench of the ourtcomprising justice G. D. Kamat
and Justice Ratnaparki on Tuesday stayed the massive Leela Venture five star
hotel from carrying on with their project at Mobor, Cavellossim, south Goa.
The court passed the injunction while admitting a writ petition filed by the
Goa Foundation which had alleged several violations of environmental and
town planning laws by the company. According to the hotel promoters, the
project was due to open for business by the end of September 1990.
The Goa Foundation had filed a detailed writ petition in August asking for
d stay of the five star project on several grounds. The foundation alleged that
the hotel had completed the construction of cottages despite astop work order
from the southern planning and development authority in February 1990.
The foundation also alleged that several constructions had been carried out
within 200 metres of the high tide line despite a direction from the High Court
in the Ramada case that no construction be ever allowed in such a zone.
The petitioners drew the attention of the court to several published interviews
of Tourism Minister Churchil Alemao which stated the PDF Government was
going to regularise the hotel's illegal constructions within 200 Ill! in exchange
for contrihutions to develop sports in the State.
The foundation also challenged the construction of a lagoon to be filled with
salt water since it was comrletely unauthorised. I n addition the petition
that the project's promoters had constructed several bore wells within 500 mt
and also fenced up the are£! upto the high tide line in violation of conditions.
When the hotel owners sought 'during the admission hearings to an
the court that no further constructions would be made 200 mt
from the se;ward boundary of their plot, the court accepted the
but then went on to injunct the hotel from any constructions upto 500 mt from
the high tide line.
INDIAN EXPRESS, September 7, 1990
I
10
Hawaiian Culture
n the past thirty years, Hawaii has become a tourist Mecca,
a coveted vacation spot for residents of the mainland and,
increasingly, for Japanese. The economy depends upon
tourism, and specifically upon the marketing of a particular
cultural ambience, which idealizes and invents the culture of
native Hawaiians.
Economically and politically, Hawaiians are the least powerful
group in Island SOCiety. Their numbers decimated by foreign
diseases during the 19th century, Hawaiians are outnumbered
by Japanese, haoles (whites) and Chinese who dominate the
state's politics and economy. Yet, a version of Hawaiian culture
is promoted and sold to visitors - and Hawaiians are hired to
participate in the process. This commercialization affects the
self-perception and self-definition of indigenous peoples. When
low-status indigenous peoples participate in mass tourism and the
selling of native culture they often begin to adopt a model of their
own culture that is, at least, in part, a foreign model, crafted for
commercial ends.
Ethnic Atmosphere
The selling of the Hawaiian ambience begins on commercial
airline flights, where attendants of Hawaiian descent are enlisted
to extol the tourist industry's imagt:: of the Islands as exotic,
relaxed, and friendly. The commercial motives of "sincere"
Hawaiian friendliness seem only too apparent, but most visitors
are willing to suspend disbelief in order to enj oy the experience.
Hawaiians are conspicuously on view in the tourist industry, but
most fill service roles. For the airport greeting, one tour company
hires a handsome Hawaiian youth to parade in a red and yellow
malo (loincloth) and cape, in imitation of the Hawaiian chiefs'
traditional dress.
Nearly all tourists stay in Waikiki, where they are effectively
segregated from the rest of Island society. In vVaikiki, visitors can
attend staged Hawaiian lu'au feasts and "Polynesian" reviews
featuring Tahitian dancing to supplement the less spectacular
Hawaiian hula.
One of the most popular attractions on Oahu is the Polynesian
Cultural Center. Owned by the Mormon Church, the center
resembles a human zoo. For a hefty admission fee, visitors can
view "real" Polynesians (Mormon Church College students)
enacting "traditional" activities in native dress and authentic
settings. The church understood that there was money in the
marketing of culture in Hawaii.
Cultural Revival
The construction of ersatz Hawaiian culture for the benefit of
outsiders has influenced Hawaiians' own perception of their
identity. This is nol merely an effect of mass tourism; a century
and a half of contact preceded the influx of tourists. In the contact
period, Hawaiian chiefs enthusiastically sought to adopt the ways
of powerful foreigners, and led their people to the apparent
destruction of traditionallifeways. Mosl Hawaiians today are city­
dwelling wage laborers, long alienated from the land and the
rural lifestyle of their heritage.
The revival of Hawaiian culture in the past 15 years sparked
a resurgence of interest in the language, which few Hawaiians
can speak fluently, and in "traditional" arts such as chanting,
weaving feather leis, and the hula. The more militant arm of the
cultural revival focused on the issue of land, and demanded
reparations for the Hmds Hawaiians had lost. In the process of
defimng the Hawanan identity, nationalists have taken cues from
a variety of sources: early desc:iptions of Hawaii - most of these
written by foreigners, the writings of 19th century Hawaiians,
and the accounts of elderly informants. The resulting version of
Hawaiian culture is somewhat eclectic, and does not correspond
to a specific time period.
Recreating Tradition
Hawaiian nationalism also looks to rural communities for
authentic cultural models. Trying to recreate ties to the land,
some nationalists have established subsistence communes in
remote areas. But tourism's effect on Hawaiians' self-perception
is not limited to city-dwellers or to those working in the industp!
Mass cOIIlIIlunications reach most rural areas, and tourism
omni present.
Keanae is a village on the windward coast of MauL Remote by
local standards, Keanae is one of the few remaining places where
Hawaiians still grow taro on land inherited from their ancestors.
The village was designated "the most Hawaiian community in
the Islands" in 1975. Local journalists have portrayed it as "the
Hawaii that used to be", Mass tourism has done much to enhance
Keanae's awareness of its cultural traditions. The village is an
official Hawaii Visitors' Bureau point-of-interest, and is noted as
an attraction on tourist maps.
An official marker (portraying a stylized Hawaiian chief in a red
and yellow cape) used to stand alongside the highway above
Keanae, with the legend. "Hawaiian village". A local woman
sometimes chats with tourists at the overlook. She describes the
Keanae life in terms of "fish and poi", the traditional staples.
Although villagers see themselves as having chosen a
"traditional" lifestyle, to day's country-dwellers are wage laborers
who grow and market taro to supplement their salaries. Villagers
may praise the ideal of aloha and wax sentimental over the simple
life, but in reality no one lives solely on fish and poi.
Nationalists and country-dwellers both tend to idealize the
rural lifestyle as pristine and harmonious. Both are living up to
a model of Hawaiianness. Certainly the nationalist and the rural
models of Hawaiian culture are not the same as the version
promoted by the tourist industry; the point is that neither are
they isolated from it. Tourism introduces a different kind of self­
consciousness when it advances foreign models of native culture.
Mass tourism may effect the final demise of an unself-conscious,
"authentic" native identity. Ultimately, the agent is not
acculturation, but the participation of indigenous peoples in
marketing a model of their own culture.
Jocelyn linneken Source: Cultural Survival Quarterly Summer 1982
rFr/ notp· Although thi<; r'l.rtidc is 8 yeArS oM the situation in Hawaii is today
perhaps even more fragmpnted as participants in the recent Consultation on
Tourism and Racism would testify.}
7
Endangered Beaches
T
he decision taken by the Union Tourism Minister, Mr Arun
Nehru, and the Environment and Forest Minister, Mr Nilamani
Routray, early this month to reduce the no-construction zone
limit for beach resorts and hotels from 500 metres to 200 metres, apart
from setting the clock back on environmental preservation, is fraught
with several dangers. Mrs. Maneka Gandhi had earlier raised the limit
to 500 metres and was contemplating stringent measures to bring the
offenders to book. I\mong them was demolition of structures
construction. The sec-saw battle to save our beaches has indeed been
on from Mrs. Indira Gandhi's time. As early as in 1981 Mrs. Indira
Gandhi had urged that the 500-metre limit be implemented. In 1985,
on a representation from the Department of Tourism, the limit was
reduced from 500 metres to 200 metres in the case of beaches in Goa,
Puri-Konarak, Madras-Mamallapuram and Thiruvananthapuram.
Mrs. Maneka Gandhi had been a trifle too impetuous in her
anxiety to preserve our beaches. Her bid to have 2,849 hectares of
beach forest land allotted to a leading hotel chain in Orissa
peremptorily cancelled in the teeth of opposition from the local
chamber of commerce and industry is a case in point. As a result, the
hotel chains appear to have become even more determined
to acqui re beach fronts.
Goa's 70 km beach which 33 hotels are being contemplated
is particularly vulnerable. Not surprisingly, soon after Mrs. Gandhi was
divested of most of her responsibilities, leading hotel chains in the
country began taking blueprints out of their cupboards again. The
monitoring committee set up by the Environment and Forest Ministry
for hotels in Goa was dissolved.
Among the unsavoury fall-outs of the measure will be further
reduction of the public's access to the beaches. The level of pollution
is also likely to rise. Goa is already facing the myriad perils
sops to tourism. The livelihood of its fishermen is in danger. Ultimately,
over-kill may hurt the tourism industry itself.
Editorial, DECCAN HERALD, June 25, 1990
Atoll sale protested
Papeete, Tahiti - Two hundred islanders occupied a Pacific atoll over
the weekend to protest moves to sell the tiny uninhabited island to
Japanese investors who plan to transform it into a vast complex for
vacationers.
The coral atoll of Tupai located near Bora-Bora 270 km northwest
of Papeete, has been the target of investors who have been negotiating
with a notary in Tahiti for its purchase.
The protestors, some of whom claim to be the descendents of a Bora­
Bora king who ruled over the atoll, said they were co-owners of the
land along with the notary and opposed its sale to a Japanese
consortium of Advance Pacific Developments and Emerald PaCific
Developments.
THE NATION, May 11, 1990
Coutd. from page 5
Again, the Radisson tie-up wi II be a major selling point as the north American
tourist Gill easily identify with a familiar group.
In effect, fTDC is trying to combat competition by creating a distinct niche
to give all those tourists who want a feel of India and a knowledge of its culture.
How far Lakshman will succeed in this endeavour is difficult to predict. The
all pervading bureaucratic culture at fTDC and those government mandarins
who like to manage things from behind the scenes must be circumvented. Given
thi". (1<; al<;o IT DC'.; rom mClrkpf it j<; Eoing to hI" <llong ;mo oiffi.lll! orivp
BUSINESS INDIA, May 28, 1990
A Soviet Las
A Nevada company has signed an agreement with the Soviet government to
operate four small casinos in Russia, a company official said. Officials hope
to open the first casino along the Black Sea in less than two months, according
to Simon Furman, general manager for
will spend about $1 million to open the four casinos in existing
"The casinos will carry the Las Vegas name because it is known
worldwide:"
The first casino will have six or eight table games and 35 to 50 slot machines.
It is expected to open this summer in the Dagomys Hotel in Sochi, a popular
Soviet resort town on the Black Sea.
Furman said Uniauad will split the profits from the Soviet government.
THE NATION, May 11, 1990
Tourists invading Grenada
by Julie Vorman, Reuter
S
even years after US military tanks rolled ashore, Grenada is now the site
of daily invasions by platoons of tourists armed with cameras and straw
hats who arrive aboard luxury cruise
of the well-heeled visitors who spend a day on the Caribbean island
have only vague recollections of the brief fighting in 1983 that ousted Grenada's
Marxist government. They prefer instead to admire the red-roofed colonial
buildings around St George's harbour or tour a spice plantatior
Promoting tourism is one of the top priorities of the newly-elected centrist
government of this Caribbean island of rain forest and beaches.
In 1989 nearly 136,000 cruise ship passengers visited Grenada and another
62,000 tourists were overnight visitors on the island. The numbers have doubled
since 1983.
Among the tourists now are some of the American soldiers who were among
the 7,000 troops once stationed on the island.
"These guys came and saw what a pretty th is is and decided to come
back;' said one local merchant who owns a business that sells air
conditioners.
Tourism pumped $27 million into Grenada's economy in 1986, according
to the government. It ranked second as the nation's income earner, behind
agricultural of nutmeg, mace, cocoa, cinnamon and bananas.
One of the campaign pledges of Prime Minister Nicholas Braithwaite, who
took office last week, is to significantly increase the number of hotel rooms
on the island from the current 1,000 by offering investment incentives.
"Tourism and manufacturing are important ways to better your economy;'
Braithwaite told Reuters. "Tourism brings jobs for construction workers, airline
baggage handlers, taxi drivers, cooks, and hotel managers:'
The island with a population of about 100,000, has an estimated unemploy­
ment rate of 28 percent. Annual per capita income was about $1,450 last year,
compared with $950 prior to the US invasion.
During the past three years Grenada has successfully wooed at least a half­
dozen manufacturers to establish small plants on the island, offering preferential
treatment for export to the United States under the Caribbean Basin Initiative.
The Initiative allows duty-free trade between Caribbean nations and the United
States for most products.
SmithKline Beecham and Johnson and Johnson are among the companies
that have plants on the island. Plants here make such products as surgical caps,
lingerie, cosmetics and contact lens kits.
"I see a lot of potential for growth;' said one diplomatic observer. "The new
government should be in a position to take advantage of it:'
Braithwaite, whose coalition government defeated a comeback attempt by
former leader Sir Eric Gairy in a general election on March 13, has promised
to reorganize the island's Industrial Development Corporation, which he said
docs little to ourcJucratic red tape for potentia! investors.
NATION, March 23, 1990
6
Alternative Tourism Debate
S
ince Chiang Mai, 1984 a wide range of groups like the critics of tourism,
NGOs' commercial tour operators and even the World Tourism Organi­
sation have shown increasing interest in various forms of Alternative
Tourism. The"number of directories and guide books etc. published are
testimony to the viability of Alternative Tourism.
Despite this we are still faced with the problem of rapidly growing mass
tourism. According to conservative estimates there will be 600 million tourists
by 2000'AD increasingly travelling to the Third World. It is likely that many
of them will be 'alternative tourists'.
Alternative Tourism stands in the problematic position of becoming
another sector or segment of the mass tourism market. In fact the interest of
the established tourism industry in Alternative Tourism is an indication of this
trend. As such even those involved in Alternative Tourism from a Third World
perspective are likely to be co-opted by the industry leaving them powerless,
while the basic issues in tourism remain unconfronted.
It would be illusory to believe that by our practical involvement in Alternative
Tourism alone, we are able to influence tourism trends, much less minimise
the negative effects of mass tourism. It would be far better to go through aprocess
of soul-searching so as to bring changes in the face of World tourism. Mere
self-satisfaction in our efforts in Alternative Tourism is obviously insufficient.
At EQUATIONS we believe that both in global and national contexts our task
is to question and bring pressure upon tourism trends. Our response to the
challenge to tourism is that it requires nothing less than apolitical and economic
reorganisation of the industry towards democratisation.
Obviously, this is no easy task given the prevailing socio-economic realities
of most Th ird World societies. For tourism to change, its structural context must
also undergo a basic change. Such changes do appear to be taking place in
some of our countries and they are to be welcomed.
The process of change is not always smooth; on the contrary it is often painful
and traumatic. It demands tremendous amounts of energy, often at great cost,
from those who initiate and are involved in the processes of change. Are we
to meet the challenge?
Ex.tract from a paper by K. T. Sur6h, at the workshop on Travel at Medium Budget, at
Jakarta, November 1990)
/.
JGoT YooR JJRVING
A WJNDERFUL liME
- WISH YOU WERE
.•
So HERE
lAM!

letter to Equations
Dear Sir,
I have been in touch with anumber of NCO's, environment groups and organisations
specialising in lobbying and awareness building functions for grassroot protest groups
in North and Central India. The negative aspects of tourisms' 'modus operandi' in
India does not seem to be an important issue within their present curriculum. While
and EQUATIONS on the dedicated work done in
stronger a(tion must be olanned now
can see the issue on 'negative tourism' in context to India being counteracted
on three fronts:
1. Lobbying and direct confrontation with planners and executors through media
support, NCO solidarity and research study.
2. Holding of regular workshops specially in those areas that faced the burden of
mass tourism and involving in them awider spectrum of the population.
3. Working towards creating aviable alternative so as to counteract the 'foreign
exchange' bug that justifies every adverse effect of tourism development.
I know from experience how difficult it has been for VENTURE TOURS to gain
financial stability while pursuing an ideal. Very often we have had to reluctantly
use the corporales and international affiliated organisations (specially transporters)
in out-lying areas and other cities most often at exhorbitant prices. To provide
meaningful tours we have to conduct our own research studies cutbng substantially
into our meagre profit margins. The Department ofTourism has categorically refused
our recognition application based on our solidarity support to the Narmada Dams
issue which they say is anti-tourism.
The first step in prwiding aviable alternative is to build astrong network of support
companies with like minded ideals throughout India. We must work towards training
these individuals and companies within the framework of our thought and working
structures. The function of EQUATIONS is not only to work towards creating an
awareness on anti-development issues governing tourism but to work simultaneously
introducing the concept of t\lternative Tourism' to individuals and companies
in your newsletter covering this
Michael Cordeiro, Venture Tours (India)
E-36, Jangpura Extension, New Delhi-l100l4 (India)
11
Boost to Kerala
The tourism scene in Kerala ie; in a for asea change with a multi-crore waterfront
hotel here marking the shift to the big sell strategy.
The hotel is part of a series of ambitious schemes of the "Tourist Resorts
the latest subsidiary of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC),
which so far seemed to rely on the "small is beautiful" concept.
Besides, big hotel groups like the Taj have come forward to invest in the state
for promoting tourism taking advantage of the "open door" policy of the left
Front government.
At present the work is in full and the hotel is fast coming up on the
sprawl ing mari ne drive of the 84 of the total 108 rooms giving a view
over the Arabian sea.
The hotel, the biggest in the KTDC hotel chain in the state has been
sanctioned aRs 3.40 crore loan from the Industrial Finance Corporation of India
(lFCI) and the Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI). The balance will
be met by the Kerala government
Among the distinctive features of the four star hotel complex are its direct
access to the sprawling backwaters leading to the sea mouth though a private
boat jetty in front of the hotel.
The project manager, Mr K. Ranjan, says negotiations are under way with
the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) to get some more land
to build a swimming pool, an essential ore-reauisite for getting five star
recognition.
Along with this prestigious project liThe Tourist Resorts Kerala" is taking up
the development of a numberof beach resorts in the state beginning with the
Varkala beach resort and the Kappad beach resorts.
It is also planned to develop a few river resorts starting with Athiapally and
Vazhachal, the home of three glorious waterfalls in Thrissur district.
Backwaters are also emerging as one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kerala
with the state tourism department launching two multi-crore luxury cruisers
here alone recently. These vessels furnished with all modern faci lities for on
board conferences and picnics are expected to sell the state's tourism in an
unprecedently better manner in the coming years.
TIMES OF INDIA, August 2, 1990
Industrial Resentment
The travel and tourism trade have criticised the Government of India's move
to close down some of its tourist offices abroad. This is expected to create an
adverse impact on overseas tour operators and check the growth of inward
tourism.
The decision to close down the offices in Singapore, Chicago, Stockholm
and Sydney in the first phase, has shocked the tourism promoters who are now
gearing up to receive foreigners next year which has been declared the Visit
India Year-1991.
The trade in south has, particularly, resented the decision to close down the
office in Singapore which has been looking after tourist needs from that island
and neighbou ring countries. Started nearly two decades ago as aregional base
for South East Asia, tourist office at Singapore is responsible for promoting
tourism in India. The arrivals from the island have almost doubled. In 1980/
the island contributed some 16,500 visitors, mainly leisure travellers, to India
and this increased to more than 29/000 last year.
Statistics prove the importance of tourists offices abroad. Travel circles feel
that the closure of these offices would terminate many years of promotional
efforts that had led to the steady growth in tourist traffic from these countries.
The decision would also discourage the local travel agents in these countries
in promoting India as a tourist destination because of lack of information on
India.
INDIAN EXPRESS, August 30, 1990
Concern over delay
The Committee on Public Undertakings has expressed grave concern over the
delay in setting up a National Tourism Board so that the overlapping of functions
among the different agencies involved in the tourism development is obviated.
In its action taken report on its earlier recommendations about the India
Tourism Development Corporation limited, laid in Parliament today, the
Committee regretted that so far no decision had been taken by the Government
about the setting up of a National Tourism Board.
The plea that the department of Tourism had regu lar meetings with the State
Government and other agencies involved in the promotion of tourism was not
convincing. It urged the Government to set up this board to evolve an integrated
approach towards development and promotion of tourism in the country and
to effectively control the activities of different agencies involved in the tourism
field.
The committee had earlier asked the ITDC to go in for lower category hotels
which the private sector was not willing to start. The COPU said it was 'shocked'
to note that the decision taken earlier by the Government to merge the Hotel
Corporation of India with the ITDC was not being implemented. It urged the
Government to do this soon to ensure co-ordinated operations and a more
extensive and accommodation network.
The committee also asked the Government to consider the ITDe's plea for
liberal policy in regard to release of foreign exchange to step up its marketing
efforts so that the corporation could participate ir travel fairs and trade meets
abroad.
It also suggested that shops in the shopping arcades of ITDC hotels should
be allotted through auction and not through advertisement and subsequent
selection by a committee since the latter had loopholes.
Criticising ITDe's manpower planning, the committee said that as a result
of poor planning the company now found itself in a situation where on the
one hand more staff was expected to be rendered surplus upon the reduction
in fleet of vehicles run by the company, on the other it would be unable to
redeploy them in its other business functions which were already overmanned.
INDIAN EXPRESS, August 29/ 1990
Hotel plan flayed
Over 300 writers artists, public figures and leading academicians of the country
have appealed to the President and the Prime Minister not to convert the
Rashtrapati Nivas at Shim la, presently housing the Indian Institute of Advance
into a five-star hotel.
said "what Dr Radhakrishnan had envisaged
be restored to
exploitation of the most materialistic
The building is intimately associated with the colonial era of Indian history
and with the struggle for Indian independence and negotiations that led to
Partition. Crucial meetings between Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and
Mohar.lmed Ali Jinnah took place here during the Simla Conference in 1945.
Built of Himalayan grey stone in the English renaissance (Elizabethan) style,
during the Viceroyalty of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava (1884-88), it occupies
a commanding position at Summerhill here in over a 40-hectare estate of
buildings and gardens.
Formerly known as the Viceregal lodge, it became part of the estate of the
President of India after Independence and was renamed Rashtrapati Nivas.
The Rashtrapati Nivas was donated by the late President, Dr Sarvepalli Rad ha­
krishnan, for the purpose of an autonomous and residential institution for advan­
ced study and research in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
According to academicians of the liAS, the proposal to establish a hotel
"amounts to an insult to the memory, dignity and prestige of the late President;'
who conceived the idea of setting up of the institute here.
An architect, Professor A. Maitra of the Delhi School of
Architecture, sent by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural
(INTACH) in 1986/ has recommended that the Rashtrapati Nivas be
to drY use and hence be restricted to academic purpose only.
THE STATESMAN, August 3, 1990
12
Belize
Joseph King, IPS
C
oncerned about the apparently unplanned development of Islands and
Inland waterways here, the Government of Belize has announced steps
to improve the protection and preservation of its natural resources and
environment
In arecent policy statement in the Belize parliament, Deputy Prime Minister
and minister of industry and natural resources Florincio Marin said there'is cause
for concern over lithe rapid rate of growth and the potential for even further
development along our coastlands and cays (offshore Islets)".
Blessed by a political and social calm which contrasts with the social turmoil
and war which have plagued other Central American States, Belize has
experienced rapid expansion in recent years, particularly in Tourism.
Two International hotel chains have now moved into the Central American
Country. The U.s. Radisson Group has taken over the 76-room Fort George,
Belize's largest existing hotel, while another chain is scheduled to open its
100-room complex, The Ramada Royal Reef Hotel, later this year. Both are on
the Belizean mainland.
Numerous smaller resorts, fishing lodges and hotels have sprung up on several
of Belize's offshore islands or "cays", putting pressure on local residents and
fishermen, who use the cays as bases from which to fish for lobster, shrimp,
condi, crab and fish.
Belize's 282 km coastline bordering on the Caribbean Sea is protected by
the World's second largest barrier reef, which runs along the entire length of
the country. The reef provides a bounty for Belizean fishermen, who are
organized in cooperatives, the only business allowed to carry out commercial
fishing within the reef.
However, complaints voiced recently in Belize's major newspapers point to
a major conflict of interest between fishermen and the proprietors of privately
owned of leased cays.
The measures announced by the Belize government are aimed at ensuring
access to all beaches and riverbanks. The policy statement reveals that steps
will be taken to prevent the construction of permanent fixtures along all beaches
and waterways, including rivers.
In areas zoned for housing construction, all construction will have to be at
least 20 metres from the mean high-water mark, except in special cases such
as eroded beaches or very narrow strips of land where the minimum distance
from the waterline will be just over 6 metres.
The measures also seek to protect mangroves, beach lands and waterways
threatened by developers. The expansion of housing and construction here has
resulted in the reclamation of some mangrove swamps, which playa vital role
in the food and reproductive cycles of many marine species.
Belize's 335 cays are specially targetted in the new policy, under which a
moratorium has been placed on the lease or granting of titles for any
government-owned cays pending an adequate inventory of the islets, which
cover an area of some 809 square ki lometres.
A conservation and management committee has now been appointed to
determine if any of the cays need to be placed under the protection of Belize's
National Parks System, which restricts commercial development, hunting or
fishing in given areas.
The commission's attention will undoubtedly be focused on the Turneffe
Island Chain, agroup of islands and atolls just outside Belize's Barrier Reef which
have aroused the interest of developers who want to establish an Eco.:rourism
type resort there.
lilt is al ready obvious that the Tumeffe Islands, because of thei r terrai n, wildlife,
flora and fishing resour(es will require to be placed under the National Parks
Systems Act'; Marin told parliament.
"Development must be balanced with the major environmental factors if our
true objectives are to be achieved'; he said. •
Peking contests
F
ive months of contests for Peking's waiters, door attendants and
other tourist-industry workers to test their friendliness and
hospitality were announced by the China tourism.
But those providing poor service will be penalised by having their
photographs exhibited in public.
The competition's goal is to improve quality among the industry's
workers ahead of the influx of some 7,000 athletes and 100,000
tourists expected here for the Asian Games.
Peking wants "to testify to the world that, under the leadership of
the Chinese Communist Party, socialist China has the capacity to
host a grand international sports meeting," explained a brochure
distributed to the media.
Even tourists can get in on the action. Those who have had specially
printed cards rubber-stamped at eight main attractions - including
the Forbidden City and the Great Wall - can compete in a free
lottery.
Chinese bicycles would be awarded to first-prize winners and
cameras for second prizes, said another brochure.
The service-industry competitions from April-September will
award prizes and make the most courteous and hospitable waiters,
chambermaids and doorkeepers into examples for their peers in this
country, not known for its service.
There will also be awards for the best-decorated dining rooms, as
well as the best menus and most well-attended toilet facilities.
The tourism board also plans to hang thousands of banners on the
front of buildings and broadcast inspirational slogans from 20 cars
equipped with megaphones.
Meanwhile, staff employed by sports facilities have been primed
for many weeks on the niceties of English greetings and broad smiles,
according to the official press.
China has reopened air links between Tibet and neighbouring
Nepal in a welcome boost for tourism, the sole Western hotel
manager in the troubled regional capital of lliasa said. The route was
opened amid fanfare in 1987 but then suspended because of pro­
independence demonstrations and rioting in Lhasa.
Martial law, imposed in the city in March last year, is still in force.
A Royal Nepal Airlines jet brought more than 100 passengers into
the remote Himalayan region last Saturday on the first flight in the
scheduled weekly service. Air China will fly to Nepal's capital Kath­
mandu once a week.
"We think it might remain quiet this summer," Holiday Inn's
Austrian manager Hubert Liner said by telephone, referring to last
year's protests. "We expect a very good summer," he added.
The United Nations is also planning a tourism survey with a view
to attracting much-needed funds to the region's two million people.
Foreign tourists can now only travel to Tibet tn organised groups of
at least three people. This could be reduced to one this summer, Liner
said, but a guide and driver would still be compulsory.
Travellers in Lhasa last month said the city was tense. Four tanks
took up positions on March 3, in the central square outside the
Jokhang Temple, the most revered shrine in Tibet and the focus of
anti-Chinese protests in which scores of Tibetans have been shot dead
by security forces since 1987.
BANGKOK POST, April 4, 1990
(Toe: New Approach
N
ot very long ago, the word 'marketing' was alien to the public sector
Indian Tourism Development Corporation (iTDC). Indeed most people
may still think it is. "Put up with our shoddy service or go stay some
other pi ace;' was the attitude, admits a sen ior executive of the hotel company.
But times are changing now, or so it seems. Backed by an improved financial
performance last year, ITDC is all set to refurbish the hitherto in-famous image
of its hotel chain.
"Probably for the fi rst ti me, we at ITDC are seriously looki ng at factors such
as segmenting, positioning and a service oriented approach;' says R. K.
Lakshman, chai rman of ITDC. In fact, the decision to appoint the former deputy­
chairman of ITDC Ltd who has both a strong marketing background and
substantial experience in the hotel industry, via the Welcomgroup reflects the
government's intention to revamp the organisation.
According to Lakshman, ominous signals from the market place forced this
realisation upon them. For quite a while, competition has been hotting up in
the five-star category as well as the four and th ree-star segments. Th us, it became
imperative for ITDC to spruce up or keep losing a lucrative guest base. "No
dou'bt, ITDC's major task is to promote tourism but then;' as Lakshman poi nts
out, "promotion needs marketing skills and developing an image which will
click with potential guests': Ever since he took over in October 1988, Lakshman
has been aware of the need to evolve a new approach.
His first year in office has seen a concentration in the strengthening of the
financial performance of the organisation. Here he seems to have met with some
success. Post tax profits increased by 50 per cent to Rs.9 crore and foreign
exchange earnings crossed Rs.50 crore for the first time. Having achieved a
healthy bottomline, Lakshman feels that the time is now opportune to make
an attempt to compete effectively with the private sector chains like the Taj,
Oberoi and Welcomgroup.
Is this just another pie-in-the-sky or has ITDC chalked out its gameplan? The
first step in the new direction - regarded as a major one by the hotel industry
- has been finalising a collaboration with a well-known international chain.
ITDC has tied up with the Radisson group which operates more than 300
properties worldwide.
The Radisson tie-up will offerthree distinct advantages. "Since the group has
developed hospital ity into a fi ne art, ITDC will benefit immensely by imbibing
the service culture;' says asenior marketing executive of Hotel Ashok in Delhi.
Equally important is the fact that Radisson operates one of the largest travel
services in North America. Though, ITDC also runs the Ashok Tours and Travels,
it hasn't been doing so very successfully and the service quality, says an industry
insider, is abominable. By combining hospitality with a well networked
infrastructure of travel services for tourists, ITDC hopes to offer a complete
package. Besides, the expertise of Radisson in promoting beach and holiday
resorts will help ITDC expand its offer to customers.
Lakshman's plans do not stop with the Radisson tie-up. "Like the private sedor
chains, we will also offer promotional packages, additional services and
faci I ities;' he promises. But ITDC's strategy will differ from that of the private
sector chains in one significant way. While the latter are concentrating more
and more on the business traveller who provides the most money, ITDC will
continue to attract the tourist. "Of course, we will lure the corporate executive
- but for holidays:' says Lakshman. The geographical location of the ITDC hotels
is advantageous. Betting on this, last year, ITDC commissioned two properties
- in the three-star category at Puri and Pondicherry. There is also an ambitious
plan to complete revamp and throw 'Open the old Viceregal Lodge in Si mla to
tourists. Here too, the Radisson connection will no doubt be useful.
Since the primary focus has been to attract tourists. ITDC has also promoted
'India' restaurants overseas - mainly in the Soviet Union. "These restaurants
will provide the potential tourists a glimpse of what they can have in India;'
says Lakshman. In the years to come, ITDC plans to open a dozen odd
restaurants in the US and the Far East. In tandem with this will be an overseas
advertising campaign that will extend to both the print and electronic media.
contd. on page 7
5
End up like Mongolia
by Neil Fleming
The mother cheetah was out in the open with her three cubs when the first
tourist bus came up out of the plains. She swung her head in the delicate
cheetah's way, eyed the noisy dusty intruder and decided to stay put.
Within minutes, spotted by a fellow tour driver, the first bus had been joined
by a second, crammed with tourists eager to point and click their cameras. A
third, fourth and fifth bus arrived, so the story goes, and the mother cheetah
found herself surrounded. Nervous now, she considered the options and
decided the cubs must be moved to safety. They were very young.
She took the fi rst one in her teeth and, as the shutters whi rred, carried it to
safety through the encircling wagons. She put it down, turned, went back for
another, and as she did so an eagle dropped out of a clear sky, snatched the
first cub in its talons and was gone.
The cheetah paused, bewildered and angry. Then she went back into the
circle and killed both remaining cubs in her frustration.
In 1988, Kenya earned $15 million from tourism, an increase of 19.5 per cent
over 1987. That yearfor the first time, more than 1 million people, tourists and
locals, entered the country's game parks.
Tourism is Kenya's largest foreign exchange earner, accounting for about 17.5
per cent of the plus side of the trade balance sheet.
About 890,000 people will come from Western Europe, Japan and the United
States this year, the government projects, and it hopes there will be 1.1 million
visitors by 1993.
But will there?
"A continent ages quickly once we come;' wrote Ernest Hemingway in The
Green Hills ofAfrica, his 1935 big game hunting classic. 'We are the intruders
and after we are dead we may have ruined it but it will still be there and we
don't know what the next changes are. I suppose they all end up like Mortgolia:'
The "next changes;' unimaginable to Hemingway, shooting his lions and
rhinos with innocent abandon, were among the most dramatic examples of
natural destruction by man. In the two decades since the first Earth Day in 1970
focused attention on saving the planet, few areas have been so spoiled as the
great game parks of East Africa.
Tourism, poaching, agriculture, population and pollution have combined to
turn many of the green hills into dusty, empty wastelands. Only in the very recent
past have governments woken up to the fact that the old Eden is gone, and
Mongolia is just around the corner. Rescue attempts may be too late.
In Amboseli Park, 160 kms south of Nairobi, there is almost nothing left.
Tourist vehicles by the thousand have churned once fertile land into mud, the
mud has dried and the wind has blown it over everything, killing the vegetation,
wrecking the food chain and driving the animals to seek refuge elsewhere.
But there is nowhere for them to go. In 1948, Kenya's population was 5.4
million. In 1979 it was 15.33 million. In 1988 it was 22.7 million, and by 1993,
according to government projections, it will be at least 27 million.
For 10 years, the borders of the game parks have been front lines, the scene
of a desperate bid by wildlife authorities to prevent the encroachment of
herdsmen, snare-setters, firewood gatherers, savannah burners, people whose
crops have been damaged by grazing gazelles or those who brazenly plough
up areas designated as reserves.
Today the fight extends outside the 25,334 square kilometres of the parks,
as overpopulation pollutes and denudes surrounding environments in the
struggle for land, food and fuel.
'We have a 2,000-square kilometre catchment area here:' says Alfred Mayoli,
chief warden at Lake Nakuru National Park, afragile ecosystem in the Rift Valley.
It's home to 1 million flamingos, 20 black rhinoceroses, 80 to 100 leopards
and thousands of buffaloes. "But people have taken all the trees around the
park and now we have gullies, erosion, pesticides and sewage flowing into the
park;' he says.
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, Nairobi
4
GOA: Tourism Decried
At a public meeting on 16th October organised by the JOf" (Vigilant
Goans Army), speakers from several village action groups narrated
their experiences in the face of five"star tourism. Resolutions moved
at the meeting demanded the scrapping of the Shendrem Beach
Resort, the Seema Agonda holeL Club Med Canacona, and one
by Lufthansa in Canacona. They also urged disinvestment from the
Leela Kempinski and Ramada hotels, compliance with demolition
orders, an immediate halt to international charter fliqhts to Goa, and
a call to the WTO to 'stop interferinq with Goa's
The JGF has also condemned the
lo allow the Flea Market to be re-started from November 21 st at Anjuna
beach. The market had been closed since April 1989 after several raids
by the Anti-Narcotics squad, the Customs and the Excise departments.
Its re-opening, according to the "GF, is a sell-out to the drug dealers
and other vested interests. Letters indicating support of the JGF
position should be mailed to the JGF, Liberty Apartments, Feira
Alta, MapQsa, 403507, Goa.
More Hotels for Goa
The Goa government has cleared 18 develooment oroiects for promotion of
tourism in Goa. The projects, cleared by
include nine beach resort projects, a fJlaygrour
and roads leading to beaches.
Falling within the 200 to 500 metres of the high-tide line and beyond, the
projects were cleared as per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of
environment and forests.
An official spokesperson said the projects were cleared at a committee
meeting held under the chairmanship of chief minister, Dr Luis Proto Barbosa.
Of the 18 projects approved, six fall under the government's purview and the
the
on the coastal belt both in north and south
Benaulim, Utorda and Varca.
TIMES OF INDIA, August 30, 1990
Co-inciding with 1991, Visit India Year, and in view of the severe
socio-economic problems confronting our country, several concer­
ned groups and individuals have come together and initiated a
nation-wide campaign on tourism issues. For further details write to:
The Coordinator
Indian Campaign on Tourism Issues
(ICTI)
Post Bag 13, Mapusa
Goa 403507
INDIA
Save Goa Campaign, U.K.
On the 23rd of March '90 at the Goan Overseas Association (GOA) Clubhouse,
in Beckenham, Kent, U.K. the "SAVE COA CAMPAIGN" was formed. Its main
stated aim is to protect Goa's unique environment for future generations and
to halt the devastation of Goa's coastal multinational
mmnln"" The CarnDaign hopes to mobilise opinion to support
Goa and the threatened Goan coastal communities.
be addre5sing the pattern of international tourism
of the "SAW GOA CAMPAIGN" Prof. Sergio Carvalho,
Convenor and Roland Martins, Secretary of the Goan Vigi lant Movement UGF
-- Jagrut Cocnkaranchi Fauz) out lined the mass destruction that is being caused
to ecology and social fabric by massive unplanlled tourism development.
They condemned plans to bui Id 35 luxury complexes along Goats entire 72 km.
beachline and the forcible displacement of ancestral coastal
highlighted the incalculable environmental, social and cultural
of the proposed tourism strategy to bring 8 million tourists to a
1.2 million inhabitants. Prof. Carvalho his grave concern over
increase of sodal problems in society such as AIDS,
IJrOSlil Ull 01 1 and drug abuse that are the direct result of mass tourism. He added
be a playground for the rich and GoallS playthings for the rich:'
condemned promotions by western holiday Companies that portray
where Westerners can procure easy sex and willing
wives.
Goa, as far as tourism is concerned is the only place on Earth where the nature
and structure of International Tourism is being qupstioned as well as actively
opposed. We see it as the first seed in a worldwide movement to preserve the
cultural and ecological diversity of our small and fragile planet against the
onslaught of powerful materialistic structures that are globali!:>ing ('" :mrnnrl;-,to
short-term
r"n,n:lliOnC to address
and minds of ordinary people everywhere. Issues
freedom, continuity and change. Uncertainties
over these issues are currently changing the face of the World's Body Politic
At a meeting of the SAVE GOA CAMPAIGN held in London on 28th April
'90 it was decided that volunteprs of SGC visit Goa this summer and get a first
hand position of the present situation in Goa. It was also decided that in the
autumn and winter months-Goa's peak tourist season-SGC will organise
lobbies and pickets of Holiday Companies and others involved in the
Environmental rape of this gentle coast and the dispossession of its hospitable
and toiling inhabitants.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chair of the SAVE GOA CAMPAIGN
Fernandes pointed out IGoa is an international Environment Resource like
Amazon or the Tasmanian wilderness, it is therefore an international
responsibility to protect Goa's Eco-system for the World especially at a time
our planet itself may be in peril: He welcomed the support given
to the campaign by the Goan Overseas Association (UK), Tourism Concern UK
and British Environmental groups.
SAVE GOA CAMPAIGN, 143D Oxforr! Road, London Nl ILR. Phone: (071) 7001763
5 million more
TI
e six ASEAN member countries hope to receive a mini­
mum of 22.5 million tourists by the end of 1992 - that's
five million more people than was earlier predicted.
The new projection will be Submitted for consideration to the
Sub-Committee on Tourism (SCOT) during the ASEAN Tourism
Forum 1990 (ATF '90)
The projected figure was arrived at and presented for the first
time, during ATF 1988 in Manila when the six countries
Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
- discussed the Visit ASEAN Year 1992 campaign following the
decision made by the ASEAN Summit in the same year.
But as the economic and tourism situations in Southeast Asia
and ASEAN are very favourable, tourist arrival figures have been
much larger than was earlier projected.
The projection has now been updated and revised. The latest
figures are 14.6 million in 1988(17%), 16.5 million in 1989(12%),
18.4 million in 1990 (11%), 20.3 million in 1991 (10%) and 22.5
million in 1992 (1O%).
Tourist arrivals in most ASEAN countries exceeded projections
in 1989. This was especially the case for Thailand, which was
visited by about 4.9 million people instead of the expected 3.9
million in the YAY's plan.
The new projection will be reported to SCOT's meeting when
the tourism governors of the six countries sit down for talks.
This is the first time that representatives of the ASEAN
Tourism Association (ASEANTA) will take part in the meeting
with SCOT. This follows the result of ATF's meeting in Singapore
last year,
YAY is not just aimed at promoting tourism in the region. It is
also involved in the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the
foundation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which
started in Bangkok.
The official announcement of YAY was made last year in Berlin
by tourism ministers from the Philippines and Thailand,
attending the International Tourism Exchange in Germany,
BANGKOK POST, January 9, 1990
of
S
ave Nilgiris Campaign (SNC) co-ordinator D. Venu­
gopal has said the heavy toll of lives and extensive
damage to property, soil and land in last month's
deluge in Nilgiris could have been greatly reduced had the
warnings of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) study
made after the 1978 floods been heeded.
He said deforestation and conversion of land for agri­
culture, tea plantations and residential purposes, which the
GSI study listed as the main reasons for landslides and soil
erosion in the Nilgiris, were allowed to be carried out at
an unprecedented pace without even the minimum
recommended precaution. Mr. Venugopal said ironically
the heavy downpour hardly helped in alleviating the acute
drinking water scarcity in the district as the reservoirs
were either silted up or in disuse.
DECCAN HERALD, November 16, 1990
13
Tourist Power
T
he land of Smiles is beaming away, on the whole, with 5.3
million tourists expected to spend 120 billion baht this
year, and a projected 20 million visitors - annually by the
end of the century no doubt leaving behind enough hard
currency to put a chicken in every pot and cover every square
metre of roaL ..lrface in Bangkok with a Benz.
The Thai economy is thriving, and these are happy times.
Though it has been noted in some quarters that 'infrastructure'
problems threaten.
For example, the fact that all of Bangkok is about to size up and
become one large fossilised traffic jam could tend to slow the rate
of national progress
At the same time, pollution has started to make window
shopping difficult, obscuring as it does all the lovely merchan­
dise; and eventually somebody's going to notice its' hard to enjoy
your Benzes when you're dead of a lung disease.
Another fly in the ointment is that currently there are insuffi­
cient energy resources to meet the demands of development.
And it seems that any attempt to correct the latter situation will
have catastrophic consequences for the natural environment.
Coal-fired generating stations cause too much air pollution. But
where the government proposes new dams for hydroelectric
power, the conservationists cry murder, whole forest ecologies
will be wiped out. And where the authorities then come back
with plans for nuclear power stations instead, everybody jumps
up and says this, too, will play havoc with the environment not
to mention increase taxes beside.
So what is to be done? It is surpriSing that no one seems to
have thought of one particularly elegant and inexpensive
solution to many of these difficulties. Harness the tourist.
In large part it has been the success of tourism promotion since
the Year of Tourism in 1987 which has both fueled the rest of
Thailand's economic surge and added to various attendant
horrors. So why not use the tourists themselves to set things
straight? What follows are only a few modest proposals, mere
indications of what might be done with this patently under­
exploited resource - the tourist.
Air pollution in Bangkok. It is high time that private sector
interests undertook some of the costs of restoring our environ­
ment. To this end, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT),
together with the National Environment Board (NEB) and the
Thai Hotels Association, ought to promote a new package for the
visitor-as part of it, all hotel guests who jog half an hour a day
in Lumpini Park or other designated areas should receive a 10%
discount on room rates. Part attendants will punch the room cards
of the joggers when they arrive and leave, while video cameras
will monitor the jogging tracks, alert for malingerers. The more
athletic among the hotel guests, those who can manage one
whole hour a day, will get a 30% room discount, while those who
use a special jogging lane marked off on Sukhumvit Road
between the hours of 7.00 a.m and 7-00 p.m will get a full 50%
off. Just think of it. Such elegance; such simplicity. Such is how
the inventor of the wheel must have felt when he (or she) saw
what he (or she) had done.
You don't see the point? Just think of it: millions and millions
of little vacuum cleaners panting away, day after day, their lungs
annually filtering hundreds of tons of toxic and otherwise
irritating wastes from Bangkok's air, taking all this gunk back
home to wherever they came from.
Eventually the discount system could cover local handicrafts
and restaurant meals as well. Truly dedicated joggers might even
Contd. on p,lgf' 15
14
Pyongyang Woos Tourists
by Stuart Arnold
N
orth Korea, still one of the most secretive and enclosed countries in
Asia, is taking the first steps towards opening its frontiers to western
tourists. With debts to western banks of around $900 mi II ion, it sees
tourism as a way of obtaining greater amounts of foreign exchange.
In 1988,40,000 tourists visited the country, though most were in the dele­
gations from Eastern Europe. In the first half of last year 30,000 arrived and in
the second half numbers were swollen by attendance at the Wo'rld Student
Games.
More hotels are being built and transport facilities improved. Chae Hwa Sop,
Deputy Director-General of the State General Bureau of Tourism, says Korea
now has links with more than 200 tourist companies in 40 countries. Facilities
are to be developed "under the banner of friendship and peace:' He adds: "We
are happy to contact all countries including the'United States and Japan, but
we have a long way to go. At present we are in the primary school state:'
North Korea is bordered by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of
China. It remains cut off from the South by the 28th parallel at Panmunjom,
where in 1953 the armistice was signed ending the Korean War.
There have been hints that leading companies like Hyundai from South Korea
would be keen to sign joint venture agreements to develop tourism in the North,
but these have been denied by Pyongyang.
It is now possible to travel on an individual basis to Pyongyang and North
Korea certainly offers tourists original experiences. The capital, largely destroyed
in the Korean War, has been rebuilt as a well planned and attractively laid out
city.
Restrictions on private cars and scarcity of petrol means that the wide highways
remain comparatively clear. There is little pollution outside the industrial zones
and no graffiti, so often the scourge of western cities. There is an excellent,
inexpensive and advertisement-free metro system and a strong accent on
extravagant public buildings.
The impressive 150,000-seater stadium, built initially to attract­
unsuccessfully-some events of the 1988 Olympic Games, hosted the well­
attended World Youth Festival. Marble theatres that house the ci rcus and opera
take the breath away while each sport is staged in its own arena.
The attractive Folklore Museum shows customs of the Korean people from
primitive times. Modern historians will be interested in the Revolutionary
Museum and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum, depicting the
struggle during the 1950-1953 war.
Sadly the tourist will find himself rigidly programmed. He will be taken to
the Children's Palace of Culture, to Number One Department Store, and to the
obligatory impressive High School.
He will go to a cooperative farm visited by hundreDS of tourists before him,
but he will find it virtually impossible to talk - even through an interpreter
- to the average Korean in the street.
The country is isolated. Kim II Sung wall posters are everywhere. Unusual
for a communist state, it has already been decreed that his son - the "Dear
Comrade" Kim Dong II - will succeed him.
Outside Pyongyang the seaside resort and harbour of Wonsan has its
attractions, while at Nampo the tourist is left to wonder at the West Sea Barrage,
an eight-kilometre-Iong dam built across the lower reaches of the Taerlong River
which took 30,000 labourers over six years to build. Kaesong, a city iamous
for its ginseng, is only 12 kilometres from Panmunjom on the armistice linc.
The natural scenery is the most stimulating. The mountain areas of Mt Paekdu
in the north of the country and Mts Kumgang and Myohyang, closer to the cdpitClI
offer climbing, hiking and swimming opportullitip\ while ('xuding the real
atmosphere of this "Land of ,\1ornin;.;
The present National Development Plan, wh: l:ilti i!qq ). el( kll()V,'
ledges that greater investment must lw nwie (\\,' ;,tlJi( lur the development
of the tourist infrastructure. Chae HWd Dop thllt highwt1\:; \\'ill bl'
improved and new cableway projects will open up more of the mountain sites.
Yet he acknowledges that a whole new national tourism plan will first have
to be developed.
He says: "A new guide book will be published and we are increasing our
training programme. For example, ',600 interpreters are at present being trained
at our universities, and asimilar number of guides are leaming the trade. Almost
2,000 waiters have 'on the job' training courses in our hotels. It is a beginning:'
North Korea already has its first golf course - expensive even by Japanese
standards - and is taking its first tentative steps in the international conference
market.
It plans to extend its air links. At present there are direct flights only to Moscow,
East Berlin, Peking and Khabarovsk. Visa and entry restrictions are being eased.
North Korea is likely to remain a "speciality" destination, through hopeful
forecasts talk about 400,000 tourists as a realistic target by the year 2000. Kim
II Sung and his successor may find that anything like those numbers will bring
in far greater outside influences than he would wish, and may prove alien to
the regime. - GEMINI
Indochina benefits Thailand
I
ndochina is expected to playa major role in supporting Thailand as the
gateway for regional tourism over the next five years. This follows moves
by anumber of private companies to forge closer ties with the Indochinese
states to help strengthen the flow of tourists to Indochina via Bangkok.
Siam Bay and City Hotels Group general manager Hans Frutiger said tourism
in Thailand would continue to grow if the country served as the gateway to
Indochina.
Thai Airways International vice president marketing Nares Horvatanakul
recently announced that the airline would increase the number of flights
between Thailand and the Indochinese countries and would also add new flights
such as Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang in Laos.
Mr Frutiger said the trend towards Thailand serving as agateway did not mean
the local tourism industry would become dependent on Indochina's popularity
as hotel operators here are already openi ng up near to new attractions. He said
this would help extend tourists' stay here and offer them more places to visit.
Although there has been concern expressed about a possible oversupply of
hotel rooms in Bangkok, Mr Frutiger said the situation would not be too bad
as some new investors were expected to cancel their projects.
The Board of Investment earlier announced that " new hotel projects granted
promotional privileges had stili not placed investment guarantees with the Bol,
while still more had missed the guarantee deadline and lost their privileges.
The increased presence of a number of international hotel chains in Thailand
is expected to further promote the name ofThailand among potential tOUrists.
Mr Frutiger said an oversupply could be expected in the near future, but it
would not be too serious. He said experierK hoteliers and the international
chain properties would survive, but some new hotels and provincial properties
would experience difficulty.
New hotels are expected to experience problems recruiting experienced staff
and could also have weak marketing networks. The provincial hotels will face
similar problems, he said, as well as difficu(ties with poor infrastructure.
Siam Bay and City Hotels currently has two properties - Siam Bayshore and
Siam Bayview, both in Pattaya - and is building a propf'rtv ir Bangkok. The
one-billion-h,lht Ciiy Holel on Sri Ayutthaya Road will have its soft opening
on June 1 \ ... its two towers will orer': The Sri Ayutthaya Wing will
rrovide 2::(;,i !"i;!(', plus d full range iJt facilities including eight food
(lPcI "i":' 'I ,I

;:i 1. 1 ,:,\:

',i
i'lbi centre.
(."·:P("'u" I,) record 45 %occupancy in June and July,
pcak tourism He said the company
:<,,\',c
i
:di1;1buri and planned another in Hua Hin.
BANGKOK POST, May 9, 1990
3
Major Role for Private Sector
T
he recently released draft approach to the Eighth Five Year Plan
pronounces that circumstances are propitious for a rapid expan­
sion of tourism, perhaps in recognition of the exceptionally
good performance of the industry in recent years. This year could see
certain concrete policy measures being introduced for the industry, since
1991 has been designated as the Visit India Year.
The Eighth Plan approach paper pOints out that "tourism has demon­
strated its potential in contributing substantially to foreign exchange
earnings", and stresses that future expansion should be mainly through
the private sector.
Foreign exchange earnings through tourism showed a perceptible
increase in the Seventh Plan, after the relative stagnation of the Sixth
Plan. According to the Economic Survey (1989-90), the share of travel
receipts declined from 19.8 per cent in 1980-81 to 10.9 per cent in
1984-85, primarily due to the slow growth in tourist traffic. The share,
however, increased during the first three years of Seventh Plan, mainly
due to the increased foreign tourist inflow. The average annual growth
of foreign tourism during this period was nearly 11.7 per cent, as opposed
to the Planning Commission's estimate of a rate of growth of 7per cent.
Tourist arrivals (excluding nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh)
registered an increase of about 7.8 per cent between December 1988 and
December 1989, from 1,239,992 to around 1,337,232. Provisional
estimates indicate that foreign exchange earnings increased from Rs
2,103 crore in 1988·89, to around Rs 2,456 crore in 1989-90. Says Jayanta
SanyaJ, Additional director general, Department 9f Tourism "our strategy
would be not only to increase the rate of growth in terms of the number
of tourists, but more importantly, to maximise the rate of growth of
revenue per tourist".
While international tourism has made a significant contribution to
foreign exchange earnings, domestic tourism has also provided consid­
erable economic benefits. A study by the Ministry of Tourism (1987),
which highlighted the importance of domestic tourism, pOinted out that
this sector accounted for nearly 1.95 per cent of the national income and
1. 79 per cent of the total employment, as compared to figures of 0.25 and
0.31 respectively in the case oJ international tourism.
However, criticising the information gap in the tourism sector, the study
stated that the government does not have "any reliable estimate of the
total volume of domestic tourism traffic in the country. While the volume
and structure of domestic tourism are still to be determined, statistics on
tourism supplies and their utilisation are still unknown...the existing
information gap in the field of tourism has also resulted in the incomplete
or partial understanding of the sector, and the consequential errors in the
development strategies, and the identification of tourism with five-star
culture".
Due to definitional problems, there are varying estimates on the
number of tourists. The estimate made by the tourism department for
instance, indicates a tourist traffic (measured in terms of use of accomm­
odation units) of nearly 45 million in the current year. As against this,
another estimate indicates domestic traffic of nearly 360 million,
assuming that tourists account for 10 per cent of domestic airline and
railway traffic.
Although the state government.s have responded to the persistent
demands of the central government for instituting a regular system of data
collection, especially from accommodation establishments, offici aI
sources point out that the reliability of such data is yet t:J he
However, considering that massive investments would be forthcoming
from the private sector during the Eighth Plan, spokeSlllt'l1 from t1w
industry feel that it is imperative to create a sound data which in
turn, would help in assessing emerging demand patterns.
The encouragement of private sector investment was cited as one of the
major objectives for the tourism sector in the Seventh Plan. This was
reiterated in the report of the National Committee on Tourism (NCT).
While according greater responsibility to the private sector in terms of
some of the functions that have hitherto been performed by the state,
the NCT stated that "".it is neither necessary nor feasible for the state
to continue with large investments in the sector as before".
The response cf the state governments to the central government
directive to declare tourism as an industry has been encouraging. While
as many as 16 states and union territories have given tourism the status
of an industry, hoteliering has acquired the status of an industry in four
states.
Efforts are also being made to diversify tourism from conventional areas
like culture tourism, towards non-traditional areas like wildlife and
adventure tourism. beach tourism, convention tourism etc. Further, in a
bid to attract tourists, the government has initiated various measures.
which include among others development of special tourist circuits,
diversification of tourism resources, fiscal and monetary incentives for
attracting private investment, liberalisation of policies relating to air taxis
and strengthening of training dnd marketing efforts.
The response of the private sector in setting up hotel chains, according
to official sources, has been very encouraging. Foreign collaborations are
being s0ught. considering the capital-intensive nature of the industry.
The Taj group of hotels for instance. is seeking a tie-up with Club
Mediterranean of France for beach resorts, while the Oberoi group is
considering collaboration with Accor hotels of France for a chain of
hotels in the three star category. The Modi group and Mahindras are also
seeking tie-ups with Day's Inn (USA) and Mandarin Oriental group of
Hongkong.
I
n a recent announcement by the government, new approved hotels
set up in selected areas, would be exempted from expenditure tax for
a period of 10 years, and would be given 50 per cent exemption from
income tax subject to the condition that such projects would become
operational by 1993.
The industry is also seeking the abolition of expenditure tax in view of
the fact that hotels having a higher domestic tourist occupancy are being
adversely affected by these imposts. Some spokesmen point out that
expenditure tax can at least be confined to room sales without being app­
lied to food and beverages and every other source of income of the hotel.
Loan requirements for specialised needs ofthe tourism industry are
being met by the Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI). in line
with the recommendations of the N CT. The corporation has sanctioned
loans upto Rs 52.78 crore for 39 projects, of which Rs 12.76 crore (for 19
projects) have been disbursed upto the end of March 1990. Over 60
percent of the assistance has been for new projects, and the remainder
for expansion, renovation and expansion-cum-renovation.
Among the type of projects which have been financed. nearly 80
percent of assistance has been approved for hotels in the three-star and
Ii \"e'st af cateqof)('s. Next. in order of importance come the four-star hotels
followeo hv oil,::" projects like car rentals and amusement parks.
Thc, jwo\';ti the economic benefits that tourism
call oi!,"! c::t:irh to taken a pragmatic view as far as development
lor < concerned. As Sanyal aptly puts it "the new
P('tTi :-:,,, oi't(mri:'!l! area for percolating economic benefits to the
lp:;:, llt'\\ L,,·;ng increasingly recognised by the central and
st cll( qO\'Er:lr:;t'r:!:· 'h (is industry as a whole.
THE INDEPENDEN I, JUlle i7,. 1990
2
(·ontd. from page t
breeze. "Krishna is everywhere - in our own children. in the cows
scavenging in the gutter." they say.
Local people point tirelessly at landmarks. That is the jail where
Krishna was born; here he grazed his cattle; on this tree he hung the
clothes of bathing gopis; this is where he departed for Kansa's palace
on a chariot; Yashoda churned butter on those steps.
It is this religious heritage that will be maintained in the proposed
'heritage zone; to attract tourists who pass through, but do not stop, at
Vrajbhoomi on their way to Agra,
"Mentally, we have not accepted the idea that pilgrims are also
tourists," says INTACH's Martand Singh.
The peak pilgrim season is sawan-bhadon or late summer and
monsoon. The UP state department of tourism puts the 1986 estimate
of pilgrims at 37,15,548 and the 1989 estimate at 38,54,356, approxi­
mately, for Mathura and Vrindavan alone. If visitors to the rest of
Vrajbhoomi .are included, the number is roughly one crore. But they feel
that by 1996, 65 per cent of Vrindavan will be involved in pilgrim related
activities.
"Krishna doesn't have to be marketed to pilgrims, who come
motivated by shraddha, and expect few facilities:' says a spokesman for
INTACH. "But the 'highway tourist' has to be offered a hygienic and
stimulating package."
The question being debated today is whether Vrajbhoomi can take
a greater load on its infrastructure as a pilgrim spot. At present Mathura's
sewage, accommodation and transport facilities are strained to the limit.
This is most apparent at the 250-year-oldghats, slimy and crumbling
by the turbid river, into which raw sewage from 17 outlets in Mathura
and 13 in Vrindavan is dumped. Another source of pollution is the
massive sari-dyeing industry upstream.
"The parikrama marg (circumambulatory path) which pilgrims
traverse, often prostrating themselves all the way and anointing their
lips with its dust, is now a narrow maze of slush and garbage," says a
despairing Swami Sevak Sharan of the Vrindavan Swaroopotthan
Paribhavana.
"Less than 200 years ago the river flowed next to the ghats," says the
Swami. "There were 24 forests around Vrindavan and sadhus trekked
all the way to Govardhan through dense jungles. Deforestation began
about 80 years back. As a result the river is receding and silting 'L!p. And
as the town has no bridges, we have to wade or row through sewage to
cross over to the other side",
Mathura collects about Rs one crore and Vrindavan about Rs 67 lakhs
in toll money from vehicles going through the area every year. The
Vrajbhoomi Sangrakshan Evam Vikas Samiti suggested in 1985 that
this sum, along with the donation money from temples, be used for
conservation and developmental projects. But "the proposal was
opposed by the local nexus of seths and sahukars, the mahants in the
temples, and big industrial houses which maintain expensive ashrams
for their personal use."
Similarly an offer to clean up Vrindavan came from Sulabh Inter­
national, as part of an integrated sewage disposal plan. "But the Jal
Nigam got this plan vetoed," he points out. "Then they dug sporadically
for four years, supposedly for flush latrines to be given a base; they closed
down the local pumping station, and connected new houses to choked,
old sewers. Everything is filthy.
"Apart from the local pundas, who have become mercenary touts
instead of keepers of a holy tradition, pandits from other places who
have no knowledge of or relation to Vrajbhoomi's essentially rural
culture, have bought up land in the green belt."
There seems blatant enough proof then of an old and unspoilt culture
having passed away at Vrajbhoomi. In the Swami's view, "we need to
return to basic sources of energy, to indigenous technology_ We don't
need hotels and commercial entertainment. We can barely cope with
pilgrims - how can we cope with an influx of tourists?"
THE TIMES OF INDIA, August 8, 1990
'BANGKOK'
in Budapest
L
aszlo Voros, owner of a thriving new sex company called
Intermosaik, announced his plans at a packed news conference
where journalists were given pornographic magaZines and served
Hungarian champagne by topless waitresses.
"Human rights and democracy express themselves in the field of
sexuality as well," said Voros, just one day after Hungary's newly elected
parliament swore into office the country's first post-communist
government.
Was he trying to make the Hungarian capital into an East European
Bangkok, a popular destination for Western tourists seeking sexual thrills;
"Yes," he replied.
Pornography and brothels were banned under communist rule but the
sex business has boomed since the Communist Party abandoned Marxist
ideology last year and returned the country to Western-style politics.
Hard-core pornographic magazines are readily available, sex clubs are
springing up and candid adverts for sex partners are appearing in
newspapers for the first time. The Warsaw Pact's first sex shop opened in
Budapest last November.
Voros said he was ready to open two brothels with a total of 38 pros­
titutes as soon as the penal code was changed. He also plans 50 yellow
"sex taxis" driven by prostitutes. The women would drive customers to
a hotel or to their apartment for services costing 3.000 forints ($46) for
Hugarians or 200 marks ($120) for Westerners.
"Up to now foreigners has to search for sex partners here and were
exposed to the risk of Aids or other diseases." said Voros a plump 37-year­
old who said all his employees would be under medical control. "Nowthey
will be able to find a service without searching for it."
Voros suggested brothels would help save marriages. "If a worker has
a girlfriend he has to hire an apartment and then there is a divorce." he
said. "If there is a brothel it is no problem:'
THE NATION, May 26, 1990
Contd. from page 11
be extended the privilege of Thai entry fees to temples and
museums.
As the air gradually clears up, of course, either the tourists will
have to be required to run further or else the discount will have
to be reduced.
The energy crisis: Again, the answer is so simple, so low-tech in
this era of hitech soluti ons to everything that ails us, that no one
has thought of it till now. What we need are treadmills. That's
right - you remember those things that your hamsters used to
race along on incessantly wondering why, till it occurred to them
they could do it in the middle of the night and wake everybody
up?
You don't see it? Consider this: we're looking at up to 20 million
arrivals and departures annually. Let's say that every inter­
national airport in the country had just one big arrival treadmill
and another big departure treadmill. While passport officials and
such like had their way with the travellers, the travellers would
keep moving, which would be psychologically comforting,
creating the illusion at least that they were getting somewhere,
But the main point is this: the treadmills would be hooked up to
electricity generators. Properly organised. the torrent of tourists
would produce treadmill energy equivalent to all the power you'd
get from damming every river and drowning every forest in the
country,
Another likely place to install the treadmills would be in banks.
In fact. this would involve the whole population, not just tourists.
and given the time one often spends waiting in banks this one
source of energy alone could conceivably be sufficient that
Thailand would soon be a net exporter of electricity to
neighbouring countries.
Traffic: The jogger's discount aimed at air pollution must be
instituted immediately. Design and construction of the treadmills
for energy should be undertaken without delay. The final
solution to the traffic problem will take a little longer, though,
with more radical measures being called for.
First of all. cars must be altogether banned from the city. This
is bound to cause some initial outcry, of course; but citizens
should quickly realise there's not much difference between
sitting in your Benz at home and sitting in your Benz in the
middle of the Eternal Traffic Jam.
Once the cars are gone. every street will become a pedestrian
shopping mall, with this difference: when the tourist (or the local
shopper too, for that matter) walks, they won't go anywhere.
That's right; you guessed it - they will be on gigantic treadmills.
These treadmills will cause the shops to move by on roller
conveyors. You will stay in one place, window-shopping while you
tread along in the same spot. Naturally, you will also be able to
board a passing shop, if you have a mind to buy something.
Science fiction? Not at all. Sheer brilliance of vision and
economy of design, is what it is. Get this - properly geared to
the generators, the power from the street treadmills should not
only be sufficient to propel the shops, there will be surplus
megawatts to spare for the national grid.
So the solution to the traffic problem is in part the answer to
the national energy crisis as well. And the pollution problem
simply fades away, what with the absence of hydrocarbon
exhausts and the extra millions of organic vacuum cleaners
running around the place filtering the air.
The answers are at hand, then. It only remains to deliver them
15
to the concerned authorities and then sit back to await offical
honours and public adulation.
But I have been unable to contact any of these authorities on
the phone, since there seems to be something wrong with my
exchange, or with theirs. And driving there is out of the question,
since the traffic jam in my part of town is not expected to start
breaking up this season. if ever. I mailed a copy of the proposal
two weeks ago. but there's been no reply, and I wonder if they've
received it. I'd walk all the way across town. of course, given the
importance of the message. but unfortunately I have developed
a persistent bronchial ailment, and my doctor says it would be
death for me to spend longer than 10 minutes in the open.
This may be the last chance: if the right people don't read this
morning's Post, I fear my proposal will be too late to do any good.
by Ham fiske, BANGKOK POST, 9 December 1990
Spreading AIDS
An· estimated 4,000 prostitutes in Thailand are carrying the
AIDS (Acquired Immunity DefiCiency Syndrome) virus. and
could be infecting as many as 1,600 customers per day, reports
in Bangkok s a i d ~ The killer disease, which was almost unheard of
in Thailand before 1984, has spread rapidly in the past six years,
said the Health Ministry. A total of 23, 191 cases of people showing
symptoms of the HIV infection, which can·lead to AIDS, was
reported in 1990, the ministry said. AIDS-related diseaseshave
so far claimed 49 lives in Thailand while 200 people are suffering
from the so-called AIDS-Related. Complex {ARC}, the last stage
before full-blown AIDS.
INDIAN EXPRESS, NOVember 18, 1990
Tourism in Sri lanka
Tourism, dampened by years of civil war, is back again here and
hotel prices are rising accordingly.
The Sri Lanka Hotel Association raised its minimum five-star
rate on Saturday to $ 65. The new rate will be monitored by the
State Tourist Board and legislated by Parliament soon, it said.
To survive the lean years, hotels resorted to cut-throat
competition. Five-star hotel rooms cost $ 20 to 40 a day, making
them the cheapest in the region.
After several seasons of deserted palm-lined beaches and
empty hotels, the tourist trade is running 75 percent higher than
last year, said Tourist Board chairman Prema Fernando.
The last good year was in 1982 when more than 400,000
foreigners visited the Island and spent $ 125.8 million. Last year,
the figures were down to 182,000 and $ 75.6 million.
INDIAN EXPRESS, November 5, 1990
Anew paper by Emesto T. Rodrigues, The Crisis of Cultural
Ecolology: The State, the Nuclear Estate and the Luxury Tourism
Industry, Miriithu Publishing House, LDndon/Panaji, November
1990, is available from EQUATIONS.
Rs. 40 in India, 'US$5 elsewhere.
16
=z
\tVe invite Network members to contribute to the Network Letter
NETWORK
by sharing their work, ideas and plans through these pages.
NEWS
Communication is vital to the life of a Network, especially when
I:' ii:;; ROUNDUP
phvsical distances cannot easily be bridged bv closer contacts.
Tourism, Environment and the Law, Bangalore Resources
About 25 delegates from various regions in India participated in EQUATIONS'
Searching for Alternative and Responsible Tourism in Hawai'j's Coastal Zone,
national workshop at the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, August
by Minerbi, Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism, East-l-lIest Center,
26-30, 1990. Anita Pleumarom represented the ECTWr, dnd made presentations
Nonolulu. May 1990. 16 pp.
on the Rappaport group's plans for massive tourism development at Tha
Chatchai, Phuket, Thailand. Other presentations were made on topics relevant Based on a 1988 research report, this paper examines community linkages of
to the workshop theme, including an excellent session led by lawyer Mario various forms of tourism enterprise, from resort enclaves, to community-based
Almeida froni Goa. Follow-up meetings have taken place already in Tamil Nadu models. It concludes that the state of Hawai'i must decrease its overdependence
dnd Karnataka. For a report (and copies of papers presented), write to on conventional tourism by adopting a formal policy for alternative and
EQUATIONS. responsible tourism, ensuring that local people, and not outsiders, benefit from
the industry.
Training Asian Tourism Activists, Thailand
The Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism is offering il4 week training Tourism in Cambodia: ACase Study, by Maya
course in March 1990 to activists from Asia-Pacific nations. Organised in Third World Tourism, PO Box 24, Chorakhebua/
collabQration with EQUATIONS and two alternative travel groups in Thailand, lanuary 199(2 98 pp.
the course will analyse tourism in its global socio-political context, impacts
the only report of its kind avai lable on Cambodian tourism, this case
on local people and re50urces, and strategie!'J of response and action. Write
into three chronological sections: historical aspects, the present
to ECTWT, PO Box 24, Chorakhebua, Bangkok 10230.
for future development. Maya Krell does an excellent job
of discussing tourism development, intricately woven into a sensitive
jnderstanding of Cambodia's recent and ravaged political past. Recommended
reading for everyone interested in tourism in Indo-china.
Camel Trophy Rally
Kovalam: Paradise lasH, by Christian Kamg ASA Study Report, India 1989/9(2
SInce 1979,1. Reynolds, the company manufacturing CAMEL
Berlin September 7990. 80 pp.
tobacco products, has been organising off-road' car rallies in
so-called virgin areas, especially in the Third World. Next year
Kamp undertook her study as part of a German scholarship scheme, ASA, with
(1991) it is planned in the Himalaya, coinciding with Visit India
the support of EQUATIONS in India, Her focus is on the social and economic
Year. The European partners ofTourism \\1th Insight have called impacts of international tourism in Kovalam, a beach resort in Kerala, South
for an international campaign against this rally. which merely India. Apart from providing empirical data based on interviews with both tourists
promotes the company and its unhealthy products. The rally
and locals, the report contains reflections of Kamp's insight into structures,
is an ecological threat stimulates male chauvinism (only men
problems and ohenomena connected with tourism.
can participate) and reinforces western stereotypes. Write to
EQUATiONS, or to Ludmilla fueling, Mittenwalderstr. 7, D-lOOO Annals ofTourism Research, Pergamon Press, Inc., Maxwell House, Fairview
Berlin 61, Germany. Park, Elmsford, NY 10523, USA. Quarterly, annual subscription US$ 740.
jafar Jafari (University of Wisconsin), Annals is an internc>tirm':l
multidisciplinary, social sciences journal. While striving for a balance
and application, Annals is dedicated to developing theoretical constructs,
Travel at Medium Level. JaRarta, Indonesia
focuses on academic perspectives from various disciplines. Free sample copy
The Centre for Development of Tourism at Atma Jaya Un iversity, in collaboration
available on request to the publisher.
vl/ith 3 other organisations, hosted an Asian workshop on Alternative Tourism
'at medium level: November 5-10, 1990. K. T. Suresh represented EQUATIONS,
Protest in Paradise,Centre for Development Education (ZE8), Gerokstr. 17,
on t\ Contextual View of Alternative Tourism'. An informal
0-7000 Stuttgart 1, Germany. Video-documentary, PALISECAM (NTSC on
Indonesian participants will function in future, with the objective
30 minutes.
examining in detail 'the developments and impacts of tourism'. Write to Dr.
Produced to coincide with the visit of JGF (Vigilant Goans Army) to ITS 1990
Gerard Bonang, Atma Jaya University, J1 n. Jenderal Sudirman 51, Jakarta 12930.
in Berlin, this video depicts the ecologicat socio-cultural and economic
Tourism and Racism, Hawai'j implications of tourism in Goa, and the protest against mass tourism since the
announcement of the Master Plan for Tourism in Mid-198?
The bth annual consultation of the North American Network on Ethical Travel
was held at Camp Mokuleia, Hawai'i, October 25-30, 1990. Monika Kircher­
Kc,hl represented TEN (Tourism European Network) and James Stark the
Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism. Cecil Rajendra, lawyer-poet from
Please note the correct numbers at which 10 contact us:
was invited to read his work on tourism, and Paul Gonsalves to discuss
Phone: 812·542313
control strategies, based on experiences in India. The consultation was
with the Hawai'i Council of Churches and the Hawai'i Ecumenical
Telex: 845-8600 esci IN (ATTN 007)
Coalition on Tourism. The deliberations raised several concerns featured in our Fax: 812·542627 (ATTN 020)
It',liI "torv thi, i<;'(!p (pil/',E" 101. For a report, write to Virginia
Cable: EQUATIONS BANGAlORE-560 038 INDIA
CRT/NANn; 2 Kensington Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960, USA.
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 96, H Colony, Indiranagar Stage I, Bangalore 560 038, INDIA.
Design and 73Jpesetting: Revisuality Iypesetting and Graphic Design, 4211 Lavelle Road, Bangalore, INDIA.
ALTERNATIVE NETWORK LETTER
A Third World Tourism Critique
For Private Circulation Only Vol. 6 NO.3 December 1990
n the fond hope that its promotional gimmickry will attract tourists and the
international travel trade, like lemmings to the sea, the Tourism
Krishna For The Masses
has declared 1991 as Visit India Year, supported by amdssive internatlonai
I
T
he Uttar Pradesh government's department of tourism and culture
campaign - India, the Destination of the Nineties. Is it, really?
has proposed several new schemes to develop the Vrajbhoomi
For one, we've got some competition: 1991 is also Visit Indonesia Year, as region of Mathura district into a 'heritage zone' for the promotion
well as the Year of African Tourism. The six ASEAN nations will be gearing up of what it terms'cultural tourism'.
for 1992, Visit ASEAN Year! With the kind of infrastructure and tourism­ "The concept of a heritage zone implies a strategy of local development
orientation that already exists in these countries, no prizes for guessing the based on the specificity of the situation instead of the application of
winner in the game of tourism numbers. generalised principles of urban planning," says a spokesman for the
lndian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Moreover, the socio-political turmoil in India over the past few months
and which is likely to continue through 1991 - is hardly conducive for attracting
"There is no truth higher than /VIe, 0 Dhananjaya
any but the most adventurous or foolhardy of travellers. Rahul Singh, in a recent
Everything rests upon me, as pearls are strung upon a thread,"
in the Indian Express, comments on the near-medieval dark ages scenario says Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita (7.7). Nowhere can this be
today in India, and wonders whether this indeed is what we wish to present seen more dearly than in Krishna's territory Vrajbhoomi.
to our 'honoured guests' from abroad. The Vrajbhoomi area extends along the river Yamuna for about
100 kms. stretching about 30 kms. inland from either bank. It falls in
And in the midst of all this, our political leaders are busy with their petty
the wen-defined 'trapezium zone' around the city of Agra, which consists
games. Governments changing hands, others toppling or barely surviving,
of 80 kms. of land which is banned from any kind of industrial production
officials and bureaucrats shunted to suit the needs of those who have just
so that pollution levels can be kept down. Close to Vrajbhoomi, the Taj
clambered on to the seats of power - endless and meaningless jugglery. The
Mahal shines amidst the arid topography and a swarm of villages like
metaphorical allusion to the 'dark ages' is not enough: we are further back in
a lotus immaculate in miasmic environs.
history, to the decline of Rome, with a vengeance. Our Neros do not merely
At first sight Mathura and Vrindavan appear just that - both
fiddle, they play musical chairs.
pestilentially dirty, with open drains and a thick scum of sewage flowing
While the immediate presents agrim and dismal picture, the long-term does
into the river along the famous ghats; people bathe in and even drink
not appear to hold much promise either. The road to socia! reform is a rocky
this water. Hordes of beggars and the blind and the maimed, squat
with empty bowls and flaunt their sores along the towns' narrow lanes.
m1Irm
Shrivelled old widows extend their hands for alms; young and pretty ones
Why Visit India?
gaze from dark window-grilles, doomed to a life of enforced seclusion
WJ
and hymn-singing, subsisting on daily rations (250 grams of rice, 25
and slippery one, as we have seen in the year just past. It is intimately grams of dal. and one rupee) donated by wealthy benefactors.
with a cultural resurgence that reeks of chauvinistic obscurantism. Efforts to Prosperous pundas and self-proclaimed guides inflict themselves on
bring about positive social change will be challenged by the status quo. Yet groups of uncertain pilgrims. In the local museum, exquisite heads of
not a voice is raised about the damage that is being done even nov\'. Buddha. dating back almost 2,000 years, contemplate gaudy blue and
green walls from under long, tranquil eyelids. Stagnant kunds and
In the name of 'development: several major projects have been initiated: the
sarovars, their surfaces green with algae, proliferate. Vrajbhoomi's 6,000
Narmada Valley dam is probably the best known for the opposition it has
temples, in various stages of disrepair are always crowded.
encountered. Nuclear plants at Kaiga and Koodangulam have been approved
But if the reality of the region's decay is irrefutable. the
despite public concern and protest. While they pose an obvious ecological
enveloping it are just as tangible for ordinary citizens, such as, the
threat - especially in view of the fact that no independent assessment of such
policemen controlling a midnight stampede in a temple during the Teej
projects is allowed - their human and social costs are incalculable.
festival, who felt this aSSignment was a reward for their good deeds in
Already tourist arrival statistics are on the decline. Since there is a
a previous birth; or the kajri singer whose lyrics describe how at the sight
trend towards 'socially' or 'ecologically-sensitive' travel in the West, it is
of distant raindouds. heart quivers in anticipation like a leaf in the
that more and more visitors will raise questions on the propriety of promoting
contd. olerleai
India as an attractive destination, given the situation that prevails. Our planners
should, moreover, realise a fundamental strategic point: the best method of
INSIDE
tourism promotion is the assurance of security and stability. Paying attention
Major Role for Private Sector ... ___ ............................. 3
to basic socicrpolitical issues and their resolution would yield greater dividends
India News and Views ... ...................................... 8, 9
than the massive investment involved in selling India.
Selling Hawaiian Culture....................................... 10
Paradbe in turmoil holds lillie allure.
Network News Round-up ..... .................................. 16
Paul Gonsalves

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