16

We invite Network members to contribute to the Network Letter
NETWORK
by sharing their work, ideas and plans through Ihese pages.
NEWS
Communication is vital to the life of a Network, especially when
ROUNDUP physical distances cannot easily be bridged by closer contacts.
for Tourism Activists
course for tourism activists was held in Thailand between
Sorry, Readers!
1991. Sponsored by the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World
collaboration with Life Travel Service (Thailand) and
This issl1-e of ANL has been delayed by over 2 months,
\L\.jUIlOUIC Tourism Options), the course attracted 16 participants
for a number of reasons. We sincerely apologise to
countries, and one from the Centre for Environmental Training in Tourism,
our readers for this inordinate delay, and hope never­
The participants met at the Student Christian Centre, Bangkok, where they were
theless you will enjoy reading it.
introduced to the course objectives, its structure and content. To begin with,
the course examined the global context of tourism issues, covering areas such The good news is that the next issue is already under­
as aproaches to development, economic ideologies, Third World poverty,
way, hopefully within the next 30 days. As always, your
injustice and related issues.
comments are most welcome.
Following this, participants separated into two groups for exposure visits: one
went to Chiangmai in the north, the other to Phuket in the South. Guided by
experienced local hosts, they were able to see the 'other side' of the tourism
industry. The exposure lasted for a week.
Returning to Bangkok, they regrouped at the Women's Education and Training
Resources
Centre, on the outskirts of the city. Reflections on the exposure visits were
followed up by an excellent audio-visual show produced by ECTWT as part BALI: A PARADISE CREATED, by Adrian Vickers. Periplus Editions/ne, 1442A
of a Resource Kit. Walnut Street No 206, Berkeley, California 94709, 7989, 240 pp.
Invited resource persons, along with the training team, assisted participants "Over three centuries the West has constructed a complex and gorgeous
in their learning about specific toursm issues: socia-economic and cultural
image of the island that has emerged to take over even Balinese thought:" This
impacts, political implications, sex tourism, child prostitution, environmental
book provides a fresh insight into a traditional island which is changing
concerns, and so on. The experience of local groups in places like Goa, Bali
dramatically in response to contemporary life and a massive tourist invasion.
and the Philippines was presented by representatives from the groups. Each
Adrian Vic.kers bridges the gap between "general travel writing" and
trai nee also presented thei r experience of deal ing with tourism in their country,
"inaccessible academ ic work" with a historic cultural perspective on tourism
laying the basis for possible future plans of action.
and social change in Bali.
The participants also had an opportunity to learn about the work of ECTWT
and its international networks. Following inputs on programme planning and
·v.(OURISM AND DEVElOPMENT IN INDIA, by Suhita Chopra. Ashish
management, each trainee took time to develop concrete plans of action to
Publishing House, 8/87, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi 170026, 1991, 261 pp.
be implemented on returning home. Towards the end, the course was evaluated
Khajuraho, a remote tourist resort in Madhya Pradesh is used as acase study
by the participants and organisers separately.
to emphasise the socia-economic implications of tourism promotion and
It is difficult to recapture the spirit and essence of the course. Overall, though,
development programmes. The findings show that tourism has not helped to
this experience confirms the need and validity of such courses, and it is hoped
build an egalitarian democratic society, rather the destructive effects have
that this would be the first of many more to come.
favoured already advantaged sectors of society. Planning from an urban­
The training team consisted of Paul Gonsalves, Piengporn Panutampon and
economic perspective, without considering rural-cultural factors in Khajuraho
Pholpoke, under the direction of Dr Koson Srisang. While the list of
raises serious doubts about such planning processes.
resource persons is too lengthy to cover here, mention must be made of the
presentations made by Roland Martins. Norma Tinambacan and Dr. I(W:ln<;ll{mo
TOURISM, by Rob Davidson. Pitman Publishing, 128 Long Acre, London WC2E
Atibodhi.
9AN, 1989, 199 pp.
Write for details to: ECTWT, PO Box 24, Chorakhebua, 10230.
This is a text book covering the basics of travel and tourism for use in the
wide variety of courses in schools and colleges where travel and tourism is
featured. The book covers areas like definitions; history of tourism; travel and
Scrutinising Goan Tourism
transport; accommodation; impacts of tourism on environment, economy,
culture and community; and tourism planning and management.
Luxury Beach-Resort Tourism in Goa, India: The 'Dark' Side of 'Development'
and Growth. by Menezes and Lobo, 2nd Edition (revised), 1991. S Ganigan &
TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE THIRD WORLD, by John Lea.
Miriithu Publishing House, London. EngJand, 103 pp.
Routledge, 11 New Felter Lane, London EC4P 4EE, 1988,88 pp.
This book covers in a comprehensive way the trends of tourism develop­
ment in India and Goa in particular. It provides insights into the govern­
This book investigates the complex matrix of advantages and disadvantages
ments policies; public I private sector investments; propaganda; a
that tourism brings, with special reference to the Third World. John Lea looks
detailed investigation of irregularities and corruption within the ind­
closely at the general impacts of tourism (economic, environmental and cultural)
ustry, and also the social and economic repercussions of luxury tourism. and concludes that the short-term gains are outweighed by the long-term losses.
The role of public participation in national tourism planning is emphasised,
Available at EQUATIONS. Rs. 100 + postage.
in this concise but comprehensive primer on Third World Tourism.
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 96, H Colony, Indiranagar Stage I, Bangalore 560 038, INDIA.
Design and 1jJpesetting: Revisuality Typesetting and Graphic Design, 42/1 Lavelle Road, Bangalore, INDIA
ALTERNATIVE NETWORK LETTER
A Third World Tourism Critique
S
For Private Circulation Only
Vol. 7 No.1 April 1991
even years ago, a significant event took place, that would have deep and
far-reaching implications for people concerned with Third W:Jrld tourism,
StayAM'"ay
a concern then in its infancy. The Ecumenical Coalition on Third World
ven if Rajiv Gandhi had not spent a few idyllic days there in 1987, the
Tourism, an international body based in Thailand, sponsored the first
Lakshadweep islands would have emerged as prime tourism real estate.
International Workshop on Alternative Tourism (with a Focus on Asia). More
E
Sooner or later.
than 40 participants from 20 nations gathered in Chiang Mai in April-May 1984,
Thirty-six unspoilt coral islands an hour's flying time west of Cochin. Swaying
seeking new ways of responding to the challenge of mass tourism in their
palms, brilliant white sand beaches, and acalm sea that could tell the spectrum
countries.
a thing or two about blues and greens. Ideal for snorkelling, wind-surfing and
Internationally, several new organisations were formed, including EQUATIONS. sailing. by any reckoning, a tourism haven.
I\eetings were held, materials produced, research undertaken. Tourism issues And over past three years, increasing numbers of and well-heeled
were better understood and..articulated. Contact was established with Indian tourists have made the pilgrimage, many as much as Rs 3,000
in distant places who shared this concern. A new netvvork was
a dav for the
the islanders would opt for tourism later - or never.
people have acted in various ways against the excesses of mass tourism.
N Kunjibee, secretary of Mahila Sangham, the women's welfare group
Education campaigns directed at tourists and hosts, public protests and
archipelago: these years, the people of the islands have been
demonstrations.. legal action, media campaigns, exposure visits and similar
contented with their lot We don't want tourism to swamp us, I don't want my
efforts have taken place in several tourist destinations globally.
grandchildren to become hippies and drug addicts."
While such efforts have met with varied _
Lakshadweep will shortly become another Goa or KovaJam (a beach resort
situations where all options appeared to be closed, calling for innovative action.
near Trivandrum):' adds Kunji Koya Thangal, general secretary of Lakshadweep's
When cases filed against the Ramada Hotel in Goa (on grounds of violating
Muslim League unit. "Our boys are now secretly going to Bangaram (the island
which Rajiv and his friends immortalised) to watch (tourists) nude sun-bathing,
A Matter of Strategy
and they are also likely to be influenced by alcohol and drugs:' No says Thangal,
emphatically, "we definitely do not want tourism in these islands which has
been peaceful all these
ecological regulations) were turned down by the highest courts of the country,
There is substance behind the tourist phobia, on three counts. One,
the Jagrut Goenkaranchi Fauz UGF) appealed for a boycott of the hotel, as well
Lakshadweep is the only place in India which has a hundred per cent Muslim
as launched a public campaign asking people not to invest in Ramada shares.
population, and people are conservative, simple and low-key. Two, they are
The effectiveness of this measure can judged by the recent propaganda attempts
plagued by visions of how Goa, for instance, has seen its society changed
by Ramada International projecting itself as an 'environmentally-conscious'
completely, pandering to tourists. And three, the image of tourists: for the
corporation.
tourists are those who smoke pot, make love on the beach and walk
Recently, efforts have begun to explore the possibility of enforCing international
with brown sugar in their swimming gear, at least when
regulations and safeguards at the local level. If a hotel company follows one
wear them.
set of standards in Europe orthe USA. its subsidiaries in Third World' nations
Tourist haters are now to ban their moneyed
ought to fulfil similar norms. Corporate accountability cannot be left to mere
visitors from
convenience. New consumer laws in the European Community (after 1992)
Butthe administration has other ideas. It wants to bring in more
might have a similar effect on the tourism industry. tourists, and develop more tourist sites.
'We have four lakh square km of sea around us which abounds in extremely
a great deal to be translated effectively in Third World contexts. Laws exist on
Realistically speaking, such measures-though potentially positive-will take
rich marine resources;' says S P Agarwat an Indian Administrative Services
officer and Lakshadweep's top bureaucrat, who rules from Kavaratty, the union
paper, serving the interest of a powerful minority. Appeals for local and
territory's capital. "But these are yet to be exploited by locals as it is aquestion
international action, properly publicised, are ootent short-term tactics hovvever.
of involving mainlanders with trawlers (for many islanrlers, the less they have
Backed up by hard evidence,
to do with the Indian mainland, the better). We cannot have heavy industry
With the world entering a new phase-post-glasnost,
as the density of population is the third highest in the country:' Sixteen of
will also seek new directions. Our ability to influence the future will depend
contd. overleaf
on how we choose to address issues. More needs to be done, and our focus
should be on the local, on the .
INSIDE
The recently concluded training programme for tourism activists is an obvious
Maha Blunders at MahabodhL ................................. 3
step in this direction. No movement can survive without a cadre. The challenge
Nepal Blames Gulf Crisis ..... ..................................... 7
oftourism can only be met by achallenge to tourism that is as deeply entrenched
Temples and a War.................................................. 11
and wide-spread as the Industry.
A New Cannibalism.. .............................L .............. 14
Paul Gonsalves
2
contd. from page 1
.akshadweep's 36 islands are uninhabited, and the rest cram 45,000
in a land area the size of a few city blocks. "I feel, says Agarwal, "tourism is
the future of the island:'
And there is hardly any chance of ruining the way of life for islanders, says
The 3,000 or so tourists who visited the islands last year - 95 per
cent of them foreigners are restricted to two islands, Bangaram and Kadmat.
And foreigners can only visit Bangaram. The Lakshadweep administration ­
its offices in Cochin screens every visitorto the chain, and only then
issues permits. Visitors to Kadmat Bangaram is the only exception - are
expected to be teetotallers and conform to local social norms.
Tourists may visit Lakshadweep singly, or can buy package tours - both
expensive and strictly controlled. In addition, international tour operators are
a little wary of the island, because the only way to get there is by ship or air
- through Vayudoot's notoriously infrequent flights- from Cochin. Besides,
says Agarwal, "We are trying to see that there is no mingling between the locals
and the tourists... we want to keep Lakshadweep as it is, so there is no question
of supporting mass tourism:' Which also help preserve the archipelagds
fragi Ie ecosystem. Says Agarwal: "We don't want outsiders removing any coral
from OLir islands:'
But bring in revenue, instead. Lakshadweep survives on coconut produce,
sparse agriculture and tuna fishing. Most of what is needed is imported from
Cochin, against coconut products and tuna exports. Bringing in tourists all
foreigners have to pay in dollars - could help augment the island
economy.
There may not be any other way. "Tourism is the
Lakshadweep without creating any environmental pOllUtiOn;' says
assistant general manager of Sports, a company which promotes
tourism in the islands. U!n the coming years it will employ mare people from
the islands:' Adds Kunji Koya, the former Amir, or administrator, of Kadmat
island: "Tourism has woken up the island. We don't care whether the tourists
drink in private, as long as they bring prosperity to the islands:'
Prosperity, officiais and locab, that could be modelied on the Maldives,
a not-too-distant neighbour. "Recently I was in the Maldives;
The islands and the topography
similar to Lakshadwpep. "There also the locals are Muslims, but they don't
come into contact with the tourists who are only allowed to stay in
demarcated) island resorts:' Controlled tourism works there, he says,
planeloads of tourists who go there every day from Colombo or
Trivandrum is enough. "What nature has given to Lakshadweep;' says
"is much better:'
To capitalise 011 this the administration is planning to invite global tenders
to set up resorts in the uninhabited Suheli Valiakara and Suheli Cheriakara
islands. It is also thinking of inviting UB Air - non resident Indian industrialist
Vijay Mallya's air taxi service from Cochin to Agatti, the archipelago's sole
airport, and extending the runway to accommodate large aircraft. Plus, buying
speed boats for faster transit between AgaUi and the islands.
No thank you, say tourism's critics. "Why should the government corrupt our
unhurried lifestyle with the introduction of tourism?" Asks a senior Lakshadweep
administrator, who declines to be identified. "The government should have
invested more money on seafood-based industries;' which, he says, is in
with incomes plurnmeting.
"There is a positive side to tourism;' retorts Agarwal. "A 100 people have got
employment. More young men in the island:, want to go after tourism. It i" the
on Iy way we can offer employment for the locals:' And how about the 'moral'
corruption of youngsters, who are drawn by nude sun-bathers? liThe locals ha\l'
no business;' says Agarwal, "to go to Bangaram and watch the foreigners:
SUNDAY, 16-22 December, 1990
India and the Gulf War
Although the Gulf war has haditsimpact onIndian tourism, as it has
on tourism in many otherparts of the world, an interestingsidelight
has been the role of Indian multinational hotel chains which kept
operations going despite obvious plwsica.l danger to employees.
In arecent piece in the Times ofIndia (3 February 1991), Sunil Sethi
details the funny goings-on in war-ravaged Iraq, Entitled 'India's real
heroes in the Gulf'; an excerpt follows:
T
he company that proved to be most short-sighted was, in fact,
one of the oldest and most prestigious operating in the Gulf:
the Oberoi group. Since January 13, when the Oberoi staff
vacated the Babylon hotel in Baghdad to proceed northwards to the
city of Mosul (where they run the Trident and Nineveh hotels), there
had been no communication with the aO-odd Indians employed by
the chain. The group is headed by the Babylon general manager,
Mr Ajai Kapur, and his wife, Kiran, who, like good soldiers, have
steadfastly refused to abdicate their responsibility towards the staff
of managers, cooks, waiters and housekeepers by leaving without the
others.
As it happens, Mr Kapur is the grandson of the hotel chain's owner
M S Oberoi, and was serving as the number two man (executive
manager) of the Baghdad Babylon. Late last year when he found that
his boss, the general manger, suddenly disappeared to Cairo never
to return, he took over management of the hotels and waited for
orders from home to negotiate suspension of the contract.
came. Indeed there is every indication to suggesllhat he was urged
to stay on with his staff. When at last permission did come, it was a
case of too little, too late - there were hardly any officials left in
Baghdad to negotiate with.
All's fair in war, it is true, but the questions such a story raises seem
morally inde1ensible: if a hotel chain or any other company stands
to lose money, is it at the cost of expecting their employees to pay
so heavy a price? Prosperous five-star companies with an inter­
national Image may now claim that the contingency arose acci­
dentally. But did it really? Was it just a series of miscalculations or
a plain case of irresponsibility?
15
Tourism and Development in India
Suhita Chopra. New Delhi; Ashish Publishing HOllse, 1991; 266;
Rs.200/-.
A review hy M.S.
T
here can be few global issues that are currently receiving as much
attention as is that of 'tourism', especially "Third World" tourism.
It is therefore not surprising to see a slow yet steady stream of
books emerging on the subject. Moreover, tourism is not a topic which
is of interest to planners. Although planning does contributions
to the debate on Third World tourism also involves those who look
at the problem from an ecological, political, cultural and developmental
perspective. Not only academics but also policy . makers, travel and
tourism industry and politicians may be expected to have somethina to
say on the
The book under review here illustrates
related issues, providing a reasonably representative sample of the books
that have been written on the subject in the last few years, as well, as the
of aooroach. Of course, writing in an area which is yet to be
rise to oroblems. Facina such problems,
ten rh;>"t", ..."
Pradesh has exquisitely
l::l3V-WjO AD). The commercial
started in 1960s when a series of planning
the government. This has brought in several
socio-economic-rult.ural in the region. This study attempts to
the changes that have emerged since then. It concludes that like
any other developmental strategy the distributive benefits were
peripheral; simultaneously, it has caused untold suffering to the poorer
households.
Beginning with a brief discussion on the phenomenon of tourism, the
author presents various lacunae in the existing literature and rationalises
the need for further research. Four full chapters marshal, analyse and
debate the data collected from various perspectives viz., economic
impact, physical impact, cultural impact and the characteristics of the
visitors t.hemselves. Thus, there is a sense of debate and argument, of a
subject in development, and a wider range of conclusions and themes
than one would normally perceive. This is the more exciting invitation
extended by the book. The invitation proves, unfortunately, to be
short-lived.
The book was originally written as a doctoral dissertation by the author.
However, the author has failed to differentiate between an academic
exercise and a publication for a wider readership. She appears to have just
reproduced the thesis without alteration. For example, the introductory
paragraphs written for each chapter are superfluous and redundant.
Moreover, there are excessive statistical presentation which could have
been condensed. Complicating further is the language; its' repetitive and
monotonous style, which reads like a government notification at times.
For such macro mistakes one tend to blame the author (along with her
dissertation supervisor!).
Dr Chopra provides a lengthy discourse 011 the lacunae of the existing
literature on "tourism and development", her conclusions nowhere tend
to fill the gaps identified. Worse still, some of her conclusions arrived after
statistical exercises are general. Though she attempts to delineate
discussions in each of the chapters, the demarcations prove to be
artificial. The descriptions create an of timelessness and a
sense of inevitability. The lives of people difIerent backgrounds
appear boringly similar and the mere act it thus heightens
very soon a sense of failure and exhaustion creeps in to reader's world,
and the temptation to close the book just to escape the exoerience of
drudgery becomes very strong. Absence
a temptation.
For those with an interest in "tourism and development" this book may
useful in the introductory chapters. However, anyone with more
a passing knowledge of recent (and not so recent) debates on
"tourism and development" will find the volume disappointing.
(The reviewer is a researcher with the Asianinsiiillte of Technology, Bangkok).
Steep Fall
F
ive star hotel<; in Bombay are offering large discounts, some by as much
as.50 per cent in a bid to woo more clients due to the crisis caused by
a sharp fall in tourists arrivals.
Tour operators claim that the situation in New Delhi is similar with five star
hotels offering discounts of as much as 40 per cent.
The crisis has been caused by a drop in tourist traffic which is pegged at an
alarming 30 per cellt.
with hotel industry officials reveal that most of the groups
were planning expansion schemes will Dlace them "on till the
situation clears up.
Tour operators feel that the fall in tourist traffic during the peak period, October
to March, has three main reasons: the Gulf crisis and its fallout, the recession
in the US and the widespread riots in India in the wake of the Mandai report
and the Ayodhya crisis.
that the Gulf crisis has made Europe, and
wary of travel.
to this is the
of the current turmoil. Television in many parts
India and recently in Hyderabad tourists opt
for safer havens nearer home.
To add to the woes of the tourism the tourists from the USSR who
nmrn"lh, number around 30,000 not exoected as the severe cash
the country will abroad. This
star hotels in n-.rt;r"l"r
TIMES OF INDIA, 28 December, 1990


..
__ .. ... :',


TOURISM:
A New Cannibalism
A review by Vi nay lal
Cannibal Tours. A film by Dennis O'Rourke. Photography: Dennis ORourke.
Colour. 85 mins. 1987.
H
owever slim the share of the Third World in the World tourist trade,
certain package tours to the Third World have become over­
subscribed, the proliferation of backpapers more pronounced,
and the novelty of what were once remote or largely unknown
destinations has worn out. The white man, in his quest for exotic spots,
untouched by consumer culture of the modern West and of the modern­
izing elites of the Third World, has had to travel far and wide to discover
an unspoilt beach, an unknown trail, or an unconquered peak. It is virgin
forest he seeks, so that he can probe its depths, and thereby leave upon
it the ineradicable impress of his, vastly superior civilization. It is against
this background that we must view Dennis O'Rourke's finely crafted
sensitive film on German tourists to Papua New Guinea, one of the least
"explored" areas of the world, home.to the most luxuriant growth of
vegetation, and inhabited by tribal people still set in their 'primitive' ways.
The backdrop to Cannibal Tours must also be viewed in the context of
recent developments in such fields of study as anthropology, literary
criticism, history, and philosophy. It is questionable whether a film like
Cannibal Tours would have been possible withouC for example, the
of studies in recent years on how the self constitntes its Other, or without
the self-questioning by some anthropologists of the prerogative they had
assumed to interpret the cultures of the non-modern world.
Dennis O'Rourke's camera follows the European tourists as they travel
along the Sepik River, stopping every now and then to pick up mementos
or to hobnob with the natives, who are just so much- in European eyes
- scenery, indeed only a mere unusual kind of vegetation. Marx in Lhe
mid-nineteenth century had described India as a land of countless villages
from time irnmernoriaCvegetating in Lhe teeth of time, and
New Guinea's inhabitants in the late twenLieLh-cenLury seem
just that. Aboard the tourist yacht two men and a woman are engaqed
conversation: they all agree that "Primitive ways"are "so different'
"ours" and not only do the natives live "close to nature", which is
admirable and even chic, but "in a way Lhey don't really live" - they could
be part of the environment. "The experts assure us", commenLs one of the
men, that the natives are satisfied, "happy and well-fed", without a
thought for the morrow, To this trio 0 'Rour ke returns a few times: aboard
a boat that by its very movement suggests a contrast to the
Hon-Western world, they are the representatives of
'educated' majority in the West which is somewhat guilty about the
excesses of Western imperialism, an ardent advocate of pluralism, and yet
assured of the West's unique civilizing mission, In another conversation
between the two European IIlen (the woman a rather silent spectator, only
slightly less a part of the scenery of the vegetation), one of them says with
conviction that "we must try to help them advance in the world
bringing to them some values and convictions". The Occidental world is
bv how much needs to be done, and even more
"onerous burden placed upon it of orientina the non
modern world to an awareness of 'civilization',
But why must the native, be taught "to behave differently"? Modernity
is Whatever the extent of one's confinement within a
traditional world order, one is pushed in to seeing, experiencing, and
interpreting the world in ways of which one's ancestors had little or no
conception. As the old man who keeps charge of the 'spirit house' admits,
they now live "between two lives". "We exist in a different world", he says,
and unlike their fathers, they do not kill, steal women, and fight, but
rather they follow the "rules of the church and the government".
ThIS emergmg modernity ot the [\ew Guinean is, however, ::;11.111­
deep, The West ardently believes that the non-Western world can only
aspire to modernity, but never whollv achieve it: this is one tunnel at the
end of which there is no light for
14
be taught to behave differently is that at heart he remains a cannibal. In
the old days they would cut off the head, remove the skin, and eat the rest.
"The Germans came", continues the old man laconically, "but white men
were no different; we fought them too." Despite being white, the Germans
were edible. Aboard the boat,the trio speculates on the reasons for
cannibalism. It is to be understood as a cultural practice, a mode of
survival, or symbOlically? The and fear, is that if the native
f practicing cannibalism past, what is to prevent him
resuscitating his traditions? Appropriately, Cannibal Tours begins
cannibalism and head-hunting. The camera tracks an
exceedingly well-travelled and jovial German, who consumes countries
with astonishing avidity. Papua New Guinea is, for this German, a consum­
mate act of consumption, the most choice dish in a varied cuisine. He is
shown the spot where cannihalism took place; not unexpectedly, he wants
a Dhotograph. The camera is ubiquitous; it intrudes everywhere, creates
space, and sets its own time, We might speak here of camera time:
the time that is set aside for Dosed nictures of exotic natives, cute children,
distinguished old man who
runs 'the spirit house' admits that they know little of the tourists except
that they are from another counlry. "We sit here confused", he adds,
"while they take photographs", The hand that holds the camera does more
than just take a photograph: inadvertently but inevitably it gives birth if'
a distorted culture. As the old man almost whimsically remarks, "Om
children buy postcards of their own village! My child sent me one,' What
allows a certain people to travel while others remain sedentary? The old
man has few doubts: must be wealthy people that can travel;
their ancestors must have made money and now they can travel." The
tourists have money but spend it grudgingly: forever
about the 'second price', their niggardliness is a reflection only of
more structural kinds of inequity. A woman selling her wares makes this
quite plain: "We village people have no money; only you white people
have money, You people have all the mone;r--not us backward people."
Her militancy is a welcome contrast to the pathetic, and vet under­
standable, effort of two to earn money by
of Jesus, How far money can be determinatiVE
the civilized and the cannibals is
the old man, for whose wisdom and good humour we acquire much
respect, is reduced to wondering, apropos his peoples' inability to travel:
"Do we still live like our forefathers or not? Are we civilized or noH"
However, the camera creates not only the natives, the Objects of its
discourse, but it creates the subjects too. 0 'Rourke's camera moves over
the myriad other cameras of the tourists: we see the tourists becoming
advertisements for themselves and for the nroducts without which their
survival in the unknown
leave home without it": the reference here is not to the American Express
card, but to the infernal lotions which the
themselves. The indigenous women put on
tourist paint their faces for themselves. But is that so vastly different? The
camera creates and shapes its self-monitoring and predictable subjects,
Where the indigenous people devoured others, the white man devours
himself as well. The tourists comes to see, but to see, where the gaze is
is to devour. What the tourist only does not see is that
he devours himself too.
I have spoken of Cannibal Tours as a
O'Rourke's use of the soundtrack is _
understanding of the complex forms of expression that cinema
makes possible. From time to time a flashback takes us to the time when
the people of Papua New Guinea were under German rule; we hear then
of ho". good it was under the Germans, and suddenly the music of Mozart
fills the air. The music of Mozart, was preeminently the music of colonial
times: life for the rulers was something of a symphony, far removed from
the cacophony of native sounds, both human and natural. And when the
lHoves dlullg Ith the speedbOat, or when it initiates it's own time
(the time for photographs), Mozart's music reappears. The West has lost
its own natural sounds, but will the music of Mozart substitute for those
sounds?
3
Maha Blunders at Mahabodhi
by Pranava K. Chaudhary
T
he Bodh-Gaya temple has certainly lost much of its splendour and is
seeing bad days. The temple's management committee has archae­
logical Iv devalued this world famous temple by paving with marble the
and the basement of the pillars; it has been corroded over
, but no preservation effolts have been made; graffiti mars the
of its walls; the side of the temple facing the Mahabodhi tree has been
discoloured by black soot, due to the devotees burning incense and candles
under its walls. Suggestions by the Dalai Lama's entourage that devotees be
banned from lighting candles in the temple premises and that alternatively,
rovf'red lamps be uSf'd, seem to have fallen on deaf f'iUS.
The former director general of the Archaeological SurVf'Y of India (AS!), Ms
Sebala Mitra, during her visit last year to this third century temple where the
l3uddha attained nirvana also protested against making any alteration to the
without consulting a technical expert. She brought this to the notice
of the district magistrate of Gaya who is also the president of the
management committee. The then district magistrate got the work stopped and
wrote a letter to the commissioner of the Gaya division who is the chairman'
')f the temple advisory board. It was then that a Nepali and a Tibetan made
J representation to the commissioner! who then allowed the continuation of
the marble oavement work. Many antique images in the temple have now been
of India (ASI), sometime back! had expressed its
it in the list of protected monuments,
government did not agree to the oroDosal and the
continued to be managed by a local committee.
Bungling in the sale of tickets for the Mahabodhi temple, smuggling of idols
and peepal leaves have assumed an alarming proportion. And add to this
corruption. A large number of tickets and counterfoils, without any serial
numbers are available with this correspondent. Senior district officials also
concede that the illegal business cannot thrive without the knowledge of the
office-bearers of the Bodh-Gaya temple management committee, whose ex­
officio chairman incidentallv is the district magistrate of Gava. It is the
committf'e
Mahabodhi temple.
Apart from this, there is theft from donation boxes. Foreign tourists make
donations in their currency; when the boxes are opened every two
the Indian currency is allegedly deposited in the account of the temple
management committee, while the foreign currency, after being exchanged in
the market, is misappropriated. Asenior official in the management committee
told this correspondent that a couple of members of the management comm ittee
are involved. "1 cannot initiate any step against them for obvious reasons:' He
further said that on a number of occasions! Buddhist visitors offered ornaments
to tht' idols in the temple, but these valuables cannot be traced.
Bodh-Gaya has also become the hunting ground for international smllP"P"lprs
of all hues. Smuggled goods are openly sold in thf' market near the
But the most lucrative business is that of smuggling idols and peepalleaves.
Buddhist visitors from abroad pay exorbitant amounts - often.thousands of
rupees for even a small idol of the Buddha or the leaves.
Some of these idols are known to have been stolen from the Mahabodhi
while the leaves smuggled are not always of the famous Mahabodhi
a branch of the Mahabodhi tree was cut, and the officials
said that this could not have been done without the assent of the
management committee. Several social, cultural and educational institutions
like the Chhalra Yuva Sangharsha Vahini, Mahila Sangharsha Bihar
Puravid Parishad have been demanding the nationalisation of the Mahabodhi
temple. An activist in Gaya said, "It is surprising
of India (ASIl has not taken over the temple, whereas it is looking after less
historical sites in the country:' Meanwhile, the number of foreign
to l:Iodh-LJaya has come down conslderabiy of idte because
incidents of cheating of tourists.
SUNDAY REVIEWITIMES OF INDIA, 23 September, 1990
Goans'
of Luxury Tourism
by Caroline Colla!;so
F
rom the 6th-8th December 1990, about 75 delegates from 22 countries,
met in the ambient atmosphere of the Ramada Renaissance hotel in Goa,
for the 39th session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism
Jra;)nicClti,,'l (WTOL Their purpose as stated by the Secretary General ofWTO
ESavignac sounded altruistic: to discuss how the "WTO with it's
experience in the past, could help developi ng countries in develoDing Tourism
activities:'
Ironically, however, the WTO meet was being held in a place where luxury
tourism has been growing at a frenzied pace in recCflt years and at a time when
various sections of people in Goa, were voicing strong protests against the
effects of this luxury tourism bf'ing acutely felt in Goa already.
The WTO, with its headquarters in Spain, has been mainly responsible for
the for maximum luxury tourism in the state of Goa. It has recently carried
out a survey on Goa's tourist potential and recommended an increase
in tourist arrivals from the present 1.2 million to 2.5 million, with foreign tourist
arrivals effectively limited to 16,000 daily. With the population of Goa at 1.2
million - this means tourist arrivals will be more than twice the population
of Goa!
Based on the WTO report, our Government is justifying the building of
numf'rous luxury hotels. In the past two years alone, the building of 35 luxury
resorts have been given clearance, which include big multinational hotel chains
like C!.ub Med, Lufthansa, Hyatt Regency, Holiday Inn and Raddisson besides
Ramada Renaissance and Kempinski, all making a bee-line for a prime spot
on Goa's 75 km beachline.
Both the hotels which housed the WTO delegates (Le. the Ramada Renais­
sance and the Leela Beach, a Kempinski resort), were built among protests for
seriouslyviolating environmental guidelines. Both these hotels were taken to
Court for these gross violations. Massive bribery and corruption are said to have
been used to clear these illegalities.
With tourism given industry status in Goa, the government is authorised to
take over land from the local people for tourism development, local people
are also selling their land at atrociously low prices, for fear that the Government
will take it over anyway. Thus high-rise hotels are springing up as close to the
water front as they wish, in total disregard for the regulation disallowing any
construction within 200 mts from the high tide line.
The effects on our delicate coastal ecology have been disastrous. With each
luxury hotel needing minimum 40,000 litres of water each day to fill their
swimming pools, the wells of the locals in the coastal villages are running dry.
The sinking of numerous tube wells on the coast threatens the ingress of saline
water to fresh water wells. The destruction of large sand dunes have made the
coastal villages vulnerable to cyclonic storms. Coconut and other shrubs have
been destroyed and 'Exotic' plants, alien to coastal environment have taken their
place.
The uncontrolled growtl)pol
economic fabric of the state and its people. With becoming
of a tourist holiday, call-girl prostitution is definitely on the increase in Goa.
Sex-Tourism brings with it the threat of AIDS. Drug addiction is widespread
among youth close to the coast where the confluence of foreign tourists are
Moonlight drug parties and rock-shows organised by foreign tourists are
culture and morality of our people.
Goenkaranchi Fouz UGF) a local activist
against these ill-effects of
appealed to the WTO to "study the implicatiom
luxury tourism in Goa" and demanded that the-WTO withdraw its teaslbllltv
report for tourism expansion in the State of Goa.
As the country gears up to make india the idesttnation of the :linetics', thc
people of Goa have a long struggle ahead.
PEOPLES' REPORTER, 1 January, 1991
4
Pollutant Trekkers Beware!
T
he trekking routes of Nepal that are popular with tourists have yet to
be rescued from trash. Isolated efforts have not succeeded in cleaning
up most of the dirty trails. One-ti me clean-up expeditions come, garner
headli nes, and return to the United States or Australia 'lAlCaring self-satisfied green
halos.
The Nepali tourism authorities and the trekking industry have vvept profusely
over trekker pollution, but they have been mere gharial tears. There is no
discussion as to whether it is better to burn or to bury. No penalties for bringing
in unnecessary canned items to, say, the Khumbu, or for overuse of toilet paper
in the high Himal.
A good way to enhance ecotrekking is obviously through the trekking guides
and group leaders who accompany most trekking groups in Nepal. Fortunately,
the guides and trek leaders and other "trekking professionals" who are
concerned about the Himalayan environment are finally binding together. They
set up the Association of Himalayan Guides for Rocnnncihl",
an organisation which will work to promote "responsible
of the association are to promote exchange of valuable information
awareness of the Himalayan environment and culture, and promote inrliHirh':l)
responsibility.
The first issue of Ecotrek (Fall 1990), the group's newsletter, takes pains to
point out that tourism is not the problem, it is "how it is managed". The issue
also provides practical suggestions: how to manage toilets, and how to deal
with burnable, organic and non-burnable rubbish. The editors ask of foreign
trek leaders: do not impose any of your own values on the local people.
The organisation is looking for volunteer trek guides from different parts of
the world to represent their region in order to save the Himalayan trails. One
suggestion to the new organisation would be that they not ignore local Nepali
guides, of whom there are enough around.
Write to: Ecotrek, Box 19.13, Kathmandu, Nepal
Source: HIMAL, Nov/Dec 1990, Kathmandu
Last Resorts
O
urtraditional family holidays were constructed arou nd a visit to village
grandparents during the school vacations. In many ways this was an
ideal arrangement for the families kept in close touch, and a familiarity
with rural life became a part of the children's upbringing. Later on, when the
nest was empty, pilgrimages to religious places might be undertaken, and
without calling it a holiday, the incidental sights of beautiful and interesting
places was an important part of these trips.
For obvious reasons, this pattern is changing fast. Those frequent trips to the
village are no longer feasible, nor even very attractive; although at the same
time the need to escape from urban conditions has become even more
imperative for the physical and mental well-being of the entire family.
Where, then, can the family find some green and quiet spot where they may
be together for a few weeks, where they may find some activity which may be
shared by both children and parents and where, generally, conditions are the
opposite of those town conditions from which they ;:m' ;:dtpmntimJ
little hill resort, of course.
should pause here and ask ourselves - why particularly the hills
not families prefer to go to other places­
there are no lack of sights in India are worth seeing. The fact is that thE'
hills have advantages for children and groups which cannot be matchec.
by other tourist spots.
The major-and often the only-real activity in hill is walking and
cli mbing. The benefits of long regular walks, of scrambling about among rocks
and hills, reach far beyond just the physical advantages.
Picnicking seems to be one of the best ways to strengthen inter-family ties
to close the gap between parents and children and to enhance the joys of
companionship. It is also, in the present city-dominated life of the young, the
only chance they have to becoming fami liar with the "real" world - the world
of soil, vegetation, air and water. Classroom lessons can never teach them the
things that they will learn from watching birds, noticing the colour and quality
of flowing and still water, and the growth patterns of vegetation. It has not come
to the point where such knowledge cannot be treated as peripheral or as an
irrelevant interest. Our world, or rather our earth, can only survive in its present
form if we succeed in producing an entire generation for whom the
ecological factors are more important than any human/material relationships
the aim in planning for our hill stations should be to create environ­
ments which will transmit messages of sensible living for human beings and
an understanding' and appreciation of nature's
environments would, incidentally, allow adults to regain mental and emotional
health, something which is difficult in the dirt and noise of city life.
So then we agree that a hill station is the right place for our holiday. It now
remains to decide which one it shall be. The most glamorous place, Kashmir,
is in ruins, and out of the question. Shim la-but we hear that Shimla has become
avast slum, do we really want to see it? Mussoorie and Nainital both polluted
and denuded. Ootacamund - once the most beautiful, the most beloved of
the Southern resorts is now covered with huge, brutal concrete blocks, the forests
have been cut down, so that the rain no longer falls gently to the ground to
underground streams. The result is a chronic water shortage.
With all our major hi II stations damaged beyond saving, atremendous amount
of pressure will fallon the minor hill towns - Dalhousie, Dharamsala,
Kodaikanal, Yercaud and several others which have so far escaped the onslaught
fact, afew of these smaller hill stations do already find themselves
With no proper planning for expansion, their limited
over-stretched, and they find themselves flooded by tourists who
searching for some way of enjoying themselves. Once
disgorging black fumes
getoutand
walk. Their time is spent on the spot, eating and littering. This done, they are
ready to home. The town authorities have not the means or the capacity
the: litter; the k/cti: in diTy 'vvdy fron.
the visit, they hdve only been greatly inconvenienced; and the only persons
who have gained are the scores of new little "tourist agencies" who hire out
these rnonster buses. Even worse are the young all-male who often
13
Sun, Sea and Suicide
A
rmed with cash and cameras and donning "I love Greece" hats and "ouzo
power" T-shirts, they start in June to descend in droves. Winter-quiet
islands, coves, seaside towns and mountain resorts are suddenly imbued
with the pulse of their presence.
In the face of stiff opposition from Mediterranean neighbours, Greece is
earnestly cashing in on the glories of its ancient past. Within the eager gaze
of the moustachioed stall-owner who sells the copper plates, miniature
amphorae and tawdry statues of ancient Greek goddesses, the tourists stumble
over pollution-ravaged marble monuments.
Others, impervious to the Periclean spirit, work on their tans or tuck into
English breakfasts, chips and wafer-thin pizzas.
More than eight million tourists- almost equal in number to the entire Greek
are expected to arrive in Byron's land of gods and godlike men
year.
With them they will bring Greece's major foreign exchange earner and
of more wealth for a society whose relatively recent transition from
World living conditions to those of adeveloped EC member state owes
\early everything to tourism.
From the mountain villages of Epirus to the deep south of Mani, the blond,
bronzed xenoi or foreigners have changed lives and lifestyles, bringing new
values and creeds to a people who had previously experienced little contact
with the outside world.
But while tourism has enabled thousands of Yannis and Costas and Kyria
Elenis across Greece to invest in new dwelling, cars, bathrooms and kitchens,
it has also devastated coastlines, created environmental hazards and eaten into
a nationwide reputation for warmth and generosity.
Unruly planni ng, inadequate infrastructure and poor services are, more than
anything else, blamed for both the ill effects and strain the industry puts on
Greece's plethora of natural resources.
The most evident signs of over-saturation and lark of social infrastructure are
to be seen in Athens, whose overloaded and primitive sewage system is fast
off the Saronic Gulf and swimming areas around the popular nearby
of Agina, Hydra and Spetses.
But the Greek capital does not stand alone in its summer afflictions. Greece's
200 inhabited islands, many of which have to have water ferried to them
the tourist season, face huge problems disposing with extra mounds
Houghout the summer months.
Problems of random bui Iding, as the country attempts to cope with housing
its foreign guests, are also aClIte. Where villas, villages and open spaces once
giaced scenic locations, badly designed terra-concrete blocks, rooms and
purpose built tourist complexes now abound, often patronised by visitors
whisked off charter flights to taste the "real Greece".
Although Greece's new Tourism Minister; Mr Yannis Kefaloyannis, is keen
to stress that the Greek's tradition of embracing foreigners first began with the
ancient King God, Zeus, who was also the God of hospitality, gone are the days
when the weary traveller was offered a sprig of basil (the traditional gesture of
hospitality) and given a bed for the night.
instead, playing host to foreigners is now catered for by an ever-expanding
black market room industry (more than 400,000 beds are currently offered to
tourists illegallv) as Greeks strive to sUDPlement their annual wages with room
"Tourists for us now exist to be exploited. Not so many years ago we would
have put them up for fed them and listened to their stories.... It would have
been considered J huge if afami Iy had ever taken money from
said Atttmia Pattillikos, who runs the to\vn library on the isolated Astypalaia.
That tourism has the ideals of Greeks who live on such far flung
islands cannot be
1() ')"f"l .. h" " ... ;....1" "'.( '"'i"""'1 .(.... f-hr"r ••. u, .... irJ h t .... "• ...., .(ru- h; .. ,..h:!r.I
.. • ,''- ..... uo,..., ,,,-' \.A1'j'-J ... t"'. ,t"- ,,; ... 1 lu., , .... _. '''''FU " ... lu ....... ' .... \.,.1 I\_il • ,J_' ...... 1 j 11"--1
to have become a teacher, family honour now solely lies in the direction of
the tourist industry where the earnings from one room often exceed ateacher's
monthly wage.
Astypalaia, where tourism has made real inroads in only the last five years,
represents a microcosm of Greece's ambivalent relationship to the industry.
With Just four hotels and a total of 149 rooms, locals say the workload at the
height of the season is such that they already have an unwritten agreement not
to see each other during July and August, the two busiest months of the year.
"Plans are already in the pipeline for another 10 hotels to be built so the
situation can only get worse;' says Thomas Papayiannopoulos, an Astypalain
architect.
"Of course, improved as a result of tourism is no bad thing, but it
doesn't forebode well when
,.,,,trhina Kung Fu on their
."...r.. •in::>rl "irl£>r>c or allow
lives to become
by Helena Smith
Dear friends,
We wou;ld: certainly like to know more regarding your thinking
about "third world countries" unable to support the influx ofso
called ''Ecotourists'' and "responsible tounsin,"
In our dzstn'ct of Toledo, we are making every effort to control
the number of "nature tounsts" v£sit£ng the Maya villages, ruins,
cayes, caves, wildlife preserves and "high bush" tra£ls.
However, we would lik.e to know more about your ideas.
Tropically yours,
& Yvonne Villoria,
DEM DATS DOIN. P.O. Box 73, Punta Gorda, Belize, Central America.
Kodagu Plans
T
he State Government is intending to declare Kodagu asa "Tourist
announced Karnataka Chief Minister 5 Bangarappa. He told newsmen
that special schemes would be formulated for the distril1 to boost tourist
t,...,tt;r ="ntonti,1 tnrl",;crn -\Yr\""'IC in .. hI" .rl!ctr'rt Un "'lIen th",
u •• I '.'.1 ... • ,_ ........ t'" ,.; ",,- , ."...... oJ ...... _ • •• ..... ... " ••• "' ............. ,."' .. ,........ • • '-" "'. " .... "-4., '.. '-, It... "-4 ........
Deputy Commissioner to prepare a report keeping in view the Government's
plans after consulting experts on the district and to submit it within 15 days.
INDIAN EXPRESS, 24, December, 1990
12
Five-Star Fad
by Abu Abraham
K
erala has caught the tourist bug. How the virus will affect the
here is a matter of speculation, but the government and the
department are going into this, the Tourist Year, as though God is about
to declare the State as falling within the map of Paradise.
Tourism can be described as either a disease or a boon. Nobody in Kerala
feels hostile to tourists, though everyone is aware - at least in 1C0valam, the
most touristic of all the resorts that many of them behave contrary to all the
accepted conventions of Malayalee society. Kovalam beach has become an
international 'free port' of tourism. When Goans began to get fed up with the
of hippiness, drugs, and nudity, the tourists started to filtrate into Kerala,
after all, is not very far away.
Ordinary western tourists that is to say, not the rich and packaged ones
thus discovered Kerala by themselves, quite a while before the Tourism
in Delhi began to think of fitting it in to its overall pattern of tourism.
Many years ago, I remember having a tiff with Dr. Karan
London as Minister of Tourism. At a press conference with Indian journalists,
he was lamenting that India was attracting only a trickle of foreign tourists in
of all the package tours he was offering. The package tours were all
confined to Delhi, Agra, jdipur, Khajuraho and Benares. So I commented that
India had much more to offer than these few places. Why was he ignoring the
whole of South India and Orissa? He then made an amazing remark:
)nfortunately, Mr. Abraham, most of the places of tourist interest happen to
be in the north:' I protested. He said: "I like the South, but what's the use of
sending tourists there when they are not allowed into the temales?" Another
ignorant remark!
who has travelled in the South knows that temples (almost all)
do not allow non-Hindus into the sanctum sanctorum. All else is free to see
and admire... the temples of Madurai, Thanjavur, Suchindram, Halebid (where
there is no worship) Belur are marvels of art and architecture. Konarak is asheer
more stunning, at least to me, than the Taj Maha!. However, it is not
temples that peninsular India has to offer.
Hampi is said to be the largest city in ruins in the world. It is another awe­
inspiring place, once the seat of the great Vijayanagar empire, to which
and the Middle East sent Ambassadors and emissaries in the fourteenth
fifteenth centuries. But are people abroad told about it or encouraged to see
it for themselves? Hardly.
One of the serious weaknesses of our tourism offices abroad is that the
who run these outfits are themselves grossly ignorant of their own country.
Sometimes, English friends of mine have consulted me on itineraries suggested
by our tourism representatives. Some of their suggestions were quite absurd.
For instance a jewish couple who were making a trip around South India
in january were told to spend a week in Ooty, which can be as cold and wet
in winter as their own country from which they were trying to escape for awhile.
I advised them to visit Corhin, instead and they were grateful to me afterwards.
Cochin, besides being one of the most beautiful towns of Kerala, also has a
fascinating history of Jewish settlement.
The Gangetic Plain which some call the Cow Belt and others pompously
call Aryavarta has prejudices about the South that is reflected in so many ways
in our national life, not least in tourist policy. It is supposed to be the
underdeveloped, backward, conservative part of India, whose people
languages and eat idli and dosa.
Now there are signs that this kind of thinking is less prevdlent, but the Punjab­
Hdryana business-industrial complex still seems to dominate the ITDe. The
imposition of Punjabi food on tourists wherever they are.. in Kerala or
or Hyderabad, Madras or Gujarat is both a culinary and a cultural disaster ­
not to speak of insult - as far as tourists and local holiday makers are concerned.
The five-star culture that Indian tourist managers have evolved is more a bad
American copy than Indian. Where fresh fish of many varieties is available all
see to it that only one particular kind of frozen fish is served. Where
local vegetables like brinjal, bhindi and beans are available in plenty at cheap
prices, they will insist that aloo-gobi is the only decentthing that can be served
at table. This kind of non-descript cuisine, plus carpets and air-conditioning
and waiters dressed up like maharajahs is what five-star culture is all about.
Instead of looking at the sea, you gaze at the carpet. Instead of enjoying the
sea-breeze, you cocoon yourself in a cold room. And as for the bill, who cares?
Your company will pay.
Tourism of this sort will become a menace in South India where living is still
comparatively cheap and where certain standards are kept in the
A good breakfast in a decent South Indian restaurant can still be had for three
to four rupees. What ITDC and Tata and ITC will do to this phenomenon is
something that State governments should ponder over before rushing to
the golden egg that tourism is supposed to
DECCAN HERALD, 27 January, 1991
Railways Promote Tour/.m
T
he Railways are gearing up to promote tourism during 1991 which has
been designated as Visit India Year'. As part of its efforts, the international
tourist bureau located at New Delhi railway station to assist
tourists has been strengthened. The bureau provides assistance to
and non-resident Indians in making bookings, reservation, travel planning,
enquiries etc.
Separate reservation quotas have been earmarked for the use of the foreigners,
an official release said. For promoting rail tourism in India, another general
sales agent for the sale of Indrail passes has been appointed in Bangladesh.
With this, 14 general sales agents have started functioning in 13 countries of
Europe, Asia, America, Australia, New Zealand etc. Indian Railways will also
display a logo on tourism on head mast of engine and rear bogie of all trains.
In addition the tourism logo will be displayed on the back of the computerised
tickets.
A new air-conditioned 'Palace on Wheels' train will be commissioned during
tlile year 1991 since the present non-air-conditioned lPalace on Wheels' train
comprising luxury saloons built for the erstwhile rajas, maharajas and viceroys
of India has outlived its utility, the release said.
THE ECONOMIC TIMES, 25 December, 1990
Bhutanese Curb
B
hutan is following an undeclared policy of restricted tourism to
the rich natural environment and keep the Himalayan
evergreen.
The country allows only a limited number of foreign tourists, the earnings
from which helps maintain the two big tourist hotels, the Druk Air Services
and the rest houses in district headquarter towns, according to Mr Om Pradhan.
minister for trade and industry.
"Our policy is one of restricted tourism and we do not encourage heavy tourist
inflow as it would cause pollution and affect our way of life, culture and
traditions': Mr Pradhan told a visiting PTI correspondent recently.
Mr Pradhan, who also served as Bhutan's ambassador to India during 1984-85r
said only 1,500 foreign tourists were allowed to visit Bhutan in 1989. The figure
does not include Indian visitors. However, the annual quota would be increased
to 4,000 till 1992, he said, adding the decision was taken in view of the increased
maintenance cost of the two hotels at Thimpu and Paro and the Druk Air
Services.
He felt any heavy inflow of tourists into the country apart from affecti ng the
country's natural beauty, would also force development of capital-intensive
infrastructure posing a serious environmental threat. He said Bhutan earned
an average $2.5 million from tourism sector, which offered the tourists
the opportunity of trekking and adventure tourism like rafting besides cultural
shows. He said mostly tourists from Japan, the U.s., the U.K. and Germany
visited Bhutan, while there was no limit for Indians.
Mr Pradhan said his country encouraged private sector to orovide more
chances to the people in the administration.
He said exports to India amounted Rs 110 crores as against imports worth
1::;7 Clorb from india in 1989. The exports included agricultural
such as potato, maize, apple and orange.
TIMES OF INDIA, 17 December, 1990
5
bring a new dimension of vulgarity to these quiet areas.
The second standard tourist group is composed of people who come to a
beautiful place solely in order to drink and gamble. They are known to save
themselves hotel charges by bribing the watchman of unoccupied houses to
be allowed to do their drinking in it. In the third category are the honeymooners
confused, and doing their best to behave in the same way as
the hero and his girl in any Hindi film.
These are the kind of tourists who may often crowd out the
class family groups who should be the most welcome visitors to the
they come to seek such values as are not available to them otherwise.
need beauty and peace and they need the elemental pasti me of simple
exercise. HeM' long can they hope to find these things even in the
known hill stations?
by Laeeq Futehally
Antarctica A World Peace Park
The Antarctica World Peace Park campaign was launched from
New Zealand in July 1989. Its foremost aim is to help raise public
awareness and conscience to the urgency of protecting
Antarctica and surrounding seas from all forms of commercial
explOitation, thus preventing irreparable damage to this utmost
<;ensitive and fragile ecosystem.
At the launching, representatives of different creeds and
cultures made a personal pledge to see themselves as guardians
of the World Peace Park and to work, locally and globally, for the
common good - our common future.
A card has since been printed, inviting people everywhere to
join in this personal pledge to make the world a better place. The
other side of the card has the text of a Declaration in which "We,
the people of the world, claim the continent of Antarctica now
and for all generations to come as a World Peace Park".
Through a complete and binding protection of Antarctica and
surrounding seas this snow white pristine land with no stable
population, no sovereignty and as yet relatively untouched by
human greed, can become the symbol of "humanity's willingness
to unite beyond all differences in the urgent task of creating
together a new and better world, based on respect and caring for
all living beings".
Our "claim" is thus made, not to possess or exploit Antarctica,
but to free it from the yolk of human thralldom.
A World Peace Park can be any area, large or small, specifically
established and maintained
* for its unique combination of fauna and flora;
* for the particular sensitivity of its ecosystem;
* for the rare beauty, healing power, historical and educational
value for future generations;
* for its extraordinary significance to certain members of
groups of the human family (sacred land, burial grounds,
ancestral links);
* to demonstrate the process of healing and restoring areas
previously despoiled by misuse, pollution and depletion;
* as a continuing example of peaceful, dynamic, creative and
respectful co-existence and cooperation between human
beings and the natural environment.
World Peace Parks are to be protected and guarded by the people
of the world. Activities in these areas should be carefully
monitored and designed to serve only such scientific,
educational, healing and recreational purposes as have been
agreed upon and specified in the statutes of each indIvidual part.
Write to: WORLD PEACE PARk, p.o. Box 234, Wanganui, Zealand
Kodaikanal Education
and Development Society
O
n a pioneering trail for local, grassroots action, is the Kodaikanal based
group of activists, KEDS. They are led by their founders Mr
Shivashantha Kumar and Mr Tilagan.
Since its formation in 1981, KEDS has worked amongst various sectors of
unorganised labour in Kodaikanal. Beginning their work with expatriate Sri
Lankan labourers, the society has concentrated its efforts on education,
unionisation, mass action and even legal procedures to obtain basic rights and
conditions for unorganised workers.
The workers include tourist guides, horse-riders, construction workers, loaders,
quarry workers, Sri Lankan repatriates and others. Once organised, these workers
form a ',<;angam" (union), to deal with issues and problems on a collective basis.
most active sangams is the guides sangam. They set out
in 1984, to solve their grievances and have come a long way since. They
amalgamated the fragmented guides and developed a shift system, by which
disputes arc avoided to a large extent. They have reached an understanding
on wages. Stemming from being in unfair situations before the formation of
the sangam, they have taken up the responsibility to hand over to the
outsiders involved in social exploitation, such as thieves. The guides sangam
has taken up the initiative to apply for government benefits, such as housing.
Apart from resolving their own problems, the sangam supports other issues
taken UD by KEDS.
area of tourism-related action concerns the horse-riders, who offer
pony-rides, to tourists. This group of workers having also faced hardship in
organising themselves, have been formed into the horse-riders sangam. Since
its {ormation in 1986 they have succeeded in obtaining permission to ride and
stand by the Kodaikanallake. Consisti ng of 60 or more members, the sangam
has taken up the issues of settling disputes and competition among themselves
and also have been able to secure bank loans to buy horses and develop a
congenial atmosphere with the officials and the
KEDS may be contacted at:
"Prabhu Anandgiri, 2nd Street, Kodaikanal P.o. 624102, Tamil Nadu
Proposals for the
Humanisation of Travel
How can we get from extensive to intensive
travel,
from devouring miles to lingering,
from tic!<ing off items in the travel guide to
stopping and thinking,
from rush to leisure,
from aggressive and destructive to creative
con1munication,
fron1 canlerd-wearing idiots to people with the
third eye?
I believe
these are the important and burning issues.
For we are looking for meaning and humanity.
AI Imfeld
6
Troubled Tribe
by Pankaja Srinivasan
T
he Todas are the oldest knONn inhabitants of the Nilgiris. No one knows
when exactly they came to the Nilgiris or from where they came. Some
anthropologists say they were the original occupants of the Danube Basin
the neolithic times, some say they were the Sumerians, and some others
even put them dONn as one of the lost tribes of Israel. But nothing definite is
known except that at one time the picturesque Nilgiris were the sole preserve
of the Todas.
On the Ooty-Mysore road lies a Toda village (Konda/mund). Acluster of half­
barrel shaped houses nestl ing on a gentle slope makes a pretty picture, but the
surroundings are a bit incongruous. The Todas have for their neighbours on
one side a huge fortified hOllse of a well known industrialist, and another side
an equally famous five-star hotel. It is sad but true that these landmarks of luxury
and modernity which have come years and years after the Todas, have
nevertheless managed to make the latter look the intruders.
Within the village itself, there seems to be a conflict between tradition and
modernity. Of the few huts that make up the village (mund) afew are constructed
in the traditional manner with wood and bamboo and hemp while a few others
have been made of concrete and bricks. The villagers make no secret of the
fact that they prefer their bamboo abodes to the newer ones made by the
government, as they were much better insulated and sturdier than the latter
leaked and offered no kind of protection from the cold.
Oespite encroaching modernity, the Todas have managed to retain some of
their age-old ritual<; and customs. At one time polyandrous, the Todas today,
due to economic and other constraints, marry only once. Their marriage
ceremony is in itself unique. The girl and the boy are betrothed when they are
very young, sometimes when they are hardly three years or so. Gifts are
exchanged, with the girl's people giving buffaloes, clothes etc. to the
Once the girl attains puberty, she goes and lives with her 'husband' and there
is no ceremony as such to mark this occasion. But when the girl has conceived,
then in the seventh month or so of her pregnancy, there is an elaborate ceremony,
where a lamp is lit under the 'naga'tree and the bay makes a bON out of bamboo
and hands it over to the girl in a symbolic gesture assuring her and the coming
child protection. An elaborate feast is laid out for the guests.
While a few of the Toda womenfolk have stepped out into the world from
being mere wives or mothers staying at home, there are still areas where their
presence is taboo. The temple of the Todas is out of bounds for their womenfolk.
up the slope where their houses lie, there are culvert-like stones
some kind of a boundary. This is the line beyond which the women
cannot go. A little further up is the temple. Aconstruction in the typical half­
barrel shape, there is only a small opening through which the Toda priest can
enter. Even the priest has to undergo a lengthy cleansing process, observing
fasts etc. before he can enter the temple and worship the Gods. The Todas
worship a lema Ie deity called 'Takaaish' and they also revere the Pandavas. Unlike
many other tribes, they are strict vegetarians who at one time subsisted
on fruits, honey and nuts got from the forests and, of course, milk.
Todas greatly revere their cattle. esoeciallv
buffaloes which also live in houses similar to the ones in
Even today the mainstay of their income is their dairy products which they
market through the co-operatives.
Alot ofTodas have been granted loans by the Adi-Dravida Welfare schemes
of the Tamil Nadu state government, for agricultural projects. But, as Bheemraj,
a young Toda who has completed his higher secondary education says, "Not
everyone is interested in agriculture. Some of us would also like to work in offices
and earn a living". Indeed more and more the Toda youths, with their
the T-shirts, are beginning to feel this way.
Traditional Toda jewellery in pure silver, chunky and intricately designed,
is one reason why the interest in this tribe has been kept alive. Not very long
ago, the Toda womenfolk used to be weighed down with this jewellery. Now,
most of the ornaments have found thei rway into pawn-broker'S and jeweller'S
shops where they are sold at exorbitant rates to those rich enough to afford
it Worse, some of the jewllery has been bought off by unscrupulous tourists
who have conned the Todas into selling it to them for a song. Now, fake beta
jewellery abounds in the Niigiris, while the Toda women themselves go abut
imitations.
It is a bit pathetic to see the Todas caught at the crossroads. On one
they seem to revel in their differentness and yes, even cash in on it, quite literally_
Their traditional garb, white with distinctive red and black motifs, is still hand
woven by some of them and they have become very popular with (he tourists
who can get them at the Toda emporium at Ooty at quite reasonable rates. The
Todas have become, along with the Botanical gardens, the Doddabetta peak
and the Ooty lake, a tourist attraction - to be viewed, to be commented upon
and to be photographed. One can see it in their faces as they anS'NE'r predictable
auestions from curious tourists and pose for photographs for them, a bored
on their faces or perhaps a resigned look as they go into their houses to
wear their traditional robe at the request of the tourist.
Dogs and Monkeys
by Feizal Samath (Reuter)
D
OgS play and monkeys gamble but few tourists relax on Trincomalee's
deserted beaches, said to be among the best in Asia. Trapped in a violent
guerrilla campaign to separate the Tamil-dominated north and east from
the rest of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee has never realised its full potential as atourist
centre.
"Just as we were reaching the top, the war hit us;' a local hotel employee said.
About the only resort to keep its doors open throughout the crisis is the
lOO-room Nilaveli Beach hotel.
Located with a string of other hotels about 10 km (7 miles) from Trincomalee
town, Nilaveli hopes to attract busloads of tourists in the next few months.
tour groups want to come here and we are trying to re-start at full
.. JI a hotel official said. He said the local army commander was also keen
tourists back as all government facilities were functioning.
coastal town, 240 km (150 miles) east of Colombo, is considered Sri
Lanka's best tourist resort with its natural harbour and unspoilt beaches stretching
for miles.
But violence after 1983 dashed Tri ncomalee's hopes. Only a few expatriates
working in Sri Lanka have since braved the threat of bombs and bullets to enjoy
a Trincomalee holiday. The district's coordinating officer, Brigadier Lakshman
Wijayaratne says the army is now in total control.
The army took the district in June after pitched battles with Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam guerrillas who abruptly ended peace talks with the government.
Wijayaratne said his forces, numbering 7,000 to 10,000 men, constantlv comb
the jungles for rebel stragglers.
AReuter correspondent visiti ng Tri ncoma lee town recently found government
offices and shops upen and municipal trucks at work.
But in the suburbs, residents, shaken by years of violence and tension, stay
indoors after noon and only the army is on the road.
The Tigers, fighting for a separate Tamil state in the north and east occasionally
at patrols and passing vehicles. But the attacks are progressively fewer.
Trincomalees Moonlight Beach hotel was blasted to the ground by
rebels in 1985. most hotels in the vicinity put up shutters.
Beach Hotel was able to remain open because of a neutral
policy. "We never sided with any armed group or encouraged anyone. We
minded our own business and were respected for that;' the hotel spokesman
said.
The hotel is cashing in on its reputation of being open despite the crisis.
"We are getting many inquires and even state tourism authorities are seeking
our advice to advertise Trincomalee in brochures;' the official said.
He said the hotel, at various times after 1985, had reasonable occupancy.
"These were times when there was a peace accord on or ceasefires:'
Tourism in Sri Lanka is recovering and arrivals this year are expected to be
around 300,000, up from 184,000 last year.
Authorities expect 400,000 tourists, the same as the peak year of 1982, to
visit the island in 1991, once more thronging the famous hot springs, ancient
Hindu and Buddhist temples and other historic sites.
tnereafter, like taxes and air-fares, cannot be passed on to the consumer. The
time limit set for this is four months.
Should the more than SOfr, after the four-month
. the the contract without incurrinl( any
cancellation fees.
The Europeans are mounting a major effort through their travel trade
associations and the EC to inform travel suppliers, not just in Asia but all <Ner
the world, of the legal difficulties which could ensue through dissatisfied
consumers.
* The author is deputy editor of WlTA Travel News Asia-Pacific
BANGKOK POST, 3 December, 1990
Temples and a War
by Angus MacSwan, Reuter
V
isit the ancient temples of Angkor and it's like stepping into an "Indiana
Jone<;" film set. Creepers and undergrowth crawl over the ancient stones.
Wander too far from the path and snakes and landmines are a danger.
A nIght's sleep in the decrepit old hotel at nearby Siem Reap is disturbed
by the scratching of rats and the occasional rumble of
says Cheam Yeap, Cambodia's General Director of Tourism:
JYou haven't seen Cambodia until you've seen Angkor Wat:' It's a slogan he
would like to see plastered on travel agents' posters across the
Apart from the temples at Angkor - often called an Eighth Wonder of the
World Cambodia has a charming if dilapidated colonial capital, aspectacular
Royal Palace, unpolluted beaches and bracing mountains.
For 50 cents you can take a cycle around one of the few Asian capitals where
traffic jams are unknovm.
What Cambodia lacks is hotel beds,
risk-free restaurants; decent roads, and
modern tourist needs at the end of a
Most of all it lacks peace.
''Tourists are scared of war;' said Cheam Yeap. "Unti Ithere is peace we cannot
progress:'
in 1970, the year that Prince Norodom Sihanouk was ousted in a coup and
Cambodia was launched on its 20-year saga of war and destruction, more than
100,000 tourists visited Cambodia.
Last year the figure was about 3,000-not including visitors from ns:-iahhn'lrina
Vietnam - bringing in about one million dollars.
About 100 planned tour groups cancelled after Vietnam withdrew its troops
last September, fearing an upsurge in the war against the Khmer Rouge-led
guerrillas. Those that did come were mostly from Japan, France, Italy, Canada
and Australia. Very few were from the Soviet bloc.
"Communists don't have much money;' Cheam Yeap said.
Just getting to Cambodia is not easy. Because only India outside the former
Soviet bloc recognises the government, visas have to be obtained in Vietnam,
Laos or the Soviet Union. Cheam Yeap said the government has given
for tourist visas to be issued on arrival at Phnom Penh airport.
Most visits are also linked to trips to Vietnam, which is itself desperate for
tourists. The only flights in are via Laos or Vietnam.
airline, Bangkok Airways, and Singapore-based Star Airways both
opened routes to Phnom Penh only to be warned off by their governments,
Cheam Yeap said.
The tourist's troubles are only just beginning on arrival.
Until the luxury Cambodiana Hotel partially opened in July there were just
392 hotel beds. Accommodation is basic.
'We call them hotels but 'NE' just clean up the rooms and put a bed in;' he said.
of the Soviet-supplied vans used to shuttle tourists around - Phnom
Penh has no taxis - have no air-conditioning. ''\Ne get a lot of complaints about
that. This is a tropical country:' Cheam Yeap said.
The trip to Angkor Wat is seen as a good opportunity to swell the government's
coffers. The flight in an old Antonov-built plane to Siem Reap is 90 dollars. A
compulsory but not very helpful guide costs another 100 dollars.
Cheam Yeap has big plans to develop tourism and hopes that a United Nations
11
plan now under discussion by the ga.ernment and its guerrilla opponents could
finally end the years of war.
French, Indian, and Australian companies have already looked at
hotel projects, he said. India's Oberoi group advised
Ambassador to Cambodia, John Gunther Dean, who fled by helicopter days
before Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975 - signed a protocol in
July to build or renovate a hotel.
Cheam Yeap is confident that diplomatic recognition fur the Phnom Penh
government will open the way for more flights. Thai Airways and Air France
have shown interest. he said.
While Angkor Wat is the main
The country is dotted with ruins and
resort of Kirimon, a
and now fallen into
He also talks of reviving the Cambodian Riviera, whose white sand beaches
are untainted by pollution "not like those in Thailand:'
THE NATION, September 20,1990
RAM Cooperazione Nord I Sud
RAM Association (Roba dell'AUro Mondo)
structure, for cooperation with "third world" countries. It works
basically with South and South-East Asia (from the Indian region to
Thailand till the Philippines). Born in 1988, offiCially registered with
deed before a notary in 1990, RAM is based in Bogliasco (Genoa,
Italy), from where tries to catalyze the spur towards solidarity and
exchanges with "third world" grassroot groups, by different areas of
Italian'civil society. The aim is to build up with the South a permanent
network of relations.
RAM works on the following guidelines:
The basis are always partnerships with local groups, for micro­
realizations to improve life conditions, starting from basic needings
expressed by the local people. RAM since few years supports also
South-Asian cooperatives, handicraft activities, whose products are
diffused in Italy, on a non-profit making basis, through "equal trade".
Various are the criteria of this kind of commerce, but the bulk of it
is a fair payment for the products, according with the living standards
of the place.
Special focus is on South and South-East Asia, an area with few
traditional or colonial links with Italy. Here Italian solidaristic
cooperation is little, the information on these countries is scarce,
while public and private business with the same regions is facing a
tremendous growth, and a "one way" tourist flow is increasing
everyday. In the culture-information field RAM operates organizing
public meetings, through features and reportages on different papers
and magazines, through slides and video shows and interventions in
the schools. RAM has small archives, consultable on request, it sends
to the members a newsletter about its activities, and monographs on
specific issues of North-South relationships.
RAM organizes group "study-journeys", self-managed, each one
of them focussed on specific angles of individual countries realities.
Such journeys are meant, anyway, to visit partner organizations
which RAM supports, and to deepen exchanges.
Till today totally self-financed, RAM is now beginning to receive
contributions from various sources. Essential is the role of the
associates. For ordinary membership the fee is 20,000 Italian lire.
Subscribing campaigns are foreseen for the sake of specific projects.
RAM pays its own managing costs, and it reinvest all the balance in
Hew projects.
RAM/North-South Cooperation - Bogliasro (Genova), Via Consigiiere 1/A, Italy. lei
010/3472413 (aiso fax)
AHands off St Lucia's Pitons'
by Earl Bousquet
A
poet, a painter and a planner are leading a campaign against a
major tourist development around St Lucia's most famous
landmarks: two peaks believed to have been formed by a volcanic
eruption 15,000 years ago.
St Lucian poet Derek Walcott, a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature,
says he is prepared to "do something, at personal risk, to prevent or defy
anyone to touch the Pitons."
Gros Piton rises 2,619 feet (798 metres) out of the sea, and its smaller
companion 2,461 feet (750 metres).
The campaign started following the government go-ahead for an
Iranian-owned hotel complex, despite reservations expressed in an
environmental impact assessment by an Antiguan-based consultancy
firm.
The consultants concluded that the environmental sensitivity of the
site was not conducive to the project: "The comhined effect of hurricane­
force winds, flooding, land and rock slides and wave attack could have
devastating effects on property and life. Thus the suitability of the site for
a resort is questionable."
The assessment was backed by the United Nations Development
Programme.
In an article in the local Star newspaper, Walcott argued that the Pitons
were such an important part of S1 Lucian heritage that they should Qot
be sacrificed in the name of economic development.
The government's argument that the Pitons should be developed for
tourism and jobs was "akin to a whore's argument" that prostitution is
okay because it is a means of economic survival, he wrote.
In addition to the hotel project, which is expected to be completed next
year, the government is also being asked to allow a local company, Gros
Piton Aerial Tramway Company, to construct a cable car capable of taking
250,000 tourists to the top of Gros Piton each year.
The proposal has sparked another round of criticism. Opponents of the
schemes argue that the developments threaten the pristine and
ecologically sensitive area and will cause major environmental damage
from which it will take generations to recover.
Dr Len Ishmael, a St Lucian planner, added her voice to Walcott's protest.
She said that bulldozers at the hotel complex had crushed important
artefacts while preparing the site.
And she criticised the cable car project, saying that its construction
would require blasting the top of Gros Piton.
Marine biologists claim that hotel construction has severely damaged
the coral reef in the area of the Pitons.
Criticism has also been levelled at the hotel developers for cutting
public access to beaches.
Said the environmental impact assessment report: "Public access
overland to the Jalousie resort will be restricted by the use of a guard gate.
It is not unreasonable to antiCipate that public use of the beach will be
discouraged though not prohibited. Public access and right to use the
facility are critical issues needing eady resolution:'
Llewellyn Xavier, a St Lucian painter, has taken up the cause, voicing
concern over the regulation of public access on any part of the island.
"That one must now have a pass to go to Jalousie smacks of South Africa
to me," he said. "I don't think there is any part of St Lucia that citizens
should not have access to."
Dr Ishmael and Xavier are leading members of the newly-formed St
Lucia Environmental Development Awareness Council set up to
coordinate action on the environmental front.
They dt::f1Y that they are anti-development, and say they seek to
promote development which is sensitive to environmental considerations.
Source: PANOS features
10
Consumer Laws and Tourism
by Imfiaz Muqbil
O
f all the factors whacking the Thai and South-east Asian tourism
industries, none will have a greater and potentially more damaging
effect than the increasing stringency of Europe's post-1992 consumer
protection laws.
At a time when the two most overriding concerns of international tourism
are the environment and the quality of service, European tour operators are
that negligence in either of the two areas could force them to fork
out total refunds if the "quality" of the holiday and destination does not match
that advertised.
This will mean that any travel service supplier from a hotel to a
company, or even an entire destination, could find itself dropped from a tour
programme or be forced to compensate part of the claim should a client go
back and win damages from a European court.
The law is already applicable in Germany and has been drafted along similar
lines by the European Commission for implementation afterthe so-called Single
Market emerges as of January 1, 1993. Various versions also apply in Australia,
and the United States.
At the annual convention of the German Travel Agents Association (DRV) in
Singapore last month, secretary-general Burkhard Nipper noted that the German
consumer protection law makes the luur operator liable for any deficiencies
in the quality of the tour product even though the fault is neither his nor that
of the supplier (the ground handler or the hotel). It can earn the customer a
full refund if negligence or guilt is established.
The law's rationale is that it is the tour operator's responsibility to be well­
informed about the quality of the product and make sure the client gets the
vacation experience mentioned in the tour brochure.
Any deviation from that, and if the tour operator is informed with no corrective
action being taken, means the operator can be held liable for selling.a sub­
standard product. The escape clauses once used to shirk responsibility by
clar ming the tour operator was only an "intermediary" between the tourist and
travel supplier are no longer admissible in a German court.
This is one of the main reasons why travel to places like Pattaya is suffering.
Tourists are also reportedly complaining about the pollution and traffic problems
in Bangkok - described in highly flowery terms in the tour brochure, which
could be construed by a court as misleading advertising.
Over the last year or so, several Thai ground handlers dealing with the
European and Australian markets have faced major headaches trying to sort
out these court cases in which the tour operator has been forced to cough up
damages and then asked the local ground handler or hotel to help offset part
of the costs.
Already, many tour operators are rewriting contracts with their suppliers to
provide for "an acceptable distribution of risk" so that each side
responsibi Iity only for the problem that occurred under their respective
of influence':
Australian tour operators say some tourists are clipping out complaints
in the Bangkok Post 'Postbag' column to cite as evidence that the destination
was not up to standard.
Though the law varies from one European to another, the European
Commission on June 13. 1990, issued a unified wi II apply throughout
Europe as of 1993.
At the World Travel Mart in London last week, Peter Prendergast of the Ee's
Consumer Protection Division said the objective was to improve the
sophistication and efficiency of European products and services.
"Because of the (lour operator's) liability, hoteliers and travel suppl iers must
that more precision will be required of them in future:' he said.
DRV's Mr Nipper indicated the shape of things to come. He said, for
example, that under German law, if hotel staff go on strike without prior warning
or the customer is disturbed by construction noise in the hotel or
<;urroundings, h(' can oemancl a refund of between 5 (lnd 50% depending on
the intensity of the deficiency.
The German law also covers one more very important - pricing. It says
that once the travel deal has been signed, any price that comes
Nepal Blames Gulf Crisis
by 8inaya Guruacharya
(Associated Press)
F
ewer tourists visited Nepal's ancient temples, snowy mountains and lush
valleys in 1990, and officials blame trouble elsewhere In the world.
say the Gulf crisis was the main problem. Last year was also a bad one
for this Himalayan kingdom, largely because of a ga<;oline shortage caused by
a trade dispute with neighbouring India.
'1-his you can find a hotel room anytime you want;' said Surendra Shakya,
of the Yak and Yeti hotel in Kathmandu, the capital. uPreviously, you
been lucky to find standing space:'
Thousands of tourists changed plans this spring, when the country was in
the grip of an uprising that brought democracy to Nepal by stripping King
Birendra of near-absolute powers.
Hoteliers say 50 per cent of those who had booked rooms did not turn up
during the year's second tourist season, which started in mid-September when
the monsoon ended.
Most of the cancellations came from the United States and Germany, Nepal's
two major tourist markets in the West, they said.
"The Americans are big spenders, and they have not come to this part of the
world because of fear of war in the Middle East;' a hotel manager said, on
condition of anor.ymity.
The State Department advised Ameriran5 they might become targets in South
the Middle East and North Africa because of tensions in the Gulf, where
were deployed after Iraq occupied Kuwait on August 2.
Most air rOlltes to Nepal pass over the Gulf region and many tourists want
to avoid it, Nepalese officials said. In addition, air fares are rising because of
fuel prices.
According (0 the Tourism Department, only 176,000 tourists have visited
Nepal in 1990, compared to about 240,000 in 1989.
Anup Rana, owner of the Yellow Pagoda Hotel and president of the Hotel
Association of Nepal, said reservations for October and November were down
by 30 per cent from the same months in 1988.
One travel agent said he received cancellations from 160 tour groups on a
day in September. The agent, who asked not to be identified, said he
fears many more in the coming mQnths.
Trouble in neighbouring countries also affected Nepal's tourism because
travellers usually buy holiday packages that include destinations in Nepal, India
and Thailand.
AMuslim separatist movement in Kashmir and class and sectarian violence
in other parts of India contributed to downturn this year, 5aid Dipendra Purush
director general of Nepal's Tourism Department.
Another Tourism Department official said bargain tickets offered by
government-owned Royal Nepal Airlines had not helped. The reduced airfares
tend to attract only low-budget tourists who stay in cheap hotels that charge
less than $.5 a day, the official said.
Although pleasure travel is down, adventure tourists apparently are not
affected. Trekking agencies are as busy as in other years.
know there is more risk involved in climbing Mount Everest or rafting
rapids of Himalayan rivers than flying over the Middle East:' said
Stanley Armington, the owner of a trekking agency.
Squeezed between the vastness of China to the north and India to the south,
includes eight peaks higher than 8,000 metres (26,000 feet), including
Mount Everest, the highest point in world at 8,848 metres (29,028 feet).
Adventure travellers, unlike general tourists, plan their trips a year in advance,
late cancellations difficult, said Armington, who left Sail Francisco 20
years ago to set up in Kathmandu.
Trekking agencies have been able to sell Nepal as the primary destination
in South Asia for adventure travellers. Of Nepal's 240,000 tourists last year,
40,000 came only for trekking, which introduces visitors to one of the world's
richest wildlife habitats.
Nepal contains less than 1 per cent of the planet's land mass, but roughly
10 per cent its bi rd species, about 800.
7
No More For Bali
I
ndonesiil will stop building hotels on the holiday island of which
environmentalists say is becoming critically over-crowded,
at least
1992, a tourism official said.
An official in the accommodations division of the Tourism Ministry said no
new building permits would be issued until the results of a demand study due
next year had been examined.
'There are economic considerations and environmental considerations which
must all he studied;' he said.
Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Tourism Susilo Sudarman said on
Thursday the US firm Stanford Research Institute had been commissioned to
carry out a survey.
Contractors who had started bUilding hotels without permits would be
ordered to stop, the official said, adding that none of the major
affiliated hotels under construction fell into this
Bal i has al most 20,000 hotel rooms and several major hotels are under
construction.
Environmentalists say that if expansion continues the island could face a
critical shortage of water. Tourist industry sources say much more mass tourism
will destroy the island's culture and charm.
"Today, we can experience something entirely new in Bali;' commented
Director-General ofTourism JooP Ave at the official opening of the Hotel Bali
Hilton International on 30 December 1990. "For the first time in history, visitors
to Bali can sit in a traffic jam:'
With this official acknowledgement that hotel development on the
isle has far outstripped the area's infrastructure facilities, Mr. Ave announced
a ban on new hotel construction in the crowded Sanur-Kuta tourist area. Bali
now has 19,000 hotel rooms, mostly in Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua. The number
was expected to rise to 21,000 by 1993. The ban provides a 'breathing
to enable the government to properly assess the remaining potential for tourist
development. The ban will effect about 20 hotel projects. However, projects
which are already under construction, such as the Sheraton Legian and Citra
Jimbaran, are exempted froni the ban.
Bali Governor Ida Bagus Oka pointed out that the ban only affects projects ilt
the Badung Regency, which covers the capital, Denpasar, and the Kuta and Sanur
tourist areas. Bali Provincial Government still encourages tourism development
outside of the southern tourist enclave.
Bali hosted over one million tourists last many hotels experienced
low occupancy rates outside of peak periods. According to Tommy Raka, owner
of the Kuta Beach Club and Bali Regency Club in Nusa Dua, investors have
a monkey-see monkey-do attitude towards hotel development.
that existing hotels are profitable, jump in with their own
determining technical feasibility, financial solidity and
m:lrkptino _1 __- II
The han will remain in effect pending findings from research currently
conducted in Bali. Stanford Research International is currently conducting d
survey on behalf of the Directorate General of Tourism. The United Nations
Development Program is also currentiy reviewing the Bali's Tourism Master Plan.
"I helped the local ecology today I aie a tourist:'
8 9
Tourism at what cost?
by Veenu Sandal
A
contlict is in full swing in tourist resorts across the length and breadth
of Uttar Pradesh. It is a bizarre, ironic conflict in which tourism is ranged
against the very elements that draw tourists: the unspoilt bounties of
nature, the well preserved heritage of ages long gone, local cultures, living crafts
and colourful customs.
In recent years, all these have been subjected to human intervention under
the garb of 'development: The results have been mixed - so far. In the years
to come, will man be the victor or the loser? Or will the resorts themselves
unfolding drama has already taken a toll. Hill
lital, where clouds, mercifully, still play hide
and seek, are but a pale shadow of heady yesteryears.
Mysterious, fragrant valleys like the famed Valley of Flowers and Har Ki Doon;
great centres of pilgrimage like Gangotri, Hardwar, Allahabad, Varanasi; cities
with glorious histories and monuments like Agra; the great outdoors like Jim
Corbett National Park and other tourist Zlttractions - have all been sucked into
the confl ict.
At MU5soorie, graceful, elegant buildings of long ago still snuggle against
but they are the last of their ilk. Despite municipal by-laws, modern
nulti-storeyed flats now stick out like sore thumbs in Mussoorie, rh:clnvino
for the worse the character of this, once intensely charming, (.
Hills. Clearly, the balance has been upset. It is now the Queen of Business;
the hills have been relegated to secondary importance. Business is booming,
for instance, the Garhwal Mandai Vikas Nigam, never mind that its characterless
building has obstructed the view of the valley below from the Mall.
In the frenzy to develop tourism, prime open spaces have been occupied
and vegetation cleared to accommodate bui Idings. In the wake of such
unregulated activity, climatic changes and water shortages are changing the
face of Mussoorie. This past summer of 1990, when Mussoorie saw an
unprecedented flood of tourists, who would normally have headed for Kashmir
otherfacilities were stretched to breaking point Nainital
where problems have multiplied as fast as due
to a combination of thoughtless human intervention and non-intervention.
The Doon Valley was once a lush, green, quiet oasis for holiday makers. But
indiscriminate limestone quarrying in the adjacent Mussoorie hills and the
limestone based industrial units that mushroomed in Dehra Dun caused serious
air pollution and water problems. Quarrying has been largely banned, but the
town has changed. During the summers, Dehra Dun is hot and dusty.
Even in where the government has displayed initiative, the outcome
has not happy one. Towards the mid-eighties, the
authorities intentioned protection measures at the world
famous Valley of Flowers, high in the Garhwal Himalayas.
and instances of large scale wanton smuggling of medicinal plants from the
valley and a general disregard for the ecological wealth of the area by visitors
attracted by publicity packages, night halts by tourists were no longer allowed
in the valley. Neither were horses, village cattle, sheep or goats permitted to
enter the valley. Did these steps achieve their aim and help safeguard the
environment and the precious flora in the valley?
The Citizens Report on the State of India's Environment gives a
account of the situation now prevailing in the valley: ..ber€
its traditional keepers, the beautiful region is in danger. Since the entry of animo>1c:
has been restricted, weeds have spread. Forest officials connive at the
picking of medicinal plants. Trees are merrily felled for firewood. The
consumption is 80 tonnes mostly for the visitors, as the valley'S residents
consume little. Vegetation has been swept away to make helipads for VIPs, most
of whom in any case have never come... As for the villagers, whose religious
care kept the flowers blooming for decades, they dre seriously affected by the
fiat prohibiting entry into the valley. The entire economy of the region depends
on sheep and goat reari ng and the wool trade. Some now keep horses and earn
money by taking up the road to Hemkund and the Valley of Flowers.
INDIA
A few have set up teastalls to cater to tired trekkers.. :'
It is a sad, yet undeniable fact that local culture and lifestyles are being
engulfed and swamped by the tourist tide, both directly and indirectly.
Traditional crafts like basket weaving and wood carving are dying, standards
of nutrition are falling as the population surrounding tourist resorts diverts its
and scarce resources such as milk, vegetables or fruit to cater to the
ever Increasing demands of tourists. The cash income from such transactions
goes towards buying material luxuries like tape recorders, flashy clothes and
other accoutrements. Meanwhile, the prices of essential commodities and
goods rise sharply in the area due to tourist induced demand and in the long
run, it's the local population that feels the pinch, largely negating whatever
they have 'earned' from tourists.
Amongst other places, this process is evident around Joshimath, enroute to
the great Himalayan tirthas, the Valley of Flowers, Hemkund and the
developed ski resort of Auli. Whether the local population benefits from the
influx of tourists is debatable indeed.
On mountain trails where you could once hear the rustle of the wind
tangy dry leaves, one now hears the jarring crinkle of empty Maggi
packets, carried along by the wind. Thanks to tourism, the time has come
perhaps, to change descriptive imagery. It would not be inappropriate to write,
for instance, "that empty tuna fish tins and Frooti packets nestle among the
grass on many a hillside in the Garhwal Himalayas.. :'
The tale continues on different dimensions in the plains of Uttar Pradesh.
The story of the Ganga's pollution at Rishikesh, Hardwar, Allahabad and Varanasi
is too well known to need repetition. Though the Ganga Action Plan and efforts
of INTACH and other voluntary organisations somewhat stemmed the tide, the
have not receded. To combat these disturbing trends, the Ministrv of
Forests is studying a comprehensive package of steps at
grass roots level. Dr M K Ranjit Sinh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of
Environment and Forests and Project Director, Central Ganga Authority,
disclosed that the steps include the formation of a network of people's action
groups to spread awareness about the not immediately visible but far reaching
effects of environmental over-exploitation.
At Agra, environmentalists believe, despite official claims to the contrary, that
the Taj Mahal is under constant threat from the Mathura refinery. The pressure,
they feel, is bound to grow in the coming years as more industries come up
in the area.
There is a festering resentment against tourism and wildlife conservation
amongst sections of the population around National parks and sanctuaries in
Uttar Pradesh. "Our traditional rights are gone': aGujjar herdsman, with a henna
dyed beard complained bitterly, when he stopped us near the Jim Corbett
National Park. "The places we once roamed and shared in peace with wildlife,
the places we have roamed for centuries have been closed to us, but are open
to those who have money but scant respect or rapport with the envi ronment.
Is this justice?" he asked.
As the Citizens Report on the State of the Environment has
Jnfortunately, few historians have attempted to document the
have taken place in ecosystems and their resources underthe
interventions. If indeed, such a history of ecological change was written, there
would be many valuable lessons to learn:"
In the current conflict between tourism and the environment in Uttar Pradesh,
tourism appears to be emerging a shameless victor - at the cost of the
environment. But for how long? The envi ronment can survive without tourism,
but can tourism survive without the environment, the very ambience that draws
tourists?
TIMES OF INDIA, 29 December, 1990
News & Views
Five-Star
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Devi lal's five-star bonanza for the rural folk
has finally come through.
The India Tourism Development Corporation
sector undertaking, announced that it was introducing a 'unique' scheme for
the rural people of India to enable them to visit five-star ITDC hotels and
throughout the country.
The scheme offers sumptous vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals at 50 per
cent discount in /TDC hotels on Thursdays and Fridays.
This facility will be available to the people residing within a radius of 50 km
of the respective ITDC hotel or restaurant, on establishment of their identity
certified by the village pradhan of the area.
This facility would be launched on the eve of the Republic Dav. the official
release said. The ITDC had been playing acatalytic role
tourism by offering various packages. This scheme is yet another contribution
of ITDC to socio-economic cause, it added,
INDIAN EXPRESS, 24 December, 1990
Tourism in Jammu
The Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Development Corporation would soon launch
a special promotion drive to attract tourists to Patnitop and other tourist resorts
of Jammu region. This was decided at a meeting on Friday which approved
the construction of 32 sets at Patnitop to augment accommodation for tourists.
These sets will comprise one-room flat-type accommodation at low rents.
DECCAN HERALD, 30 December, 1990
Ajanta, EHora caves
A resource protection and tourism enhancement
caves and the Daulatabad Fort in Maharashtra has been developed
National Park Service. The project, approved by the US-India sub-commission
on science and technology, will be implemented in collaboration with the
Tourism Ministry and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
DECCCAN HERALD, June 1, 1991

ft)IW'PA
Multinational Entries
tvbhinrlr:clc who have made a foray into the booming mid-market hotel
its Days Inn chain, have successfully roped-in big-league
builders Rahejas and the Dempos of Goa to set up budget hotels.
The Rahejas have joined hands with the Mahindras to set up a joint venture
called the Mahindra Raheja Hospitality Management and Development Services
ltd, which will float a chain of hotels to be christened Guestline Days all aver
India.
Announcing this, Mr Rob Hogan, vice president of Days Inn Int., US and
Dr V Chandrashekhar, president, Mahindras Days Hotels and Resorts Ltd., said,
"While Mahindras will have a 51 per cent stake, the Rahejas will have the
remaining 49 per cent of the equity of the new joint venture:' The project will
also have the job of franchising and marketing the Guestline Days brand of hotel
management and allied services:
Mr Chandrashekhar told reporters here today that under the agreement, both
partners will have an equal number of hotels under their wing. Mahindras' mo.'e
to rope in the Rahejas as partners is in keeping with the tradition in the industry
where all majors have had some property developer-:um-builder as apartner.
the new hotel, and a club coming up at Attibele off Bangalore would
be while the Rahejas would be setting up a hotel in
Coimbatore. For its Goa project, which would have 150 air-conditioned rooms,
the Mahindras have entered into a collaboration with Dempo. According to
Dr Chandrashekhar, Dempo's participation would bring a local flavour to the
project. At present, plans are being formulated for presentation before the Goa
government.
Against the Attibele and Tirupati projects being set up by Mahindras, their
partners, the Rahejas, wi II have sole right (NCr the Coimbatore and Kodaikanal
projects.
BUSINESS STAN DAKD, 8 January, 1991
Rajasthan's Palaces
Palaces, castles and forts - the magnificent symbols of a royal past - are now
being thrown open as hotels to tourists by their owners in Rajasthan.
Descendants of former rulers, who own the splendid, spacious palaces, castles
and forts find it extremely difficult to preserve this heritage.
With privy purses abolished, they are now trying to make these
commercially viable projects as hotels.
Several such buildings had been turned into hotels in various parts of
Rajasthan long back, but others, who \o\I€re trying to venture into this field were
finding it difficult to compete with the starred hotels.
Now, with the centre soon going to recognise the hotels to be run in old
palaces, castles and forts as separate category "heritage hotels" and exposing
them to foreign tourists the future of hundreds of dilapidating magnificent
has been assured.
The secretary of the newly formed Association of Heritage Hotels, Guman
Singh, said the decision to recognise heritage hotels as separate category ones
will give a new lease of life to these buildings rich in traditional architecture.
He said foreign tourists, who come to India wanted to have afeel of the ancient
royalty not the five star comfort of modern hotels.
The heritage hotels, he said, did not fulfill requirements of being recognised
as afive star hotel like having a swimming pool, a beauty parlour or shopping
comple)(, but were unique in their own way.
The Heritage Hotels Association was able to convi nce authorities that their
hotels could not be clubbed with other star category hotels and would maintain
their own identity, he added.
The director general, tourism, B K G05wami, who was in Jaipur to attend
a seminar organised by Heritage Hotels Association last week assured all help
for popularising such hotels.
THE INDEPENDENT, 10 December, 1990
8 9
Tourism at what cost?
by Veenu Sandal
A
contlict is in full swing in tourist resorts across the length and breadth
of Uttar Pradesh. It is a bizarre, ironic conflict in which tourism is ranged
against the very elements that draw tourists: the unspoilt bounties of
nature, the well preserved heritage of ages long gone, local cultures, living crafts
and colourful customs.
In recent years, all these have been subjected to human intervention under
the garb of 'development: The results have been mixed - so far. In the years
to come, will man be the victor or the loser? Or will the resorts themselves
unfolding drama has already taken a toll. Hill
lital, where clouds, mercifully, still play hide
and seek, are but a pale shadow of heady yesteryears.
Mysterious, fragrant valleys like the famed Valley of Flowers and Har Ki Doon;
great centres of pilgrimage like Gangotri, Hardwar, Allahabad, Varanasi; cities
with glorious histories and monuments like Agra; the great outdoors like Jim
Corbett National Park and other tourist Zlttractions - have all been sucked into
the confl ict.
At MU5soorie, graceful, elegant buildings of long ago still snuggle against
but they are the last of their ilk. Despite municipal by-laws, modern
nulti-storeyed flats now stick out like sore thumbs in Mussoorie, rh:clnvino
for the worse the character of this, once intensely charming, (.
Hills. Clearly, the balance has been upset. It is now the Queen of Business;
the hills have been relegated to secondary importance. Business is booming,
for instance, the Garhwal Mandai Vikas Nigam, never mind that its characterless
building has obstructed the view of the valley below from the Mall.
In the frenzy to develop tourism, prime open spaces have been occupied
and vegetation cleared to accommodate bui Idings. In the wake of such
unregulated activity, climatic changes and water shortages are changing the
face of Mussoorie. This past summer of 1990, when Mussoorie saw an
unprecedented flood of tourists, who would normally have headed for Kashmir
otherfacilities were stretched to breaking point Nainital
where problems have multiplied as fast as due
to a combination of thoughtless human intervention and non-intervention.
The Doon Valley was once a lush, green, quiet oasis for holiday makers. But
indiscriminate limestone quarrying in the adjacent Mussoorie hills and the
limestone based industrial units that mushroomed in Dehra Dun caused serious
air pollution and water problems. Quarrying has been largely banned, but the
town has changed. During the summers, Dehra Dun is hot and dusty.
Even in where the government has displayed initiative, the outcome
has not happy one. Towards the mid-eighties, the
authorities intentioned protection measures at the world
famous Valley of Flowers, high in the Garhwal Himalayas.
and instances of large scale wanton smuggling of medicinal plants from the
valley and a general disregard for the ecological wealth of the area by visitors
attracted by publicity packages, night halts by tourists were no longer allowed
in the valley. Neither were horses, village cattle, sheep or goats permitted to
enter the valley. Did these steps achieve their aim and help safeguard the
environment and the precious flora in the valley?
The Citizens Report on the State of India's Environment gives a
account of the situation now prevailing in the valley: ..ber€
its traditional keepers, the beautiful region is in danger. Since the entry of animo>1c:
has been restricted, weeds have spread. Forest officials connive at the
picking of medicinal plants. Trees are merrily felled for firewood. The
consumption is 80 tonnes mostly for the visitors, as the valley'S residents
consume little. Vegetation has been swept away to make helipads for VIPs, most
of whom in any case have never come... As for the villagers, whose religious
care kept the flowers blooming for decades, they dre seriously affected by the
fiat prohibiting entry into the valley. The entire economy of the region depends
on sheep and goat reari ng and the wool trade. Some now keep horses and earn
money by taking up the road to Hemkund and the Valley of Flowers.
INDIA
A few have set up teastalls to cater to tired trekkers.. :'
It is a sad, yet undeniable fact that local culture and lifestyles are being
engulfed and swamped by the tourist tide, both directly and indirectly.
Traditional crafts like basket weaving and wood carving are dying, standards
of nutrition are falling as the population surrounding tourist resorts diverts its
and scarce resources such as milk, vegetables or fruit to cater to the
ever Increasing demands of tourists. The cash income from such transactions
goes towards buying material luxuries like tape recorders, flashy clothes and
other accoutrements. Meanwhile, the prices of essential commodities and
goods rise sharply in the area due to tourist induced demand and in the long
run, it's the local population that feels the pinch, largely negating whatever
they have 'earned' from tourists.
Amongst other places, this process is evident around Joshimath, enroute to
the great Himalayan tirthas, the Valley of Flowers, Hemkund and the
developed ski resort of Auli. Whether the local population benefits from the
influx of tourists is debatable indeed.
On mountain trails where you could once hear the rustle of the wind
tangy dry leaves, one now hears the jarring crinkle of empty Maggi
packets, carried along by the wind. Thanks to tourism, the time has come
perhaps, to change descriptive imagery. It would not be inappropriate to write,
for instance, "that empty tuna fish tins and Frooti packets nestle among the
grass on many a hillside in the Garhwal Himalayas.. :'
The tale continues on different dimensions in the plains of Uttar Pradesh.
The story of the Ganga's pollution at Rishikesh, Hardwar, Allahabad and Varanasi
is too well known to need repetition. Though the Ganga Action Plan and efforts
of INTACH and other voluntary organisations somewhat stemmed the tide, the
have not receded. To combat these disturbing trends, the Ministrv of
Forests is studying a comprehensive package of steps at
grass roots level. Dr M K Ranjit Sinh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of
Environment and Forests and Project Director, Central Ganga Authority,
disclosed that the steps include the formation of a network of people's action
groups to spread awareness about the not immediately visible but far reaching
effects of environmental over-exploitation.
At Agra, environmentalists believe, despite official claims to the contrary, that
the Taj Mahal is under constant threat from the Mathura refinery. The pressure,
they feel, is bound to grow in the coming years as more industries come up
in the area.
There is a festering resentment against tourism and wildlife conservation
amongst sections of the population around National parks and sanctuaries in
Uttar Pradesh. "Our traditional rights are gone': aGujjar herdsman, with a henna
dyed beard complained bitterly, when he stopped us near the Jim Corbett
National Park. "The places we once roamed and shared in peace with wildlife,
the places we have roamed for centuries have been closed to us, but are open
to those who have money but scant respect or rapport with the envi ronment.
Is this justice?" he asked.
As the Citizens Report on the State of the Environment has
Jnfortunately, few historians have attempted to document the
have taken place in ecosystems and their resources underthe
interventions. If indeed, such a history of ecological change was written, there
would be many valuable lessons to learn:"
In the current conflict between tourism and the environment in Uttar Pradesh,
tourism appears to be emerging a shameless victor - at the cost of the
environment. But for how long? The envi ronment can survive without tourism,
but can tourism survive without the environment, the very ambience that draws
tourists?
TIMES OF INDIA, 29 December, 1990
News & Views
Five-Star
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Devi lal's five-star bonanza for the rural folk
has finally come through.
The India Tourism Development Corporation
sector undertaking, announced that it was introducing a 'unique' scheme for
the rural people of India to enable them to visit five-star ITDC hotels and
throughout the country.
The scheme offers sumptous vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals at 50 per
cent discount in /TDC hotels on Thursdays and Fridays.
This facility will be available to the people residing within a radius of 50 km
of the respective ITDC hotel or restaurant, on establishment of their identity
certified by the village pradhan of the area.
This facility would be launched on the eve of the Republic Dav. the official
release said. The ITDC had been playing acatalytic role
tourism by offering various packages. This scheme is yet another contribution
of ITDC to socio-economic cause, it added,
INDIAN EXPRESS, 24 December, 1990
Tourism in Jammu
The Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Development Corporation would soon launch
a special promotion drive to attract tourists to Patnitop and other tourist resorts
of Jammu region. This was decided at a meeting on Friday which approved
the construction of 32 sets at Patnitop to augment accommodation for tourists.
These sets will comprise one-room flat-type accommodation at low rents.
DECCAN HERALD, 30 December, 1990
Ajanta, EHora caves
A resource protection and tourism enhancement
caves and the Daulatabad Fort in Maharashtra has been developed
National Park Service. The project, approved by the US-India sub-commission
on science and technology, will be implemented in collaboration with the
Tourism Ministry and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
DECCCAN HERALD, June 1, 1991

ft)IW'PA
Multinational Entries
tvbhinrlr:clc who have made a foray into the booming mid-market hotel
its Days Inn chain, have successfully roped-in big-league
builders Rahejas and the Dempos of Goa to set up budget hotels.
The Rahejas have joined hands with the Mahindras to set up a joint venture
called the Mahindra Raheja Hospitality Management and Development Services
ltd, which will float a chain of hotels to be christened Guestline Days all aver
India.
Announcing this, Mr Rob Hogan, vice president of Days Inn Int., US and
Dr V Chandrashekhar, president, Mahindras Days Hotels and Resorts Ltd., said,
"While Mahindras will have a 51 per cent stake, the Rahejas will have the
remaining 49 per cent of the equity of the new joint venture:' The project will
also have the job of franchising and marketing the Guestline Days brand of hotel
management and allied services:
Mr Chandrashekhar told reporters here today that under the agreement, both
partners will have an equal number of hotels under their wing. Mahindras' mo.'e
to rope in the Rahejas as partners is in keeping with the tradition in the industry
where all majors have had some property developer-:um-builder as apartner.
the new hotel, and a club coming up at Attibele off Bangalore would
be while the Rahejas would be setting up a hotel in
Coimbatore. For its Goa project, which would have 150 air-conditioned rooms,
the Mahindras have entered into a collaboration with Dempo. According to
Dr Chandrashekhar, Dempo's participation would bring a local flavour to the
project. At present, plans are being formulated for presentation before the Goa
government.
Against the Attibele and Tirupati projects being set up by Mahindras, their
partners, the Rahejas, wi II have sole right (NCr the Coimbatore and Kodaikanal
projects.
BUSINESS STAN DAKD, 8 January, 1991
Rajasthan's Palaces
Palaces, castles and forts - the magnificent symbols of a royal past - are now
being thrown open as hotels to tourists by their owners in Rajasthan.
Descendants of former rulers, who own the splendid, spacious palaces, castles
and forts find it extremely difficult to preserve this heritage.
With privy purses abolished, they are now trying to make these
commercially viable projects as hotels.
Several such buildings had been turned into hotels in various parts of
Rajasthan long back, but others, who \o\I€re trying to venture into this field were
finding it difficult to compete with the starred hotels.
Now, with the centre soon going to recognise the hotels to be run in old
palaces, castles and forts as separate category "heritage hotels" and exposing
them to foreign tourists the future of hundreds of dilapidating magnificent
has been assured.
The secretary of the newly formed Association of Heritage Hotels, Guman
Singh, said the decision to recognise heritage hotels as separate category ones
will give a new lease of life to these buildings rich in traditional architecture.
He said foreign tourists, who come to India wanted to have afeel of the ancient
royalty not the five star comfort of modern hotels.
The heritage hotels, he said, did not fulfill requirements of being recognised
as afive star hotel like having a swimming pool, a beauty parlour or shopping
comple)(, but were unique in their own way.
The Heritage Hotels Association was able to convi nce authorities that their
hotels could not be clubbed with other star category hotels and would maintain
their own identity, he added.
The director general, tourism, B K G05wami, who was in Jaipur to attend
a seminar organised by Heritage Hotels Association last week assured all help
for popularising such hotels.
THE INDEPENDENT, 10 December, 1990
AHands off St Lucia's Pitons'
by Earl Bousquet
A
poet, a painter and a planner are leading a campaign against a
major tourist development around St Lucia's most famous
landmarks: two peaks believed to have been formed by a volcanic
eruption 15,000 years ago.
St Lucian poet Derek Walcott, a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature,
says he is prepared to "do something, at personal risk, to prevent or defy
anyone to touch the Pitons."
Gros Piton rises 2,619 feet (798 metres) out of the sea, and its smaller
companion 2,461 feet (750 metres).
The campaign started following the government go-ahead for an
Iranian-owned hotel complex, despite reservations expressed in an
environmental impact assessment by an Antiguan-based consultancy
firm.
The consultants concluded that the environmental sensitivity of the
site was not conducive to the project: "The comhined effect of hurricane­
force winds, flooding, land and rock slides and wave attack could have
devastating effects on property and life. Thus the suitability of the site for
a resort is questionable."
The assessment was backed by the United Nations Development
Programme.
In an article in the local Star newspaper, Walcott argued that the Pitons
were such an important part of S1 Lucian heritage that they should Qot
be sacrificed in the name of economic development.
The government's argument that the Pitons should be developed for
tourism and jobs was "akin to a whore's argument" that prostitution is
okay because it is a means of economic survival, he wrote.
In addition to the hotel project, which is expected to be completed next
year, the government is also being asked to allow a local company, Gros
Piton Aerial Tramway Company, to construct a cable car capable of taking
250,000 tourists to the top of Gros Piton each year.
The proposal has sparked another round of criticism. Opponents of the
schemes argue that the developments threaten the pristine and
ecologically sensitive area and will cause major environmental damage
from which it will take generations to recover.
Dr Len Ishmael, a St Lucian planner, added her voice to Walcott's protest.
She said that bulldozers at the hotel complex had crushed important
artefacts while preparing the site.
And she criticised the cable car project, saying that its construction
would require blasting the top of Gros Piton.
Marine biologists claim that hotel construction has severely damaged
the coral reef in the area of the Pitons.
Criticism has also been levelled at the hotel developers for cutting
public access to beaches.
Said the environmental impact assessment report: "Public access
overland to the Jalousie resort will be restricted by the use of a guard gate.
It is not unreasonable to antiCipate that public use of the beach will be
discouraged though not prohibited. Public access and right to use the
facility are critical issues needing eady resolution:'
Llewellyn Xavier, a St Lucian painter, has taken up the cause, voicing
concern over the regulation of public access on any part of the island.
"That one must now have a pass to go to Jalousie smacks of South Africa
to me," he said. "I don't think there is any part of St Lucia that citizens
should not have access to."
Dr Ishmael and Xavier are leading members of the newly-formed St
Lucia Environmental Development Awareness Council set up to
coordinate action on the environmental front.
They dt::f1Y that they are anti-development, and say they seek to
promote development which is sensitive to environmental considerations.
Source: PANOS features
10
Consumer Laws and Tourism
by Imfiaz Muqbil
O
f all the factors whacking the Thai and South-east Asian tourism
industries, none will have a greater and potentially more damaging
effect than the increasing stringency of Europe's post-1992 consumer
protection laws.
At a time when the two most overriding concerns of international tourism
are the environment and the quality of service, European tour operators are
that negligence in either of the two areas could force them to fork
out total refunds if the "quality" of the holiday and destination does not match
that advertised.
This will mean that any travel service supplier from a hotel to a
company, or even an entire destination, could find itself dropped from a tour
programme or be forced to compensate part of the claim should a client go
back and win damages from a European court.
The law is already applicable in Germany and has been drafted along similar
lines by the European Commission for implementation afterthe so-called Single
Market emerges as of January 1, 1993. Various versions also apply in Australia,
and the United States.
At the annual convention of the German Travel Agents Association (DRV) in
Singapore last month, secretary-general Burkhard Nipper noted that the German
consumer protection law makes the luur operator liable for any deficiencies
in the quality of the tour product even though the fault is neither his nor that
of the supplier (the ground handler or the hotel). It can earn the customer a
full refund if negligence or guilt is established.
The law's rationale is that it is the tour operator's responsibility to be well­
informed about the quality of the product and make sure the client gets the
vacation experience mentioned in the tour brochure.
Any deviation from that, and if the tour operator is informed with no corrective
action being taken, means the operator can be held liable for selling.a sub­
standard product. The escape clauses once used to shirk responsibility by
clar ming the tour operator was only an "intermediary" between the tourist and
travel supplier are no longer admissible in a German court.
This is one of the main reasons why travel to places like Pattaya is suffering.
Tourists are also reportedly complaining about the pollution and traffic problems
in Bangkok - described in highly flowery terms in the tour brochure, which
could be construed by a court as misleading advertising.
Over the last year or so, several Thai ground handlers dealing with the
European and Australian markets have faced major headaches trying to sort
out these court cases in which the tour operator has been forced to cough up
damages and then asked the local ground handler or hotel to help offset part
of the costs.
Already, many tour operators are rewriting contracts with their suppliers to
provide for "an acceptable distribution of risk" so that each side
responsibi Iity only for the problem that occurred under their respective
of influence':
Australian tour operators say some tourists are clipping out complaints
in the Bangkok Post 'Postbag' column to cite as evidence that the destination
was not up to standard.
Though the law varies from one European to another, the European
Commission on June 13. 1990, issued a unified wi II apply throughout
Europe as of 1993.
At the World Travel Mart in London last week, Peter Prendergast of the Ee's
Consumer Protection Division said the objective was to improve the
sophistication and efficiency of European products and services.
"Because of the (lour operator's) liability, hoteliers and travel suppl iers must
that more precision will be required of them in future:' he said.
DRV's Mr Nipper indicated the shape of things to come. He said, for
example, that under German law, if hotel staff go on strike without prior warning
or the customer is disturbed by construction noise in the hotel or
<;urroundings, h(' can oemancl a refund of between 5 (lnd 50% depending on
the intensity of the deficiency.
The German law also covers one more very important - pricing. It says
that once the travel deal has been signed, any price that comes
Nepal Blames Gulf Crisis
by 8inaya Guruacharya
(Associated Press)
F
ewer tourists visited Nepal's ancient temples, snowy mountains and lush
valleys in 1990, and officials blame trouble elsewhere In the world.
say the Gulf crisis was the main problem. Last year was also a bad one
for this Himalayan kingdom, largely because of a ga<;oline shortage caused by
a trade dispute with neighbouring India.
'1-his you can find a hotel room anytime you want;' said Surendra Shakya,
of the Yak and Yeti hotel in Kathmandu, the capital. uPreviously, you
been lucky to find standing space:'
Thousands of tourists changed plans this spring, when the country was in
the grip of an uprising that brought democracy to Nepal by stripping King
Birendra of near-absolute powers.
Hoteliers say 50 per cent of those who had booked rooms did not turn up
during the year's second tourist season, which started in mid-September when
the monsoon ended.
Most of the cancellations came from the United States and Germany, Nepal's
two major tourist markets in the West, they said.
"The Americans are big spenders, and they have not come to this part of the
world because of fear of war in the Middle East;' a hotel manager said, on
condition of anor.ymity.
The State Department advised Ameriran5 they might become targets in South
the Middle East and North Africa because of tensions in the Gulf, where
were deployed after Iraq occupied Kuwait on August 2.
Most air rOlltes to Nepal pass over the Gulf region and many tourists want
to avoid it, Nepalese officials said. In addition, air fares are rising because of
fuel prices.
According (0 the Tourism Department, only 176,000 tourists have visited
Nepal in 1990, compared to about 240,000 in 1989.
Anup Rana, owner of the Yellow Pagoda Hotel and president of the Hotel
Association of Nepal, said reservations for October and November were down
by 30 per cent from the same months in 1988.
One travel agent said he received cancellations from 160 tour groups on a
day in September. The agent, who asked not to be identified, said he
fears many more in the coming mQnths.
Trouble in neighbouring countries also affected Nepal's tourism because
travellers usually buy holiday packages that include destinations in Nepal, India
and Thailand.
AMuslim separatist movement in Kashmir and class and sectarian violence
in other parts of India contributed to downturn this year, 5aid Dipendra Purush
director general of Nepal's Tourism Department.
Another Tourism Department official said bargain tickets offered by
government-owned Royal Nepal Airlines had not helped. The reduced airfares
tend to attract only low-budget tourists who stay in cheap hotels that charge
less than $.5 a day, the official said.
Although pleasure travel is down, adventure tourists apparently are not
affected. Trekking agencies are as busy as in other years.
know there is more risk involved in climbing Mount Everest or rafting
rapids of Himalayan rivers than flying over the Middle East:' said
Stanley Armington, the owner of a trekking agency.
Squeezed between the vastness of China to the north and India to the south,
includes eight peaks higher than 8,000 metres (26,000 feet), including
Mount Everest, the highest point in world at 8,848 metres (29,028 feet).
Adventure travellers, unlike general tourists, plan their trips a year in advance,
late cancellations difficult, said Armington, who left Sail Francisco 20
years ago to set up in Kathmandu.
Trekking agencies have been able to sell Nepal as the primary destination
in South Asia for adventure travellers. Of Nepal's 240,000 tourists last year,
40,000 came only for trekking, which introduces visitors to one of the world's
richest wildlife habitats.
Nepal contains less than 1 per cent of the planet's land mass, but roughly
10 per cent its bi rd species, about 800.
7
No More For Bali
I
ndonesiil will stop building hotels on the holiday island of which
environmentalists say is becoming critically over-crowded,
at least
1992, a tourism official said.
An official in the accommodations division of the Tourism Ministry said no
new building permits would be issued until the results of a demand study due
next year had been examined.
'There are economic considerations and environmental considerations which
must all he studied;' he said.
Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Tourism Susilo Sudarman said on
Thursday the US firm Stanford Research Institute had been commissioned to
carry out a survey.
Contractors who had started bUilding hotels without permits would be
ordered to stop, the official said, adding that none of the major
affiliated hotels under construction fell into this
Bal i has al most 20,000 hotel rooms and several major hotels are under
construction.
Environmentalists say that if expansion continues the island could face a
critical shortage of water. Tourist industry sources say much more mass tourism
will destroy the island's culture and charm.
"Today, we can experience something entirely new in Bali;' commented
Director-General ofTourism JooP Ave at the official opening of the Hotel Bali
Hilton International on 30 December 1990. "For the first time in history, visitors
to Bali can sit in a traffic jam:'
With this official acknowledgement that hotel development on the
isle has far outstripped the area's infrastructure facilities, Mr. Ave announced
a ban on new hotel construction in the crowded Sanur-Kuta tourist area. Bali
now has 19,000 hotel rooms, mostly in Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua. The number
was expected to rise to 21,000 by 1993. The ban provides a 'breathing
to enable the government to properly assess the remaining potential for tourist
development. The ban will effect about 20 hotel projects. However, projects
which are already under construction, such as the Sheraton Legian and Citra
Jimbaran, are exempted froni the ban.
Bali Governor Ida Bagus Oka pointed out that the ban only affects projects ilt
the Badung Regency, which covers the capital, Denpasar, and the Kuta and Sanur
tourist areas. Bali Provincial Government still encourages tourism development
outside of the southern tourist enclave.
Bali hosted over one million tourists last many hotels experienced
low occupancy rates outside of peak periods. According to Tommy Raka, owner
of the Kuta Beach Club and Bali Regency Club in Nusa Dua, investors have
a monkey-see monkey-do attitude towards hotel development.
that existing hotels are profitable, jump in with their own
determining technical feasibility, financial solidity and
m:lrkptino _1 __- II
The han will remain in effect pending findings from research currently
conducted in Bali. Stanford Research International is currently conducting d
survey on behalf of the Directorate General of Tourism. The United Nations
Development Program is also currentiy reviewing the Bali's Tourism Master Plan.
"I helped the local ecology today I aie a tourist:'
6
Troubled Tribe
by Pankaja Srinivasan
T
he Todas are the oldest knONn inhabitants of the Nilgiris. No one knows
when exactly they came to the Nilgiris or from where they came. Some
anthropologists say they were the original occupants of the Danube Basin
the neolithic times, some say they were the Sumerians, and some others
even put them dONn as one of the lost tribes of Israel. But nothing definite is
known except that at one time the picturesque Nilgiris were the sole preserve
of the Todas.
On the Ooty-Mysore road lies a Toda village (Konda/mund). Acluster of half­
barrel shaped houses nestl ing on a gentle slope makes a pretty picture, but the
surroundings are a bit incongruous. The Todas have for their neighbours on
one side a huge fortified hOllse of a well known industrialist, and another side
an equally famous five-star hotel. It is sad but true that these landmarks of luxury
and modernity which have come years and years after the Todas, have
nevertheless managed to make the latter look the intruders.
Within the village itself, there seems to be a conflict between tradition and
modernity. Of the few huts that make up the village (mund) afew are constructed
in the traditional manner with wood and bamboo and hemp while a few others
have been made of concrete and bricks. The villagers make no secret of the
fact that they prefer their bamboo abodes to the newer ones made by the
government, as they were much better insulated and sturdier than the latter
leaked and offered no kind of protection from the cold.
Oespite encroaching modernity, the Todas have managed to retain some of
their age-old ritual<; and customs. At one time polyandrous, the Todas today,
due to economic and other constraints, marry only once. Their marriage
ceremony is in itself unique. The girl and the boy are betrothed when they are
very young, sometimes when they are hardly three years or so. Gifts are
exchanged, with the girl's people giving buffaloes, clothes etc. to the
Once the girl attains puberty, she goes and lives with her 'husband' and there
is no ceremony as such to mark this occasion. But when the girl has conceived,
then in the seventh month or so of her pregnancy, there is an elaborate ceremony,
where a lamp is lit under the 'naga'tree and the bay makes a bON out of bamboo
and hands it over to the girl in a symbolic gesture assuring her and the coming
child protection. An elaborate feast is laid out for the guests.
While a few of the Toda womenfolk have stepped out into the world from
being mere wives or mothers staying at home, there are still areas where their
presence is taboo. The temple of the Todas is out of bounds for their womenfolk.
up the slope where their houses lie, there are culvert-like stones
some kind of a boundary. This is the line beyond which the women
cannot go. A little further up is the temple. Aconstruction in the typical half­
barrel shape, there is only a small opening through which the Toda priest can
enter. Even the priest has to undergo a lengthy cleansing process, observing
fasts etc. before he can enter the temple and worship the Gods. The Todas
worship a lema Ie deity called 'Takaaish' and they also revere the Pandavas. Unlike
many other tribes, they are strict vegetarians who at one time subsisted
on fruits, honey and nuts got from the forests and, of course, milk.
Todas greatly revere their cattle. esoeciallv
buffaloes which also live in houses similar to the ones in
Even today the mainstay of their income is their dairy products which they
market through the co-operatives.
Alot ofTodas have been granted loans by the Adi-Dravida Welfare schemes
of the Tamil Nadu state government, for agricultural projects. But, as Bheemraj,
a young Toda who has completed his higher secondary education says, "Not
everyone is interested in agriculture. Some of us would also like to work in offices
and earn a living". Indeed more and more the Toda youths, with their
the T-shirts, are beginning to feel this way.
Traditional Toda jewellery in pure silver, chunky and intricately designed,
is one reason why the interest in this tribe has been kept alive. Not very long
ago, the Toda womenfolk used to be weighed down with this jewellery. Now,
most of the ornaments have found thei rway into pawn-broker'S and jeweller'S
shops where they are sold at exorbitant rates to those rich enough to afford
it Worse, some of the jewllery has been bought off by unscrupulous tourists
who have conned the Todas into selling it to them for a song. Now, fake beta
jewellery abounds in the Niigiris, while the Toda women themselves go abut
imitations.
It is a bit pathetic to see the Todas caught at the crossroads. On one
they seem to revel in their differentness and yes, even cash in on it, quite literally_
Their traditional garb, white with distinctive red and black motifs, is still hand
woven by some of them and they have become very popular with (he tourists
who can get them at the Toda emporium at Ooty at quite reasonable rates. The
Todas have become, along with the Botanical gardens, the Doddabetta peak
and the Ooty lake, a tourist attraction - to be viewed, to be commented upon
and to be photographed. One can see it in their faces as they anS'NE'r predictable
auestions from curious tourists and pose for photographs for them, a bored
on their faces or perhaps a resigned look as they go into their houses to
wear their traditional robe at the request of the tourist.
Dogs and Monkeys
by Feizal Samath (Reuter)
D
OgS play and monkeys gamble but few tourists relax on Trincomalee's
deserted beaches, said to be among the best in Asia. Trapped in a violent
guerrilla campaign to separate the Tamil-dominated north and east from
the rest of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee has never realised its full potential as atourist
centre.
"Just as we were reaching the top, the war hit us;' a local hotel employee said.
About the only resort to keep its doors open throughout the crisis is the
lOO-room Nilaveli Beach hotel.
Located with a string of other hotels about 10 km (7 miles) from Trincomalee
town, Nilaveli hopes to attract busloads of tourists in the next few months.
tour groups want to come here and we are trying to re-start at full
.. JI a hotel official said. He said the local army commander was also keen
tourists back as all government facilities were functioning.
coastal town, 240 km (150 miles) east of Colombo, is considered Sri
Lanka's best tourist resort with its natural harbour and unspoilt beaches stretching
for miles.
But violence after 1983 dashed Tri ncomalee's hopes. Only a few expatriates
working in Sri Lanka have since braved the threat of bombs and bullets to enjoy
a Trincomalee holiday. The district's coordinating officer, Brigadier Lakshman
Wijayaratne says the army is now in total control.
The army took the district in June after pitched battles with Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam guerrillas who abruptly ended peace talks with the government.
Wijayaratne said his forces, numbering 7,000 to 10,000 men, constantlv comb
the jungles for rebel stragglers.
AReuter correspondent visiti ng Tri ncoma lee town recently found government
offices and shops upen and municipal trucks at work.
But in the suburbs, residents, shaken by years of violence and tension, stay
indoors after noon and only the army is on the road.
The Tigers, fighting for a separate Tamil state in the north and east occasionally
at patrols and passing vehicles. But the attacks are progressively fewer.
Trincomalees Moonlight Beach hotel was blasted to the ground by
rebels in 1985. most hotels in the vicinity put up shutters.
Beach Hotel was able to remain open because of a neutral
policy. "We never sided with any armed group or encouraged anyone. We
minded our own business and were respected for that;' the hotel spokesman
said.
The hotel is cashing in on its reputation of being open despite the crisis.
"We are getting many inquires and even state tourism authorities are seeking
our advice to advertise Trincomalee in brochures;' the official said.
He said the hotel, at various times after 1985, had reasonable occupancy.
"These were times when there was a peace accord on or ceasefires:'
Tourism in Sri Lanka is recovering and arrivals this year are expected to be
around 300,000, up from 184,000 last year.
Authorities expect 400,000 tourists, the same as the peak year of 1982, to
visit the island in 1991, once more thronging the famous hot springs, ancient
Hindu and Buddhist temples and other historic sites.
tnereafter, like taxes and air-fares, cannot be passed on to the consumer. The
time limit set for this is four months.
Should the more than SOfr, after the four-month
. the the contract without incurrinl( any
cancellation fees.
The Europeans are mounting a major effort through their travel trade
associations and the EC to inform travel suppliers, not just in Asia but all <Ner
the world, of the legal difficulties which could ensue through dissatisfied
consumers.
* The author is deputy editor of WlTA Travel News Asia-Pacific
BANGKOK POST, 3 December, 1990
Temples and a War
by Angus MacSwan, Reuter
V
isit the ancient temples of Angkor and it's like stepping into an "Indiana
Jone<;" film set. Creepers and undergrowth crawl over the ancient stones.
Wander too far from the path and snakes and landmines are a danger.
A nIght's sleep in the decrepit old hotel at nearby Siem Reap is disturbed
by the scratching of rats and the occasional rumble of
says Cheam Yeap, Cambodia's General Director of Tourism:
JYou haven't seen Cambodia until you've seen Angkor Wat:' It's a slogan he
would like to see plastered on travel agents' posters across the
Apart from the temples at Angkor - often called an Eighth Wonder of the
World Cambodia has a charming if dilapidated colonial capital, aspectacular
Royal Palace, unpolluted beaches and bracing mountains.
For 50 cents you can take a cycle around one of the few Asian capitals where
traffic jams are unknovm.
What Cambodia lacks is hotel beds,
risk-free restaurants; decent roads, and
modern tourist needs at the end of a
Most of all it lacks peace.
''Tourists are scared of war;' said Cheam Yeap. "Unti Ithere is peace we cannot
progress:'
in 1970, the year that Prince Norodom Sihanouk was ousted in a coup and
Cambodia was launched on its 20-year saga of war and destruction, more than
100,000 tourists visited Cambodia.
Last year the figure was about 3,000-not including visitors from ns:-iahhn'lrina
Vietnam - bringing in about one million dollars.
About 100 planned tour groups cancelled after Vietnam withdrew its troops
last September, fearing an upsurge in the war against the Khmer Rouge-led
guerrillas. Those that did come were mostly from Japan, France, Italy, Canada
and Australia. Very few were from the Soviet bloc.
"Communists don't have much money;' Cheam Yeap said.
Just getting to Cambodia is not easy. Because only India outside the former
Soviet bloc recognises the government, visas have to be obtained in Vietnam,
Laos or the Soviet Union. Cheam Yeap said the government has given
for tourist visas to be issued on arrival at Phnom Penh airport.
Most visits are also linked to trips to Vietnam, which is itself desperate for
tourists. The only flights in are via Laos or Vietnam.
airline, Bangkok Airways, and Singapore-based Star Airways both
opened routes to Phnom Penh only to be warned off by their governments,
Cheam Yeap said.
The tourist's troubles are only just beginning on arrival.
Until the luxury Cambodiana Hotel partially opened in July there were just
392 hotel beds. Accommodation is basic.
'We call them hotels but 'NE' just clean up the rooms and put a bed in;' he said.
of the Soviet-supplied vans used to shuttle tourists around - Phnom
Penh has no taxis - have no air-conditioning. ''\Ne get a lot of complaints about
that. This is a tropical country:' Cheam Yeap said.
The trip to Angkor Wat is seen as a good opportunity to swell the government's
coffers. The flight in an old Antonov-built plane to Siem Reap is 90 dollars. A
compulsory but not very helpful guide costs another 100 dollars.
Cheam Yeap has big plans to develop tourism and hopes that a United Nations
11
plan now under discussion by the ga.ernment and its guerrilla opponents could
finally end the years of war.
French, Indian, and Australian companies have already looked at
hotel projects, he said. India's Oberoi group advised
Ambassador to Cambodia, John Gunther Dean, who fled by helicopter days
before Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975 - signed a protocol in
July to build or renovate a hotel.
Cheam Yeap is confident that diplomatic recognition fur the Phnom Penh
government will open the way for more flights. Thai Airways and Air France
have shown interest. he said.
While Angkor Wat is the main
The country is dotted with ruins and
resort of Kirimon, a
and now fallen into
He also talks of reviving the Cambodian Riviera, whose white sand beaches
are untainted by pollution "not like those in Thailand:'
THE NATION, September 20,1990
RAM Cooperazione Nord I Sud
RAM Association (Roba dell'AUro Mondo)
structure, for cooperation with "third world" countries. It works
basically with South and South-East Asia (from the Indian region to
Thailand till the Philippines). Born in 1988, offiCially registered with
deed before a notary in 1990, RAM is based in Bogliasco (Genoa,
Italy), from where tries to catalyze the spur towards solidarity and
exchanges with "third world" grassroot groups, by different areas of
Italian'civil society. The aim is to build up with the South a permanent
network of relations.
RAM works on the following guidelines:
The basis are always partnerships with local groups, for micro­
realizations to improve life conditions, starting from basic needings
expressed by the local people. RAM since few years supports also
South-Asian cooperatives, handicraft activities, whose products are
diffused in Italy, on a non-profit making basis, through "equal trade".
Various are the criteria of this kind of commerce, but the bulk of it
is a fair payment for the products, according with the living standards
of the place.
Special focus is on South and South-East Asia, an area with few
traditional or colonial links with Italy. Here Italian solidaristic
cooperation is little, the information on these countries is scarce,
while public and private business with the same regions is facing a
tremendous growth, and a "one way" tourist flow is increasing
everyday. In the culture-information field RAM operates organizing
public meetings, through features and reportages on different papers
and magazines, through slides and video shows and interventions in
the schools. RAM has small archives, consultable on request, it sends
to the members a newsletter about its activities, and monographs on
specific issues of North-South relationships.
RAM organizes group "study-journeys", self-managed, each one
of them focussed on specific angles of individual countries realities.
Such journeys are meant, anyway, to visit partner organizations
which RAM supports, and to deepen exchanges.
Till today totally self-financed, RAM is now beginning to receive
contributions from various sources. Essential is the role of the
associates. For ordinary membership the fee is 20,000 Italian lire.
Subscribing campaigns are foreseen for the sake of specific projects.
RAM pays its own managing costs, and it reinvest all the balance in
Hew projects.
RAM/North-South Cooperation - Bogliasro (Genova), Via Consigiiere 1/A, Italy. lei
010/3472413 (aiso fax)
12
Five-Star Fad
by Abu Abraham
K
erala has caught the tourist bug. How the virus will affect the
here is a matter of speculation, but the government and the
department are going into this, the Tourist Year, as though God is about
to declare the State as falling within the map of Paradise.
Tourism can be described as either a disease or a boon. Nobody in Kerala
feels hostile to tourists, though everyone is aware - at least in 1C0valam, the
most touristic of all the resorts that many of them behave contrary to all the
accepted conventions of Malayalee society. Kovalam beach has become an
international 'free port' of tourism. When Goans began to get fed up with the
of hippiness, drugs, and nudity, the tourists started to filtrate into Kerala,
after all, is not very far away.
Ordinary western tourists that is to say, not the rich and packaged ones
thus discovered Kerala by themselves, quite a while before the Tourism
in Delhi began to think of fitting it in to its overall pattern of tourism.
Many years ago, I remember having a tiff with Dr. Karan
London as Minister of Tourism. At a press conference with Indian journalists,
he was lamenting that India was attracting only a trickle of foreign tourists in
of all the package tours he was offering. The package tours were all
confined to Delhi, Agra, jdipur, Khajuraho and Benares. So I commented that
India had much more to offer than these few places. Why was he ignoring the
whole of South India and Orissa? He then made an amazing remark:
)nfortunately, Mr. Abraham, most of the places of tourist interest happen to
be in the north:' I protested. He said: "I like the South, but what's the use of
sending tourists there when they are not allowed into the temales?" Another
ignorant remark!
who has travelled in the South knows that temples (almost all)
do not allow non-Hindus into the sanctum sanctorum. All else is free to see
and admire... the temples of Madurai, Thanjavur, Suchindram, Halebid (where
there is no worship) Belur are marvels of art and architecture. Konarak is asheer
more stunning, at least to me, than the Taj Maha!. However, it is not
temples that peninsular India has to offer.
Hampi is said to be the largest city in ruins in the world. It is another awe­
inspiring place, once the seat of the great Vijayanagar empire, to which
and the Middle East sent Ambassadors and emissaries in the fourteenth
fifteenth centuries. But are people abroad told about it or encouraged to see
it for themselves? Hardly.
One of the serious weaknesses of our tourism offices abroad is that the
who run these outfits are themselves grossly ignorant of their own country.
Sometimes, English friends of mine have consulted me on itineraries suggested
by our tourism representatives. Some of their suggestions were quite absurd.
For instance a jewish couple who were making a trip around South India
in january were told to spend a week in Ooty, which can be as cold and wet
in winter as their own country from which they were trying to escape for awhile.
I advised them to visit Corhin, instead and they were grateful to me afterwards.
Cochin, besides being one of the most beautiful towns of Kerala, also has a
fascinating history of Jewish settlement.
The Gangetic Plain which some call the Cow Belt and others pompously
call Aryavarta has prejudices about the South that is reflected in so many ways
in our national life, not least in tourist policy. It is supposed to be the
underdeveloped, backward, conservative part of India, whose people
languages and eat idli and dosa.
Now there are signs that this kind of thinking is less prevdlent, but the Punjab­
Hdryana business-industrial complex still seems to dominate the ITDe. The
imposition of Punjabi food on tourists wherever they are.. in Kerala or
or Hyderabad, Madras or Gujarat is both a culinary and a cultural disaster ­
not to speak of insult - as far as tourists and local holiday makers are concerned.
The five-star culture that Indian tourist managers have evolved is more a bad
American copy than Indian. Where fresh fish of many varieties is available all
see to it that only one particular kind of frozen fish is served. Where
local vegetables like brinjal, bhindi and beans are available in plenty at cheap
prices, they will insist that aloo-gobi is the only decentthing that can be served
at table. This kind of non-descript cuisine, plus carpets and air-conditioning
and waiters dressed up like maharajahs is what five-star culture is all about.
Instead of looking at the sea, you gaze at the carpet. Instead of enjoying the
sea-breeze, you cocoon yourself in a cold room. And as for the bill, who cares?
Your company will pay.
Tourism of this sort will become a menace in South India where living is still
comparatively cheap and where certain standards are kept in the
A good breakfast in a decent South Indian restaurant can still be had for three
to four rupees. What ITDC and Tata and ITC will do to this phenomenon is
something that State governments should ponder over before rushing to
the golden egg that tourism is supposed to
DECCAN HERALD, 27 January, 1991
Railways Promote Tour/.m
T
he Railways are gearing up to promote tourism during 1991 which has
been designated as Visit India Year'. As part of its efforts, the international
tourist bureau located at New Delhi railway station to assist
tourists has been strengthened. The bureau provides assistance to
and non-resident Indians in making bookings, reservation, travel planning,
enquiries etc.
Separate reservation quotas have been earmarked for the use of the foreigners,
an official release said. For promoting rail tourism in India, another general
sales agent for the sale of Indrail passes has been appointed in Bangladesh.
With this, 14 general sales agents have started functioning in 13 countries of
Europe, Asia, America, Australia, New Zealand etc. Indian Railways will also
display a logo on tourism on head mast of engine and rear bogie of all trains.
In addition the tourism logo will be displayed on the back of the computerised
tickets.
A new air-conditioned 'Palace on Wheels' train will be commissioned during
tlile year 1991 since the present non-air-conditioned lPalace on Wheels' train
comprising luxury saloons built for the erstwhile rajas, maharajas and viceroys
of India has outlived its utility, the release said.
THE ECONOMIC TIMES, 25 December, 1990
Bhutanese Curb
B
hutan is following an undeclared policy of restricted tourism to
the rich natural environment and keep the Himalayan
evergreen.
The country allows only a limited number of foreign tourists, the earnings
from which helps maintain the two big tourist hotels, the Druk Air Services
and the rest houses in district headquarter towns, according to Mr Om Pradhan.
minister for trade and industry.
"Our policy is one of restricted tourism and we do not encourage heavy tourist
inflow as it would cause pollution and affect our way of life, culture and
traditions': Mr Pradhan told a visiting PTI correspondent recently.
Mr Pradhan, who also served as Bhutan's ambassador to India during 1984-85r
said only 1,500 foreign tourists were allowed to visit Bhutan in 1989. The figure
does not include Indian visitors. However, the annual quota would be increased
to 4,000 till 1992, he said, adding the decision was taken in view of the increased
maintenance cost of the two hotels at Thimpu and Paro and the Druk Air
Services.
He felt any heavy inflow of tourists into the country apart from affecti ng the
country's natural beauty, would also force development of capital-intensive
infrastructure posing a serious environmental threat. He said Bhutan earned
an average $2.5 million from tourism sector, which offered the tourists
the opportunity of trekking and adventure tourism like rafting besides cultural
shows. He said mostly tourists from Japan, the U.s., the U.K. and Germany
visited Bhutan, while there was no limit for Indians.
Mr Pradhan said his country encouraged private sector to orovide more
chances to the people in the administration.
He said exports to India amounted Rs 110 crores as against imports worth
1::;7 Clorb from india in 1989. The exports included agricultural
such as potato, maize, apple and orange.
TIMES OF INDIA, 17 December, 1990
5
bring a new dimension of vulgarity to these quiet areas.
The second standard tourist group is composed of people who come to a
beautiful place solely in order to drink and gamble. They are known to save
themselves hotel charges by bribing the watchman of unoccupied houses to
be allowed to do their drinking in it. In the third category are the honeymooners
confused, and doing their best to behave in the same way as
the hero and his girl in any Hindi film.
These are the kind of tourists who may often crowd out the
class family groups who should be the most welcome visitors to the
they come to seek such values as are not available to them otherwise.
need beauty and peace and they need the elemental pasti me of simple
exercise. HeM' long can they hope to find these things even in the
known hill stations?
by Laeeq Futehally
Antarctica A World Peace Park
The Antarctica World Peace Park campaign was launched from
New Zealand in July 1989. Its foremost aim is to help raise public
awareness and conscience to the urgency of protecting
Antarctica and surrounding seas from all forms of commercial
explOitation, thus preventing irreparable damage to this utmost
<;ensitive and fragile ecosystem.
At the launching, representatives of different creeds and
cultures made a personal pledge to see themselves as guardians
of the World Peace Park and to work, locally and globally, for the
common good - our common future.
A card has since been printed, inviting people everywhere to
join in this personal pledge to make the world a better place. The
other side of the card has the text of a Declaration in which "We,
the people of the world, claim the continent of Antarctica now
and for all generations to come as a World Peace Park".
Through a complete and binding protection of Antarctica and
surrounding seas this snow white pristine land with no stable
population, no sovereignty and as yet relatively untouched by
human greed, can become the symbol of "humanity's willingness
to unite beyond all differences in the urgent task of creating
together a new and better world, based on respect and caring for
all living beings".
Our "claim" is thus made, not to possess or exploit Antarctica,
but to free it from the yolk of human thralldom.
A World Peace Park can be any area, large or small, specifically
established and maintained
* for its unique combination of fauna and flora;
* for the particular sensitivity of its ecosystem;
* for the rare beauty, healing power, historical and educational
value for future generations;
* for its extraordinary significance to certain members of
groups of the human family (sacred land, burial grounds,
ancestral links);
* to demonstrate the process of healing and restoring areas
previously despoiled by misuse, pollution and depletion;
* as a continuing example of peaceful, dynamic, creative and
respectful co-existence and cooperation between human
beings and the natural environment.
World Peace Parks are to be protected and guarded by the people
of the world. Activities in these areas should be carefully
monitored and designed to serve only such scientific,
educational, healing and recreational purposes as have been
agreed upon and specified in the statutes of each indIvidual part.
Write to: WORLD PEACE PARk, p.o. Box 234, Wanganui, Zealand
Kodaikanal Education
and Development Society
O
n a pioneering trail for local, grassroots action, is the Kodaikanal based
group of activists, KEDS. They are led by their founders Mr
Shivashantha Kumar and Mr Tilagan.
Since its formation in 1981, KEDS has worked amongst various sectors of
unorganised labour in Kodaikanal. Beginning their work with expatriate Sri
Lankan labourers, the society has concentrated its efforts on education,
unionisation, mass action and even legal procedures to obtain basic rights and
conditions for unorganised workers.
The workers include tourist guides, horse-riders, construction workers, loaders,
quarry workers, Sri Lankan repatriates and others. Once organised, these workers
form a ',<;angam" (union), to deal with issues and problems on a collective basis.
most active sangams is the guides sangam. They set out
in 1984, to solve their grievances and have come a long way since. They
amalgamated the fragmented guides and developed a shift system, by which
disputes arc avoided to a large extent. They have reached an understanding
on wages. Stemming from being in unfair situations before the formation of
the sangam, they have taken up the responsibility to hand over to the
outsiders involved in social exploitation, such as thieves. The guides sangam
has taken up the initiative to apply for government benefits, such as housing.
Apart from resolving their own problems, the sangam supports other issues
taken UD by KEDS.
area of tourism-related action concerns the horse-riders, who offer
pony-rides, to tourists. This group of workers having also faced hardship in
organising themselves, have been formed into the horse-riders sangam. Since
its {ormation in 1986 they have succeeded in obtaining permission to ride and
stand by the Kodaikanallake. Consisti ng of 60 or more members, the sangam
has taken up the issues of settling disputes and competition among themselves
and also have been able to secure bank loans to buy horses and develop a
congenial atmosphere with the officials and the
KEDS may be contacted at:
"Prabhu Anandgiri, 2nd Street, Kodaikanal P.o. 624102, Tamil Nadu
Proposals for the
Humanisation of Travel
How can we get from extensive to intensive
travel,
from devouring miles to lingering,
from tic!<ing off items in the travel guide to
stopping and thinking,
from rush to leisure,
from aggressive and destructive to creative
con1munication,
fron1 canlerd-wearing idiots to people with the
third eye?
I believe
these are the important and burning issues.
For we are looking for meaning and humanity.
AI Imfeld
4
Pollutant Trekkers Beware!
T
he trekking routes of Nepal that are popular with tourists have yet to
be rescued from trash. Isolated efforts have not succeeded in cleaning
up most of the dirty trails. One-ti me clean-up expeditions come, garner
headli nes, and return to the United States or Australia 'lAlCaring self-satisfied green
halos.
The Nepali tourism authorities and the trekking industry have vvept profusely
over trekker pollution, but they have been mere gharial tears. There is no
discussion as to whether it is better to burn or to bury. No penalties for bringing
in unnecessary canned items to, say, the Khumbu, or for overuse of toilet paper
in the high Himal.
A good way to enhance ecotrekking is obviously through the trekking guides
and group leaders who accompany most trekking groups in Nepal. Fortunately,
the guides and trek leaders and other "trekking professionals" who are
concerned about the Himalayan environment are finally binding together. They
set up the Association of Himalayan Guides for Rocnnncihl",
an organisation which will work to promote "responsible
of the association are to promote exchange of valuable information
awareness of the Himalayan environment and culture, and promote inrliHirh':l)
responsibility.
The first issue of Ecotrek (Fall 1990), the group's newsletter, takes pains to
point out that tourism is not the problem, it is "how it is managed". The issue
also provides practical suggestions: how to manage toilets, and how to deal
with burnable, organic and non-burnable rubbish. The editors ask of foreign
trek leaders: do not impose any of your own values on the local people.
The organisation is looking for volunteer trek guides from different parts of
the world to represent their region in order to save the Himalayan trails. One
suggestion to the new organisation would be that they not ignore local Nepali
guides, of whom there are enough around.
Write to: Ecotrek, Box 19.13, Kathmandu, Nepal
Source: HIMAL, Nov/Dec 1990, Kathmandu
Last Resorts
O
urtraditional family holidays were constructed arou nd a visit to village
grandparents during the school vacations. In many ways this was an
ideal arrangement for the families kept in close touch, and a familiarity
with rural life became a part of the children's upbringing. Later on, when the
nest was empty, pilgrimages to religious places might be undertaken, and
without calling it a holiday, the incidental sights of beautiful and interesting
places was an important part of these trips.
For obvious reasons, this pattern is changing fast. Those frequent trips to the
village are no longer feasible, nor even very attractive; although at the same
time the need to escape from urban conditions has become even more
imperative for the physical and mental well-being of the entire family.
Where, then, can the family find some green and quiet spot where they may
be together for a few weeks, where they may find some activity which may be
shared by both children and parents and where, generally, conditions are the
opposite of those town conditions from which they ;:m' ;:dtpmntimJ
little hill resort, of course.
should pause here and ask ourselves - why particularly the hills
not families prefer to go to other places­
there are no lack of sights in India are worth seeing. The fact is that thE'
hills have advantages for children and groups which cannot be matchec.
by other tourist spots.
The major-and often the only-real activity in hill is walking and
cli mbing. The benefits of long regular walks, of scrambling about among rocks
and hills, reach far beyond just the physical advantages.
Picnicking seems to be one of the best ways to strengthen inter-family ties
to close the gap between parents and children and to enhance the joys of
companionship. It is also, in the present city-dominated life of the young, the
only chance they have to becoming fami liar with the "real" world - the world
of soil, vegetation, air and water. Classroom lessons can never teach them the
things that they will learn from watching birds, noticing the colour and quality
of flowing and still water, and the growth patterns of vegetation. It has not come
to the point where such knowledge cannot be treated as peripheral or as an
irrelevant interest. Our world, or rather our earth, can only survive in its present
form if we succeed in producing an entire generation for whom the
ecological factors are more important than any human/material relationships
the aim in planning for our hill stations should be to create environ­
ments which will transmit messages of sensible living for human beings and
an understanding' and appreciation of nature's
environments would, incidentally, allow adults to regain mental and emotional
health, something which is difficult in the dirt and noise of city life.
So then we agree that a hill station is the right place for our holiday. It now
remains to decide which one it shall be. The most glamorous place, Kashmir,
is in ruins, and out of the question. Shim la-but we hear that Shimla has become
avast slum, do we really want to see it? Mussoorie and Nainital both polluted
and denuded. Ootacamund - once the most beautiful, the most beloved of
the Southern resorts is now covered with huge, brutal concrete blocks, the forests
have been cut down, so that the rain no longer falls gently to the ground to
underground streams. The result is a chronic water shortage.
With all our major hi II stations damaged beyond saving, atremendous amount
of pressure will fallon the minor hill towns - Dalhousie, Dharamsala,
Kodaikanal, Yercaud and several others which have so far escaped the onslaught
fact, afew of these smaller hill stations do already find themselves
With no proper planning for expansion, their limited
over-stretched, and they find themselves flooded by tourists who
searching for some way of enjoying themselves. Once
disgorging black fumes
getoutand
walk. Their time is spent on the spot, eating and littering. This done, they are
ready to home. The town authorities have not the means or the capacity
the: litter; the k/cti: in diTy 'vvdy fron.
the visit, they hdve only been greatly inconvenienced; and the only persons
who have gained are the scores of new little "tourist agencies" who hire out
these rnonster buses. Even worse are the young all-male who often
13
Sun, Sea and Suicide
A
rmed with cash and cameras and donning "I love Greece" hats and "ouzo
power" T-shirts, they start in June to descend in droves. Winter-quiet
islands, coves, seaside towns and mountain resorts are suddenly imbued
with the pulse of their presence.
In the face of stiff opposition from Mediterranean neighbours, Greece is
earnestly cashing in on the glories of its ancient past. Within the eager gaze
of the moustachioed stall-owner who sells the copper plates, miniature
amphorae and tawdry statues of ancient Greek goddesses, the tourists stumble
over pollution-ravaged marble monuments.
Others, impervious to the Periclean spirit, work on their tans or tuck into
English breakfasts, chips and wafer-thin pizzas.
More than eight million tourists- almost equal in number to the entire Greek
are expected to arrive in Byron's land of gods and godlike men
year.
With them they will bring Greece's major foreign exchange earner and
of more wealth for a society whose relatively recent transition from
World living conditions to those of adeveloped EC member state owes
\early everything to tourism.
From the mountain villages of Epirus to the deep south of Mani, the blond,
bronzed xenoi or foreigners have changed lives and lifestyles, bringing new
values and creeds to a people who had previously experienced little contact
with the outside world.
But while tourism has enabled thousands of Yannis and Costas and Kyria
Elenis across Greece to invest in new dwelling, cars, bathrooms and kitchens,
it has also devastated coastlines, created environmental hazards and eaten into
a nationwide reputation for warmth and generosity.
Unruly planni ng, inadequate infrastructure and poor services are, more than
anything else, blamed for both the ill effects and strain the industry puts on
Greece's plethora of natural resources.
The most evident signs of over-saturation and lark of social infrastructure are
to be seen in Athens, whose overloaded and primitive sewage system is fast
off the Saronic Gulf and swimming areas around the popular nearby
of Agina, Hydra and Spetses.
But the Greek capital does not stand alone in its summer afflictions. Greece's
200 inhabited islands, many of which have to have water ferried to them
the tourist season, face huge problems disposing with extra mounds
Houghout the summer months.
Problems of random bui Iding, as the country attempts to cope with housing
its foreign guests, are also aClIte. Where villas, villages and open spaces once
giaced scenic locations, badly designed terra-concrete blocks, rooms and
purpose built tourist complexes now abound, often patronised by visitors
whisked off charter flights to taste the "real Greece".
Although Greece's new Tourism Minister; Mr Yannis Kefaloyannis, is keen
to stress that the Greek's tradition of embracing foreigners first began with the
ancient King God, Zeus, who was also the God of hospitality, gone are the days
when the weary traveller was offered a sprig of basil (the traditional gesture of
hospitality) and given a bed for the night.
instead, playing host to foreigners is now catered for by an ever-expanding
black market room industry (more than 400,000 beds are currently offered to
tourists illegallv) as Greeks strive to sUDPlement their annual wages with room
"Tourists for us now exist to be exploited. Not so many years ago we would
have put them up for fed them and listened to their stories.... It would have
been considered J huge if afami Iy had ever taken money from
said Atttmia Pattillikos, who runs the to\vn library on the isolated Astypalaia.
That tourism has the ideals of Greeks who live on such far flung
islands cannot be
1() ')"f"l .. h" " ... ;....1" "'.( '"'i"""'1 .(.... f-hr"r ••. u, .... irJ h t .... "• ...., .(ru- h; .. ,..h:!r.I
.. • ,''- ..... uo,..., ,,,-' \.A1'j'-J ... t"'. ,t"- ,,; ... 1 lu., , .... _. '''''FU " ... lu ....... ' .... \.,.1 I\_il • ,J_' ...... 1 j 11"--1
to have become a teacher, family honour now solely lies in the direction of
the tourist industry where the earnings from one room often exceed ateacher's
monthly wage.
Astypalaia, where tourism has made real inroads in only the last five years,
represents a microcosm of Greece's ambivalent relationship to the industry.
With Just four hotels and a total of 149 rooms, locals say the workload at the
height of the season is such that they already have an unwritten agreement not
to see each other during July and August, the two busiest months of the year.
"Plans are already in the pipeline for another 10 hotels to be built so the
situation can only get worse;' says Thomas Papayiannopoulos, an Astypalain
architect.
"Of course, improved as a result of tourism is no bad thing, but it
doesn't forebode well when
,.,,,trhina Kung Fu on their
."...r.. •in::>rl "irl£>r>c or allow
lives to become
by Helena Smith
Dear friends,
We wou;ld: certainly like to know more regarding your thinking
about "third world countries" unable to support the influx ofso
called ''Ecotourists'' and "responsible tounsin,"
In our dzstn'ct of Toledo, we are making every effort to control
the number of "nature tounsts" v£sit£ng the Maya villages, ruins,
cayes, caves, wildlife preserves and "high bush" tra£ls.
However, we would lik.e to know more about your ideas.
Tropically yours,
& Yvonne Villoria,
DEM DATS DOIN. P.O. Box 73, Punta Gorda, Belize, Central America.
Kodagu Plans
T
he State Government is intending to declare Kodagu asa "Tourist
announced Karnataka Chief Minister 5 Bangarappa. He told newsmen
that special schemes would be formulated for the distril1 to boost tourist
t,...,tt;r ="ntonti,1 tnrl",;crn -\Yr\""'IC in .. hI" .rl!ctr'rt Un "'lIen th",
u •• I '.'.1 ... • ,_ ........ t'" ,.; ",,- , ."...... oJ ...... _ • •• ..... ... " ••• "' ............. ,."' .. ,........ • • '-" "'. " .... "-4., '.. '-, It... "-4 ........
Deputy Commissioner to prepare a report keeping in view the Government's
plans after consulting experts on the district and to submit it within 15 days.
INDIAN EXPRESS, 24, December, 1990
TOURISM:
A New Cannibalism
A review by Vi nay lal
Cannibal Tours. A film by Dennis O'Rourke. Photography: Dennis ORourke.
Colour. 85 mins. 1987.
H
owever slim the share of the Third World in the World tourist trade,
certain package tours to the Third World have become over­
subscribed, the proliferation of backpapers more pronounced,
and the novelty of what were once remote or largely unknown
destinations has worn out. The white man, in his quest for exotic spots,
untouched by consumer culture of the modern West and of the modern­
izing elites of the Third World, has had to travel far and wide to discover
an unspoilt beach, an unknown trail, or an unconquered peak. It is virgin
forest he seeks, so that he can probe its depths, and thereby leave upon
it the ineradicable impress of his, vastly superior civilization. It is against
this background that we must view Dennis O'Rourke's finely crafted
sensitive film on German tourists to Papua New Guinea, one of the least
"explored" areas of the world, home.to the most luxuriant growth of
vegetation, and inhabited by tribal people still set in their 'primitive' ways.
The backdrop to Cannibal Tours must also be viewed in the context of
recent developments in such fields of study as anthropology, literary
criticism, history, and philosophy. It is questionable whether a film like
Cannibal Tours would have been possible withouC for example, the
of studies in recent years on how the self constitntes its Other, or without
the self-questioning by some anthropologists of the prerogative they had
assumed to interpret the cultures of the non-modern world.
Dennis O'Rourke's camera follows the European tourists as they travel
along the Sepik River, stopping every now and then to pick up mementos
or to hobnob with the natives, who are just so much- in European eyes
- scenery, indeed only a mere unusual kind of vegetation. Marx in Lhe
mid-nineteenth century had described India as a land of countless villages
from time irnmernoriaCvegetating in Lhe teeth of time, and
New Guinea's inhabitants in the late twenLieLh-cenLury seem
just that. Aboard the tourist yacht two men and a woman are engaqed
conversation: they all agree that "Primitive ways"are "so different'
"ours" and not only do the natives live "close to nature", which is
admirable and even chic, but "in a way Lhey don't really live" - they could
be part of the environment. "The experts assure us", commenLs one of the
men, that the natives are satisfied, "happy and well-fed", without a
thought for the morrow, To this trio 0 'Rour ke returns a few times: aboard
a boat that by its very movement suggests a contrast to the
Hon-Western world, they are the representatives of
'educated' majority in the West which is somewhat guilty about the
excesses of Western imperialism, an ardent advocate of pluralism, and yet
assured of the West's unique civilizing mission, In another conversation
between the two European IIlen (the woman a rather silent spectator, only
slightly less a part of the scenery of the vegetation), one of them says with
conviction that "we must try to help them advance in the world
bringing to them some values and convictions". The Occidental world is
bv how much needs to be done, and even more
"onerous burden placed upon it of orientina the non
modern world to an awareness of 'civilization',
But why must the native, be taught "to behave differently"? Modernity
is Whatever the extent of one's confinement within a
traditional world order, one is pushed in to seeing, experiencing, and
interpreting the world in ways of which one's ancestors had little or no
conception. As the old man who keeps charge of the 'spirit house' admits,
they now live "between two lives". "We exist in a different world", he says,
and unlike their fathers, they do not kill, steal women, and fight, but
rather they follow the "rules of the church and the government".
ThIS emergmg modernity ot the [\ew Guinean is, however, ::;11.111­
deep, The West ardently believes that the non-Western world can only
aspire to modernity, but never whollv achieve it: this is one tunnel at the
end of which there is no light for
14
be taught to behave differently is that at heart he remains a cannibal. In
the old days they would cut off the head, remove the skin, and eat the rest.
"The Germans came", continues the old man laconically, "but white men
were no different; we fought them too." Despite being white, the Germans
were edible. Aboard the boat,the trio speculates on the reasons for
cannibalism. It is to be understood as a cultural practice, a mode of
survival, or symbOlically? The and fear, is that if the native
f practicing cannibalism past, what is to prevent him
resuscitating his traditions? Appropriately, Cannibal Tours begins
cannibalism and head-hunting. The camera tracks an
exceedingly well-travelled and jovial German, who consumes countries
with astonishing avidity. Papua New Guinea is, for this German, a consum­
mate act of consumption, the most choice dish in a varied cuisine. He is
shown the spot where cannihalism took place; not unexpectedly, he wants
a Dhotograph. The camera is ubiquitous; it intrudes everywhere, creates
space, and sets its own time, We might speak here of camera time:
the time that is set aside for Dosed nictures of exotic natives, cute children,
distinguished old man who
runs 'the spirit house' admits that they know little of the tourists except
that they are from another counlry. "We sit here confused", he adds,
"while they take photographs", The hand that holds the camera does more
than just take a photograph: inadvertently but inevitably it gives birth if'
a distorted culture. As the old man almost whimsically remarks, "Om
children buy postcards of their own village! My child sent me one,' What
allows a certain people to travel while others remain sedentary? The old
man has few doubts: must be wealthy people that can travel;
their ancestors must have made money and now they can travel." The
tourists have money but spend it grudgingly: forever
about the 'second price', their niggardliness is a reflection only of
more structural kinds of inequity. A woman selling her wares makes this
quite plain: "We village people have no money; only you white people
have money, You people have all the mone;r--not us backward people."
Her militancy is a welcome contrast to the pathetic, and vet under­
standable, effort of two to earn money by
of Jesus, How far money can be determinatiVE
the civilized and the cannibals is
the old man, for whose wisdom and good humour we acquire much
respect, is reduced to wondering, apropos his peoples' inability to travel:
"Do we still live like our forefathers or not? Are we civilized or noH"
However, the camera creates not only the natives, the Objects of its
discourse, but it creates the subjects too. 0 'Rourke's camera moves over
the myriad other cameras of the tourists: we see the tourists becoming
advertisements for themselves and for the nroducts without which their
survival in the unknown
leave home without it": the reference here is not to the American Express
card, but to the infernal lotions which the
themselves. The indigenous women put on
tourist paint their faces for themselves. But is that so vastly different? The
camera creates and shapes its self-monitoring and predictable subjects,
Where the indigenous people devoured others, the white man devours
himself as well. The tourists comes to see, but to see, where the gaze is
is to devour. What the tourist only does not see is that
he devours himself too.
I have spoken of Cannibal Tours as a
O'Rourke's use of the soundtrack is _
understanding of the complex forms of expression that cinema
makes possible. From time to time a flashback takes us to the time when
the people of Papua New Guinea were under German rule; we hear then
of ho". good it was under the Germans, and suddenly the music of Mozart
fills the air. The music of Mozart, was preeminently the music of colonial
times: life for the rulers was something of a symphony, far removed from
the cacophony of native sounds, both human and natural. And when the
lHoves dlullg Ith the speedbOat, or when it initiates it's own time
(the time for photographs), Mozart's music reappears. The West has lost
its own natural sounds, but will the music of Mozart substitute for those
sounds?
3
Maha Blunders at Mahabodhi
by Pranava K. Chaudhary
T
he Bodh-Gaya temple has certainly lost much of its splendour and is
seeing bad days. The temple's management committee has archae­
logical Iv devalued this world famous temple by paving with marble the
and the basement of the pillars; it has been corroded over
, but no preservation effolts have been made; graffiti mars the
of its walls; the side of the temple facing the Mahabodhi tree has been
discoloured by black soot, due to the devotees burning incense and candles
under its walls. Suggestions by the Dalai Lama's entourage that devotees be
banned from lighting candles in the temple premises and that alternatively,
rovf'red lamps be uSf'd, seem to have fallen on deaf f'iUS.
The former director general of the Archaeological SurVf'Y of India (AS!), Ms
Sebala Mitra, during her visit last year to this third century temple where the
l3uddha attained nirvana also protested against making any alteration to the
without consulting a technical expert. She brought this to the notice
of the district magistrate of Gaya who is also the president of the
management committee. The then district magistrate got the work stopped and
wrote a letter to the commissioner of the Gaya division who is the chairman'
')f the temple advisory board. It was then that a Nepali and a Tibetan made
J representation to the commissioner! who then allowed the continuation of
the marble oavement work. Many antique images in the temple have now been
of India (ASI), sometime back! had expressed its
it in the list of protected monuments,
government did not agree to the oroDosal and the
continued to be managed by a local committee.
Bungling in the sale of tickets for the Mahabodhi temple, smuggling of idols
and peepal leaves have assumed an alarming proportion. And add to this
corruption. A large number of tickets and counterfoils, without any serial
numbers are available with this correspondent. Senior district officials also
concede that the illegal business cannot thrive without the knowledge of the
office-bearers of the Bodh-Gaya temple management committee, whose ex­
officio chairman incidentallv is the district magistrate of Gava. It is the
committf'e
Mahabodhi temple.
Apart from this, there is theft from donation boxes. Foreign tourists make
donations in their currency; when the boxes are opened every two
the Indian currency is allegedly deposited in the account of the temple
management committee, while the foreign currency, after being exchanged in
the market, is misappropriated. Asenior official in the management committee
told this correspondent that a couple of members of the management comm ittee
are involved. "1 cannot initiate any step against them for obvious reasons:' He
further said that on a number of occasions! Buddhist visitors offered ornaments
to tht' idols in the temple, but these valuables cannot be traced.
Bodh-Gaya has also become the hunting ground for international smllP"P"lprs
of all hues. Smuggled goods are openly sold in thf' market near the
But the most lucrative business is that of smuggling idols and peepalleaves.
Buddhist visitors from abroad pay exorbitant amounts - often.thousands of
rupees for even a small idol of the Buddha or the leaves.
Some of these idols are known to have been stolen from the Mahabodhi
while the leaves smuggled are not always of the famous Mahabodhi
a branch of the Mahabodhi tree was cut, and the officials
said that this could not have been done without the assent of the
management committee. Several social, cultural and educational institutions
like the Chhalra Yuva Sangharsha Vahini, Mahila Sangharsha Bihar
Puravid Parishad have been demanding the nationalisation of the Mahabodhi
temple. An activist in Gaya said, "It is surprising
of India (ASIl has not taken over the temple, whereas it is looking after less
historical sites in the country:' Meanwhile, the number of foreign
to l:Iodh-LJaya has come down conslderabiy of idte because
incidents of cheating of tourists.
SUNDAY REVIEWITIMES OF INDIA, 23 September, 1990
Goans'
of Luxury Tourism
by Caroline Colla!;so
F
rom the 6th-8th December 1990, about 75 delegates from 22 countries,
met in the ambient atmosphere of the Ramada Renaissance hotel in Goa,
for the 39th session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism
Jra;)nicClti,,'l (WTOL Their purpose as stated by the Secretary General ofWTO
ESavignac sounded altruistic: to discuss how the "WTO with it's
experience in the past, could help developi ng countries in develoDing Tourism
activities:'
Ironically, however, the WTO meet was being held in a place where luxury
tourism has been growing at a frenzied pace in recCflt years and at a time when
various sections of people in Goa, were voicing strong protests against the
effects of this luxury tourism bf'ing acutely felt in Goa already.
The WTO, with its headquarters in Spain, has been mainly responsible for
the for maximum luxury tourism in the state of Goa. It has recently carried
out a survey on Goa's tourist potential and recommended an increase
in tourist arrivals from the present 1.2 million to 2.5 million, with foreign tourist
arrivals effectively limited to 16,000 daily. With the population of Goa at 1.2
million - this means tourist arrivals will be more than twice the population
of Goa!
Based on the WTO report, our Government is justifying the building of
numf'rous luxury hotels. In the past two years alone, the building of 35 luxury
resorts have been given clearance, which include big multinational hotel chains
like C!.ub Med, Lufthansa, Hyatt Regency, Holiday Inn and Raddisson besides
Ramada Renaissance and Kempinski, all making a bee-line for a prime spot
on Goa's 75 km beachline.
Both the hotels which housed the WTO delegates (Le. the Ramada Renais­
sance and the Leela Beach, a Kempinski resort), were built among protests for
seriouslyviolating environmental guidelines. Both these hotels were taken to
Court for these gross violations. Massive bribery and corruption are said to have
been used to clear these illegalities.
With tourism given industry status in Goa, the government is authorised to
take over land from the local people for tourism development, local people
are also selling their land at atrociously low prices, for fear that the Government
will take it over anyway. Thus high-rise hotels are springing up as close to the
water front as they wish, in total disregard for the regulation disallowing any
construction within 200 mts from the high tide line.
The effects on our delicate coastal ecology have been disastrous. With each
luxury hotel needing minimum 40,000 litres of water each day to fill their
swimming pools, the wells of the locals in the coastal villages are running dry.
The sinking of numerous tube wells on the coast threatens the ingress of saline
water to fresh water wells. The destruction of large sand dunes have made the
coastal villages vulnerable to cyclonic storms. Coconut and other shrubs have
been destroyed and 'Exotic' plants, alien to coastal environment have taken their
place.
The uncontrolled growtl)pol
economic fabric of the state and its people. With becoming
of a tourist holiday, call-girl prostitution is definitely on the increase in Goa.
Sex-Tourism brings with it the threat of AIDS. Drug addiction is widespread
among youth close to the coast where the confluence of foreign tourists are
Moonlight drug parties and rock-shows organised by foreign tourists are
culture and morality of our people.
Goenkaranchi Fouz UGF) a local activist
against these ill-effects of
appealed to the WTO to "study the implicatiom
luxury tourism in Goa" and demanded that the-WTO withdraw its teaslbllltv
report for tourism expansion in the State of Goa.
As the country gears up to make india the idesttnation of the :linetics', thc
people of Goa have a long struggle ahead.
PEOPLES' REPORTER, 1 January, 1991
2
contd. from page 1
.akshadweep's 36 islands are uninhabited, and the rest cram 45,000
in a land area the size of a few city blocks. "I feel, says Agarwal, "tourism is
the future of the island:'
And there is hardly any chance of ruining the way of life for islanders, says
The 3,000 or so tourists who visited the islands last year - 95 per
cent of them foreigners are restricted to two islands, Bangaram and Kadmat.
And foreigners can only visit Bangaram. The Lakshadweep administration ­
its offices in Cochin screens every visitorto the chain, and only then
issues permits. Visitors to Kadmat Bangaram is the only exception - are
expected to be teetotallers and conform to local social norms.
Tourists may visit Lakshadweep singly, or can buy package tours - both
expensive and strictly controlled. In addition, international tour operators are
a little wary of the island, because the only way to get there is by ship or air
- through Vayudoot's notoriously infrequent flights- from Cochin. Besides,
says Agarwal, "We are trying to see that there is no mingling between the locals
and the tourists... we want to keep Lakshadweep as it is, so there is no question
of supporting mass tourism:' Which also help preserve the archipelagds
fragi Ie ecosystem. Says Agarwal: "We don't want outsiders removing any coral
from OLir islands:'
But bring in revenue, instead. Lakshadweep survives on coconut produce,
sparse agriculture and tuna fishing. Most of what is needed is imported from
Cochin, against coconut products and tuna exports. Bringing in tourists all
foreigners have to pay in dollars - could help augment the island
economy.
There may not be any other way. "Tourism is the
Lakshadweep without creating any environmental pOllUtiOn;' says
assistant general manager of Sports, a company which promotes
tourism in the islands. U!n the coming years it will employ mare people from
the islands:' Adds Kunji Koya, the former Amir, or administrator, of Kadmat
island: "Tourism has woken up the island. We don't care whether the tourists
drink in private, as long as they bring prosperity to the islands:'
Prosperity, officiais and locab, that could be modelied on the Maldives,
a not-too-distant neighbour. "Recently I was in the Maldives;
The islands and the topography
similar to Lakshadwpep. "There also the locals are Muslims, but they don't
come into contact with the tourists who are only allowed to stay in
demarcated) island resorts:' Controlled tourism works there, he says,
planeloads of tourists who go there every day from Colombo or
Trivandrum is enough. "What nature has given to Lakshadweep;' says
"is much better:'
To capitalise 011 this the administration is planning to invite global tenders
to set up resorts in the uninhabited Suheli Valiakara and Suheli Cheriakara
islands. It is also thinking of inviting UB Air - non resident Indian industrialist
Vijay Mallya's air taxi service from Cochin to Agatti, the archipelago's sole
airport, and extending the runway to accommodate large aircraft. Plus, buying
speed boats for faster transit between AgaUi and the islands.
No thank you, say tourism's critics. "Why should the government corrupt our
unhurried lifestyle with the introduction of tourism?" Asks a senior Lakshadweep
administrator, who declines to be identified. "The government should have
invested more money on seafood-based industries;' which, he says, is in
with incomes plurnmeting.
"There is a positive side to tourism;' retorts Agarwal. "A 100 people have got
employment. More young men in the island:, want to go after tourism. It i" the
on Iy way we can offer employment for the locals:' And how about the 'moral'
corruption of youngsters, who are drawn by nude sun-bathers? liThe locals ha\l'
no business;' says Agarwal, "to go to Bangaram and watch the foreigners:
SUNDAY, 16-22 December, 1990
India and the Gulf War
Although the Gulf war has haditsimpact onIndian tourism, as it has
on tourism in many otherparts of the world, an interestingsidelight
has been the role of Indian multinational hotel chains which kept
operations going despite obvious plwsica.l danger to employees.
In arecent piece in the Times ofIndia (3 February 1991), Sunil Sethi
details the funny goings-on in war-ravaged Iraq, Entitled 'India's real
heroes in the Gulf'; an excerpt follows:
T
he company that proved to be most short-sighted was, in fact,
one of the oldest and most prestigious operating in the Gulf:
the Oberoi group. Since January 13, when the Oberoi staff
vacated the Babylon hotel in Baghdad to proceed northwards to the
city of Mosul (where they run the Trident and Nineveh hotels), there
had been no communication with the aO-odd Indians employed by
the chain. The group is headed by the Babylon general manager,
Mr Ajai Kapur, and his wife, Kiran, who, like good soldiers, have
steadfastly refused to abdicate their responsibility towards the staff
of managers, cooks, waiters and housekeepers by leaving without the
others.
As it happens, Mr Kapur is the grandson of the hotel chain's owner
M S Oberoi, and was serving as the number two man (executive
manager) of the Baghdad Babylon. Late last year when he found that
his boss, the general manger, suddenly disappeared to Cairo never
to return, he took over management of the hotels and waited for
orders from home to negotiate suspension of the contract.
came. Indeed there is every indication to suggesllhat he was urged
to stay on with his staff. When at last permission did come, it was a
case of too little, too late - there were hardly any officials left in
Baghdad to negotiate with.
All's fair in war, it is true, but the questions such a story raises seem
morally inde1ensible: if a hotel chain or any other company stands
to lose money, is it at the cost of expecting their employees to pay
so heavy a price? Prosperous five-star companies with an inter­
national Image may now claim that the contingency arose acci­
dentally. But did it really? Was it just a series of miscalculations or
a plain case of irresponsibility?
15
Tourism and Development in India
Suhita Chopra. New Delhi; Ashish Publishing HOllse, 1991; 266;
Rs.200/-.
A review hy M.S.
T
here can be few global issues that are currently receiving as much
attention as is that of 'tourism', especially "Third World" tourism.
It is therefore not surprising to see a slow yet steady stream of
books emerging on the subject. Moreover, tourism is not a topic which
is of interest to planners. Although planning does contributions
to the debate on Third World tourism also involves those who look
at the problem from an ecological, political, cultural and developmental
perspective. Not only academics but also policy . makers, travel and
tourism industry and politicians may be expected to have somethina to
say on the
The book under review here illustrates
related issues, providing a reasonably representative sample of the books
that have been written on the subject in the last few years, as well, as the
of aooroach. Of course, writing in an area which is yet to be
rise to oroblems. Facina such problems,
ten rh;>"t", ..."
Pradesh has exquisitely
l::l3V-WjO AD). The commercial
started in 1960s when a series of planning
the government. This has brought in several
socio-economic-rult.ural in the region. This study attempts to
the changes that have emerged since then. It concludes that like
any other developmental strategy the distributive benefits were
peripheral; simultaneously, it has caused untold suffering to the poorer
households.
Beginning with a brief discussion on the phenomenon of tourism, the
author presents various lacunae in the existing literature and rationalises
the need for further research. Four full chapters marshal, analyse and
debate the data collected from various perspectives viz., economic
impact, physical impact, cultural impact and the characteristics of the
visitors t.hemselves. Thus, there is a sense of debate and argument, of a
subject in development, and a wider range of conclusions and themes
than one would normally perceive. This is the more exciting invitation
extended by the book. The invitation proves, unfortunately, to be
short-lived.
The book was originally written as a doctoral dissertation by the author.
However, the author has failed to differentiate between an academic
exercise and a publication for a wider readership. She appears to have just
reproduced the thesis without alteration. For example, the introductory
paragraphs written for each chapter are superfluous and redundant.
Moreover, there are excessive statistical presentation which could have
been condensed. Complicating further is the language; its' repetitive and
monotonous style, which reads like a government notification at times.
For such macro mistakes one tend to blame the author (along with her
dissertation supervisor!).
Dr Chopra provides a lengthy discourse 011 the lacunae of the existing
literature on "tourism and development", her conclusions nowhere tend
to fill the gaps identified. Worse still, some of her conclusions arrived after
statistical exercises are general. Though she attempts to delineate
discussions in each of the chapters, the demarcations prove to be
artificial. The descriptions create an of timelessness and a
sense of inevitability. The lives of people difIerent backgrounds
appear boringly similar and the mere act it thus heightens
very soon a sense of failure and exhaustion creeps in to reader's world,
and the temptation to close the book just to escape the exoerience of
drudgery becomes very strong. Absence
a temptation.
For those with an interest in "tourism and development" this book may
useful in the introductory chapters. However, anyone with more
a passing knowledge of recent (and not so recent) debates on
"tourism and development" will find the volume disappointing.
(The reviewer is a researcher with the Asianinsiiillte of Technology, Bangkok).
Steep Fall
F
ive star hotel<; in Bombay are offering large discounts, some by as much
as.50 per cent in a bid to woo more clients due to the crisis caused by
a sharp fall in tourists arrivals.
Tour operators claim that the situation in New Delhi is similar with five star
hotels offering discounts of as much as 40 per cent.
The crisis has been caused by a drop in tourist traffic which is pegged at an
alarming 30 per cellt.
with hotel industry officials reveal that most of the groups
were planning expansion schemes will Dlace them "on till the
situation clears up.
Tour operators feel that the fall in tourist traffic during the peak period, October
to March, has three main reasons: the Gulf crisis and its fallout, the recession
in the US and the widespread riots in India in the wake of the Mandai report
and the Ayodhya crisis.
that the Gulf crisis has made Europe, and
wary of travel.
to this is the
of the current turmoil. Television in many parts
India and recently in Hyderabad tourists opt
for safer havens nearer home.
To add to the woes of the tourism the tourists from the USSR who
nmrn"lh, number around 30,000 not exoected as the severe cash
the country will abroad. This
star hotels in n-.rt;r"l"r
TIMES OF INDIA, 28 December, 1990


..
__ .. ... :',


16
We invite Network members to contribute to the Network Letter
NETWORK
by sharing their work, ideas and plans through Ihese pages.
NEWS
Communication is vital to the life of a Network, especially when
ROUNDUP physical distances cannot easily be bridged by closer contacts.
for Tourism Activists
course for tourism activists was held in Thailand between
Sorry, Readers!
1991. Sponsored by the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World
collaboration with Life Travel Service (Thailand) and
This issl1-e of ANL has been delayed by over 2 months,
\L\.jUIlOUIC Tourism Options), the course attracted 16 participants
for a number of reasons. We sincerely apologise to
countries, and one from the Centre for Environmental Training in Tourism,
our readers for this inordinate delay, and hope never­
The participants met at the Student Christian Centre, Bangkok, where they were
theless you will enjoy reading it.
introduced to the course objectives, its structure and content. To begin with,
the course examined the global context of tourism issues, covering areas such The good news is that the next issue is already under­
as aproaches to development, economic ideologies, Third World poverty,
way, hopefully within the next 30 days. As always, your
injustice and related issues.
comments are most welcome.
Following this, participants separated into two groups for exposure visits: one
went to Chiangmai in the north, the other to Phuket in the South. Guided by
experienced local hosts, they were able to see the 'other side' of the tourism
industry. The exposure lasted for a week.
Returning to Bangkok, they regrouped at the Women's Education and Training
Resources
Centre, on the outskirts of the city. Reflections on the exposure visits were
followed up by an excellent audio-visual show produced by ECTWT as part BALI: A PARADISE CREATED, by Adrian Vickers. Periplus Editions/ne, 1442A
of a Resource Kit. Walnut Street No 206, Berkeley, California 94709, 7989, 240 pp.
Invited resource persons, along with the training team, assisted participants "Over three centuries the West has constructed a complex and gorgeous
in their learning about specific toursm issues: socia-economic and cultural
image of the island that has emerged to take over even Balinese thought:" This
impacts, political implications, sex tourism, child prostitution, environmental
book provides a fresh insight into a traditional island which is changing
concerns, and so on. The experience of local groups in places like Goa, Bali
dramatically in response to contemporary life and a massive tourist invasion.
and the Philippines was presented by representatives from the groups. Each
Adrian Vic.kers bridges the gap between "general travel writing" and
trai nee also presented thei r experience of deal ing with tourism in their country,
"inaccessible academ ic work" with a historic cultural perspective on tourism
laying the basis for possible future plans of action.
and social change in Bali.
The participants also had an opportunity to learn about the work of ECTWT
and its international networks. Following inputs on programme planning and
·v.(OURISM AND DEVElOPMENT IN INDIA, by Suhita Chopra. Ashish
management, each trainee took time to develop concrete plans of action to
Publishing House, 8/87, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi 170026, 1991, 261 pp.
be implemented on returning home. Towards the end, the course was evaluated
Khajuraho, a remote tourist resort in Madhya Pradesh is used as acase study
by the participants and organisers separately.
to emphasise the socia-economic implications of tourism promotion and
It is difficult to recapture the spirit and essence of the course. Overall, though,
development programmes. The findings show that tourism has not helped to
this experience confirms the need and validity of such courses, and it is hoped
build an egalitarian democratic society, rather the destructive effects have
that this would be the first of many more to come.
favoured already advantaged sectors of society. Planning from an urban­
The training team consisted of Paul Gonsalves, Piengporn Panutampon and
economic perspective, without considering rural-cultural factors in Khajuraho
Pholpoke, under the direction of Dr Koson Srisang. While the list of
raises serious doubts about such planning processes.
resource persons is too lengthy to cover here, mention must be made of the
presentations made by Roland Martins. Norma Tinambacan and Dr. I(W:ln<;ll{mo
TOURISM, by Rob Davidson. Pitman Publishing, 128 Long Acre, London WC2E
Atibodhi.
9AN, 1989, 199 pp.
Write for details to: ECTWT, PO Box 24, Chorakhebua, 10230.
This is a text book covering the basics of travel and tourism for use in the
wide variety of courses in schools and colleges where travel and tourism is
featured. The book covers areas like definitions; history of tourism; travel and
Scrutinising Goan Tourism
transport; accommodation; impacts of tourism on environment, economy,
culture and community; and tourism planning and management.
Luxury Beach-Resort Tourism in Goa, India: The 'Dark' Side of 'Development'
and Growth. by Menezes and Lobo, 2nd Edition (revised), 1991. S Ganigan &
TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE THIRD WORLD, by John Lea.
Miriithu Publishing House, London. EngJand, 103 pp.
Routledge, 11 New Felter Lane, London EC4P 4EE, 1988,88 pp.
This book covers in a comprehensive way the trends of tourism develop­
ment in India and Goa in particular. It provides insights into the govern­
This book investigates the complex matrix of advantages and disadvantages
ments policies; public I private sector investments; propaganda; a
that tourism brings, with special reference to the Third World. John Lea looks
detailed investigation of irregularities and corruption within the ind­
closely at the general impacts of tourism (economic, environmental and cultural)
ustry, and also the social and economic repercussions of luxury tourism. and concludes that the short-term gains are outweighed by the long-term losses.
The role of public participation in national tourism planning is emphasised,
Available at EQUATIONS. Rs. 100 + postage.
in this concise but comprehensive primer on Third World Tourism.
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 96, H Colony, Indiranagar Stage I, Bangalore 560 038, INDIA.
Design and 1jJpesetting: Revisuality Typesetting and Graphic Design, 42/1 Lavelle Road, Bangalore, INDIA
ALTERNATIVE NETWORK LETTER
A Third World Tourism Critique
S
For Private Circulation Only
Vol. 7 No.1 April 1991
even years ago, a significant event took place, that would have deep and
far-reaching implications for people concerned with Third W:Jrld tourism,
StayAM'"ay
a concern then in its infancy. The Ecumenical Coalition on Third World
ven if Rajiv Gandhi had not spent a few idyllic days there in 1987, the
Tourism, an international body based in Thailand, sponsored the first
Lakshadweep islands would have emerged as prime tourism real estate.
International Workshop on Alternative Tourism (with a Focus on Asia). More
E
Sooner or later.
than 40 participants from 20 nations gathered in Chiang Mai in April-May 1984,
Thirty-six unspoilt coral islands an hour's flying time west of Cochin. Swaying
seeking new ways of responding to the challenge of mass tourism in their
palms, brilliant white sand beaches, and acalm sea that could tell the spectrum
countries.
a thing or two about blues and greens. Ideal for snorkelling, wind-surfing and
Internationally, several new organisations were formed, including EQUATIONS. sailing. by any reckoning, a tourism haven.
I\eetings were held, materials produced, research undertaken. Tourism issues And over past three years, increasing numbers of and well-heeled
were better understood and..articulated. Contact was established with Indian tourists have made the pilgrimage, many as much as Rs 3,000
in distant places who shared this concern. A new netvvork was
a dav for the
the islanders would opt for tourism later - or never.
people have acted in various ways against the excesses of mass tourism.
N Kunjibee, secretary of Mahila Sangham, the women's welfare group
Education campaigns directed at tourists and hosts, public protests and
archipelago: these years, the people of the islands have been
demonstrations.. legal action, media campaigns, exposure visits and similar
contented with their lot We don't want tourism to swamp us, I don't want my
efforts have taken place in several tourist destinations globally.
grandchildren to become hippies and drug addicts."
While such efforts have met with varied _
Lakshadweep will shortly become another Goa or KovaJam (a beach resort
situations where all options appeared to be closed, calling for innovative action.
near Trivandrum):' adds Kunji Koya Thangal, general secretary of Lakshadweep's
When cases filed against the Ramada Hotel in Goa (on grounds of violating
Muslim League unit. "Our boys are now secretly going to Bangaram (the island
which Rajiv and his friends immortalised) to watch (tourists) nude sun-bathing,
A Matter of Strategy
and they are also likely to be influenced by alcohol and drugs:' No says Thangal,
emphatically, "we definitely do not want tourism in these islands which has
been peaceful all these
ecological regulations) were turned down by the highest courts of the country,
There is substance behind the tourist phobia, on three counts. One,
the Jagrut Goenkaranchi Fauz UGF) appealed for a boycott of the hotel, as well
Lakshadweep is the only place in India which has a hundred per cent Muslim
as launched a public campaign asking people not to invest in Ramada shares.
population, and people are conservative, simple and low-key. Two, they are
The effectiveness of this measure can judged by the recent propaganda attempts
plagued by visions of how Goa, for instance, has seen its society changed
by Ramada International projecting itself as an 'environmentally-conscious'
completely, pandering to tourists. And three, the image of tourists: for the
corporation.
tourists are those who smoke pot, make love on the beach and walk
Recently, efforts have begun to explore the possibility of enforCing international
with brown sugar in their swimming gear, at least when
regulations and safeguards at the local level. If a hotel company follows one
wear them.
set of standards in Europe orthe USA. its subsidiaries in Third World' nations
Tourist haters are now to ban their moneyed
ought to fulfil similar norms. Corporate accountability cannot be left to mere
visitors from
convenience. New consumer laws in the European Community (after 1992)
Butthe administration has other ideas. It wants to bring in more
might have a similar effect on the tourism industry. tourists, and develop more tourist sites.
'We have four lakh square km of sea around us which abounds in extremely
a great deal to be translated effectively in Third World contexts. Laws exist on
Realistically speaking, such measures-though potentially positive-will take
rich marine resources;' says S P Agarwat an Indian Administrative Services
officer and Lakshadweep's top bureaucrat, who rules from Kavaratty, the union
paper, serving the interest of a powerful minority. Appeals for local and
territory's capital. "But these are yet to be exploited by locals as it is aquestion
international action, properly publicised, are ootent short-term tactics hovvever.
of involving mainlanders with trawlers (for many islanrlers, the less they have
Backed up by hard evidence,
to do with the Indian mainland, the better). We cannot have heavy industry
With the world entering a new phase-post-glasnost,
as the density of population is the third highest in the country:' Sixteen of
will also seek new directions. Our ability to influence the future will depend
contd. overleaf
on how we choose to address issues. More needs to be done, and our focus
should be on the local, on the .
INSIDE
The recently concluded training programme for tourism activists is an obvious
Maha Blunders at MahabodhL ................................. 3
step in this direction. No movement can survive without a cadre. The challenge
Nepal Blames Gulf Crisis ..... ..................................... 7
oftourism can only be met by achallenge to tourism that is as deeply entrenched
Temples and a War.................................................. 11
and wide-spread as the Industry.
A New Cannibalism.. .............................L .............. 14
Paul Gonsalves

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