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paper examines the implications of tourism for area development and poverty alleviation in general and looks at the case of Nepal in particular. A framework for analysing the linkages between tourism, poverty alleviation and area development is presented. Tourism does not become spontaneously pro-poor but needs to be deliberately planned and managed to achieve those ends through an effective partnership with all concerned stakeholders. Experience in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas shows that the type of tourism has a bearing on the impact on poverty as well as area development. In mountain areas trekking tourism has more potentials for poverty alleviation than other forms of tourism. In Nepal where poverty is more entrenched in remote, rural areas the impact of tourism on poverty alleviation is insignificant. It is only incidental in specific tourist destinations. Tourism has affected area development processes to a much larger degree. Two specific pro-poor tourism initiatives being undertaken in Nepal are reviewed. Pro-poor tourism cannot occur in isolation. A number of issues related to policy environment, and program orientations in relating tourism to poverty alleviation and area development are presented. Keywords: 1. Mountain economies, poverty, pro-poor tourism, tourism impact
Tourism in the beginning of the twenty-first century was described by Frangialli, the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization as the biggest industry the world has ever seen (Frangialli 2000). In the year 2001, which was not a good year for international tourism, international tourist arrivals totalled 692.7 million and international tourism receipts 462.2 billion USD. The annual average growth rates for arrivals as well as receipts for the period 1995-2001 was 3.8 and 3.1 percent respectively (WTO 2002a). The share of South Asia in total tourism receipts was only 1.03 percent. WTO’s study Tourism: 2020 Vision predicts that by the year 2020 international arrivals will reach 1.5 billion with tourism receipts of above 2 trillion USD (WTO 2000). According to the report tourist arrivals are predicted to grow by an average of 4.3 percent a year while receipts will grow by 6.7 percent a year over the next two decades. If the market share of mountain tourism were to remain about 15-20 percent of total receipts, this will translate into 300 to 400 billion USD in the next 20 years, and this does not include Page 1 of 25
domestic tourism ! In the South Asian mountain context in general and Nepal in particular, it is this nature of tourism, in spite of its fragility as an industry as witnessed in the aftermath of the events of 9/11, that signifies a huge potential for income generation and employment. It provides an opportunity to partake of the fastest and the most dynamic economic sector the world has ever seen. Global financial institutions view tourism as the most lucrative export strategy. While there is another side to this view (de Chavez 1999) the lure of tourism as a development strategy is real. Also, in spite of the ups and downs, globally speaking, tourism is a very resilient industry. Whether understood as a pronounced deprivation in well-being (World Bank 2001) or a state when people cannot secure minimum standards of well-being and when their choices and opportunities for a tolerable life are limited or restricted (UNDP 1997), poverty characterises mountain areas in general and the degree of poverty is more intense in the loftiest of all mountain ranges, the Himalayas. A number of factors and processes have contributed to poverty in the mountains. Limited asset base, low levels of education and health, limited access to social infrastructure, limited skill capabilities and opportunities, lack of capacity to withstand shock, lack of autonomy in decisions and actions, powerlessness, vulnerability, exclusion, lack of participatory institutions and organizations are some of the factors associated with poverty. Physical conditions and processes such as remoteness, inaccessibility and the lack of adequate resources and access to means of sustainable livelihoods have reinforced conditions of poverty (Papola 2002). There has also been growing pressure on environmental resources for the basic necessities of survival. The traditional processes of adaptation have been fast breaking down or have been made irrelevant and redundant by the inexorable processes of globalisation and liberalization. The challenges of sustainable livelihoods in the Himalayas have never been so critical, nor the search for alternatives so urgent. This is where tourism makes an appearance in the development agenda of the countries of South Asia. The attraction of tourism in poor mountain economies derives from the fact that tourism is one activity where constraints to development -remoteness, difficulty of access, the natural and biological diversity, pristine natural beauty, insular cultures and ways of life -- can be transformed into opportunities. The backward and forward linkages of tourism, if properly managed, have the potential to enhance employment opportunities in tourism and related sector. Since sustainable tourism depends on a sound environment, tourism has also been seen as a sector which promotes environmental restoration. As the linkages of tourism and development are explored both in its spatial and economic manifestations (Sharma 2000a) the realization that tourism itself can be a development intervention with areaspecific implications has begun to dawn upon the policy makers and the politicians. Tourism is a growing industry affecting millions of the poor. Page 2 of 25
The present paper seeks to examine the implications of tourism for area development and poverty alleviation in general and look at the case of Nepal in particular. a situation where tourism contributes to environmental conservation as well as the wellbeing of the local population. the distinguishing feature being that the tourism agenda is set by the community so that there is a wide sharing of benefits (MF/TMI 1999). a major component of which is that host communities should invariably benefit if tourism is to be viable and sustainable in the long term. 2. Tourism. The linkage with poverty alleviation is perhaps there but remains only remote.Though benefits may not directly affect the poor. sustainable tourism. In the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development even the World Tourism Organization has come up with a report which argues that the cornerstone of sustainable tourism is the well-being of poor communities and their environment. Poverty Framework for Analysis Alleviation and Area Development: In recent decades tourism qualified under different names – ecotourism. The report reviews current experience in tourism and poverty alleviation. identifies the contribution that tourism can make to the elimination of poverty and to that Page 3 of 25 . responsible tourism and the like – is being promoted as a win-win situation. Community based tourism seeks to promote initiatives of communities. community-based tourism. It is only recently that deliberate attempts are being made to incorporate the objectives of poverty alleviation in tourism development policies and programmes in developing countries in general and South Asian mountain economies in particular. and their implications for poverty processes. Well being of population and communities finds mention in different formulations and perceptions of tourism. The third section looks at the types of tourism in the HKH. Sustainable tourism broadly describes all types of tourism that contribute to sustainable development. The following section provides a framework for analysing the linkage between tourism. The fourth section examines the implications of tourism for poverty alleviation and area development with examples from Nepal in general and reports on two specific initiatives to relate tourism development with poverty alleviation. For countries where poverty alleviation is the singular challenge of development the nexus between poverty alleviation. tourism and development has been a matter of intense interest. the costs they face can be reduced. There is an effort in these different formulations at emphasising the linkage between tourism and local economic development. The final section provides a summary of issues that need to be addressed if tourism is to be a vehicle of poverty alleviation and mountain development. Ecotourism has been defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and sustain the well-being of local population” (CeballosLascurain 1996). area development and poverty alleviation.
poverty alleviation. It is an activity afforded by the relatively well-off. First. that tourism products can be built on the assets of natural resources and culture which some poor areas have. tourism has the potential to enhance environmental resources upon which most of the poor depend. High import content of tourism products. The poor need to have access to human and financial capital to engage in activities that benefit from tourism and be commercially viable. namely. adventure. A variety of factors affect the economic participation of the poor in tourism. There are therefore obvious limits to the extent that tourism can be made pro-poor. environmental regeneration. Tourism does not become spontaneously pro-poor. and empowerment of local communities are not spontaneous processes but need to be deliberately planned and managed through an effective partnership with all concerned stakeholders (Sharma 2000a. heritage. There are opportunities for additional sales from economic activities that would benefit the poor. and the attitude of the government has to be sensitive to the needs of the poor. which is not the case with many other exports from poor countries. Shah and Gupta 2000). tourism offers definite advantages for pro-poor growth. culture and other attributes) and infrastructure. last but not the least. The policy and regulatory framework of tourism in terms of land tenure. Access of the poor to the tourism market needs to be assured. negative social impacts including sexual exploitation of the poorer sections of the population. disproportionate concentration of tourism revenues among urban based travel and tour operators. and local communities (WTO 2002b).end recommends the actions required from the government. Ashley et al (2001) have identified a number of tourism issues affecting the poor. There are also processes imbedded in tourism that can work against the interests of the poor. development agencies. Page 4 of 25 . domestic type jobs. and also employ a higher proportion of women because of the high proportion of low-skill. planning process. entertainment. Tourism thrives only in locations that have the advantage of quality tourism products (environment. and the fact that negative impacts sometimes can be so powerful that the host community succumbs to a variety of alien cultural influences are some of such processes. pilgrimage or the desire to experience other environments and cultures. that tourism can be relatively more labour intensive. And. the tourism industry. Fourth. increased dependency on the outside. tourism is an in situ export where the customer comes to the product. Studies that have been conducted in the mountain areas of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region indicate that the central development concerns in the mountains. This can particularly be the case in many mountain areas. Pro-poor Tourism Tourism as an activity is concerned with pleasure. Second. But it has been argued (DFID 1999) that compared to other economic sectors. Third. and not the other way round. many areas in poor countries have a competitive advantage for tourism.
and through an active involvement of the key actors and stakeholders – the government. Nothing less than a multi-level. minimised trade-off with other livelihood activities. the private sector. if it provides avenues for the build-up of the capabilities and assets of the poor. can act as critical gap fillers for some of the poor. non-governmental organizations. while at the same time wider concerns of the poor ( such as reduced competition for natural resources. tourism can impact positively on area development through the motivation it provides for location-specific economic activities Page 5 of 25 . community organizations and the poor themselves. using tourism to create infrastructure for the poor) have to be incorporated in decision-making. and if it facilitates resource sharing through the expansion of community infrastructures. Although the experience in the area of pro-poor tourism is quite limited what generally emerges is that it can lift some of the poor from income poverty. it can enhance the access of the poor in general to information and infrastructure. (Ashley et al 2000). But propoor tourism has to be nurtured at different levels through a variety of strategic policies and programmes. The private sector can be directly involved in forging partnerships with the poor particularly in product and market development and ensuring that opportunities identified for the involvement of the poor are commercially viable. participatory and proactive strategic intervention is required for tourism to become pro-poor (PPT 2002). While the government can create the policy environment and initiate programmes of strategic intervention to facilitate pro-poor tourism. Barriers that inhibit the participation of the poor in tourism have to be addressed . and in promoting their participation in local level tourism planning. if it is accompanied by a process which favours empowerment of the poor in terms of participation in decisionmaking. Figure 1 elucidates the framework for analysing the linkages between tourism. Similarly. Tourism can have a positive impact on poverty alleviation if it enhances employment and income opportunities. and as the experience in community-based tourism suggests. Pro-poor tourism is tourism that is designed and managed with a view to benefiting the poor. Community organizations can play a critical key role in ensuring that the communities (including the poor) derive sustained benefits from tourism development through their control over tourism resources.Government or NGO support is necessary to build on the social capital and organizational potentials of the poor. non-governmental organizations can play a catalytic role in organising and facilitating the poor in recognising and taking advantage of emerging opportunities. poverty alleviation and area development.
Tourism. Page 6 of 25 • In s •I (b .Figure 1.
Tourism in the Himalayas: Implications for Poverty Alleviation and Area Development It has been indicated above that the implications of tourism for poverty alleviation are not found to be spontaneously positive in the Himalayas. through the impetus it provides for the development and conservation of local natural and cultural resources. Employment and market potential of traditional activities and crafts have to be explored. and the efforts made in monitoring of tourism impacts and measures taken to mitigate negative impacts. The linkage of tourism with environmental conservation needs to be strengthened. and by the support existing for building up the social capital and organisation of the poor. considerations of land use planning. As the resource attributes differ from area to area depending on aspect. the extent to which the capability of level of local poor is enhanced through training etc. The impact of tourism on poverty alleviation is mediated. altitude etc. the extent to which poor have access to human and financial capital. multi-dimensional institutions and technology options need to be explored in their relationship with the needs of tourism. by the extent to which government policies and regulations are propoor. among others. and in terms of the expansion of private opportunities. Increased dependency. Similarly. through increases in the level and quality of services and infrastructure. Inaccessibility and remoteness dictate that local capability and support systems need to be developed for mountain areas to be the net beneficiaries from tourism. However. Mountain areas in general require a sensitive approach to the promotion of tourism for various reasons. 3. For a reversal of the trends in Page 7 of 25 . the linkage of tourism with area development may be contingent on the type and quality of tourism assets in the area. the extent to which tourism revenue is ploughed back for the development of community infrastructure. Since mountain areas in general tend to be scale-sensitive the scale of tourism has to be commensurate with the carrying capacity of the area. among others. for such positive impacts a number of mechanisms and systems need to be in place. unequal terms of exchange and gradual loss of autonomy over resource use have been the manifestations of marginality in the mountains (Jodha 1991). As a result the bulk of the proceeds from tourism in the mountains go to the plains and urban-based agencies. by the extent to which the poor have a say in local level tourism planning.and trade. Mountain areas are politically and economically marginal areas. Tourism has to be sensitive to agropastoral systems and resource management regimes. The relationship between poverty alleviation and area development is basically expressed in tourism-induced linkages with local production systems and the mechanisms that support broader sharing of tourism benefits both in terms of the provision of public goods. and through the growth of settlements that can function as central places and markets for agricultural and other goods produced locally and regionally.
Tourism. Resort tourism in particular can lead to “enclave” development where the impact of tourism growth on local economy is insignificant. drinking water. Once the tourism agenda in the mountains is made to address the issues of mountain development then the conditions would be set for looking at processes that discreetly identify ways through which the issue of poverty is systemically addressed. 4. and some menial employment in tea houses. The linkages of tourism with poverty alleviation and area development depend to a considerable extent on the nature and type of tourism. In areas which have the benefit of resource sharing such as in the Annapurna area in Nepal tourism can also contribute to the development in public infrastructure (trails and bridges. but this is dependent mostly on construction.marginalization of the mountain communities a number of institutions and processes are deemed necessary. In the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region there are mainly four types of tourism that are prevalent: trekking.mountaineering and related adventure travel. resort tourism. However. and environmental problems that may be associated with tourism. and pilgrimage tourism. sale of handicrafts and indirect employment opportunities in transportation.) and human resources development through training from which the poor can benefit. growth and expansion of functions. current employment opportunities are limited to portering. schools and health posts etc. and defend the interests of the community. mechanisms for mandatory reinvestment of resources and creation of conditions so that mountain people become the net beneficiaries of tourism development. The potential for poverty alleviation appears relatively greater in trekking and mountaineering because poverty is much more entrenched in the rural areas in general and the mountains in particular. Poverty Experience in Nepal Alleviation and Area Development: Characteristics and Trends of Nepal’s Tourism Page 8 of 25 . These include participatory local institutions to promote the kind of tourism that contribute to local development. All types of tourism have implications for area development in terms of physical growth of settlements. Table 1 presents a generalised picture of the implications of different types of tourism for poverty alleviation and area development. Culture tourism based in heritage sites and urban areas can also provide some leeway for the poor. In areas with resort tourism or even pilgrimage tourism the poor could actually suffer due to migration of outsiders who buy land from the poor at low prices and benefit from the eventual growth of tourism. tourism based on cultural experience and sight-seeing of historic and cultural sites.
7%).9%) USA (8.Although tourism in Nepal has been in the doldrums since the last few years. while 27. it has been a sector that was growing quite rapidly at least up until the year 1999.3 % went to the Annapurna.2 % to Langtang-Helambu and 4 percent to other areas. One-third of tourist arrivals were from western Europe. Indian tourists arriving by land are not recorded.2 percent of the tourists to Nepalcame for pleasure and sightseeing while a little over a quarter came for trekking and mountaineering of which 64. U.9 days. In 2000 over 55. About 81 percent came by air and the average length of stay was 11. 9. In terms of tourist characteristics almost 58 percent were between the ages 16-45 and about the same percent were males. which provides tourist arrival data for selected years.K.November. 22.1%) and Germany (5. Between 1999 and 2001 there has been conspicuous decline in tourist flow.6% were in the months of September.5% to the Everest region. Table 2. In terms of seasonality of arrivals 33. Japan (8.5% came Page 9 of 25 . shows that the average annual growth rate of international tourist was over 12.6 percent between 1962 and 1999.7 %) were important countries of origin of tourists.(8. About 21 percent were Indian tourists. and it may take sometime before a reversal of this trend takes place.
land use. water supply. no impact on rural poor Some direct impact on employment in construction.Table 1 Types of tourism and implications for Poverty Alleviation and Area Development in the Himalaya Resort tourism Poverty Alleviation • • Some local employment during construction. so little pressure on local economies “Mass” tourism induced by easy access dependent on imports Business and trade owned by outsiders. sprawling growth of resorts etc) Area Development • • Area Development Increased seasonal economic activity based on migrants Seasonal pressure on infrastructure Settlement growth often at the cost of religious symbolism • • • Accelerated and mostly unmanaged. religious produce • • • • • • • • Area Development • • • • • Settlement and infrastructure growth along trails Increase in variety and quality of goods and services Some impact on production regime due to tourist demand Environmental degradation in areas without benefit of management Dependent development Area development • • • • Development of road infrastructure Potentials for sustained linkages with the production regime Enclave development Environmental problems (sewage. loss of resources by the poor Social aberrations. timber Inflation. slope failures. sale of handicrafts/souvenirs Indirect impact due to jobs created in sectors that serve the tourist industry such as transportation Some employment due to revival of traditional crafts in which the poor engage Increased dependency Pilgrimage tourism Poverty Alleviation • • • • Traditional pilgrimage based frugal living. lodges Development of community infrastructure in areas benefiting from resource sharing Competition for fuelwood. mule drivers in trans porting tourist provisions. menial jobs Resort tourism based on natural preserves has potentials for providing sustained employment/income opportunities Some demand for local agricultural/livestock produce Changes in landownership. urban growth Increased pressure on infra• structure (bottlenecks in traffic. solid waste and related • problems) Expansion in services Heritage conservation under favourable conditions Page 10 of 25 . sewage. some employment in tea-houses. solid waste. increased dependency Culture tourism Poverty Alleviation • • • Mostly urban or heritage based. changes in landownership Some income from sale of local crafts. exploitation Trekking/Mountaineering Poverty Alleviation • Employment opportunities as porters.
8 6.3 Source: MOT (2000).8 % of total employment (or 714.9 3. + estimated in MOF Economic Survey 2001/2. WTTC estimates that in the next decade the travel and tourism demand in Nepal is expected to grow by 5. The WTTC also estimates that the contribution of the travel and tourism economy to the GDP in Nepal is about 6 percent.9 Pilgrima ge -3.4 10. -.2 55.0 Other 1962 1970 1980 1990 1999 2000 2001+ 6179 45970 162897 254885 491504 463646 365477 -5. In the mid-western and farwestern regions of Nepal poverty is estimated to be in excess of 70 percent.4 4.7 22.6 23. Using the Nepal Living Standards Survey data the NPC estimated that the incidence of poverty in Nepal in 1995/96 was 42 percent (poverty line estimated at NRs 4404 based on food basket for per capita calorie requirement and a factor of non-food expenditures).0 25.300 jobs) of total employment in Nepal while Travel and Tourism economy employment is estimated at 6. Tourism and Poverty Alleviation linkages Poverty is endemic in Nepal.8% (401. poverty in Nepal is more of a rural than an urban phenomenon.7 4.2 63.4 5.in the months of February-April.8% per annum.991 jobs). Table 2.1percent of the GDP. Nepal Tourism Statistics 2000.2 11.4 4.9% of all foreign exchange earnings in fiscal 199/00.8 15. and 3.5 59.2 10.2 Busines s -2.1 9. Only about 14 percent of Nepal’s population is Page 11 of 25 . The incidence of poverty in rural Nepal was estimated to be 44% compared to only 23% in urban areas.2 56.0 3. This incidence was higher (56%) in the mountain districts compared to the hill districts (41%) and the Tarai districts (42%).classification not available Estimates based on recent research by the World Travel and Tourism Council for the year 2002 ( WTTC 2002) shows that the Travel and Tourism Industry will account for 3. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism stood at USD 168 million which was 12.6 4. Tourist arrivals and purpose of visit for selected years Tourist Arivals Year Total Holiday/Pleas ure -91. Also.6 Purpose of Visit (in percent) Trekking and Mountaineer ing -1.6 16.1 80.
special efforts to organise and empower the poor are absent and in the ACAP area in general many of the opportunities provided by ACAP programmes are taken advantage of by the more affluent. the incidence is higher in the rural areas (41.1 percent. which is a pioneering effort at making tourism environment and community friendly.Pokhara triangle. We can therefore only make some generalised comments on the issue. There have been no studies in Nepal that provide a picture of the national economic impact of tourism disaggregated by sectors and regions. Nepal Human Development Report 2001 has estimated the Human poverty index (based on five attributes: illiteracy. A study in the Ghakdruk and Ghodepani areas in the Annapurna trek notes that “many of the benefits from tourism go primarily to the small percentage of villagers who are lodge and restaurant owners. They lack organization. except for the Ghalekharka-Sikles eco-tourism initiative. and poor access to safe water) for 2000 which shows that the incidence of human poverty is 39. This suggests that tourism in Nepal is not prevalent in the poorest regions of the country. It is only the budget trekkers that contribute to rural economies since all their needs are met by lodges and suppliers of other facilities on the trails. and a pro-poor policy and programme framework from which they can benefit. is scant and indirect.9%).urban. then the incidence of poverty in Nepal is estimated to be 53. poor healthcare. Mountains have the highest incidence (46. and tea-houses along trails. guides and support staff often share in them.2 percent for Nepal.4%) than in urban areas (23.1%). Again. The regional economic significance of tourism is Page 12 of 25 . Group trekking is a centralised and a much organised affair where the trekking agencies supply most of the needs and bulk of the benefits accrue to these urban based agencies and suppliers rather than rural areas. whereas the large percentage of subsistence farmers. except for porterage. malnutrition among children. The study estimates that among lodge owners as much as 50% of the money spent by tourists is retained locally. training and credit support. early death. Porter. specially of the poor lower classes do not directly benefit from tourism income” (Banskota and Sharma 1995: 106).Chitwan/Lumbini. If the internationally comparable “One US dollar a day” poverty line is used. and the poor and the disadvantaged generally remain outside the ambit of benefit. Even in the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. and that a large proportion of pleasure and sightseeing tourist do not go beyond the Kathmandu. Further. The present facts are that only about a quarter of the tourists in Nepal visit rural areas in the central and western hill-mountain regions. the prevalent style of trekking shows that overall about 55 percent are group trekkers and 45 percent are independent trekkers or FITs. This is a context where the poor are not aware of the opportunities opened by tourism for them. The impact of tourism on the livelihoods of the poor. Under such conditions only a few poor individual entrepreneur can possibly benefit from tourism.
Here a survey in 1996 revealed that tourism related activities provided the main source of income for 78% of the households. As a result the functional nature of settlements has undergone tremendous changes. Tourism and Area Development Linkages Tourism has induced the development. and up to 25. So the income enhancing potential from tourism related jobs is quite considerable. Some estimates show that revenues gained from tourism account for around 90% of the income of Khumbu. Many of these settlements now have communication linkages with the outside world.000 NR per season (in 1997 1USD=NR 60.noteworthy. In such situations the poor definitely benefit. expansion and reorientation of settlements along trails and tourist destinations.000 NR . These include settlements that have emerged solely due to tourism.3 fulltime jobs respectively. Nepal et al (2002) report that 32.389 entries related to trekking. An untrained lodge employee can make between 6-16. This has been most remarkable in Annapurna and the Khumbu areas in particular. Page 13 of 25 . they are not normally found working as low altitude porters. 26% of which was lodge related earning. In certain selected locations such as Namche Bazar in the Everest trek tourism has been able to induce a large-scale involvement of local population. The porters came from 17 districts.279 merchandise porters. In a comparative study of lodge generated employment in the Khumbu and the Annapurna circuit it has been shown that an average lodge generates 3. Since the Khumbu Sherpas have moved up the income ladder. now it is NR 2000 per trekker). On the Everest trail alone 20 settlements have been identified as having either emerged or grown directly as a result of tourism. a feature similar to European Alps (Nepal et al 2002).000 NR per tourist season. while a trained cook and porter can make between 20-30. and the variety of services they provide have also increased. Banskota and Sharma (1997) estimate a total of USD 3.20). such potentials have been realised in only a few locations. in the Khumbu tourism has contributed to the resurgence of trade with Tibet. temporary settlements that became permanent due to tourism-related activities or settlements that are experiencing recent lodge development (Nepal 1999). a high proportion from Solu and adjoining districts. In Khumbu even the local agricultural work is undertaken by migrant workers mostly from southern Solu. Also.8 million as accruing from tourism in the Annapurna region including ACAP revenues from trekking permits (it was NR 600 in 1997.5% employees in Annapurna and 27. 14.7 % employees in Khumbu were outsiders and in both cases over 40% of the employees were women. and 4.4. Nepal reports that a survey of porters for a 12 month period in 1996-97 at the entrance gate of the Sagarmatha National Park registered 13. and 2645 guides. However.
Box 14. Annapurna and Khumbu Annapurna* Khumbu** No of No. and mule transportation. and a day’s march from the airport at Lukla.000 trekkers annually. the tourist hub in the Khumbu. Namche bazaar (3440m). About four years back Jomsom was visited by about 18. The nearest road is about 4-5 days trek. vegetable farming. of No of lodges settleme Tourists lodges nts with lodges 45 29 5836 17 203 518 69 84 7950 18200 75 225 No. These activities provide income and employment opportunities to many households in this food-deficit region. Table 3.The dramatic development of lodges along settlements in the Annapurna circuit and Khumbu area is elucidated in Table 3. In 1997 within the existing built up area there were 33 lodges with a total of 800 beds. The number of lodges in the Annapurna went up from 45 to 518 between 1980 and 1997/98.300 35. Jomsom is accessible by air but does not have a road connection. cosmopolitan touch with a large number of shops with a range of imported goods. Once an area of outmigration. exemplifies the impact of tourism-induced growth. From a sleepy settlement barely 30 years ago Namche at present exudes an urban. In the Jomsom-Marpha area in the Annapurna circuit the linkages between tourism and area development are most vividly exemplified. During the last two and a half decades the area has been a major attraction from trekking tourists . German and Swiss bakeries. laundry service. ** data for 1997 Source: Nepal (2002). Year No. According to Nepal (2002) the built-up area of Namche bazaar has doubled between 1955 and 1997. and the number of settlements with lodges increased from 29 to 84 during the same period.800 54. Jomsom and neighbouring villages are Page 14 of 25 . of Tourists 1980 1990 1997/98 14. apple and apricot farming. video halls and internet cafes. of settleme nts with lodges 12 29 38 * data for 1998. it is attracting investors from outside. This has promoted or induced a range of economic activities including lodge and tea-house operations. of No. The first hotel in Namche came up in 1971. Similar was the case in Khumbu. cottage crafts.100 Lodge and visitor development. Lying on the northern side of the Great Himalayan range the area has insular conditions with very little cultivable land.
Such linkages do not exist in many other areas. Government support for the horticulture farm which was initiated in the 1960s. The supply of lodges in many areas (such as Namche. The experience of Nepal suggests that spontaneous alleviation of poverty through tourism is an exception rather than the rule. Far Western Nepal Bordering Tibet in the north-western corner of Nepal. Naturally. Humla is one of the poorest districts in Nepal. These settlements also have developed as regional service centres. tourism and development initiated by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) since the 1980s. the formal and informal institutions for conservation. Lukla in the Everest trek and Ghandruk in the Annapurna trek) has outstripped demand. Humla is perhaps the remotest district in the country. Less than 1% of the district land area is arable. it can at the best provide a niche for the poor in providing goods and services to the tourists and in the process enhance their own level of living. Vernacular architecture is fast disappearing. and the multiple linkages of tourism with the local production base are some of the factors that have contributed to the development of the Jomsom-Marpha area. Pro-poor tourism has to be deliberately oriented and nurtured keeping in view the needs and capabilities of the poor. SNV has been working in improving the infrastructure of Page 15 of 25 . not all of such developments have been positive. Over 90 percent of the land area of Humla has slopes of above 30 degrees. Poverty is so pervasive that by “$ 1 a day” international standards over 90 percent of the population of Humla is poor (Seville 2001). the sustainability of these initiatives is open to question. the district headquarter to the outside world. With appropriately designed and executed policies and programmes. Rustic trails have been transformed into strings of lodges. SNVs Experience in Pro-poor Tourism in Humla. It would therefore be of interest to review two particular initiatives in pro-poor tourism that are underway in Nepal. Conceived and implemented as basically donor funded projects. a full 10 days walk from the nearest road head.some of the richest areas in the highlands. Inflation has made life difficult for the local and regional population who do not depend on tourism. Tourism cannot address the structural roots of poverty that is embedded in unequal access to or control over resources. Jomsom-Marpha is a success story because of the tourism-local production linkage. An airstrip connects Simikot. The orientation of the service function of such settlements has been naturally towards the tourists and the needs of the local population remains ignored.
Five community camping sites. These encourage and assist the community based organizations in analysing. Direction (identify potential activities). Dream (envision a future). mainly organised groups. appreciative participatory planning exercises (APPA). awareness of tourism impacts –economic. To enable potential entrepreneurs take advantage of enterprise development support the CBOs can take advantage of training packages including feasibility studies and business plans. Priority support is given to economic activities that provide employment to poorer people and women. Trekking trails (all above 2500m) are in good condition and camping sites exist along the trail. The social mobilization component is run by four partner NGOs. situation analysis.Karnali Zone since 1985. Substantive activities related to tourism began through social mobilization of poor people in groups or community based organizations. By early 2002 a total of 27 community-based groups were active along the trail. The aim of the local governance component was to build local capacities of government bodies and NGOs. and action and reflection including business planning). from district head quarter of Simikot to the Tibetan border at Hilsa) to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. the work focussed on three-inter-linked components: local governance. were recorded. This was undertaken through local NGOs which supported CBOs in defining local tourist potentials. support is provided for small scale enterprise development. In the year 2000 around 700 tourists. Design (prioritise activities and plans). implementing and monitoring development programmes. and Deliver (Implementation/action). planning. and portering services were functional. the numbers since then have declined due to Maoist insurgency. and also attraction for western trekkers. The venture Capital Fund for group members provides a maximum loan of NR 50. APPA is a methodology combining participatory action research and appreciative planning based on the five Ds which encourages and facilitates the villagers to Discover (seek positive assets). employment generation and market linkages. social mobilization and economic opportunities.000. A local trust fund is established for local development initiatives. In 1993 with the implementation of the District Partners Programme (DPP) which ended this September. The economic opportunities component builds on the first two and facilitates a process where the poor. ecological and social. disadvantaged groups and women can benefit from identified economic opportunities (Seville 2001). It covered the main tourist attraction in Humla which is the Simikot-Hilsa trail (about 70 km. Sanitation and hygiene along the trail has been improved considerably with about 400 toilets built by community groups for their Page 16 of 25 . group strengthening. The pro-poor sustainable tourism initiative in Humla which started in 1999 was built on the DPP process. Once the groups select their activities. areas of pilgrimage for Hindus and Buddhists.
In the Simikot-Hilsa trail portering is more organised. An integrated tourism and transport plan has been developed.families. Tourism earnings would not amount to much elsewhere but in the dire economic conditions of Humla they would amount to the difference between a full meal and often a half-empty stomach. hot spring management and local poretering service to tourists (SNV 2000). handicraft sales. This number is about 5% of the Humla district population and almost a third of the population affected by the Simikot-Hilsa trail.rural communities (TRPAP 2000). After the improvement of the trail local businessmen have bought mules and horses as pack animals. establish backward and forward linkages of the tourism sector with the national economy and extend the benefits of tourism to the village level. Pro-poor sustainable tourism is being viewed as a possible tool for poverty reduction by many donor agencies in Nepal including UNDP. camping sites. Almost all community groups have taken to vegetable farming so vegetables can be locally purchased by tourist groups. Things have not gone according to plan in the last two years because of the Maoist insurgency and consequent problems of security and decline in the number of tourists. pro-environment. Twenty-six business plans have been approved for loan from the Venture Capital Fund. The TRPAP which started in March 2001 aims to contribute to the poverty alleviation objective of the government through review and formulation of policy and strategic planning for sustainable tourism development which are pro-poor. Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation Project (TRPAP) The overall objective of the Ninth Plan of Nepal (1997-2002) is poverty alleviation. poultry and small livestock raising. Thirteen have already repaid their loan in a year in spite of the fact that the number of tourists has declined. The tourism component of the Plan identifies the need to make the tourism sector assist the process of poverty alleviation. In 2000 about 40-50 pack animal drivers were employed in the business. pro-women and pro. All tourists are required to pay a USD 2 tourism tax which goes to the community development activities of the district development committee (Hummel 2002). opening up tea shops along the trail etc. It was expected that by end 2002 a total of 400 majority poor households (2600 population) would benefit from lodging and eating facilities. DFID and the Dutch Government (SNV). The programme is designed to bring Page 17 of 25 . The enterprises promoted under the programme are not exclusively related to tourism alone but those that have a larger local market such as vegetable production. In non-tourist seasons the pack animals are used to transport construction material. vegetable sales. ADB. cultural programmes and local tours. Exposure visits have been organised to other tourist areas in Nepal.
Before the initiation of the programme the community makes a self assessment of its potential through the application of the “development wheel” where the villagers score themselves on 14 different attributes grouped into community resources. There are three major components of the TRPAP— empowerment and social mobilization. and the experience of the Participatory District Development programme in the areas of decentralization and social mobilization. awareness of the programme and tourism committees. With an emphasis on policy and strategic planning for rural based tourism development. and benefit local people. As part of the social mobilization process tourism is projected and utilised as a vehicle to help alleviate poverty and allow villagers to contribute and share in its development. and creation of sustainable tourism platforms.together 3 major concerns of the government – poverty alleviation. The idea is to strengthen the multiplier effect so that tourism benefits are more widely spread. The appreciative participatory planning and action (APPA) and social mobilization tools are utilised in working through the “development wheel”. To assess progress the development wheel exercise is conducted each year. It is based on the products and services the local community can provide and sell to the private sector and tourists. tourism and gender relations) and local level business planning and skill development. The forward linkage are linkages from the local/village level to national and international tourists and is concerned with marketing of local tourism product and services to various stakeholders. At the local level CBOs and functional groups (FG) are created through social mobilization and comprise of individuals with specific business interests. Operationally the backward linkages are strengthened through social mobilization (tourism awareness on possibilities and constraints. the TRPAP builds on SNV’s rural tourism experience. In the backward linkages the idea is to enhance linkages from tourism-related private sector business to communities and groups in the community. The idea of the development wheel is to facilitate a bottom-up approach to decision-making and planning and provide a sense of empowerment to the communities. land resources and commercial resources. decentralization and tourism development. Forward linkages are strengthened through product development and marketing and through the support for sustainable tourism development committees. Strengthening backward and forward linkages is the second major component. Sustainable tourism platforms are institutions and formal/informal networks created at different levels (micro to meso to macro) to ensure that tourism is organised and developed in such a way that the poor and the underprivileged benefit from it and that there is a sustained linkage between supply and demand. strengthening backward and forward linkages. These groups are trained to develop implementable business plans which can be funded from sustainable tourism Page 18 of 25 .
Strategy and tourism plans will be developed for each settlement in a participatory way and these plans will be linked with respective conservation policies and plans. Lumbini (7 VDCs). drinking water etc) or specific skills (lodge management. The target areas were selected on the basis of 8 criteria that include human development index for the district. Similar structures are created at the district and the national level. pro-poor tourism is not a panacea for dealing with poverty generating processes. To coordinate activities of community development (such as sanitation. In this sense pro-poor tourism is a definitely worthwhile response in orienting the impacts of tourism in desirable directions. However. institutions working in the region.around Shey Phoksundo). gender empowerment measure for the district. STDC and fund at the village level and Rural Tourism Development Division at the Nepal Tourism Board at the centre. Pro-poor tourism cannot be promoted in isolation and the context in which it is promoted determines the extent to which it has the chances of being successful. A checklist of issues that have fundamental implications for policy would include the following: Page 19 of 25 . number of tourists visiting the area. Conclusions and Issues for Consideration The experience in Nepal and elsewhere (Ashley et al 2001) suggests that the link between tourism and poverty alleviation is not a spontaneous one. By the end of the project TRPAP aims to establish functioning Sustainable Tourism Development (STD) Sections and STD Fund at the district level.2 million USD. local guide etc) Sustainable Tourism Development Committees (STDC) are formed.development funds. and capabilities of the poor. trails. DFID and SNV with a planned budget of around 5. remoteness etc. Chitwan (4 VDCs). but there are opportunities provided by tourism which can enhance the income. A number of conditions and mechanisms need to be in place for tourism to be oriented towards the alleviation of rural poverty. There are six pilot sites chosen for the programme in Dolpa (7 Village Development Committees –VDCs. It only provides some leeway for the poor in taking advantage of opportunities emerging from tourism and in dealing with the negative environmental and socio-cultural consequences of tourism. employment. Achievements of the TRPAP are not yet visible and it is too early to comment on the possible outcomes. Langtang (9 VDCs). Village Tourism Associates provide technical support at the district and the village level. 5. tourism potential. Sustainable Tourism Development Funds at the village and district levels provide the facility for investment in pro-poor tourism activities. It is a five year programme with funding from UNDP. Solukhumbu (15 VDCs) and Kanchenjungha (6 VDCs).
decisions and actions on their behalf (Sharma 2002). and tourism product development that facilitates interaction with the poor. Training and capability building for the poor in specific skill areas linked to business opportunities.e. the poor) to influence. An intensive process of social mobilization where the poor are not only enthused but also see and share concrete benefits accruing from opportunities opened by tourism. and unequal distribution of resources. NGOs can play a catalytic role in facilitating this process. can be linked to tourism development. Inclusive participation of the poor in local level decision-making. social discrimination or exclusion. for example. Organising the poor to benefit from tourism development. Participation of the poor may be well nigh impossible unless specific conditions are created to listen to their voices and facilitate their participation. The poor are vulnerable to fluctuations in demand that can result from decrease in tourist numbers. Such barriers may be created by gender inequality. Tourism asset (and type of tourism). Commitment to decentralisation and perception of the government as an ally of the poor are basic conditions for facilitating pro-poor tourism. socio-cultural and economic environment that facilitates. meso and macro levels. This may be in the form of entry fees such as in the Annapurna or taxes such as in Humla. legal. and can also be confidence building measures. Such partnerships can also expand employment opportunities for the poor. encourages and enables the powerless (i. The creation of community infrastructure based on the priorities of the poor. Pro-poor tourism. Establishment of revolving fund to ensure access of the poor and disadvantaged to financial resources. Market linkage and tourism platforms at micro. Promoting business opportunities for the poor that have a broad demand base. It is the creation of a political. Empowerment of the poor does not happen in isolation.. particularly the product development and marketing Page 20 of 25 • • • • • . A broad demand base can minimise risks.• • • • • The context of decentralised and participatory governance. policies. Resource sharing mechanisms and wider community benefits. The creation of community infrastructure etc can be possible only when some proportion of tourism generated resources is reinvested in areas visited by tourists. Mechanisms for pro-poor partnerships with the private sector. Such partnerships can create the basis for a complementary relationship between the demand from the private sector entrepreneurs and the supply of goods and services from poorer groups. This would entail the removal of barriers that inhibit participation of the poor. Trekking and pilgrimage facilitate better interaction than resort tourism.
1-8. 51. Tourism. (1995).Tourism for Mountain Community Development.• • part requires institutional platforms at different levels that support initiatives taken at the local level. B. (1997). (2000). pp. No 103 (March). London: ODI. (2001). Pro-poor Tourism: Putting poverty at the heart of the tourism agenda. Case Study Report on the Annapurna and Gorkha Regions of Nepal. Land use planning and environmental safeguards. Page 21 of 25 . MEI97/5. A positive link between tourism and local production base provides a sustainable basis for area development. Gland: IUCN. Caroline. De Chavez. H and Roe. Boyd. No. Hector (1996). Overseas Development Institute. As tourism develops. March 2000. Participatory land use planning in nodal locations is called for to ensure orderly growth of settlements and to see to it that the environmental safeguards are in place and that the poor do not loose their meagre resources.1. (1999). April. Kamal and Sharma. DFID (1999). Kathmandu: ICIMOD. or end up in the wrong side of the bargain. D. Kathmandu:ICIMOD.CRT. Ceballos-Lascurain. and the Overseas Development Institute. MEI 95/11. Pro-poor Tourism Briefing No. * * * References Ashley. Ecotourism and Protected Areas. Pro-poor tourism strategies: expanding opportunities for the poor. Tourism planning has to take into account the potentialities of the local production base. Banskota. Tourism and Poverty Elimination: Untapped Potential. C and Goodwin. the spatial manifestation of such growth requires careful consideration. Banskota. Natural resource Perspectives. Market link is often the weakest link in pro-poor tourism and the poor themselves are least capable of strengthening this link. Kamal and Sharma. Goodwin. H. Caroline. Case Studies from Ghandruk. B. Ashley.IIED. R. Summary of a report prepared by Deloitte and Touche. Third World Resurgence. Linkage of tourism with local production base. the International Institute for Development and Environment. Globalization and tourism: Deadly mix for indigenous peoples”.
V. Economic Survey 2001/2. 2002). Kathmandu: MOF Ministry of Culture. 8-11. Unpublished Ph. dissertation. N. Sanjay K. Jhansi. Case Studies from the Himalaya. SNV and Sustainable Tourism Development. “The Biggest Industry the World Has Ever Seen”.propoortourism. Pitamber (2000a). Synthesis of an Electronic Conference of the Mountain Forum April1 13-May 18. “Re-inventing Sustainable Tourism: Correcting the Existing ? The role of SNV Netherlands Development Organization in development of pro-poor tourism”. West Nepal. Tourism. Sustainable Mountain Agriculture. T and Banzhaf.org. 5. In Jodha.Frangialli. Partap (eds). New Delhi: Oxford IBH Ministry of Finance (2002). Naomi (2001).propoortourism. T. Nepal. Kathmandu: MoCTCA Mountain Forum/The Mountain Institute (MF/TMI) (1999). 1998. PPT (Pro-poor Tourism website. “Mountain Perspective and Sustainability: A Framework for Development Strategies”. Perspectives and Issues. Tourism and Civil Aviation (2000). the Poor and other Stakeholders: Experiences in Asia. www. Kohler. Jodha. 1999. Tourism and the Dynamics of Change in Nepal. John (2002). Banskota. London: Overseas Development Institute.Tourism as Development. Paper presented to International Conference on Tourism Development. Poverty in Mountain Areas of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya. Sharma. Some Basic Issues of Measurement. Berne: Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research. (2002) Great Himalaya. Community and Conservation. (1991). (1999). www. Pp. A comparative analysis of the Everest. D+C Development and Cooperation. Kishore and Gupta. Sanjay. Papola. Kathmandu: ICIMOD. B.uk/summary.org.R. India. (2002). Proceedings of a world-wide SNV tourism advisors workshop and field visit. Nepal Tourism Statistics 2000. PPT Working Paper No 3.S. Kathmandu: SNV/Nepal. Francesco (2000). Diagnosis and Alleviation. October . Economical Benefits for Local Poor. Practical Strategies for Pro-poor Tourism. Page 22 of 25 . No. March. Seville. Franklin: MF/TMI. Switzerland. Vol. Case study of propoor tourism and SNV in Humla district. September/October. 1.html SNV (2000). Centre for Tourism Research and Development. University of Berne. (2000). Annapurna and Mustang regions. Nepal. April.S. Community-Based Mountain Tourism: Practices for Linking Conservation with Enterprise. Tourism induced environmental changes in the Nepalese Himalaya.uk Shah. Hummel.D. Kathmandu/Innsbruck: Himal Books/STUDIENVerlag.
Nepal Human Development Report 2001. World Development Report 2000/2001. WTO (World Tourism Organization) (2000). Human Development Report.world-tourism. Report prepared for South Asia Poverty Alleviation Programme. The Impact of Travel and Tourism on Jobs and the Economy – 2002 plus special Report on September 11th Impact.wttc. UNDP/HMG. Attacking Poverty. Kathmandu. World Bank (2001). Project document. Tourism: 2020 Vision.Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation. 41 pages. Paopola. UNDP (1997). Website: www. Madrid: WTO. Kathmandu: ICIMOD/DSE. Tourism and Poverty Alleviation. In Banskota. TRPAP (2000). Pitamber (2000b). WTTC (2002). Nepal.org/statistics WTO (2002b). Regional Overview and the Experience of Nepal”. NEP/99/013. London: WTTC. Pitamber (2002). UNOPS/UNDP. New York: Oxford. Madrid: WTO. Sharma. WTO (World Tourism Organization) (2002a). Empowerment Approach to Poverty Reduction. Page 23 of 25 . Kathmandu: UNDP.org. New York: UNDP. Growth. UNDP (2002).Sharma. “Tourism and Livelihood in the Mountains. Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Resource Management in the Mountain Areas of South Asia. waww. Richter (eds).
sites level – first identified activities .marketing strategy .linkages with national trekking agencies. district level activities . VILLAGE LEVEL AND BUSINESS PLANNING Step 5 Establishment of Sustainable Tourism Platform .land use planning and zoning.resource management strategy .unique and supportive tourism resource . district-based NGOs and SNV staff Step 6 District and trail development planning including .collection of market information for potential product elements and enterprises .hiring economical opportunity staff for process facilitation and local NGO for social mobilisation and skill development PHASE 2 FEASIBILITY STUDIES Step 4 Feasibility studies on: .Appendix 1 tourism Ten steps for working with local communities on PHASE 1 IDENTIFICATION Step 1 High Tourism Potential Area Selection (District or Park area) – collection of secondary data on: .production strategy .multiple use visitor centres .initial activities identified .village site selection . limits of acceptable change .market opportunities and constraints Step 2 Identification of potential tourism development areas and trekking trails – stakeholder analysis Step 3 Participatory sustainable tourism inventory on potential trails and tourism development areas .cost/benefit analysis PHASE 3 DISTRICT LEVEL. trail packages. organising entrepreneurs and CBOs.training at district level to DDCs. through district-based NGOs: . should result in agreements on Page 24 of 25 .number and types of tourists .district level tourism product elements. and nodal points (multiple-use visitor centres).village level/sites planning (Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action) Step 7 Training in business planning.stakeholder coordination and collaboration for district planning .available ‘markers’ .
Sustainable Tourism Platform and SNV. entrepreneurship development Step 9 Entrepreneur development and assistance to explore financial options: .tour itineraries. and dealing with change Source: Seville (2001) Page 25 of 25 .marketing through business or nodal points PHASE 4 MONITORING AND EVALUATION Step 10 Monitoring at different levels through individual/CBOs. local services and products Step 8 Production and marketing skill training to entrepreneurs and groups (CBOs).implementation of business plans .
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