Mr Piyush Sharma
Ms Reshma Kamboj
Responsible tourism: Trends in Indian tourism sector
The significant change in trends of tourism in recent times has been increasing interest of people in visiting exotic locals with natural resources all around. This is mainly on account of two reasons, first, that the people are becoming more and more environment conscious and second, it not only helps to keep the tourist attractions in their original shapes and factors which helps the local population too, to get totally involved and improve their employability.
The above reasons have given rise to the concept of Responsible tourism, which has forced the many industries and organizations in the tourism centered countries to adapt it as their main agenda in global tourism. India is no exception and being one of the biggest tourism destinations in Asia with its large biodiversity, breathtaking landscapes, mountain terrains, national parks, heritage sites, have started promoting Responsible tourism in a very big way and government as well as other authorities and organizations are giving their full support to this trend.
“Tourism is an undisputed catalyst for building understanding, fostering social inclusion and promoting higher standards of living”. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO
The present study is aimed to examine the initiative taken by the government and private players in the tourism sector on the Responsible Tourism and other related areas like Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism, to study the present trends in the tourism sector in detail and suggest the best possible practices to enhance the scope of responsible tourism in reality.
Key words: Responsible tourism, ecotourism, sustainable tourism, social inclusion.
The modern world is characterized by mass concentrations of people, mass production, and mass activities, Diversity and beauty of land and life are more and more replaced by uniformity and high-rise structures all around. Human settlements in their mad rush for development have turned beautiful tree-clad landscapes into desolate concrete jungles, and fertile lands with diverse native vegetation are increasingly destroyed by monocultures. Tourism is no exception to this general rule, since there are inseparable and intricate links between Ecological and Environmental conditions of the destination areas (and often far off places, but supplying resources to the tourist areas) and tourism activities. These links have to be understood and appreciated before we initiate/expand any tourism activity. Ecotourism focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on our vulnerable planet. It is typically defined as travel to destinations where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, initiatives by hospitality providers to promote recycling, energy efficiency, water re-use and maximizing the usage of organic products and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities are an integral part of ecotourism.
Historical, biological and cultural conservation, preservation, sustainable development etc. are some of the fields closely related to Ecotourism. Many professionals have been involved in formulating and developing ecotourism policies. They come from the fields of Geographic Information Systems, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Photography, Marine Biology and Oceanography, National and State Park Management, Environmental Sciences, Women...