Tourism and Environment – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Ram Rattan Sharma
The environment is one of the most controversial and active topics today, and tourism is intrinsically linked to the environment. Tourism accounts for around 6% of world trade and nearly 13% of total global consumer spending. Investment in industry must be commensurate with profitability. But unlike most other industries, tourism is fundamentally about a good environment and therefore should naturally be more concerned with its protection, preservation and development, for its own sake, if not for altruistic motives. Tourism is highly dependent on an authentic socio-cultural environment and a preserved natural environment. An informed observer of the world tourist scene would sense a certain change that is gradually taking place in the order of preferences, international and national. Heritage monuments have given way to places conducive to recreation in an atmosphere of scenic beauty and cultural novelty. In India, we suffer from what can only be described as an embarrassment of wealth in this regard. The upsurge in tourism requires extensive infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants and roads, which affect the environment. Even taking care to minimize this negative impact, tourists, by their number and their behavior, create certain problems. Eco-responsible tourism is a new concept worldwide, its formal statement emanating from the 1989 Hague Declaration on Tourism, which advocates rational management of tourism, so that it contributes to the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural environment.
In India, an environmental impact assessment is now imposed as a prerequisite for all major tourism projects. some areas, such as the Aravallis, have been declared environmentally sensitive, and commercial development in and around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries is strictly regulated, rampant commercialization has eroded the stability of our coastline, interference with natural sand dunes would harm the ecosystem of the locality. This complex ecosystem is nature’s line of defense against tidal waves and land erosion by the sea. not here. Beach resorts need huge amounts of fresh water to meet the lifestyles of affluent tourists, over-exploitation of groundwater creates an imbalance, disturbing the saline aquifers on the sea floor, leading to increased salinity, making water from wells in coastal villages undrinkable and salinization of fields to the point where agriculture is seriously affected. Water availability is also a major problem in hill stations. Overcrowding and indiscriminate construction, especially in our Himalayan hill stations, not only creates ugly spots on the landscape, but also gives rise to problems with sewage and solid waste disposal. Another crucial issue is that of energy consumption. Tourist facilities should be designed to be energy efficient, taking advantage of the sun in hill stations and wind and breeze directions in plains and coastal areas, to minimize heating requirements , cooling and air conditioning. They should think about ways to use natural light as a preferred medium over artificial lighting. Unconventional energy sources and water conservation must be the hallmark of all tourism projects in the future. A large number of tourists, both international and domestic, are attracted to national parks and sanctuaries, which offer them a glimpse of the wildlife of mountains, jungles, rivers and lakes for adventure tourism, trekking, skiing and other similar activities. All this is very good, and certainly worth encouraging, because beyond the income generated by tourism, it also raises public awareness of nature and all its beauties. The mistake is to confuse wildlife and adventure tourism with picnics. A national park is not the place to spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon playing games or sipping martinis. More than the architecture of the buildings, it is the tourist activities that must blend into the environment, underlying everything we do, must be an empathy for wildlife and respect for its habitat. We find empty bottles, empty cans and plastic bags spoiling not only healthy animals but also threatening animals that are known to choke and die from discarded plastic wrappers or containers, why not can we not have battery-powered vehicles that reduce both noise and harmful emissions instead of having conventional vehicles. In any case, it is necessary to make a detailed study on the reception capacity of any tourist place, whether it is a mountain resort, a seaside resort or a sanctuary of life. Savage. By carrying capacity, we mean the load of people that a particular area can support. Carrying capacity would further determine the optimal number of people needed to sustain it both economically and environmentally. It would be a good idea if the tourism industry itself undertook such carrying capacity studies in its own enlightened interest. The government would certainly be willing to cooperate with information and advice.
Until recently, tourism in our country was mainly religious tourism. The pilgrims who visited the holy places were humble and had great respect for the local communities living in these places. In turn, visitors were welcomed with open arms and open minds and benefited from all cooperation and assistance. There was nothing embarrassing in the attitude of the pilgrims that could offend the sensibilities of the local inhabitants. But the current scenario is different. The intention is not to paint a gloomy picture or to say that tourism is something that should be banned. Tourism contains within itself the potential to become one of the most environmentally friendly industries, provided there is a reorientation of perspective and an acceptance of the basic principles of conservation.
(The author is a former librarian of Dy University, Jammu)

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