Tourism Sustainability Through Community Empowerment and Resource Management - A Case Study of Sikkim
10 Pages Posted: 16 May 2019
Date Written: March 1, 2010
The paradigms of contemporary tourism development issues focus the degree of community participation, long term sustainability and resource sharing. Sustainable tourism is perceived as the acceptable model of tourism development as it maintains an optimal balance of sociocultural, environmental and economical aspects of a destination. Sustainable tourism- Eradication of Poverty (ST-EP) programme of UN suggests that the supply chain of tourism should utilise the local resources, thereby supporting the local economy to maximise the benefits of tourist spending (UNWTO). Various concepts like Community Based Tourism Initiatives (CBTI), Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) supplemented the resource base for suitable approaches towards sustainable tourism development. Sustainable practices are widely appreciated, because the optimal use of resources.
Sikkim is a very small hilly State in India and located in the Eastern Himalayas with a rich biodiversity and formidable physical features. It is bounded by vast stretches of Tibetan Plateaus in the North, the Chumbi Valley of Tibet and the Kingdom of Bhutan in the East, the Kingdom of Nepal in the West and Darjeeling District of West Bengal in the South. The geographical features, amazing scenic landscapes and friendly people welcome tourists. While states like Kerala, Goa, Uttarakhand advance in tourism development, Sikkim is lagging behind in tourist arrivals and local development.
Sikkim is the first state in India which came up with a policy of promotion of Ecotourism. Conservation of the nature is given the first priority and accordingly many projects were developed in line with this. But the state could not capitalise the abundance of its resources due to policy matters, poor resource allocation management (in terms finance and local administrative aspects). Though the conceptualisation of community involvement in tourism development programmes was emphasised long back, the utility part is still unaddressed. Present study gives an insight into the course of tourism development in the state. It also investigates the mechanism of better community participation in managing tourism resources of the state. The study is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the potentials of tourism development in Sikkim, second part deals with present policies and tourism development programmes and the third part deals with analytical approach towards developing a possible model for better community empowerment and resource management for sustainable development of tourism.
Keywords: resource management, community involvement, sustainable development
JEL Classification: Z30, Z32
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