Community based Tourism
The aims are to enable participation from the local community in the development
and operations of tourism with their consent and support. Another important
feature is that a reasonable share of the revenues are enjoyed by the community.
This type of tourism also maintains and respects the local culture, heritage
and traditions. Often, community-based tourism actually reinforces and sometimes
rescues these. Community-based tourism also implies respect and concern
for the natural heritage, particularly where the environment is one of the
This interlinks with ecotourism however it concentrates more on enjoying
and respecting the wildlife and the environment without the educational
element present in ecotourism.
This type of tourism is set up in developing countries as a means to improve
the local economy for local people. It enhances the linkages between tourism
businesses and poor people, so that poverty is reduced and poor people are
able to participate more effectively in tourism development. The aims of
pro-poor ranges from increasing local employment to involving local people
in the decision making process. Any type of company can be involved such
as a small lodge or a tour operator. The most important factor is not the
type of company or the type of tourism, but that poor people receive an
increase in the net benefits from tourism.
Nature has always attracted human beings for various purposes. As our lives
grow more and more hectic, warm winds usher in the summer holiday season,
daydreams inevitably turn to vacation scenes. Whether it be to isolated
beaches, tall mountain peaks, or the bright lights of a big city the idea
of leaving everyday life behind and "getting away from it all"
is a siren's song more and more of us find irresistible. With bags packed
and tickets purchased we are traveling to the far corners of the world,
making tourism the world's fastest growing industry. And then we are introduced
to the word “Eco”.
The buzzword of the major industries of the world is “Eco”.
We have ecofriendly products, Eco Tourism, Eco camps, Eco Travel; Eco societies.anything
to do with the environment is a hot topic in the twentyfirst century. You
will find various companies claming to be Ecotour operators, without even
realizing the meaning of the word ecotourism. And as the pressures of urban
living increase more of these intrepid travelers are seeking pristine natural
and cultural sites. The number of visitors to national parks and protected
areas and to rural communities continues to rise. And while nature or "eco"
tourism is generally considered to have a lower impact than mass tourism
- requiring less infrastructure and development - even small scale use can
damage the natural resources which attract tourists in the first place But
what is the word Eco mean with Simply defined Ecotourism is travel to relatively
undisturbed places for the purpose of enjoying natural surroundings. Ecotourism
can be also defined as Responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves
the environment and sustains the livelihood of local people.
Activities included in a tour that are designed to entertain clients and
are coordinated by a professional guide or interpreter. Over 80 activities
have been listed for ecotourism, such as bird watching, hiking, diving,
kayaking, participating in cultural events, photography, and mountaineering.
Natural and cultural features that attract visitors, such as landscapes,
endemic or rare flora and fauna, cultural festivals, and historical monuments.
Tourism services such as transportation, food, lodging, guiding and interpretation
services which cause minimal damage to the biological and cultural environments
and promote a better understanding of the natural and cultural history of
For making our article simpler we will define ecotourism
with respect to the area in which the ABVIMAS operates. Himachal Pradesh is
a hill state nestled in the Western Himalayas. The State takes pride in
its natural beauty manifested by the snow clad mountains; alpine pastures
containing colorful flowers; landscape dotted with perennial streams, lush
green forests, herds of grazing animals, picturesque villages, natives in
traditional dresses, and indigenous architecture. The traditional hospitality
and crime free society has added to the natural attractions of the state,
making it one of the most sought after tourist destination in India. Himachal
Pradesh receives about 45 lacs (4.5 million) of tourists annually and this
number is growing steadily, in the order of 10 to 30% annually. At selected
locations / valleys, adventure tourism activities such as mountaineering,
trekking, camping, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking / canoeing,
angling, paragliding, alpine and heli skiing, snowboarding etc. are becoming
popular day by day.
Its also important to write some basic facts on the institute which serves
as the most eco friendly institutions in the state. It’s not only
practicing ecotoursim but also making guidelines for various activities
that have got ABVIMAS in the limelight.
The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports,Manali (ABVIMAS) is an Indian institution
located in Manali (Himachal Pradesh) providing specialized training in skiing,
mountain rescue and mountaineering. It conducts regular courses in mountaineering
and skiing during January to December. The other activities of the ABVIMAS
include trekking, rock climbing, and adventure and water sports. The Department
was established in the year of 1961 and more than 80,000 people have been
trained in different adventure activities since its inception. Training
is imparted under the guidance of 22 highly professional Instructors (including
three Everesters) who have extensive experience in Skiing & Mountaineering
in Himalayas, Alps (France) and Norway. The ABVIMAS has approximately 100 Employees.
It has a spacious campus with administrative offices, a modern auditorium,
lecture rooms, library, kitchen, dining hall and hostel accommodation for
300 trainees. There is also fitness training area and meteorological observatory
post. There are eight (9) training Centers established all over Himachal
State to provide adventure tourism training to the locals and others from
all over the country and abroad.
Today, it is a well known fact that tourism can play
in catalyzing the economy from essentially an agrarian one to dynamic one
based on optimum development of tourism. Tourism therefore has been identified
as a critical thrust area that can revolutionize the quality of life of
people of Himachal. Statistics of tourist arrivals in Himalayan region indicate
that there is a growing desire for being close to nature. Thus the development
of tourism has to be eco-friendly, with pragmatic strategies to develop
tourism in a sustainable fashion and within the framework of preserving
the ecology and culture of the Himalayas. At the same time forests and mountains
cannot be forbidden for the tourists and mountaineers. Sensitive natural
sites are in limited supply and disappearing at lighting speed. Many experts
believe the use of the natural environment is at a critical stage. The challenge
today is to promote tourism activities in natural areas, while minimizing
the negative impacts on them. A challenge, which is being taken up by the
ABVIMAS with full responsibility and zeal.
The ABVIMAS follows various guidelines not only prescribed
for its activity spread all over the state but also to institututions throughout
that are affiliated with it. These guidelines have been taken from various
tourism experts as well as from the ecotourism society for any person that
are affiliated with trade PREDEPARTURE PROGRAMS -- VISITOR INFORMATION AND
Prepare travelers to minimize their negative impacts while visiting sensitive
environments and Offer visitors the educational materials they need to learn
about the places and people to be visited and introduce the importance of
contributing to the conservation of places being visited. Educate visitors
about the full range of natural and cultural phenomenon to be observed.
Educate visitors to consider the effects of their visit in advance and to
modify their behavior while traveling, with the objective of minimizing
Provide introductory information on the people and ecosystems to be visited
in predeparture packages. Stress the importance of reading pre-departure
information, such as selected bibliographies, and review additional resources
for each destination. Keep information objective and well-grounded using
examples of phenomenon visitors might encounter. Provide general travel
ethics addressing standards for behavior in natural areas and with local
cultures. Provide information on the equipment, clothing and personal supplies
suitable to the regions being visited. Warn against bringing disposable
goods that contribute to the solid waste burden in the region. Provide information
on products to avoid that are illegally traded. Provide information, as
required, on avoiding the accidental transport of foreign, exotic species
into isolated ecosystems being visited.
Visitor is attuned to the full range of opportunities for viewing wildlife
and learning about different cultures. Awareness of personal responsibility
to minimize impacts on the environment and local cultures before departure.
Visitor has proper gear and clothing for environments and cultures to be
GUIDING PROGRAMS -- GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF GUIDING TOURS
Prepare travelers for each encounter with local cultures and with native
animals and plants. Pave the way for reciprocal sensitivity between cultures
by teaching tourists to be unobtrusive while they are encountering environments
and cultures. Provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about
the social and political circumstances of the region being visited. Provide
visitors with the opportunity to learn more about local environmental problems
and conservation efforts. Provide quality orientation and enough leaders
to manage the group according to the sensitivity of the environment visited
can achieve these things. Give quality interpretation at all times; explain
local cultures and describe natural history. Encourage interaction with
local people while overseeing contact to avoid cultural errors. Conduct
briefings before each stop, including behaviors to avoid, restricted practices
and zones, special alerts for fragile and endangered species, specific distances
to maintain with local wildlife, and local regulations. Use of time on road
and in cities for educational discussions of all kinds including balanced
discussions of local issues.
Awareness of how to encounter cultures and environment with minimum negative
impact. Insight into the visitor's own role and potential contribution to
local conservation and sustainable economic development efforts.
GUIDING POGRAMS -- PREVENTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Minimize visitor impacts on the environment by offering literature, briefings,
leading by example, and taking corrective actions.
Help visitors to minimize their negative impacts by enhancing their understanding
of the fragility of the environment.
Company guides should pursue the following procedures
Provide a set of environmental guidelines, created by the company, specific
to the area being visited. Obtain and distribute available guidelines for
each natural area visited. Allow protected area staff to introduce guidelines
if possible. Brief visitors on proper behavior - on trails, in campsites,
around wild animals, around fragile plants - and with trash, with human
waste, with fires, and with soaps. Advise all travelers on the level of
difficulty of each excursion to prevent damage to the environment caused
by lack of experience or ability to maneuver in unfamiliar terrain. Discourage
unrealistic expectations of observing rare wildlife and plants by interpreting
all aspects of the ecosystem. Advise against collecting souvenirs from natural
areas, such as feathers, bones & shells, unless it is specifically condoned
by local authorities. Advise against purchasing specific crafts that are
produced from threatened natural resources.
Learns how to travel without leaving footprints. Gains a greater understanding
of travel's impact on the environment. Is informed of the rules and regulations
of natural areas and the need to follow them.
GUIDING PROGRAMS -- PREVENTION OF CULTURAL IMPACTS
Minimize traveler impact on local cultures by offering literature, briefings,
leading by example, and taking corrective actions.
Protect the integrity of the cultures being visited by minimizing visitor
contribution to acculturation and the decline of local values. Enhance visitor
understanding of local cultures but avoid improper intrusions into the private
lives of others.
Company guides should be aware of the following procedures: Interpret local
cultural values and history of local cultures. Provide a set of cultural
guidelines created by the company, specific to the area being visited. Where
available, obtain and distribute guidelines written by local communities.
Advise visitors to accept differences, adopt local customs, and be unobtrusive.
Discuss appropriate behavior when photographing. Discuss appropriate behavior
when purchasing goods, tipping, and responding to begging.
A better understanding of local values and cultures and how to behave with
local peoples to minimize cultural impacts.
The ability to look, listen and learn from others without intruding.
Thus more such details can be made by the ABVIMAS coordinating t need and the
areas involved. Ultimately one of the most important goals of ecotourism
must be the preservation of nature. Education about the inherent societal
values of the environment will be key to reaching this goal. Protected sites
are already being used for significant scientific research. Often the findings
contribute to an increased recognition of the area's ecological value. The
research can also serve to establish benchmarks for preservation, since
the sites are often largely intact and relatively pristine ecosystems, they
can serve as a basis for comparison.
Travel to these remote places has the potential to inform and educate large
groups of people about the importance of nature. A step that has been started
by the institute with educating more than 15000 children from all over India
in various mountaineering fields. This awareness will give vital support
for efforts to protect the world in the future. At summer's end sightseers
may return home with more than snapshots and a sunburn, today's ecotourist
could bring back a greater appreciation for the natural world and the motivation
to protect it.