Eco-friendly tourism

Published at June 13, 2018 12:51 AM 0Comment(s)4299views

Eco-friendly tourism

After a slump in tourism following the killing of Hizb militant Burhan Wani in 2016, it is once again catching up in 2018 with a promising number of tourists visiting Kashmir. Government’s persistent efforts to promote tourism in India and outside may have helped, but the rise and fall in the state tourism largely depend on the ground situation in Kashmir. Many initiatives taken by government in last several years have been centered on development and improved infrastructure including the state’s connectivity and better facilities at popular tourist locations.  While development and improvement in infrastructure should be a priority of the government, it should not be at the cost of destroying or disturbing the ecological balance. Tourism Minister Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, chairing a meeting in the month of March, stressed on consulting experts for proper designing of huts and other assets at tourist places. The minister said: “We should raise structures only after consulting experts in the respective fields. Our structures should gel with nature and should be eco-friendly.” The minister rightly pointed at the need for employing sustainable and eco-tourism initiatives in the state. There is a need to sensitize the policy makers and tourism stakeholders towards the importance of sustainability tourism for destination development and identify areas of eco tourism initiative that can be undertaken across the various regions of Jammu and Kashmir. Travel is evolving rapidly all over the world and there is a visible shift from mass tourism to niche tourism. The state’s tourism industry needs to rise to this level and evolve into a ‘niche destination’. There is a need to focus on evolving and promoting niche tourism and destinations with focus on orchard tourism and wedding destination tourism among others. There is a need for adopting a policy of responsible tourism without compromising the environment and ecology which is the core issue that drives tourism industry in the State. Eco-tourism is a significant contributor to resource conversation and environmental protection. We have the natural beauty that offers great tourism potential but the government must work on improving the facilities. There is also the need for multiple training initiatives as education and training are critical in order to improve service standards that would result in the delivery of exceptional experiences. The government can learn from the eco-tourism initiatives undertaken by some of the popular world destinations. There is no dearth of examples in this regard and the government should not shy away from learning.




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