Major Research Project on An Evaluation of Eco and Sustainable Tourism Practices of Selected Resorts in Karnataka

Major Research Project on An Evaluation of Eco and Sustainable Tourism Practices of Selected Resorts in Karnataka

Dr Joby Thomas

Associate Professor

Department of Tourism Studies

CHRIST (Deemed to be University)

Bangalore – 560029

 

 

Abstract:

 

Karnataka has many hill stations and a number of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and natural areas offering golden opportunities for ecotourism activities in its resorts. The natural resources of the state could be used productively to create employment opportunities, to support host communities and to strengthen the economy. Ecotourism emerged as an important niche in the tourism sector and it has received considerable attention in tourism and conservation policies at international, national and state levels. Ecotourism has caught the attention of policy makers and the tourism industry as a form of tourism and it is often stated that ecotourism leads to conservation and in turn benefits local communities. However, what is seen is that ecotourism is not very much different from mass tourism. Ecotourism continues to be market-driven with governments allowing this to happen with their policies that are tailored to meet the needs of private enterprises. It is alleged that many private players are promoting ecotourism in the name of conservation whereas their practices are far from being conservation oriented or even supporting conservation efforts. The main objective of the study is to explore the extent to which a market based mechanism like ecotourism can actually contribute to conservation and community rights and benefits, and to evaluate the eco and sustainable practices of selected resorts in Karnataka.

 

Out of the 27 major resorts following eco tourism principles in Karnataka, 13 from public and 14 from private sector were selected for the study. This study evaluated the ecotourism practices of 27 major resorts in promoting ecotourism and its impacts on sustainable tourism. The targeted respondents of the research survey were employees of the resorts, naturalists, and local community. Site visits were conducted to the selected resorts and discussions and interviews were held with resort and lodge managers on the sites. The opinions of the NGOs involved in environmental protection as well as ecotourism were collected to get diverse views on the study topic. The study found that both public sector and private sector resorts had vast scope to contribute to local community’s rights and benefits, involvement of local community in resort activities and thereby supporting the local economy. They also needed to promote and support local culture and tradition by hosting cultural activities in the resorts. This study also found that there was no much difference in the environmental conservation practices followed by public and private sector resorts. However public sector resorts were found to be doing better in the aspects of benefits to local community and promotion of local culture. This study also suggested various measures to resorts, government and NGOs to promote and ensure sustainability in tourism activities and also for the success of sustainable ecotourism in Karnataka.

 

Year of Publication: June 2014

ISBN:    978-93-82305-62-0

Major Research Project: Vol 11

Pages   xi, 119  

Price: available on request

Funded by Centre for Research-Projects-CHRIST (Deemed to be University)

Published by Centre for Publications, CHRIST (Deemed to be University)