Ecotourism as a Viable Option for Conservation of Wildlife in Protected Areas Under Shivalik Hills of the Outer Himalaya, India

Ecotourism as a Viable Option for Conservation of Wildlife in Protected Areas Under Shivalik Hills of the Outer Himalaya, India

Akash (Gurukula Kangri University, India) and Navneet (Gurukula Kangri University, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5843-9.ch006

Abstract

The concept of ecotourism in protected areas and their implications for the conservation of flora and fauna are of global significance. Ecotourism is not only for suitable practice of tourism in protected areas as it deals with environmental conservation, but also supports local communities. The Himalaya in present times harbors a good increase of ecotourism in protected areas like Rajaji tiger reserve, Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve, Corbett National park, Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary, etc. Efforts done by state government in building tourism state have promoted the tourism industry in general. This chapter will explore the potential of ecotourism in protected areas and the local people's perceptions towards the local tourism, conservation of wildlife and substitutes for their livelihood. Additionally, it will explore potential sites already developed or can be developed for increasing options for enhancing ecotourism, providing information about various tools, which can attract the tourists from various disciplines.
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Introduction

Ecotourism refers to the type of tourism that is centred around the ecologically interesting, endangered natural environment and exotic of a tourist spot. The concept of eco-tourism was proposed by the Mexican Expert H·Ceballos Lascurain special consultant of IUCN in 1983 but the term ‘eco-tourism’ was coined by a marketing agency that was promoting Costa Rica as a rainforest destination. In a broad sense eco-tourism is a responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. (Gail et al., 2003). It is considered the fastest growing market in the tourist industry and consecrated for preservation of environment and sustain the diversity all over the world. Eco-tourism maintains and accommodate tourist in such as way that is minimally destructive to environment and sustain and also support the native culture. Eco- tourism programme didn’t cause harm to the flora, fauna and cultural heritage. In other word, responsible eco-tourism programs minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment as well as the cultural integrity of local people.

The concept of eco- tourism is new in tourism which is sparked off by the concept of making peaceful co-existence with nature a reality once again. At present day ecotourism is one of the well-developed segments of tourism The International society of eco-tourism defines as “responsible travel that conserves the environment and sustains the well - being of local people”. So, it is clearly known that eco-tourism promotes a peaceful relationship between tourist and the environment along with the cultural heritage. The World conservation Union states that “the environmentally responsible travel and visiting to the undisturbed natural areas, in order to appreciate nature which promotes conservation, has now low negative impact; and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local population residing in that area’’ (Ceballos,1996). Eco-tourism focuses on the natural areas and undisturbed sites where the centres of attraction are fauna, flora and other cultural heritage. It maintains the mutual relationship between environment and the tourist that brings positive effects to the local economy and ensure the long-term condition for development as well as maximum recreation satisfaction for the tourists (Hodur, Leistritz and Wolfe, 2005). The main principle of eco-tourism is that it makes litte or less environmental impact as possible and helping to sustain the biodiversity that is why encouraging the conservation of habitat and wildlife. It builds the cultural awareness and provides the direct benefits to the conservation. Eco-tourism provides financial benefits to the local peoples and empowered them. The key aspect for eco-tourism is direct involvement of the local community and their active participation and realizing the environment resources. So eco-tourism projects area to be well planned and should be managed otherwise it can inflict damage to natural environment. A report of world travel and tourism council reveals that 7% of international tourism sales are spends on nature tourism. (Richards & Hall 2000, Holden, 2000). Eco-tourism is nature-based tourism that protects the endangered species and maintains the integrity and values of the nature and environment. In other word it provides an opportunity to tourists to explore and experience the powerful manifestation of the environment.

Objectives of the Study

Considering the importance of Shivalik region, the study aims to enhance the eco- tourism and promote the development activities by considering the ecological parameters. The chapter will describes the treasure of tourism and the tourist potential in the Shivalik hill. The study also aims to evolve a set of plausible guidelines, and prepare sustainable integrated development guidelines by considering eco-tourism as the catalyst for development in the Shivalik region.

Methodology

Eco-tourism related development programme and its relevance to Shivalik hill is to be studied. Various plans, policies as well as programmes for eco-tourism development are to be studied and evaluated in the terms of present problems in the area in order to study their effectiveness. Various efforts to integrate tourism, environment and development will be explored and pattern to promote eco-tourism policies.

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