Disaster in the Himalayas: No one likes to say that tourism brings trouble

Source– The post is based on the article “Disaster in the Himalayas: No one likes to say that tourism brings trouble” published in “The Indian Express” on 16th August 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Disaster Management

News– Article discusses the effects of infrastructure developments for tourism industry on Himalayas.

What is the recent development in Amsterdam that sets an example for tourism industry?

The city’s mayor has decided to prohibit cruise ships from docking in the central area. A study conducted in 2021 revealed that a single large cruise ship emits as much nitrogen oxide in one day as 30,000 trucks.

Each cruise ship brings around 7,000 tourists, contributing to employment and local businesses in the city.

How development startegy adopted by Himalayan states are contributing to disaters?

The landslides along highways and the destruction of bridges has minimal influence on the economic strategies of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

There is a clash of narratives . On one side is the discourse of development, where tourism occupies a central role, particularly in hilly regions. On the opposing side, there is the outcry of nature conservationists.

Throughout the Himalayan region, hospitality sector has given little consideration to the disappearance of forests or the disposal of waste.

Rivers serve as the ultimate drainage systems. In the hills, landslides’ debris cleared periodically to alleviate traffic congestion on highways is deposited in rivers

The government prioritize reconstructing the damaged highway segments and bridge rather than rather than changing its strategy.

How attitude of tourism industry is threat to Himalyan ecology?

The prevailing policy is guided by the belief that the tourism industry is the linchpin of prosperity. Thers is underestimation of the ecological impacts of unrestricted tourism on Himalayan ecosystem.

Tourists’ behavior increasingly aligns with established stereotypes. They are often perceived as individuals seeking enjoyment.

Ensuring their lavish experiences is seen as a fundamental aspect of hospitality, even in pilgrimage destinations.

Occurrences like forest fires during the summer and the occurrence of landslides and floods during rainy seasons are now anticipated as potential disasters.

Tourists don’t appear to recognize that their style of travel can harm the mountainous regions. They seem to be oblivious to news about these incidents.

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