Kamala Sarup: Eco-Tourism - Making Nepal Unique
Eco-Tourism - Making Nepal Unique
By Kamala Sarup
An Eco-Tourism based economy features steady, vigorous competition among those who provide the money and take the risks and benefits of ownership. They buy equipment, goods and labor services to create tourism for sale. "Buy cheap and sell dear" is their slogan to increase profits. We have to seldom serious problems like war and economic depressions interfere with our eco tourism development.
It is also true, eco tourism provides for full and effective participation and viable income-generating opportunities for local people and it may also provide significant opportunities for income-generation and employment.
Some eco tourism based economy will make enormous profits. Thus, in a eco tourism-based economy, money creates greater amounts of money and greater average living standards. What a eco-tourism can provide, if managed and catered for properly, is the utilisation of natural resources to create sustainable income for businesses and individuals.
However, eco tourism based economy to produce sustained income and wealth for most of the Nepali citizens, compared with rich nations, and the causes of our success can be summarized as follows: An eco tourism based economy model is the only model that ever shown sustained, if uneven, improvement in living standards for most of its people. It is the economy that reduces the productive efficiency to produce more wealth to the nation so strategies must be economically feasible if private investors are to support the program. .
On the other side, It is also true, eco-tourism based economy will reduce conflicts. If the government promotes education and values that emphasize tourism conflicts will diminish, in the long run. The results of reducing conflict are that when people engage in tourism, production than war, then the killing and maiming are reduced and the general living standards are increased and people are more satisfied.
We have some questions now: How continuance of violence activity began to affect both seasoned vacationers and business travelers? How development has not been able to reach many remote and inaccessible areas of the mountains? How tourist arrival in Nepal has declined to some extent due to the increment of the price of trekking permits? How one of the major challenges facing the industry is the need for a professional and skilled work force to meet the existing and emerging needs of the tourism sector? How much it contributes to GNP and how this contribution compares with other countries?. Tourism has a great influence on the Nepalese economy but when it goes down, it has an impact on other businesses.
Even, we have failed on the tourism-marketing front, with the result that we have been trying to sell Nepal without a proper focus. We need to develop new approaches to the tourism market. The violence in Nepal and its extensive coverage in the foreign media have hit foreign tourist arrivals to the country. We must get into action now, if we are to make tourism an instrument of economic change. Political violence, have weakened Nepal's largely tourism-based economy, but many hope that the chaos will end soon.
If greater facilities are offered to bring tourists into the country, the flow of investment also increases so safety awareness campaigns should be conducted. There is an urgent need to follow an 'open sky policy'. Encourage international airlines and hotel chains, to set up shop in Nepal by providing them with land, price and tax concessions. The existing rules and regulations need to be re-looked into and supportive legal framework has to be developed for the success of eco-tourism in Nepal. Several issues have been raised for the development of the tourism sector, but the implementation aspect of the recommendations is not effective in Nepal, so long run planning is required for the revival of the tourism business.
Eco-tourism development requires a partnership between market and state with an appropriate division of responsibilities. The efficiency and integrity of tax collection must be improved. Hospitals and schools must be established immediately.Without such infrastructure development, the development and functioning of the tourism sector will not be possible.
Facilities such as clean drinking water, sanitation, good transportation system, construction of good roadways are prerequisites to attract tourists. It is true, low tourist arrivals result in low occupancy rate and low consumption, and also reveals low production and low economic activity. Recognising the importance of tourism as a significant industry in the promotion of economic benefits and social unity.
Even Nepal's tourism is affected because tourism in India, the Gulf and Far East are affected because of the terrorism. Even, number of tourists from the third countries recorded a decline in Nepal because of the high cost of marketing in the international market. The aim is to promote Nepal as a destination for a vacation, and to get more tourists into Nepal; to promote priority sectors of Nepal's tourism areas, by emphasizing on a high profile, leisure and business quality product that has proved to be a major tourism draw throughout the world.
Although tourism is important to Nepal's economy, we need more technical assistance. It is true, the government is not spending on tourism development as well as drinking water supply, training and sanitation are also getting less attention. At the same time, there is need to review these programmes, sharpen their focus, improve their system. We must be very careful, of course, to do that in a long-term, dynamic way as well as short-term. If eco- tourism-based economy has to be increased, attention must shift to sustained public action. Further reforms are needed in services.
The economic recovery of Nepal will depend on improved security because it is based upon assumptions of the restoration of law and order. Addressing the underlying causes of the insurgency widespread rural poverty and the failure to spread the benefits of development more widely is critical for Nepal's tourism development.
The best way to bring the economy back to normalcy is the nation should practice transparency, accountability and give due respect to internal economy. For this Nepal needs a stable government that is accountable. Once security is improved a lot of market growth in particularly tourism and in finance.
If the country's major foreign exchange earner is to be saved, then peace and security have to prevail. A lot of work needs to be done, and it is vital that all groups in Nepal do everything they can to end the pain and suffering this conflict has caused.
(Kamala Sarup is editor of http://peacejournalism.com/ )