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Alternative Network Letter Vol 7 No.2-Oct 1991-EQUATIONS

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  LTERN TIVENETWORK LETTER Third World Tourism Critique For Private Circulation Onl y

Vol. 7 No.2

The

Dear Reader, Greetings from yet another republic that's going bananas!

ey to Mustang By

The mandarins at South Block (that awesome seat of power in New Delhi) are at it again. Voted into power by a narrow margin in the recent elections, the new government is taking no chances: sweeping economic reforms are underway, in a complete break from the past.

October 1991

anjulhree Thapa

Liberalisation is the key, we are told, and the' Indian economy must be freed from its shackles. In a succession of quick and dramatic announcements, our currency was devalued twice, industrial licensing abolished (by and large), multinationals afforded free entry into key sectors, and fertilizer subsidies slashed. Prices rose. The word went out: stagflation is likely to grab us by the seats of our pants, necessitating another u e V3 1 U3 UU pushing India to the brink of economic chaos where cost-push inflation infl ation devaluation in an eternal merry-go-round. Questions: Who cuts the cake? Who gets the crumbs? WIll breadlines make headlines?

Critics of

new economic policies have accused the government of wilting pressure of the World Bank and IMF, organisations which are currently

A Letter from ••. considering India's plea for massive loans to offset a critical' balance of a y m e n t ~ situation. A charge hotly denied by our policy-makers, though our economic reforms parallel those initiated by other developing nations indebted to the WBiIMF, And so emerges the golden dawn of a new economic era. Among the too 10 industries slated for this futuristic push are tourism and food processing. that, I hear someone say - 'food processing'? Gentle reader; t h a t ' ~ just an euphemism for what is known elsewhere as 'agribusiness: which, in case you haven't heard the jingle, is g o o d ~ u s i n e s s is big business is .. : The Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is in its final stages at Geneva, where an international agreement on agricultural production and trade is being finalised. The European Community (and to a lesser extent, the LJS) are opposing reforms to current agricultural policy. in effect, this allows rich nations to dump their produce on poorer countries detri menta I to the interests of Thi rd World farmers and exporters. If he richer nations go ahead with their plans, it will be a recipe for continufd food dependency and mass hunger in the South; according to one observer.

Questions: Can tourism as an issue be viewed independently of macro developments, nationally and globally? In a post-glasnost world, can we continue to ignore an unipolar reality? Who calls the shots in such a world, at the IMF/WB, in GATT, in tourism, et al? How do we resPoilCl to slIch questions? Lest we get

let's ask ourselves more ... of such quest:olis.

vuerulouslv yours,

Paul Gonsalves

L

ower M ustang, home of the Thakalis with its district capital capital at Jomsom, has gradually been transformed by trekkers on the ':.\nnapurna Circuit;1 pilgrims to Muktinath, and apple In contrast, the Bhutia inhabitants of Upper Mustang, the ancient of Lo, live much as their forbears did for centuries, farming in the spring, their animals to high pastures in the summer and engaging in trade in the winter. For the Loba from Upper Mustang, change has often taken away, not brought, benefits, Since 1959, the Chinese Government has prevented access to the traditional grazing grounds north of the border, so livestock has dwindled. Because farming on the wind-s\,\'ept, desert land remains as unyielding as ever, seasonal migration has increasingly become a necessity. Cultural poverty has come hand in hand with material poverty. There are fewer artisans and the Lobas' gumpas seem neglected and in need of repair. up from Kagbeni village, two hours north of Jomsom, is restricted Mustang, s. The government has given running water territory to non-Nepal to most villages and brought in a few health posts and schools, and the price of rice is subsidised. Clearly, such measures are inadequate, and cannot substitute for the development activity and alternate sources of income from tourism, that the Loba sees when he looks south. And he is asking for the same. Except for a brief period in the early 19505, Upper Mustang has been closed off from the south and, obviously, the north. Its special geographical situation, of being surrounded on three sides by Tibet, made upper Mustang the ideal base for the Tibetan resistance to carry out operations against the Chinese. Under CQntd overleaf

INSIDE When Tourism s Profits Go Abroad Please Don t Come to Goa .. j n V f : ~ t i l l l S ill /Yldl-Deveio[Jlllt=fli .....

.......... 5 . ............ B

Summary Findings ..

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2 contd. from page 1

pressure from Beijing, Kathmandu disbanded the guerrillas and made Upper

off-limits. the Khampa "marauders" have been forgotten, the Nepali government continues to close off the area north of Kagbeni. Perhaps the restrictions remain due to b ureaucratic inertia, and a ong-standing and perhaps ill-founded fear of ruffling Chinese feathers. Among those advocating the opening of Mustang are many inhabitants of Upper Mustang, from the walled township of Lo Manthang and villages such as Charang, Chemi and Sama. Over 90 per cent of the people of the upper areas want Mustang to be opened;' asserts Jabyang Bista, who lives in the northernmost village of Chosyere. Maybe some people in southern Mustang want it closed, but the people in the north want it opened:' opened:' Opening Upper Lo could make the villages of lower Mustang mere night stops for tourists headed for the Tibetan culture of the north. Understandably, some lodge-owners in Tukuche, Jomsom and Marpha prefer to keep the northern areas closed. Most, however, recognise the windfall that could accrue to the whole area from the opening. Thus, when King Birendra made an u n o f f i ~ i a l visit in January 1990, the 16 Pradhan Panchas of Upper and Lower Mustang presented him with the that the north be opened. Unfortunately, the Lobas have little wi'th no ethnic representation during the years of the Panchayat rule. Most believe that the promise of an untouched Tibetan culture more Tibetan than Tibet itself wil l lure Westerners in search of new Himalayan destinations. Travel agents in Kathmandu, eager to cash in are pushing for an early opening. Tek Chandra Pokharel, President of the Nepal Association of Travel Agents,

runs Nepal Cultural Experience, a special interest tour operator, submitted a proposal several years ago to conduct exclusive tours in the restricted area for "high class" tourists. Among other things, Lamichane proposed that three houses of the King of Mustang be turned into a museum, and that programmes be organised- to ed ucate travellers about the natural and cultural heritage of the region. According to Lamichane, his plan would maximise income while minimising the adverse cultural effects of tourism. "Let the local people the quality of their lives, but let them not wear ties". Some Lobas advocate decentralised, locally controlled tourism. Tashi Zampa suggests that a law be passed curtailing the rights of people from outside to buy property or to run business in upper Mustang. Only that would ensure that the people of the area benefit from tourism, Another Loba, Kelsang Tashi, is confident that the Loba can learn to handle tourism when it arrives. liThe younger generations are not like their have seen the way things are in the rest of the country. They have studied. Even the Sherpas did not know how to run business in the beginning. Like we will learn:' Tashi's wife, Chimi Dolkar, is convinced that Upper Mustang must be opened. Some can be porters, those who are able will run hotels. Right now, even those want to cannot earn money;' She says the suggested entry fee into Upper Mustang should go directly into development development programmes for the

of all the talk of proper infrastructure': infrastructure': in all likelihood, Upper Lo open without any preparation when the time comes. Neither the nor the Tourism Ministry have taken steps to prepare Loba inevitable openi ng. A study of the effect of opening Ladakh, TIbet, Bhutan, Southern Dolpo and Kanchenjunga, as well as the ample sociological studies of the Sherpas since the 1960s should provide valuable material for

believes that tourists' eagerness to enter Mustang would prompt them to pay high rates. Also, because Mustang lies in a rain shadow area, it could be promoted as a viable destination destination during the monsoon, the low tourist season. The government, meanwhile, continues to show ambivalence. Damodar Gautam, Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism till recently, agreed that isolating Mustang from the world will push it further into darkness". He has advocated opening all of Nepal's restricted areas. Understandably, the Tourism Ministry advocates Mustang's opening, but the decision rests with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The government would not open Mustang before establishing proper trails, police checkposts, health posts, a communications communications network and lodges. However, no move has yet been made towards building such infrastructure. There are some who agree against exposing upper Mustang's fragile ecology and culture to the consumerist world outside. Bishnu Raj Hirachan says that the desert environment cannot support the demands of tourism. "People will sell their firewood for a little bit of money without realising the long term problems this creates:' The ecology of Upper Lo certainly requires detailed from Chuksang and Chele, north ofKagbeni, have to hike tvvo days forests near Samar for thei r firewood. The inhabitants around Lo M;mth mo use dung. Both sources of fuel are dV indling. Hemanta Mishra Mishra,, chief oft ofthe he King Mahendr;; Trust for Nature Conservation in Kathmandu, argues that Mustang's culture, one of the last reoresenting old Buddhism, should be protected. Besides, he contends, the itselff will ben itsel benefit efit little from opening. first, travel agencies and then othpr outside communities, but not the Loba." The important question, then, is not whether Mustang should be opened, more attractivve, e, but how and when. Is high-cost ool-\iolume TOUrism or the c't>me one-come all and for different Some advocate controlled tourism", but in propose [ow ends. Those in the high-end of Kathmandu's and cultural volume access which they say would protect the environments as well as bring most benefit-but to whom? A. V Jim Edwards, chairman of the Tiger Mountain travel group, suggests the government charge an entry fee of around US $100 per person and laB..)w Gilly

and to discussion action. On how best open up the area, many heads will have to come together; government officials of the various ministries, the representativves es of Upper and Lovver Mustang, the travel trade, conservationists and specialists in the relevant academic disciplines. A commission comprising of such individuals; with a workable mandate, might be the first step towards a proximate and sensible plan of action.

a few travel agencies with the highest foreign currency turnover to take in a iimited number of persons:' There are other more creative, if unlikely, proposals. Keshab Lamichane , who

IL

I

HIMAL Mar Apr 1991

In

uotes

The indian association of tour operators has

u r ~ e d

the

to rationaiise the steep hil<e in hotel tariff and medium size hotels saying waive expenditure tax on biqand medium that this would badly hit the foreiQn tourist inflow

~ o v e m m e n t

While India's foreiQn exch exchanlJ anlJe, e, earnings remained remain ed static aatt $1.2 billion durinq the past five year years. s. Indonesia which ha had d also gone tn for i l bi9 IMP loan to tide over its BOP crisis has more than tha n doub doubled led its touris tourism m e a r n i n ~ s and Malaysia and Thailand hod raised it three fold. Instead of making it mandatory for hotels to fix tariff on dollar rates. rates. the gov governmen ernmentt shoul should d have linl<ed tariff to a basl<et of currency.

t

The tour operators association has also termed as discriminatory the imposition of expenditure tax on hotels charging charging room tariff of more than Rs. 400 per day. ECONOMIC

TIMES

27 August 1991

 

3

Letterr to EQUATIONS Lette Dear friends, Let me briefly recapitulate some points I had made during my recent discussion with Suresh in Calcutta. 1. For EQUATIONS' advocacy and campaigning work on the subject of Tourism, it would greatly help to have facts and figures about the cost benefit analysis of Tourism, i.e. taking into account the high impore content of elite tourism, the capital-intensive bias, and also the various impacts (such as on the emnronment), what picture finally emerges? It is important to emphasise that cost-benefit analysis is an extremely limited and flawed approach; and getting a positive benefit-to-cost ratio does not necessarily mean anything. Huwever, in one's dealings with guvernment etc., this is something they understand. But all the limitations to this approach also have to be simultaneously propagated. Actually, using cost-benefit approach to attack destructive projects is basically a losing game. Just by changing some assumptions one could get a different result. Corrversely, a 'desirable' or 'good' project, can never make it is based on the market mechanism and the market mechanism subsidises destructive processes and destroys alternatives. let ..... as in the Tehri dam case, it does help to get into this. One should first try to find out all that already exists - for India, elsewhere and bring this together. Cost-benefit study of specifu tourism projects, and more ambitiously, for the state or national level. 2. Ultimately, given what one is campaigning against, it is a losing battie in the short-run. But it can be won in the long-tum by adopting other strategies, which are based on disengaging from the losing short-run banle and taking on work in the area of a l t e r n a t i v e s ~ Thus, design o f edu catiot1.al  curricula and carrying {)u, educational programmes (jor, say, catiot1.al students and youth), on critiques of tourism, on responsible travel as learning and interacting with diverse peoples, places and cultures. Actually, both the 'campaigning against and the articulation and attempting of (alternatives' have to be undertaken. From a social perspective, one can appreciate the need for a social division of effore (and ongoing mutual exchange) between these two broad streams. But such common perpective, coming together and taking on of roles within a common perspective, interaction and exchange is all too rare in our (voluntary s e c t o r ~ So one is left with doing everything within one's organisation; which only destroys you. This needs to be reflected on. Because, even concentrating on one stream alone, is basically counter productive. So haw can all the various efforts, that all· need to be simultaneously undertaken, be realised? At the very least, within one organisation, one may find that rather than get burnt out just fighting against; one pulls out and takes on the (alternatives' itself, as a means of retaining sanity, learning and being energised o ftime and officials; is to devoJe resources Anotherpossibility amountgcrvernment to Another reachingpossibility out to political parties,a speci[u MPs, MLAs, <lobbying: This is quite a diffullit and resource-intensive task, and full of all kinds of dangers. But it is also something that needs to be systematically done; part of the (long-run" efforts, mentioned earlier: I write all this because myself am concerned ff,bnut, lile Tourism very glad to find a group such ~ h a i closer I strongly and inte1'{lCtiosz bet'Ween activistgro"dps is badly net'ded an alternalive culture in the 'voluntary sector ana ,JeWuse ; jj'Ij'seq am interested in taking up the kinds of educati educational onal w vrk mentioned above. These points are made in a fraternal spirit of solidarity and respect and I hope you will not think I am trying to tell you 'What to do. From the little knuw about EQUATIONS and its work, I have strong admiration for your efforts. I only make these suggestiorlS suggestiorlS seeing myself as one of you, one of the larger struggle all of us, in our awn way, are involved in. _r'lease lel me kn 71i what

Your; 3irrcere{v, V.

Calcutta_

Y U

think"

Pay for Environment

T

he travel industry, environmentalists and officials from developing countries have decided people wanting to visit unspoiled wildernesses will have to pay much more.

A lot of countries are selling their tourism too cheaply:' World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Asian director Bruce Bunting told the annual conference of the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

Tourists were travelling far and wide in search of isolated natural beauty, he

told the conference which ended on April 14 "It makes perfect sense that visitors should be willing to help pay the costs of maintaining conditions;' he said.

Much of the world's remaining wilderness is in poor countries where cash is a higher priority than conservation. The travel industry must show governments and people of the developing world that preserving forests for tourism is a better economic bet than cutting them down for a one-off profit, speakers stressed.

• A Philippines delegate described efforts to set up a marine park in EI Nido on one of the archipelagos southwestern islands dominated by commercial companies and a logging firm with strong political backing. "It is a Third World classic - the clash of vested interests of big business, conservationists and people on the very edge of subsistence;' Undersecretary for Environment and Research Celso Roque, now seconded to the WWF. Conservationists would always lose unless they could come up with financial clout, Roque said, which conference speakers believed the tourist industry could provide. Despite the fears of conservationists, tourism and ecology need not be mutually exclusive:' said Lisa Choegyal ofTiger Mountain Ltd, a pioneer in nature tours preservation on ideals must be part in the Himalayas. "Financial imperatives and preservati of the same picture:'

Higher entrance fees to national parks would allow governments to make more money from fewer tourists, Keeping infrastruqural needs down and generating cash for community projects and preservation. Speakers warned against mass tourism in delicate areas. Firms competing for high-volume business were bound to cut costs, Choegyal said, and environmental luxuries are the first to be cut by economic constraints:'

Traditional life in Indonesia's overloaded resort island of Bali which hosted the conference was threatened by developers racing to make a quick buck at the expense of the environment, said the nation's tourist planning chief, himself Balinese. Developments around the world suggest investors are always shortand the cost of environmental damage is not necessarily borne by investors but in fact is borne by the taxpayers and the population at large;' I Gede A'rdika said. A key to keeping wild areas intact is ensuring that tourist dollars filter to locals. Local people will feel the urge to protect a tourism product as much as they feel part-ownership;' researcher Charles Tambiah said.

pointed outthatcoral which attracted visitors to Cebu in the Philippines blasted apart (-'/ dynamite fishermen who gamed nothing from needed to feed their families. Tourism as a spot of affluence and luxury amidst unmitigated poverty cannot b(' slJ,tain6::-,jp development;' he said.

" But tourism could provide an alternative income to poor people who would otherwise be cutting down forests or shooting wildlife to liver said WWF's Bunting. He described a project to hire villagers as guides in a Thai nature reserve. Many of the villagers had been poachers of wildlife in the park and so were very familia familiarr with trails and watering spots. The animals they used to hunt and sell are now the same animals which visitors pay to see': 5 d i ~ g E ; 5 t < ; d

tourists themselyes couid be

environment in the developing world.

11. illl J1(Jve

CCI,

Apr/May 199!

 

4

The Jumbos

re

by I. Rajeswary

Coming

T

here was a time when elephants elephants and lions, rhinoceroses and hippo potamuses roamed wild and free in the forests and savannah of Uganda. The Chief attractions of the "Pearl of Africa'; as it is known, were its national parks and wildlife, including 30,000 elephants. Up unti 11972, tourism was Uganda's third most important foreign exchange earner after coffee and cotton. In 1971, it drew 85,000 visitors who spend US $27 million.

But tourism ground to a halt between 1972 and 1979 during Idi Amin's turbulent reign. Guns and ammunition were easily available and Amin's trigger soldiers, who were given a free run of national parks, slaughtered whole of elephants for ivory. By 1982, the elephant population in Queen Elizabeth National Park had dwindled to 152, down from 3,000 in the 19705. In 1980, conc;erned over the decli decline ne of wildlife wildli fe and tourism, the government that ousted Idi Amin turned to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Tourism Organization (WTO) for help in training a 40-man anti-poaching strike force. The new unit produced immediate results in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo Valley national parks. In Murchison Falls, the number of elephant carcasses encountered on ranger patrols dropped from 120 in 1980 to none in 1982 and the elephant herd there is now slowly increasing. The elephant population in Queen Elizabeth Park has quadrupled. When Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986, his administration sought additional UN DP assistance to rehabilitate the country's wildlife and national parks. As part of a $1.7 million project, carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), 49 two-way radios were distributed to Uganda's Park and game officials. For the first time, all national park officials can communicate with each other and to their headquarters in Kampala, the capital. With the help of mobile radios, rangers here in the Ishasha area - the southernmost section of Queen Elizabeth Park - have arrested 66 poachers since the project was launched two years ago. "In Africa': says Tanzanian Raphael Jingu, the FAO/UNDP project's chief technical adviser, anti-poaching forms the backbone of wildlife management' The poachers, who are usually armed and operate their own four-wheel drive vehicles, mainly seek hippopotamuses, buffaloes and Uganda Kobs, a form of deer unique to Uganda. These days, elephants are largely spared because of the stiff penalties if caught. IlPoachers flee when they see our rangers:' say:. Abu Baker Juma, the Ishasha sector game warden. "Being able to co-ordinate our with radios gives us a huge tactical advantage:' Statistics bear Mr. Juma out. In 1988, there were 209 poaching incidents in the park, dropping to 156 in 1989 a decline of 25 per cent. "In fact;' says Dr. Eric Edroma, Uganda National Parks director, "animals which used to run when they saw people now stand and gaze at them because they are not afraid:' Uganda's rangers and wardens constantly live on edge. Last October, in a shoot-out at Murchison Falls Park, 30 poachers were killed. "I am very of my rangers;' says Dr. Edroma. fiT hey are well trained and equipped:" Sometimes, hOlNeVer, his men are not so lucky. Recently, knife-wielding relatives of a poacher, who had been arrested earlier, attacked a ranger from Ishasha in a market place. The ranger lost a finger in the attack. work of the rangers and wardens in protec protecting ting wildlife is only one part of a larger government effort to revive tourism. Officials in this land-locked country are well aware that they must compete with neighbouring Kenya, which currently attracts the lion's share of visitors seeking African safaris. Because services at most Ugandan hotels and lodges in the parks are minimal at best, the government asked WTO, with UNDP fundi ng, to draft a master plan to renovate hotels, re-surface pot-holed roads and upgrade the skills of those in the hotel industry. ''l\s Uganda's economic and social conditions tourism can become the country's main foreign exchange earner,' says Mr. jingu. Even without such improvements, the number of visitors to Uganda rose from 8,622 in 1982 to almost 40,000 in 1986. The increase is due at least partially to the fact that poaching is down and the parks themselves are now better managed. Tourist arrival figures since 1986 are not available. Mr. Jingu credits the new order in the parks to UNDP-financed intensive

training courses that gave 300 rangers and 300 park wardens a chance to upgrade their technical and manag erial skills. In addition, four wardens were sent on fellowships to the College of African Wildlife and Management in Tanzania, Africa's first centre devoted to wildlife conservation. UNDP also recruited a United Nations Volunteer, Mohamed Bereteh, a wildlife management specialist from Sierra Leone. His assignment: to educate Ugandans living within Queen Elizabeth Park about the need to preserve big game. Mr. Mohamed relies on films to impress upon viewers, who include primary and secondary school students, the importance of conservation. But his task is complicated by traditional beliefs. "Some Ugandans believe that a woman's fertility increases if she eats hippo meat;' says Mr. Mohamed. ''l\nd a man is considered less of a man if he does not provide hippo meat for his wife:' But Mr. Mohamed's message is slowly getting through. Last year, two such sessions led by Mr. Mohamed were well attended. "The Ugandans used to view these workshops as a govern ment scam to nab poachers;' he says. What turned them around was seeing actual footage of their natural wildlife heritage and what poaching could do to them. UN DP's assistance ends in December. Officials want the project extended. The government is interested in conservation but we have limited resources;' says Dr. Edrorna, in explaining why his government has yet to contribute its share of $53,000 to the project. It has other priorities. If the extension is not forthcoming, it will be a real tragedY:' An important long term strategy, says Mr. Jingu, is to convince people living within the parks that they can profit from managing and protecting wildlife on thei r own initiative. The government wants to adopt an approach to community participation in wildlife management that has already been tested in Zimbabwe. Under this arrangement the governmen t entrusts a section of national park to the villagers who live there, provided they follow specific regulations: hunting is permitted only in designated areas, only a limited number of animals can be hunted at anyone time, and tourists who want to hunt must pay a fee to the vi lIagers, who are allowed to set the price. Th i s gives villagers a major incentive to turn in any poachers. It has worked in Zimbabwe;' says Mr. Jingu, "and I am sure it can work here l. If the necessary funds are forth--com ing, Uganda may soon have a conservation policy that employs both the carrot and the stick. 1

WORLD DEVELOPMENT (UNDP), March 1991

Massive MP Campaign by Rakesh Khar

'Temptations 50 irresistible that you will fall for them. Forts, that still echo past glories. Palaces; that stiil shimmer with grandeur. Love, still in passionate embrace in stone. FOIesis with wildlife in natural display. Get away to the centre of it all. Madhya Pradesh /viP) - the heart of India. The sightseer's paradi5e, with many a beautiful  

Thus speaks a colourfully designed booklet. The booklet forms a part of a massive campaign afoot to launch the state in a big way on the tourism map of the country. So here is a state with 40 backward districts offering fun lovers the natural wonders, scenic splendours and a lot more beautifully wrapped up in 26 economical and convenient packages. Tourism in Madhya Pradesh has come of age. The M.P. State Tourism Development Corporation ended 1989-90 on a bright note. Not only did it show a gross profit of Rs 38.83 lakhs, but it also showed a net profit of Rs 1.33 lakhs. ''The corporation expects to end 1990-91 showing gross profit of Rs 60 lakhs and a net profit of Rs 5 lakhs", says Mr G 5 Chahal, a senior official. Faced with the arduous task of promoting tourism in a state which symbolises utter backwardness, the corporation has succeeded in establishing Madhya Pradesh as a front-runner tourist destination through the extensive promotional campaigns conducted in and outside the state. The corporation claims to have also consolidated its pioneering activity of organising package tours. order to create better awareness of the rich folklore and folk traditions as a l ~ o it<; varied cultural heritage, a numberoffairs and festivals have been selected for development and promotion. These include the Panchmarhi festival, Bhojpur Orchha festival and Malwa festival. ECONOMIC TIMES, 16 April, 1991

 

5

When Tourism's Profits Go Abroad by Robert Lacvllle

I had been working in the deepest bush along the Gambian river valley where women's groups are developing really effective credit with the support of Gambian field workers who are paid by British and American charitable agencies. But after eight hours of bouncing around in a Land rover on dusty roads in the heat of the day, I was exhausted, and in need of a cold beer. Well, let me be truthful: three cold beers. Ice-cold. So I had a shower, cleaned off three layers of red dust, and went off to find three cold beers. As I walked along humming to myself, I was thinking of those women in Tankular with their fantastic garden and their vegetable marketing problem. I reached the hotel patio, and I stopped in amazement: I had stepped out of rural Africa into fleshy Denmark. Confronted by huge expanses of female Danish flesh, I experienced a sort of culture shock rather like a physical thump in the chest. My thoughts of village underdevelopment were smothered by the hideous reality of human over-development. The fat lady in the bikini was suffering from painful sunburn. Her bright breasts bulged painfully out of her skimpy bra. Her red back was peeling generously. I moved away, and sat in the dark with a beer. As I relieved my parched throat, I had time to watch three teenaged Gambian girls modelling tie-dye shirts and shorts. They were young and attractive. I began to feel better, to take an interest in the models. Then I caught sighLof a pair of Scandanavian buttocks, and shuddered. I offered a silent prayer: "If "I f that woman does decide to spend 12 dollars on a shirt and shorts in delicate tie-cloth, please let it be for her granddaughter, and not for herself:' At least if she buys some, that will add women's for the to the hotel'sthere for aof girlthe models, disk jockey. income Every piece helps. Compared social for is little incomeco-operative, disruption, enough benefit coming to the Gambia from its tourist industry. At breakfast I was fresher, feeling less jaundiced about my Scandanavian neighbours. This was made all the easier by the fact that the fat women were wearing more clothing than the previous evening. Breakfast was generous. There was salami and ham, cheese and butter and jam, all of it imported. These products were eaten off imported china plates with nice warm bread rolls, made with imported flour. There was tea and coffee (imported), together with American cornflakes to eat with reconstituted imported Dutch powdered milk (you cannot mistake the taste, however well they mix it to remove the gritty lumps) and English powdered sugar. My breakfast was somewhat spoiled by the dank smell of beer hangi ng over the dining room; and the unsightly crates of beer, Coke and Fanta (all imported ingredients in imported bottles). Even the tables and table cloths were imported (no tie-dye cloth here, I'm afraid). In fact, as I looked around the dining room, I could see no sign of local consumption except for the water: water for bread, water for beer, water to dilute sickly coloured syrups, water to wash up the mess

made by the imported tourists. Gambian women grow tomatoes for the local tourist market. They harvest their tomatoes, and carry them on their heads for ten kilometres to sell to the hotels, and then some soggy foreign procurement manager turns them away because he cannot be bothered. Rather than buy Gambian Fresh, he prefers to pay more for Spanish Tasteless. The African bitter tomato is a sort of aubergine which looks like a large ripening tomato. It is good in stews. But here I have found a new meaning for the expression "bitter tomato": top qual ity tomatoes which you cannot sell because the white man will not buy them. That is a case for trade protection, if ever one needed to be found. The government should tax imported fresh food, price-forcing the hotels to buy local chickens, local eggs, and local fruits and vegetables. For although the tourist industry has been developing these last few years, the profits mai nly accrue outside the country. Tour operators are paid in Europe. They pay their bills in Europe: airfares are paid to European airlines, and hotel fees are mostly paid in Europe to the Scandanavian, French, German and Gambian investors who have built the hotels. The employment benefit is of bed make makers rs are course Waiters cooks all Gambians (or considerable. Senegalese); ladies the dancers so are the tie-dyeand andand their teenaged models, and musicians, the carvers and leather workers, the tour guides and the taxi

drivers: even though their employment is seasonal, they feed theirfamilies and friends off the back of tourism, and this must help up to 15 or 20 percent of The Gambia's 800,000 population. . But what does the government get out of tourism? Government has a lot of costs related to tourism. Tourists use and wear out the roads and bridges, which Government must keep up. Tourists must be supplied with petrol products (for cars, for electricity generation) which consume large amounts of rare foreign exchange. Tourists occupy large numbers of customs and immigration officials, and police guard the tourist beaches day and night, to ensure that no nasty scandals happen, which would make juicy reading in the European press and damage the tourist business. Tourism generates about 10% of Gambia's foreign exchange earnings, according to the Ministry ofTourism; but that i.s not very much. Apart from a Government's 6% bed tax, sales tax on gasoline (which doesn't offset its foreign exchange cost to the Governmentl, and the £7 airport tax for each of the 60,000 or so tourists, the only benefit the country derives is from employment. Oh yes, there is one other source of income: Gambia Airways. This company has the monopoly of handling rights at the airport, and it is one of the few air companies in the world to make a profit (largely because it runs no aircraft: they are not very profitable these days). Gambia Airways is therefore a moneymaker for the Gambia. But British Airways has decided that Gambia Airways is costing too much. They do not like to P?Y Gambian taxes on aircraft fuel; and they do not like paying charges for the airport, for passenger and luggage and ticket handling, etc. 55 per cent of Gambia's tourists come from Britain. British Airways is not a small operation. It runs charters and carries a fai r proportion of the British tourists, as well as most of the Gambia's air freight.

Apart from the small tourism revenues, all the foreign exchange used to buy aircraft fuel has to be bought with groundnuts. Even the customs forms and the toilet paper in the airport transit lounge have to be paid for with foreign exchange. Gambian peasant farmers grow ground nuts, which are collected by the co-operatives, and turned into oil or cattle cake which are largely exported ....to ....to Britai n. The Gambia is a poor country, and it needs British Airways to pay the real cost. Yet rather than pay taxes or dues to the Gambian government, British Airways is threatening to pullout. Is it now British Government policy that British Airways should have its airports subsidised by Gambian peasant farmers? What gall! The British deadline for Gambian surrender is 27th May. I for one hope that the Gambian Minister of Tourism will call their bluff: Sabena will be happy to take over the leading role in Gambian air transport, and I dare say the Belgian business community will not be far behind. Perhaps the new British High Commissioner to the Gambia will be taking his home leave on Sabena this year. That would indeed be a bitter pill for British diplomacy. Very galling. GUARDIAN, 26 May 1991

.  our ism ragedy Too much too quickl y is the usual reason reason for the conf conflic lic t touris m development and the environment. After 1988, 1988, a year for tourism, Turkey planned to increase revenue from .it$ tourists. But problems followed. Tourists found that dust and noise from half· built hotels disturbed their peace peaceful ful holiday. Quickly built accommodation prov proved ed to be dangerous when in 1989 a 12·year·old Engli sh girl was killed in a 26 foot fall after her hotel balcony in Bo drum collapsed. In 1990, the amou nt of Escherichia coli, a bacterium of faecal origin, reached levels that made it dangerous to go swimming along the coast. After crit icis ms from conservationists, the G Government overnment is now aiming to diversify to take the pressure off coasta coastall devel development, opment, with plans for inland skiing and nature holidays. Source:

Cons ume r Currents

No. 135 April 1991

 

6

A

eritage

~ o u r i s m

ter a preliminary fumble, the oversized bulb .. which illuminate the police parade grounds in Jhalawar are dimmed, throwing into sharp relief the makeshift stage which is humming with activity. All evening, the grounds have been filling up with the local people who have greeted this three-day festival of music with as much enthusiasm as they do a mela except that, this time, they will be treated to pure classical music in addition to their own traditional song and dance.

Many of the people milling about the grounds, were not present at the occasion: Pandit Ravi Shankar began the festivities with an impassioned recital. The choice of venue was also apt-the Bhawani Natyashala house) had been built, in 1921, in the style of an opera house and is believed to be one among only five of its kind in the country.

Over the years, the Natyashala fell on bad days. It came to be used, without any regard for its antiquity or uniqueness of design, in turn as a cinema hall and a badminton court. It took a former district collector's effort to have the cinema closed and the court shifted, and it now devolves upon the convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (lNTACH), Thakur Ranvir Singh, to set about getting the theatre restored to its original state. For Rav Shankar's recital, it has been given a quick face-lift, and its facade has been freshly painted. The action has meanwhile shifted to the police grounds to accommodate more people (the theatre cannot seat too manv) and admit

them to the secluded preserves of classical music and dance. The is followed by recitals by Aminuddin Dagar and Naina Devi, and a performance by

A

e n a n ~

Hill Condo-versy

hmad Chik lives with his family atop Penang Hill, in the heart of Malay sia's Penang Island. "I like the quiet and serenity;' says the engineer, who moved there from Kuala Lumpur three years ago. He enjoys long walks and magnificent views of George Town, the harbour and the mainland. Ahmad is one of about 1,000 residents, rich and poor, of Penang Hill. Visitors ride up in a 68-year-old funicular railway to savour the hill's simple charms. Untouched

by the booming island's urban growth, it is a symbol of Penang's beauty.

its development to light, it triggered whenamong a commercial anSo The $167-million scheme uproar residentsplan of thefornorthwestern state.came by developer Bukit Pi nang Leisure envisioned a 200-room hotel, condominiums, shopping-entertainment-recreation complex, an adventure theme j was given last September minister Lim Chong Eu, who set aside 364 hectares Leisure is a subsidiary of Berjaya Corp., a MalaYSian company with interests in manufacturing, lotteries, insurance and property. Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, Berjaya's media-shy chief, is said to have good political connections. So do Bukit Pinilng Leisure's other owners. Yayasan Bumiputera Pulau Pinang, with a 20% stake, is headed by members of the national ruling coalition's New United Malays National Organisation. Tan Kok Ping, who owns 29%, is reportedly close to ex-chief minister Lim. He is a vice-chairman of Gerakan, the party that leads the state's ruling coalition. Lim':; approval has prompted a "Save Penang Hill campaign. 1 1 regard the hili as almost sacred;' says Ahmad, a member of the Friends of Penang Hill. Adds he: liThe proposed development is a breach of the Town & Country PlannAct:' Under the 1976 federal law, a plan for development of Penang was completed in 1989. The Penang Island Structure Plan declared the hill an area

What has begun as an 'experiment' in Jhalawar is cautiously being explored in other parts of the state as "heritage t o u r i s m ~ The concept of 'palace hotels'

of special character: "Its natural vegetation, topography and character as a hill resort must be maintained and mnsf'rvPci consultations before project has bypassed th'is'crucial step;' he ·argues. "Members of the public, resi dents, schoolchildren who make trips up the i l l none of us were consulted:' Neither, reportedly, was Lim's cabinet. liThe chief minister was pushing a project that was not popular and not very wise in the long term;' admits Choong Sim Poey, another Gerakan vice-chairman. "The decision was made without sufficient consultation:' Ecologist Leong Yueh Kwong of the Malayan Nature Society says development should be based on the Penang Island Structure Plan and be drawn up by the municipal municip al council. If the developer fits in with that local plan, they could go ahead;' he remarks. "But a commercial developer shouldn't be the one to draw the master plan. Their slant will always be towards commercial Friends worrv that the hill's cool temperature will rise with deforestation, happened at other Malaysian hill resorts. Five maior watercatchment areas will also be affected the group. Kam U-Tee, retired general manager the Penang Water Authority, said in a etter to Berjaya that the catchments yield about 22 millions gallons of water a day. It would cost at least $2AOO dai Iy to pump that volume from the mainland. in addition to a $37-million outlay for headworks to raise the water level at source, he said. Bukit Pinang Leisure has encounted another obstacle. In September the federal Environment Department rejected the developer's environmental impact assessment. Director-General of Environment Abu Bakar Jaafar said the project would affect water supply and cause river siltation and soi I erosion. The developer was advised to go back to the drawing board. Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon, who took over from Lim in October, and the state cabinet met the Friends in January. He found the group's views "generally constructive': The government, he said, has "urged the developer to take these views into serious consideration': "The Penang state government is committed to the preservation of Penang Hill;' Koh said. "However, the facilities now insufficient for the general public and the tourists:' conceptual plan that will involve amuch smaller area:' Even if state authorities decide to approve it, he added, "we may add new and even more stringent conditions to hold a public hearing on its proposal. "The developers;' concludes Koh, I sti II have to cross

is only one facet of this; INTACH has been pushing the idea of preserving medieval towns, stemming the decay of years and curbing the rise of new-fangled

quite a number of hurdles:'Provided a compromise can be reached, peace should once again prevail on Penang Hill.

Raghuraj Singh Hada, hunched over the microphone placed unconventional Iv on the floor of the stage, prepares to introduce the items on the agenda. a flourish, he presents a succession of performers drawn from the neighbouring towns of Kota and Boondi which, with Jhalawar, make up the distinctive Hadoti region in this corner of south-east Rajasthan.

The night air is redolent with the sound of dhol and man/eera as phad singers come on with their ditties, followed by colourful tribal dancers and performers who manage incredible feats of balance and dexterity involving fire and swords. A folk singer from Boondi puts his signature to the show when he gets everyone in the audience, even those who don't understand the language, to join him in a well-remembered tune, clapping along and singing, infected by his stage presence.

A ready interpreter sits in the front row, next to Vasundhara this area and co-organiser of the event, who is following proceedings with evident enjoyment. "The response is unprecedented;' she says "I did not expect so many people.:' "I am trying to promote a new concept in tourism-not the Jaipur-Udaipur kind where you are packaged for two or three days;' she says, going on to elaborate, "Here, people can laze and loll about the district at their own pace. This is an experiment to see how the concept would work to bring tourism out of its five-star cloister:' For outsiders, too, the folk evening was a delight. Away from the false confines of theapna utsavs this was folk art in its own space and place, and it felt right. Despite the rough edges and the lack of soohistication, the

not the

as authentic.

an annual affair-an area to more people.

Contd. on page 18

ASIAWEEK . April 12 1991

 

7

Happy Tourist, Unhappy Traveller Traveller

P

by Robert Shepherd

umpernickel Bakery in Thamel, down town Kathmandu, is a favourite spot for foreigners. Even during off-season the bakery's garden tables fill quickly each morning. The service is good; the bread, fresh; the croissants, delicious and the coffee, passable. The staff members are unobtrusive and polite and with thei r brown faces a rarity in the restaurant, where the rest of the people are foreign travellers. They are travellers and not tourists. A young English woman, on her way home from a year abroad in Australia, tried to explain the difference to me. She said that 'travellers' live 'like the people'; they travel the way 'the people travel'; and they are 'in touch' with, and have 'a feel' f o ~ 'the people: The tourists, on the other hand, travel in air-conditioned buses, live in five-star hotels and eat at overpriced restaurants. And they never drink the water. There are no tourists at Pumpernickel: only travellers. Touring extensively around the world, the long-term world travellers (WT), the majority of whom are North American, Western European, Japanese and Australian, share a common ideology. They view the Third World as their iaboratory and look upon themselves as romantic, even intrepid, adventurers. They sneer at tourists and laugh at those who have remained back home in Peoria. They share a common language, English, and even a common dress code in Nepal: cheap cotton drawstring pants, rubber sandals, and printed t shirts. The t-shirts are the public resumes: in one giance one can discern who has come up from Kenya, Bali, Bangkok or Goa. World travellers adorn themselves with the hand icraft icraftss of this week's locale. In Kathmandu, turquoise and silver rings, bracelets, earrings, sheep-skin shoulder bags, wool caps and vests. It is said the jewelry is actually mass  produced in Lhasa. The caps are Afghani, and the vests are multi-coloured combinations with tassels hanging from the edges. Who wears this stuff? Not the Nepalis. In Kathmandu, they are the ones trying to dress like us In their attempts to 'become native' the world travellers often corrupt indigenous systems. At the bakery, several Germans, a Swede and an American couple are engaged in a heated discussion about exchange rates, whicli is a favourite topic among WTs, in addition to the black market. They can quote the going rates for the dollar in Delhi, Kathmandu, Borneo or Burma. Thev also know where to sell whiskey and cigarettes, blue jeans and cameras. An Australian advised me: "See, you buy your Indian rupees in Kathmandu, get an air ticket to the border, buy your Johnny Walkers and Marlboros at duty free and sell them for twice over what you paid, once you land:' He continued, "if you are going on to Burma, hold on to your stuff, The country is quite screwed up and the people will buy anything you've got, even the shirt off your b a c k ' ~ I wondered where he was headed. 0h, I'm off to an ashram near Bangalore

for a month of meditation:' Ashrams, shrines and mosques are the traditional destinations tor Wls. Those who iook for spirituai wisdom are aii young, white, educated, affluent, radical, chic. They search for "meaning': they overflow with good intention. One day, in Kathmandu's main bazaar area, I noticed a backpacker haggling with an Indian selling oranges from a basket strapped to his bicycle. "How much?" the backpacker asked. "One orange, three rupees'; said the Indian. "One rupee': the westerner insisted, I t h e r e / ~ He dropped the rupee into the basket and walked away pleased at his bargaining skills. A fter all, he had successfully acted just iike the 'people', He has just had an " e x p e r i e n c e ; ~ Some Nepali bystanders cluck with sympathy for the indian, Who swears in Hindi. Beneath the WT's talk about cross-cultural sensitivity ana "experience" is a sense of cultural imperialism that would have done ihe Victorians Notwithstanding their beatific expression, world traveiiers are C U l - U l i v a l practitioners of the mundane living. In Nepal, as elsewhere they compete at a game with the odds stacked heavily in theirfavour. They use lheir economic to secure shamelessly that which the society can olfer and than which i cannot and shOUld not also ofter. The-world traveller expects to find aunique a unique culture in the 'exotic' East, onlY to wait in iine behind the same people whom they seemingly wanted to avoid.  

This is probably why many WTs openly shun their fellow travellers as saunter through the .streets of Thamel. They throw hostile glances at other foreigners whose only fault is to walk the same street. Tony Wheeler's Lonely Planet guide books are one of the main reasons why the WTs end up in the same places. The difference between this guidebook and others is that it targets a different audience and never describes them.as tourists. Tony Wheeler calls them travellers who "want to see the country at ground level, to breathe it, experience it and live it': He writes that tourists stay in Hiltons, travellers do not. Instead, travellers should gO tramDing through the back alleys of the Third World and absorb exoticism has built a multi-national multi-national publishing business of this planet. What happens, of course, is that no world traveller is alone when he "does" Bali or Rangoon or Kathmandu. After all, they carry the same book. They check in at the same hotels. They eat in the same restaurants. They discover the same hideaways off the well-trodden paths. The traveller longs to discover the particular place to which no tourist or traveller has been. Yet, he keeps running into many others like himself. Western isation had consu med Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. But it has yet to hurdle the Himalayas. In Nepal samosas and mo mos are in fashion: not Big Macs. Yes, Michael Jackson is popular among young people, but Kumar Basnet and N a r a ~ ' a n Gopal still outsell him in the tape shoos. The of the country's first escalator is frontpage news. Into this other-world enters the world travellers. They speak tngllsn, are obsessed with money, and dress in odd peasant costumes. Off they go to the mountains in search of experience. The handful of Nepalis they come into contact with are guides and lodgeowners - whose burden it is to "represent" theThe society East isand notculture. the West. Religious linguistic and philosophical differences separate the two. Yet world travellers al'proach the East, including countries like Nepal, as if they were on a jaunt into the Parisian countryside. They do not realise that Hnding a bathroom, exchanging money, buying hasish and dinner does not constitute "inter-cultural communication' Frozen out of the cultures they travel _ among their own kind. That is why they crowd the tourist ghettos. Subdividing into factions, they share their cultural illusions and seek to alleviate their secret boredom. They trade tales and anecdotes over omelets and pizzas and they huddle together to watch American videos. Make-believe hippie and aspiring Buddhist, both wili be watching a scratched copy of Rambo. Truly, the "traveller" is no different from the "tourists". He carries the same shackles: an ignorance of the language, the culture, and the people and their idiosyncrasies. However, the tourists, by recognising and accepting the differences between themselves and others admit that they are outsiders or the premise that travel is a privilege and not the possibi lity of such an acknowledgment. cheaply and dreSSing like a native can transform them into cultural insiders. V S. Naipaul writes of them as those "who wish themselves on societies more fragile than their own ...who in the end do no more than celebrate thei r own security" ~ i

T

M A l ,

Sept/Oct

199

Serve them R ghi

ravellers from the time of Marco Polo and before have always been laden if not such exotic cargoes as peacocks, ivory and exotic tales of all the wondrous sights they have seen abroad. Westerners sojourning in India have been known to remark that Indian railway stations seem to be peopied with non-travelling circuses of beggars and performers assembled precisely with the idea of causing wonderment among the travelling public. Travellers on the German railways may soon see something that convinces them that the entire German people are a travelling circus. Fori as the uninitiated stranger sits in the dining-car of a German train and sees the woifing of meat alia potatoes foiiowed by the reassuring gulping down of coffee, the odds are he won't be prepared for what comes next. If he is: uckv enough to see what

,

c:,;,r.tli. on pale 18

 

8

Please

don t come to Goa

Colombo Closes Casinos

by Mario Cabral e Sa

By Ashwani Talwar

ve you ever been to Goa? And loved every bit of it? Did you consider it an enjoyable and unforgettable experience? Pat yourself on the back. You are in very good company. Evelyn Waugh "liked Goa very much:' Allen Villers was "thrilled". So were David Niven, Roger Moore and Gregory Peck. Trevor Howard "would love to Iive for ever;' eating lobsters and drinking his favourite beverage, on a Goan beach. back to innocent questions questions.. to visit Goa again? Pay any Have Butto this advice, given free and with heed theyou intentions: please don't come best of mans to Goa Or, you might find yourself agreeing, in seif-commiseration, with the private view of a travel writer of the Diners Club network. Between her first visit when she was young and a dreamer, and her latest visit as a world-wise and established hack, Goa had "Iost her innocence': And Goans no longer acted witho ut aforethought malice. malice. One had been warned about the deleterious effects of mass tourism, particularly on small places like Goa. And the first veiled warnings came through the travel literature left behind by an unlikely band of good samaritans - a UNDP team of experts who had come down in the '70s to advise the Goan administration on tourism strategies. One of the documents was a Dutch study containing the warning that whi Ie tourism may appear to be an innocent activity it could cause more permanent damage than even industrial pollution: cultural pollution which is irreversible. _ Tourism is seasonal and the lust for a quick buck has almost become a collective fixation. Cabbies cheat remorselessly. Touts and guides craftily exploit visitors. Hotels are only too pleased to overcharge. About 20 average-sized or 12 large tiger prawns to a kilo are available in the market for less than Rs 200;

olombo is off the Casino circuit of the world. Sri lanka has announced a total ban on all casinos in the country. Although not quite Las Vegas, Colombo was gaining a reputation as one of the exotic places to gamble your money away. Casinos - there are nearly ten main ones in the city - were listed as tourist attractions. Smaller casinos had been around for about a decade but there was a sort of boom in more recent years with the city's five

H

two or three of these prawns drowned in a sea of sauce or smothered in a mound of mashed potatoes are sold at two to three star hotels for as much as Rs 150

per portion excluding taxes and additionals; at five-star hotels, of course, they are priced at s 280 and more. The same portion is available for Rs 60 at Martin's Beach Corner. Even so, the locals can't afford it. It is also not uncommon for strict vegetarians to find th ei r kofta kofta curry showing evidenc evidence e of extraneous substances like fish bones, for instance. Recently, a group of five lechers from Tamil Nadu were robbed of Rs. 5,000 each, by one of the more notorious Goan gangs - all of them school and college drop outs - which speciali specializes zes in in tourism tourism-re -relat lated ed crimes. The clients wanted "college girls". Such "clients" are becoming sickeningly common in Goa. And dark u nlit alley near the they almost uniformly end up stranded at night, in a dark town's best known girls' hostel. Serves them right, yes. But considerfor a minute that the cheats are the sons and, on occasion, daughters of perfectly respectable families with a hard-earned tradition in civility, decency. honesty and hospitality. Once, revellers on their way to New Yeardinner-dances and balls were politely stopped at cross-roads by groups of serenaders. They would sing a song or two, wish them a happy New Year and then proffer, with a ouch of elegance, their collection boxes. The coHections were scrupulously used for community roadside oratory, a tea party for orphans and purposes: repairing a crumblin g roadside .destitutes, or a parish youth,hop. Now, roads are barricaded, threats issued, abuses hurled and money extorted. And the money is used to buy booze, or worse, drugs. Why have so many Goans become so unscrupulous, so suddenly? The reasons are many. Unemployment is the most common denominator, nnui the most frequent motivation. And to top it all, there s that nagging feeling that the land and its inhabitants are being exploited by people and organisations which have nothing to do with Goa and are doing next to nothing for Goa. The grievance is that they are the only ones to benefit from mass tourism. Most five-star hotels claim that the number of locals employed in their organisation ranges between 70 to 80 per cent of their work force. What they discreetly hide is that the other 20 per cent earn far more, and that, as a result, the 80 per cent are a sullen, unhappy lot. "Why you ,worry, man. It's peanuts for toem (tourists), man;' a tour operator told this writer when he tried to investigate a complaint o f a group of foreign tourists. Call it loss of innocence, if you will. But a more apt conclusion might be that familiarity has bred contempt. And as Mother Rabbit once said: many a crude attempt. THE INDEPENDENT, 3 April 1991

C

star hotels also opening them. Baccarat, Black Jack and Roulette had helped set off the losses suffered by the big hotels due to the disturbed conditions on the island which kept the tourists away through most of the Eighties. But casinos remained a matter of controversy. The government was under pressure from several quarters for encouraging gambling and the Buddhisrclergy was particu larly harsh in its criticism. Critics, however have not picked on casi nos alone. During the last few months slot machine machines s have come up in shops and school children and office workers who restaurants. Their clientele includes school drop a few coins in just before catching the bus home in the evening. Then there are state ru n lotteries promoted in special program mes over the television. The cabinet spokesman, Mr Ranil Wickraamasinghe, told reporters that the necessary legislation will be introduced in the Parliament shortly to bring the ban on all gambling gambl ing establishments establishments into effect. Two government-owned hOWls have been already ordered to close down their casinos. The Colombo police had also begun a crackdown on jackpot slot machines at public places, but these were unauthorised in any case and there was no need of new legislation. Some things will, however, continue as before. Betting on horses is still okay and government has no plans to do away with its lotteries which bring in a good amount of money to the state treasury every year. Mr Wickramasinghe said that closing closing down o f casinos will not directly lead to any major 105s of revenue to the government The state charged s five million as annual levy from major casinos, but littl e foreign exchange was involved. The government decision had taken in account the side effects of the casino business, the minister said. He listed infiltration of the mafia, prostitution and drug trafficking. THE TIMES OF INDIA 10 June 1991

JG

Condemns ICas ICasinos inos

The Jagrut Goenkaranch i Fouz UG F has «;mdemned the attempted moves of the Ramada to start a casino at their hotel at Va rca, with the supposed clearance of the government of Goa. JGF is not surprised at the bold announcement of Mr. Sunder Advani that the clearance for the casino will be given 'soon' by the government. The Ramada Hotel owners speak with such confidence, only because of the political and economic clout they wield with the powers that be. JGF will oppose any attempt by the government to foist casinos on the people of Goa with the argument that the part of the revenue from these gambling houses could be used for social welfare projects in the State. JGF also warned that it will not be too long before 'Sex Tourism' will be justified as a revenue earner, as in the case ofThailand. The Ramada Hotel in Goa today stands as a monument of gross envi ron mental violations. boycott of JGF has renewed its call for a national and international boycott the hotel by tourists and investors, and calls upon people not to invest or patronise the Ramada Hotel. JGF also warned the people not to fall prey to the latest 'gimmick' of the Ramada Group to present a green and environment conscious image: The Ramada Hotel management collaborated with American Express and Nature Conservancy, Washington to ensure this image, with the scheme that every visitor staying at the Ramada Hotel and paying for their stay with an American Express card, would be contributing one US dollar to environmental conservation. HERALD, Panjim 19 May 1991

 

9

Horrors Under the

Mushroom Menace

arpet

by lynne Reid Banks

W

ell, our Indian carpets finally arrived-tw.0 of them, in a big parcel made of sacking. It turned out the merchant in Agra who sold them to us was not quite telling us the truth. He said that, due to a benign dispensation of the British government, who wished to help India's export trade, there would be nothing more to pay for the carpets, which would be delivered to our door. He didn't bother to mention demurrage and handling charges, which came to nearly d third of the price. We could have got them almost as cheaply in a sale of Indian carpets here in Britain-I saw some in Piccadilly last month. And, of (nurse, if we'd bought them here it would have been easier not to think about how they were made. When you buy them from the factory, there's no question of that. The Indian merchant is at no pains to hide the children from you; in fact he very cheerfully takes you to see them, seven years old and upward, huge-eyed, thin as reeds, hands flashing at the looms, You are shown them, you watch them work, you photograph ri'lem. Then you go and choose your carpet. So you can't claim you didn't know. There's absolutely no excuse. Why then did we buy a carpet made with child labour? This is the question I have been addressing ever since I got back to England, where I promptly fel foul of a friend who works for An ti-Slavery ti-Slavery International. He didn't reproach me at all, he simply handed me some pamphlets. One was actually called C;rpel Boys of India. Another was Child-slaves. I read them and felt as if I were waking from a bad dream-the bad dream of a visit to India. This has been designated (by the India Tourist Board) "Visit India Year': advice to anyone who is looking for a happy, carefree holidav from which will return unchanged is, don't. Don't go there. Don't listen to all the friends who will tell you how wonderful it is. It isn't wonderful. It's a nightmare. The only way to enjoy it is the way resolutely closing your eyes to everything except its ambivalent attractions. The worker-children are happy, look they are smiling. They are full of mischief. Oh yes, see that little imp? He iikes to pick my pockets, ma-dam And that's his daddy there, working with him, they work as a family. School? Of course, that's the law, they spend half-days in school, and of course, sir, if we didn't this skill thev would have nothing, no future. As it is they earn well, for a carpet that takes them three months to make. £ no That seems too little? But for them it is a good living. And by buying, you heip India. You help us gain self-sufficiency and prosperity. Dangerous? Well, yes, the tuft-cutters be careful, Occasionally, they cut their hands, But it is than starving in the streets. Now corne outside, madam, sir, and s e ~ how the carpets are washed with a special, secret chemical. The colours will never fade. are Cl treasure you will keep forever, to remind you of India. Only when corne home, when you awake from your Third World trance in which your values became distorted, and think about it, do you realise how true that IS. When I read the oamohlets and I ~ a , r n e d how,v,fl" wf>\e deceived bY,ti:Jt these children rea:ry ;;o\'<' [hey die aebl and wretchetl dfe t ~ l e i r conditions and bonded i:md exploited, would prospects, ! wondered despaiiingly be able to spread them on my floor and heardly had never bought them. I hoped they might be 10SI ;n iransit. But they've come. We paid the VAT and unpacked them and iaid them Oil our living-room floor. They are so beautiful. Like the women in Rajasthan, :n the fields in their gorgeous, colourful clothes. Like the cun! of nuts and seeds and fruits on baskets and barrows. ~ : k e :11 :: erribroidcrv silverware, the silks, the jewellery, the rav;ch;nn you outside the tourist sites. Like the Taj. hidden price-tag. (he re3i bill is t h ~ l Thf' VAT was nothing. The real bill has not been compare myself to a man who goes to Bangkok and has sex vvith a child prostitute and says, "If didn't pay her she would starve. If! i d ~ i t use he r someone else would. That's the way things work here:' Does that man, who is not much worse, now, than I am, wake up when he comes horne.o his norma life and

F

rst we had hashi sh and marijuana Then came brCM'n sugar and designer drugs. Now, preventive authorities have woken up to a menace more the "magic" mushroom. The new narcotic is ominous consumers at a dangerous pace among the youth of south India. Found during the monsoons in the pine forests of Kodaikanal, this relatively unknown mushroom is fast becoming a much sought after commodity among

addictstwo therain active with connivance of the sprout underworld. good showers, mushrooms all over in the rich dark feet of tall pine trees in Kodaikanal. Soon the underworld is busy organising its gathering, distribution and sale. Tourist:. from allover - both domestic and foreign arrive to experience a "trip" from these mushrooms. ]0 get adequately high, addicts consume about 12 mushrooms. It is consumed by beating it with eggs to make an omelette. It is mixed with shakes. Twelve mushrooms would induce a hallucinatory stupor lasting for four to seven hours depending on the physical strength of the consumer. A few years ago none at Kodaikanal had ever heard of these mushrooms. It is believed that a Swedish tourist who spotted them made enquiries with peddlers. They were ignorant of its potential until then. Another theory about its discovery is that someone had unwittingly picked up a few narcotic mushrooms and discovered its "high" after preparing a dish. Now-a-days some restaurants at Kodaikanal serve food mixed with mushrooms on the sly to discerning customers. At first, the sale of these mushrooms depended wholly on climatic conditions. As the procurement of the mush rooms began and ended with the monsoons, the sale was seasonal. But with more and more locals and 'tourists taking to them, efforts were made to preserve them in order to extend the scope of sales. Soon, sun-dried mushrooms made their appearance in the drug market. But this method of preservation was abandoned as dried mushrooms retained only half their narcotic effect, and hence sold at half the price. After much trial and e r r o ~ honey was found to be a better medium of preservation. it did not reduce the narcotic effect at all. This helped increase its sale and distribution to far off regions like Goa and Kovalam. these mushrooms are peddled on a large scale, there has been no reports ot police having booked anyone for possessing them. These mushrooms are collected by plantation workers and then transferred to professional drug peddlers who are protected by the underworld. There are virtually no obstacles in carti ng away the mushrooms from the pine forests. Most preventive officers are not trained to distinguish the magic mushrooms the hctrmless edible Soon, the monsoon season will arrive, bringing droves tourists l<odaikanai in search of haliuClnatory trips with "magic" mushrooms. avaiiable in a natUial state, ther is a possibility into nnJgs through them.

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1

Tourism in Goa : Questions Persist

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Paul S Gonsalves

erthe last 5 months, a numberof articles on tourism in Goa by the travel-writer couple. Hugh and Colleen Gantzer, have been published in various newspapers. Goa has witnessed resistance to tourism articles es argue that the resistance development for nearly 5 years, and the Gantzer articl is ill-founded, even politically motivated. So far, I have come across 6 such articles: 3 n a Goan daily Navhind Times), one in the Economic Times (21/4/91) and 2 in the Indian Express (23/3 and 23/6). The average newspaper reader in India has heard little of the resistance in Goa. Indeed, the romantic view of Goa holds good for most Indians and so, if on reading the Gantzer pieces, one is told that a bunch of local 'agitators' have been up to no good, why, that must be so. Can we visit Goa during the next vacation? It is not so much what the Gantzers state that is of concern, rather than what they do not. I will simp simply ly place a few facts on record and let the readers decide whether there is substance in the claims of the resistance. Firstly, the people of Goa are not alone in opposing tourism. The debate on Third World Tourism is more than 30 years old internationally. A recent bibliography by Leo Theuns (1991) lists 2166 entries until 7984. And the debate has become sharper in the years thence. So has the resistance. The Gantzers themselves gave an indication of this (increasing resistance) and the reasons thereof in article in early 1989: 'The tourism industry'S growing concern with uncontrolled tourism development in fragile socio-ecosystems brought forth platitudinous assurances from tourism planners. But when they did nothing, irate citizens reacted against such destructive d e v e l o p m e n t ~ .. there is no sign has been (of Tourism) the messagetourism actedIndian from the such that unplanned upon, Ministry movements against In 1989, areheard, likelyand to grow. Express, 10/1/89) While stating the positive co -relation -relation between tourism and environment, the Gantzers cite the examples of Sweden and Singapore. India has neither the economic resources nor the political-legal mechanisms that both these countries have used to achieve a balance. In fact, while we might admire the peace and prosperity of ou r Th i rd World neighbour, Singapore, there are many who wou Id decry the draconian laws which have made it so. Perhaps tourism can be positively integrated with environmental concerns, even in Goa. The point that the anti-tourism activist activistss are at pains to make is that, i tourism continues to grow (especialiy in the form of hotels and other coastal constructions) at its present rate in Goa, very soon there will be no environment left for it to integrate with. Again, to quote an observation of the Gantzers in 1990: '...apprehensions thatthe Himachal board or. tourism woulrl find ways to help hotelier hotelierss rather than tourists has cometrue ... it has not shown the remotest concern at the deteriorating environment (in Shimla and Manali) ... Jhere are other instances. of the use of tourism to destroy the

envi ronment wh ich attracts tourists in the fi rst place. UP i'. particularly particularly h o r t ~ sighted and vicious ... And so our beaches and mountains and other natural resources are in danger of being destroyed by crimina act and culpable negligence with the open connivance of administrators and politicians .. : Indian Express, 9/6/90). The June 26th article suggests that the blame for Goa's problems should be laid at the doorstep of 'a weak (local) government and short-sighted agitators; not tourism. A basic issue stated by the 'agitator 'agitators' s' is that it is Central tourism policy which has led to this state of affairs today. '\ policy geared to liberalisation without checks and controls. A policy geared to maximise foreign investment without let or hindrance. A policy which is in no sense a tourism policy, but more precisely, a hotel policy. As the Gantzers have had occasion to say: 'l\s we anticipated when (the National Committee on Tourism) was set up with a heavy bias towards hotels and hoteliers, it has tended to confuse the interest of the hotels with those of tourism in general ... the Committee recommends the setting up of a Tourism Finance Corporation when wpat they rf'ally hilvf' in mind is a Hotel Finance Corporation. The obvious obsession with this one segment of the tourism industry will make it suspect in the eyes of others... But that isn't all. The Committee has made some positively dangerous proposals ... giving tax

INDIA concessions and investment subsidies to all areas of high tourism interest will destroy every hill resort. Developers will rush in, and violate every rule, ravage the ecology and leave despoiled mountains in their wake. And indeed, such 'developers' are wreaking havoc even today: Indian Express; 31/8/1988). Needless to add, to date there have been no published studies of the carrying cClpacity of Indian tourism destinations, leave alone environmental impact assessments. If national tourism policy is implemented without defining external boundaries (that such studies can help establish), it is inevitable that environmental destruction will follow as predicted by the Gantzers in 1988. Although the recent articles castigate the 'agitators' for not havi ng stati stical evidence for their claims, there are at least two reports which lay a strong evidential basis (apart from the many documents published by those in the resistance). Harm Zebregs, in his draft report of tourism and Goan economy (based on 3 months of field research in Goa) concludes that the earnings and employment projections of the industry are questionable. Menezes and Lobo, in a report of over 100 pages, detail the corruption, irregularities and malpractises in Goan tourism (Miriithu, London, 1991). And since the Ministry of Environment (under Mrs Maneka Gandhi) and the Bombay High Court have on occasion upheld the view that certain hotels have violated the law, surely the Gantzers ought to castigate the arms of government as well. Moreover, it is hardly essential in all matters of life to seek an evidential basis. We are human beings, and we can see and hear and feel and experience. We do not need to read the Wholesale Price Index on a daily basis to realise that inflation is upon us. The Gantzers ridicule Bailancho Sa ad (a women's group) and others fortheir 'fear' that tourism will lead to 'sexual exploitation of their women: 'Why do such agitationists have such a ow opinion of their o m e n ? ~ they query. They quote a charm ing Thai lady' who cannot understand why Indians do not accept 'extra-marital' affairs as a woman's right, and suggest that what is okay in Thai land ought to be okay in India. However, the issue is dearly not extra-maritai sex, whether or not it is okay. It is one of prostitution and its accompanying threat, AIDS, Perhaps we should also hear from another Thai per >on, Mechai Viravaidya, a well-known AIDS activist and now Minister of Tourism: 'When the figures are projected to the entire Thai population, a conservative estimate is 125,000 HIV-positive individuals, more than the total number of hospital beds in Thailand. Estimates go as high as 400,000, partly because no one can agree on the number of

prostitutes in Thailand. Surveys of commercial sex workers show that 40 to 72 percent of them were HIV-positive. 'Government and business hesitate to confront the linkage between AIDS and Thailand's prostitution problem because it threatens tourist spending: Hopefully, with people like Dr Viravaidya at the helm of affairs, Thailand \"ill avert a major tragedy one which threatens not just the tourism industry, but Thai society itself itself.. W hatever choices Thailand makes for itself, it is hardly an example India should emulate. And these fears are not entirely unfounded: early this year, Goan police uncovered a child prostitution racket in Margoa, run by a Dr Freddy Peat, with alleged international connections. The similarity between this and the tv1ark Morgan affair in Thailand (which carne to light in 1989) are striking, not least for their linkages with tourism. Prostitution is not the same as a casual extra-marital affair. It is born out of economic need, and fuelled by a market demand. Nobody claims that tourism is the only calise of prostitution: but it certainly provides an environment for the demand to be expressed (by male and female travellers) and met without SOCIal restriction. The social and economic status of Indian women, by and large, is such that tourism-led prostitution is a distinct possibility. If it exists in eontd. on page 19

 

11

ews

in that direction. Noting that the stage is set for the globalisation of economy, Mr iNar cautioned against working in isolation. "If we work in isolation in any field we will be left behind" DECCAN HERALD, 23 June 1991

Views

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New

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T

he tourism industry is in a major panic as foreign tourist arrivals have taken an unprecedented plunge during the much trumpeted Visit India Year. During the last six months, it is estimated that the foreign tourist arrivals have dropped by a staggering 40 per cent, reducing the foreign currenlY brought in by close to Rs 1,000 crore. This wili prove a body blow to the balance of payments situation and further aggravate the foreign exchange crisis which has been playing havoc with the country's economy. And, even more alarmingly, the tourist situation is not likely to improve in the immediate future. Most of the hoteliers conceded that that occupancy of their hotels by foreign tourists has plunged. Reinforcing the point further, Mr Indra Arya of Sita World Travels said that dose to 40 per cent of the international tourists' incoming bookings were cancelled between January and March this year. Ms Prema Nair, information officer in the mi nistry of tourism said that there has been a rapid decline in tourist arrivals this season, with few seen in tourist offices and fewer making enquiries at ministry counters. Accusing fingers should not be pointed at the Gulf war, severa of them pointed out. While Thail<lnd, which is celebrating its tourism year, is doing exceedingly But, the type of tourists who for india, it has been an unmitigated disaster.offers are different from those arrive in Thailand and the tourist attractions that it of India, asserted Mr' C R V Rao, director in the ministry of tourism. Despite another tourist season coming up during September-December 1991, the immediate future of tourism looks bleak. With the violence breaking out in places like jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Assam, and Punjab, northern india had already been removed from the tourist map of all v;sitors. The violence which broke out on the basis of the Mandai commission report and the Ayodhya controversy, further undermined the rourism potential that these places offered. The focus during the past couple of years had been to include south India into the foreign tourists itinerary. Now, sources in the ministry of tourism concede that the sprouting up of LfTE violence in Tamil Nadu couki result in south India also being erasc d from the map of the foreign tourist. As it is, India has jllst been a mere dot-on the world tourist mJp, attracting a meagre 0.4 per cent of the 415 million world tourist traffic. Consequently, the country has been tapping just 0.6 per cent of the co:ossal US 230 billion globai tourism industrv. Now, things are turning out from bad to worse. THE TIMES

T

OF INDiA

15

June

1991

tourism Consultancy

he Union GCNernment had deCIded to set up 2. national-level consultancy organisation for tourism projEcts, lvIr 0 Davar, Chairman, Industrial Finance Corporation of India, said recentlv The proposed organisation would baSically aim at assisting entrepreneurs to build a base of their own in the location of their choice. Pointing out that the IFCI and Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) would offer more assistance for non-conventiona activities in tourism sector, he hoped that the Union government would give tourism its rightful status in the Eighth Five Year Plan. Speaking on the occasion, TFCI Managing Di rLuor Mr Subramanyam stressed the need to tap projects other than those helping the hotel industry to strengthen tourism in the country. The TFCI had assisted six tourism projects in Karnataka. The Corporation was conducting a study on levies on tourism-related industries in different s t a t e ~ and their efforts on tourism growth, he added. Mr Davar said the planned economy in the country had failed to meet the needs of the people and called for rebuilding tht: de-Ieg:ilated economy. The market economy needs a differen differentt set-up, approach and tools and the country should channel its resources and r e o r k ~ n t its policies and programmes

emolished

he Goa Government displayed its might at Cob rawaddo, Calangute yesterday morning when a 250-strong demolition squad began razing to the ground the two-storeyed Chalston Hotel on the basis that it is an illegal construction falling within 200 metres of the High Tide Line. The curiosity of the hundreds of people who rushed to the area turned to remorse, however, when they observed the questionable manner in which the action was carried out, not giving the owner sufficient time to salvage their property worth over Rs 50 lakh. Eye-witnesses said that the task force dealt with the furniture and furnishings in .the most barbaric fashion throwing them out of the windows. Items like air-conditioners were also pushed out of the window. The most noticeable items were the beds, which lay heaped in the debris, some split apart, others completely disint disintegrated. egrated. According to the owner the demolition started without adequate time being provided for retrieving their belongings. The total loss was estimated at nearly Rs 2 crore. Government officials said that the hotel was a 'real gone case' as no conversion of land was done, no PDA permission was sought, there was no access road and that the structure violated the 200 metre ban from HTL. The demolition work b ~ g a n in the morning with a bang with the squad in an apparent hurry to destroy the building in a day's time. Such was their

T

missionary zeal that they denied the owners the sought after three hours time to salvage all the furniture. Caught in the wild confusao were the hotel guests including a Madrasi filming company, who were residing there at the time. They were running helter-skelter as much to'Save their lives as their filming equipment. When contacted the officials said that they were simply executing gLlVernment orders given to them only the previous night. The demolition was to be carried out last year, they said, but the exercise was put off for several reasons, Asked for his reactions, secretary town planning R SSethi stated that the hotel did not deserve the slightest mercy. Much as he sympathized with them, he wondered why they went ahead with the construction after their conversior grant was withdrawn by the government in 1981. The notice for demolition was served last year. He pointed out that the case was studied in depth by the Goa Government and the Environment Ministry. There was no way Chalston Hotel could escape the demolition, he added. He a/:;o stated that if the proprietor had any valid documents, they could have produced them before the Town and Country Planning's Board meeting held last month. Sethi also claimed that it is a misconception that they were only clamping clamping dOVl'n on medium class hotels: he affirmed that justice would be meted out to all defaulters. GOMANTAK TIMES, TIMES, 14 April 19'71

T

Women s Voice

he Goa women's collective 'Bailancho Saad' has charged that the present national t o u r i ~ m policy, being augmented by the Visit India Year and similar programmes, would lead to an economic disaster and destabilise the social and physical environment of the country. In a critique critique of plans for the year currently being observed, the Goa-based Saad said culture was being commerr:ia ised to suit touristic needs, while festivals were being 'celebrated' out of their milieu and time. Stereotypes and distorted images of different regions were also being created, they said. Heliskiing or 'International sea-food festivals' aimed at the elite were an outrage on a nation like ours. Pointing out that Kashmir has been left out of the tour routes for the 1991

Visit India Year the Saad said this indicated the fickle nature of tounsm.

DECCAN HERALD, 31 May 1991

 

12

Travels n Five Tibets The Myth of Shangri-La, Peter Bishop, University o California Press, Berkeley, 1990

Review by John Frederick The Myth of Shangri-La by Peter Bishop, who teaches at the South Australian College of Advanced Education is a study ofTibet in the collective imagination of the British over a 200-year period. It is not a study of the land and people, but of a collection collection of imaginal'Tibets: products of the travel literature from 177.1 to 1969. Imaginal places are common to every society. They are created, reformed and dissolved according to changing social, religious and gea-political consciousness. Kailas for South Asian Hindus, EI Dorado for sixteenth-century and the Island of Origin for Hawaiians. They are lands invested with a people's dreams and aspirations: peace, wealth, pleasure, sanctity, They are spun into being by storytellers, poets, film-makers and travel writers. Some places are contemporary, some ancient in all, reality is subordinated to fantasy. The modern Asian myth of America, fal and rich, diplomas and videos dropping from the trees, has little relation to the hard work, iron streets and shopping malls experienced by Americans themselves. Westerners, in their turn, willingly ignore the cultural degradation behind the pai nted masks and palm trees For Westerners, Tibet has been one imaginal place among many: the Andes, the sources of the Nile, the Arctic, the European Alps. Bishop has chosen his topic well. The centuries from the entrance of the first modern B riti ritish sh traveller in 1774 to the flight of the Dalai Lama in 1959 "coincided almost exactly with the rise and fall of European, particularly, British, aspirations:' Bishop's examination of primarily British travel writing is intended to be a window window "into "in to the changing aspirations, the soul, of modern There has been and still is no single "Tibet" in the Western imagination. There have been a succession - evolving, declining, contradicting each other. Bishop chooses to delineate five, with reasonable historical justification, and is careful to note that within each a myriad of smaller "Tibets" are subsumed. In the first, from 1773 to 1792, Tibet developed in the British imagination from an undefined geographica I location to a "place': the rudiments of a iterary Christianity and landscape aesthetic formed, and from disillusionment with Christianity Western spiritual ity there began a fascination with the Tibetan style of Buddhism, at once highly literate and rational, patently idolatr idolatrous ous and mystical. Following the Gurkha invasions ofTibet the country was closed to travellers. Bishop shows how the recurrent inaccessibility ofTibet contributed to its creation as a sacred place, and "sealed Western fantasies into an almost closed vessell . the next two "Tibets': from 1792 to 1875, few travellers managed to cross the borders. Alrnpst none reached Lhasa. The British Empire expanded and with it expanded its geo-political imagination. Britain looked outward. "Nineteenth-century rationalism provided idealised images of coherence, unification and identity (of foreign civilisations) which belied intense internal social fragmentation and conflict:' With India and the rest of the Empirer the Himalaya was systemically surveyed. Brian Hodgson made his immense study of the geology, customs, languages, and zoology of the Himalaya. Joseph Hooker and other naturalists on the closed borders ofTibet, recording the mountain landscaoe with scientific precision. The genre of travel writing was forming, in some confusion. Mid-century Rationalism lay in a rumpled bed with the transcendent visions of emergent European Romanticism. The genre found cohesion in the publication of the fourth volume of John Ruskin's Modern Painters in 1854, at the peak of British mountain enthusiasm, when the Alps were the focus of physical challenge and the Himalaya the focus of mountain fantasy. Ruskin's landscape aesthetic combined careful observation and precise description with a subdued, unromantic evocation of the inner experience of the landscape. With Ruskin, says Bishop, the modern literary relationship of man and the wilderness During the closing years of the nineteenth century, the fourth "Tibet'; once again entered, trom every direction. " l n U ) ~ 5 one British lournallst exclaimed, Tibet may be said to be at present in a state of siege:"Russian, French and British explorers vied with each other to cross the cold plateau and enter

Lhasa. Few succeeded, but most wrote about the attempt and the sub-genre of Tibet travel writing was born. British bookshops displayed an array of mythical landscapes: noble, heroic journeys, mystical pilgrimages, pilgrimages, high adventure, and ethnological fantasies. Forbidden Lhasa and its God-King, the Dalai Lama, were the axis mundi of the sacred place. For Victorian travellers, the world was closing in. Tibec almost alone, seemed untouched. "The increasing sense of global unity was accompanied by a realisation of global fragility, destruction, loss ... The deforestation of the Himalaya was already causing concern and sadness even at this early date.. :' But perhaps the deepest sense of loss, as well a source of irritation, was caused by mass tourism and its effect on the wild places of the world. "Those who had suffered the wind and cold of the Tibetan plateau thought themselves, not incorrectly, an elite. They were explorers, not tourists, struggling with contradictory desires to explore the land and to keep it untouched, to preserve in the world one last sacred place:' Until the twentieth century, the fifth "Tibet", there was an essential unity in the travel writers' visions and thus in the British collective fantasy. From 1904 to 1959, Bishop sees a fragmentation of the fantasy into four quite distinct and contradictory imaginal places. Different visions were inevitable as information about Tibet accumulated, as western travel writing evolved and as the writers responded personally to the pain or the two World Wars and the Great Depression of the 19305. One Ti bet was descendant from the long fasci nation with Buddh ism: the land of the lamas and mystical accomplishment, the land of spiritual perfection in a debased world. This vision was exemplified by Alexander David-Neel and, to Bishop's credit, the scholar Giuseppe Tucci. In contrast, there was the "realistic" Tibet of Spencer Chapman and others - pictures of mundane everyday life, uninquisitive and anti-religious. The other two Tibets of the twentieth century were, in Bishop's consideration, the final, dissolving forms of the cultural fantasy, the conclusion of the growing, changing vision which he had traced over 200 years. In these, Tibet the geographical reality was disassociated with Tibet the imaginal place. In 1949, the American tourism writer Lowell Thomas and his son visited Lhasa. Lowell Junior depOsited upon the world a model of the Tibetan tourism fantasy  cultural resonance, historical depth and sensitivity to landscape had disappeared beneath cliches and expressions of naive amazement. The other Tibet, the was fixed in the public imagination by James Hilton's immensely popular Lost Horizon, published in 1933, during'the Depression. Lost Horizon dramatised the disilfus disilfusionment ionment of the West, its spiritual emptiness and fears of social disorder. The perfect land of Shangri-La reflected acute Western longings: peace, righteousness, psychic fulfillment. The collective fantasy of Tibet had become abstract, the land had disappeared, Even before the exit of the Dalai Lama and the dismantling of traditional society, Tibet itself had ceased to be the locus of the Tibet rnyth. Realism had turned on the house lights and bared the mysteries; the tourism writers had reduced the noble and remarkable to the banal, and the vision had removed Shangri-La from earth altogether: Tibet had become, In Bishop's words; /Ian empty vessel". The Myth o Shangri-La is a book for academics. It is extraordinarily rich in analyses, but is somewhat cor'lfused by a hazy methodology based in archetypal psychology. Bishop examines travel texts with tools from a variety of disciplines. Each examin.ation is valid and revealing, but all are jumbled together; analytical perspectives perspecti ves change from paragraph to paragraph with no apparent order. This is unfortunate, for the book is !ikelydestined for graduate library stacks, rather than the audience upon which it could have made a profound impact: travel writers themselves. The tools of French de-constructionism are skillfully used to place the texts within appropriate geo-political, social and psychological contexts, Humanistic geography, such as Bachelard's and Lowenthal's work on the perception of place and landscape, illuminates the evolution of the landscape aesthetic in travel Bishop charts the development of the Western fascination, and later obsession, with Tibetan Buddhism and Eastern spirituality with great skill. His several-page definition of the art of travel writing should be required for every travei writer. One wishes each of these studies were a separate monograph. The book stops abruptly with a cursory conclusive chapter as if Bishop [enid on page 19

 

13

KAIGA: Will Tourists Really Boycott Goa? The uthor Gabriella Petra da Rosa argues here for linking up the struggle against against the Nucle ar nd Tourism industry. The case that she i1lustrate her argument is that t Kaiga. The Kaiga Nuclear uses to Complex, in Kamataka is to come up 22 kms. fr om Goa s border.

W

ll the nuclear power plant at Kaiga really result in a 'tourist slump' in Goa? Are ~ U r o p e a n and North American tourists really going to begin to think about 'boycotting Goa' in the coming years - with the

operation of the Kaiga plant - in favour of other tropical and 'Hawaiian' styled destination 'paradises; which are not saddled with such 'ogres' next door? Whilst Indian gCNernment and pro-nuclear estate lobbyists may hastily dismiss any such notions by suggesting that that "p ublic opinion in North America and Europe is hardly likely to be shaken with such knowledge and awareness'; the following must be borne in mind by all concerned Goans, Karnatakans and Keralites (where another nuclear n uclear power station is also being planned). Public reaction in North America and Europe against nuclear power constructions, programmes and areas perceived to be under the threat of radioactive contamination, has reached an all time high. As the 'Economist' has suggested, the North American and European public's attitude to nuclear power shows how concepts of relative risk affect 'green politics' and subsequent decisions as to which holiday spots to visit or to boycott. Adults, including those "who (even) risk their lives daily smoki smoking ng cigarettes or driving fast cars -want great protection from the tiny chance of a Chernobyl" Chernobyl" or radiation related illnesses arising from nuclear power plants. throug ugho hout ut these international Feel ings run so high concerning this matter - thro 'tourist pool zones' - for instance, that in Austria, Denmark and Norway, public pressure alone has been strong enough to ensure that nuclear power as a resource has been rejected since even before the Chernobyl incident. In the USA and Europe, furthermore, there are increasing signs that public and political pressure will ensure that nuclear power stations stations in future wil l either be fully closed down, replaced by other power stations (using different energy sources) or converted to conventional power stations. As 'The Economist' has confirmed: By ' ~ p r i I 9 t h , 1990, a back to the future cereOlony (will have) take(n) place in Midland, Michigan, USA: the commissioning of the world's first power station converted from nuclear to conventional fuel. Mr William McCormick the chairman of CMS Energy Corporation, the plant's main owner, confidently predicts that other conversions wil l follow. The reason is simple: utilities across America have found it next to impossible to complete half-built half- built nuclear plants. ''The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 and the clouds of radiation from Chernobyl in 1986 produced fierce opposition to nuclear power just about abandoned or everywhere. Mr McCormick reckons that $20 billion-worth of abandoned moth-balled nuclear plants in the United States could be converted like the now gas-fired station at Mid and. He hopes that CMS Energy's pioneering effort at Midland will give the company a headstart in a potentially huge market for conversions (in the USA, Europe and Japan). Mr McCormick even has a snappy marketing slogan. 'We are in the business of turning lemons into lemonade; he declares:' In Britain, too, as the Social and Community Planning Research Group recently ascertained through an extensive 'British Social Attitudes Survey' "the more favourable view of nuclear power taken by our respondents (the public) in 1985 now looks like a mere fluctuation in a trend towards increasing concern, rather than a reversal of it' : I n the report, it was also found that "the proportion of residents expressing even qualified confidence in the safety of nuclear power generation (wherever it may be) had thus fallen from 35% in 1983 to 21%. However, almost half (49%) of those questioned (in the most recent report) selected the pessimistic statement offered about the potential dangers of nuclear reactors" (ie. As far as nuclear pawer stations are concerned; the statement wh ich comes 'closest' to reflecting their own feelings is that is 'creates very serious risks for the future'). Indeed, as the report's findings were to conclude: "Clearly there has been a large increase since 1985 in the perception of risk among both sexes and in all age groups (concerning the 'unsafe' nature of nuclear power stations). The crucial point is that overall, seven out of ten men and more than eight out of

ten women appear to be worried about the future threats posed by nuclear power stations". Moreover, in Sweden, concrete plans have been laid to phase out nuclear power by 201o..In Spain, public pressure has been vocal enough to ensure that five reactors under construction have been cancelled. In Italy too, following a public referendum the country's four remaining reactors have been closed down. Indeed, as a of public pressure and opinion, political the trend amongst thoseconsequence nations who provide the majority of the 'international tourist pool' which visits Goa, is increasingly being shaped towards assuming an active recreational, vocal and economic boycott of those areas/nations who are actively promoting their nuclear power programmes-amidst human rights violations - at a feverish pace (ie. India, and hence the Goa-Karnataka tourist region). As a political commentator commentator recently observed in The Economist: ' ~ s green issues become international, it wi I become harder for any country to reconci Ie greenery and sovereignty. There will be international pressure for agreements to reduce the emission of gases to stop polluting the sea, to transfer cash and technology to the Third World and Eastern Europe to help them clean-up" as opposed to press ahead with any ideas to further pollute and threaten the envi ronment th rough rough the development of nuclear power program mes such as India's, whose technology is still rooted to the use of outdated reactor core systems (eg. the CANDU design) which are scientifically known to be inherently unstable. As the Economist's analyst has concluded: "Governments that are reluctant to sign will be pilloried" (03.03.90 03.03.90). ). Given this background, 'International' tourist threats to 'boycott Goa' once

the Kaiga plant is commissioned, should not be dismissed lightly. Tourists from these areas have already displayed their propensity to boycott 'en masse' those holiday zones which are perceived to present any significant 'radio'radio-active active hazards'. The Goa and Karnataka tourist trade is therefore likely to be severely affected in this way with the commissioning of the Kaiga nuclear power station. In conclusion, it s important to perhaps pay careful attention to the opinions expressed by some of Britains leading environmental and consumer behavioural analysts, John Elkington, Tom Burke and Julia Hales: "The average tourist (from North America and Europe) may not spend much time thinking about the chemistry of the upper stratosphere, but some forms of pollution, like the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, have significantly dente dented d the tourism industry's receipts. few months after Chenobyl erupted into the headli nes, for example, In tourist reported that bookings for tours in the Soviet Union had dropped by more than 30 per cent. .. In today's world, such developments can spell economic ruin for countries (like India's-my emphasis) that have hitched their fortunes to the international tourism industry" to the point where "such revenues are taken seriously (by the government), and the comings and goings of overseas visitors are watched intently': Goa's, Karnataka's and Kerala's tourist trade, indeed, perhaps stand to be destabilised in no different a way to that of Gomel, a region in Byelorussia, USSR. As the Sunday Independent a widely read and respected British newspaper, recently informed its readers of the fate of this region: "Gomel (is) a city of half a million peopte in Southern Byelorussia-a pleasant enough place at this time of year (April 1990), when the pear trees are in blossom and the chickens scratch in the lanes of wooden houses behind the modern blocks. "Today, (however), Gomel is one of the saddest places on earth. Gomel was once a (major) tourist centre. Now only the poorest Soviet travellers come, people-from God-forsaken and even more polluted places like Chelyabirisk. Local's, discovering I was visiting in the town, brought me flowers and chocolates. 'Come again, please come again: they said. 'Apart from jts high-rise suburb of Val at ava, a contaminated area, Gomel itself is officially sard to be relatively free of radiation. 'only five curies per square kilo metre. We're supposed to be grateful for that', says Dr. Zdota, sneering at the 'acceptable norms' of pollution set by the scientists': Yet, it is precisely this 'low, sate level' of 'radioactive contamination' contamination' wh ich has effectively destroyed the tourist trade and the economy of the region. Will Goa, Kerala and Karnataka be next?

 

14

Investing in Mal-Development The Crossing

Japanese aD

and Resort Development

by Noda Misato In 1987 the Japanese Ministry of Transport launched its 4-year "Ten Million Project" promoting overseas travel with the ambitious goals of building mutual understanding between the Japanese and other peoples, accelerating internationalism among Japanese people, improving the foreign trade and bringing The imbalance, countries. project's economic to foreign target, by 1991,prosperity ten million tourists from which the name derived will be reached a year before the target date. This flood of tourist money has hopes, especially in Asia's chronically poor countries, that the resort would boost their suffering economies. A lot is expected of Japan, which also brings an en0rmous amount of foreign aid ostensibly designed for economic development. Given all this, it should not be surprising that tourism is now being included as a part of ODA (Official Development Assistance). In 1989, the Ministry of Transport publicized its Holiday Village Plans for "total support in the development of international resorts:' This project was to aim at "giving aid to support the systematic development of international resorts through the International Cooperation Association, giving yen loans through the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) for tourist-related infrastructure, and taking advantage of non-governmental fUnds and skills for the so-called superstructure such as hotels, recreation facilities, and the like:' This grand design clearly shows what attitude the Japanese government will take towards resort development in 'Third World' countries, and how it is going to use the existing aid system for tourism in a way similar to its approach in other sectors.

In Aid of Tourism 1. Yen loans

According to a report from the OECF, which administers ODA tied loans, the total amount of yen loans for the period from 1966 to 1988 was 7.83 trillion spread across 137 projects. Less than 1 percent of that total, roughly 30 yen, made up 6 projects tategorized as tourism. Notice, however that infrastructure infrastr ucture projects such as road and airport construction which are needed to promote tourism are not included in the tourism category. Such aid clearly show a transition from constructing superstructure facilities, sucn as hotels, to providing the surrounding infrastructure related to tourism, and more recently to providing comprehensive and basic facilities for expanding tourism. A clear example of this type of loan is the provisional Project for Basic Facilities for Resorts in Thailand. It is a regional development program to encourage employment and the acquisition of foreign currency primarily through promoting tourism. The projec projectt will provide basic infrastructure such as roads, communications, waterworks, etc., for resorts in eight regions and their neighboring areas in Thailand. The loan will be used to purchase equipment and pay expenses for consulting work and other services.

2. Development research JICA (the Japan International Cooperative Agency), a government agency whose mission includes monitoring technical assistance, has begun to include tourism in its development research projects. From the prominence given to it by the Japanese government, one can easily infer that tourism now ranks with agriculture and manufacturing as an important sector for community development. It is likely that any particular project based upon JICA's research will lead to an aid request from one of many recipient countries. The Total Community Development Project of Malaysia now underway is an example of this phenomenon action. This project will identify potential areas for development in the eastern region' of the Malay Peninsula, and conduct feasibility studies for total community development programs using tourism as its main focus. mu uvet )eas experb A "Seminar for the Promotion of Tourism" is organized each year by )lCA, bringing about 20 participants from allover the world to Japan for a group -",,

i . r c l i

l e ~ ~

training course. In 1989, the twenty-fifth seminar was held with twenty participants from nineteen countries: South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, Egypt, Algeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Greece. Those invited are either gCNernment tourism administrators or from large commercial enterprises. The International Tourism Promotion Association administers the two month seminar, designed to-introduce the relevant Japanese administrative bodies, their policies, and the situation in the Japanese tourism industry. During the same year, Japan dispatched 15 tourism experts to developing countries: three each to India, Fiji, and Mexico, two to China, one to oversee both Indonesia and Malaysia, and another two to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Tourism as Maldevelopment In concluding this glance at institutiondl aid to tourism, we find it hard to be optimistic about the influence of resort development on 'Third World' peoples through Japanese governmental aid. This is especially worrisome in light of the present ~ i t u a t i o n s of Japan's ODA and domestic resort development. Th us resort development causes the same problems as foreign aid-{]esignated development in general. Often the kind of projects are more appropriate for the donors than the receivers, as can be seen in examples such as the construction of the National Historic Park in Indonesia which evicted the residents from the surrounding area even before any promises of sufficient compensation. Furthermore, the hosting of large scale tourism means a outsiders, all with different cultural backgrounds, cascading in people's daily lives. The accompanying socio-cultural problems can no longer be ignored. How is Japan responding to these problems? Promotional schemes alone only further aggravate the problem, notwithstanding the high sounding language of Japanese government agencies. Those who promote tourism depend upon a pristine and scenic natural environment and diverse cultures, both of which resort development is threatening to destroy. AMPO Japan-Asia Quarterly Review 22. 4), 1991

Indonesia s Hotel Conglomerates

Indonesian conglomerates will dominate the tourism sector by the end of next y e a ~ says a noted observer of the economy_ "Conglomerates such as the Bimantara, Rajawali, Salim and Summa groups will be among the country's top 10 hoteliers next year along with pioneers in the sector," Christianto Wibisono of the Indonesian Business Data Center (PDB ) said. PDBI, in a report, said inadequate air transportation connecting Indonesia to other countries and the less'than significant role of the local people might create problems for the development of the sector and cause it to lag behind that of other countries. The PDBI report said the current air seat capacity for international airlines serving routes to Indonesia was still smaller than which discourage visitors from travelling into the country. liThe government's protection of Garuda Indonesia, the national flag c a r r i e ~ should not affect the flow of visitors into the country. The permission granted to private airlines serving domestic routes to operate jet aircraft is expected to motivate Garuda to strengthen its position as an internati international onal airline more able to compete:' t h ~ report said. • PDBI also called on the government to pay special attention to local people whose property was affe(:ted by tourism projects. liThe government should protect these people, for example, by asking the tourist resort developers to provide shares for them. In this way, they will learn about business practices and earn capital gain. This would be better than giving a small portion of shares to them as an act of charity 20 years after the projects go into full operation;' it said. The PDBI report also said the government should take the local people's partiCipation partiCipati on senousiy to prevent the eruptron ot social unrest because large tourist resorts in the country had been unfairly edging out small-scale and medium-size businesses.

 

15

Privatisation Spree in Kerala?

Tread Gently

by K. T. Suresn

by Phil Voysey

Tread flently yells the universal voice of reason over the cacophony of tourist dollar. Here they come aflain to conquer moun cain trail and apple pie futile attempts to pound every last partide into submission With especially desiflned Dunlop retreads.

of

dust

As always the dust rises up and seeps into delicate labyrinth labyrinths s of ego and grim determination tolerable discomforr while rocks teasingly slide and shuffle from beneath the feet of and enjoy a flood lauflh at the expense of twisted knee and bruise d back backside side.. / " ' Dr bint r T

Several concerned individuals can be seen furiousl y scrubbing the stre stream am clean with Blue Omo while others scratch at the swe sweat at and grime that has matted thouflhr and responsibility responsibility and watch as rivulets of bleached common sense trickle il1lO [he spinach spinach patc h of some innocen t tourism wonder i f that woman paradinf/ around in her bikini top realises how absurd she looks agains[ the backflround of towerinf/, snow-capped mountain peaks?) (l

* Recent investments by the government have been pathetically inadequate. The Corporation's budget for 1991-92 is Rs. 16 crores.

* The Corooration has not been able to put to use most of the funds it has estimate of Rs. 15.5 crores for 1990-91, it was an abysmal Rs. 5 crore. they sit on some of the finest properties in the countrv.ITDC hotels

* don't compare well with the competition. * The Corporation has been gradually moving into the three-star and 'Yatri Nivas' category of hoters. Planners believe that this is where ITDC should settle down, leaving the five-stars to the private sector.

Meanwhile, Kerala is being projected as the model to be emulated. As a part of the privatisation of the tourism sector in Kerala initiated by the Left Front government, the state-owned Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) proposes to di lute its equity by selling to the publ ic 40% of its shares. Already the KTDC and the Taj group have jointly set up a new company, the Taj-Kerala Hotels and Resorts Ltd which plans to start 13 projects with an investment of 100 crores. Recent reports in the Economic Times suggest that the KTDC is also envisaging a tie-up with,a leading international hotel chain for consultancy, marketing and training.

(Compiled from various sources).

Tread flently screams the universal vojce

of

reason

"Pen, -"weer, rupee, is the children's three chord delivered with supplicating eyes and like an overplayed pop sonf/lonfl af/o sliDDed from the top 4 nobody s liSlenin'f}. Pizza, apple col<e is the modem classic with the timeless 1

'The Parayatan Mantralaya (Tourism Ministry) has, at long last woken up to reality' says a report in the Business Standard 11 May). And what is this realitv that we seem to have discovered? The reality that this report is referring to is the admission that private sector initiative is the panacea for the i lis of a stagnating tourist profile. The idea that is doing the rounds in the Mantralaya is that of 'cutting ITDC loose'. Which translates to selling 51% of government holdings in the Corporation to private investors. The reasons stated for it are:

wonde[ if the local DJ with the studded nose [inf/s

and the three malnutrieioned children

understands the

but then who listens to them anyway:)

Tread gently screams the universal voice of reason as the needJe balan balances ces precariously over t he newes newestt sound and the tur ntable beqins to spin.

T

oliday

Roman

he eternal city has decided to go ahead with a string of urban projects that will give it a new business and administration centre, a genuine subway, a third university, and even a modern telephone The scheme, cost at 77 trillion lire is also expected to have the side-effect of saving Rome's priceless historic monuments from slow death by pollution. Under a recent law the Federal Government is to help underwrite the cost of transforming the eternal city into a modern Capital. Centrepiece of the ambitious scheme is the creation of what Antonio Gerace, the official in charge of urban development at city hall, calls lithe world's biggest business district". For years, one of the most pressing problems confronting this city has been the presence of Government ministries, which employ 61,000 people, in historic quarters where exhaust fumes in narrow streets are destroying priceless monuments. INDIAN EXPRESS 15 May 1991

HIMAl, March/April 1991

Biased

ction

Whi Ie the Goa government issued noticed to 12 norms, action was taken only against Leela Dalmia Resorts, Taj Holiday, Colonia Santa Maria and Charlston Hotel. Leela Venture's unauthorised construction were removed or demolished while Averina International removed its fencing within the 200 metre line. Notices were also issued by the Goa Southern Planning Development Agency and the central environmental ministry to Dalmia Resorts. While Taj Holiday removed some of its illegal constructions, others Iike the Thai Restaurant are still standing and the environment ministry's directives have been taken up in the N t W Deihi high court. Charlston Hotel's illegal construction has been partly demolished by the government.

~ ~

e

O lIj. RiGHT. ....

MOOIJMewTAL

.

()( ~

--

em::;R

IMRJTeNle.

A 1 l 0 ~ A t . .

r - - - - - - - ~ : ~

~

j

:

The Independent, 20 Aug. 91

Ponnappa in TIMES OF INDIA

 

  6

Summary Findings:

Visit to Coastal KarnatakalKerala by Equations Team, May 1991

Team: Manvel Alur, K T Suresh, Leo Saldanha & M Shivakumar Dates: May 10 - 16, Karnataka May 17 - June 2 Kerala Logistics

In 21 days, the team covered a vast coastline, from Karwar in northern Karnataka, through to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. Shivkumar was asked to provide overall guidance to the team, and he was accompanied by Manvel and Leo in Karnataka, while Suresh joined him for the visit to KeralalKanyakumari. Dai Iy logs were written up, and reports prepared individ ually, with Shivkumar providing a conceptual framework at the end. Prior to finalising our understanding of and responses to the visit 3 discussions were held with a group of rapporteurs: Dr Duarte Baretto of the lSI, Shri A Vasudevan of GRID and Shri C Antonisamy of Peace Trust, Dindigul. A final report will be prepared by mid-July, incorporating all the elements covered in the individual and group reports. This will be the basis for follow up action in Karnataka and Kerala west coast.

Issues in Coastal Karnataka/Kasargod 1. The traditional influence of the Catholic religious institutions, today overshadowed by Hindu revivalism - evident in politics as well as

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

institutions (temples). The increasing economic dominance of the banking/financial sector, especially of the Udupi Pai families, in a wide range of industrial sectors. Their traditional implications implic ations for tourism/hotels. (They have established a hotel management Institute in collaboration with ITO'Welcomgroup. Also, a centre for folk artslcultural media). The relatively higher rate of literacy/success of literacy campaign in 0 K District, and the economic relevance of the Gulf boom. Issues related to non-tourism development: Karwar, MCF, Kaiga, deforestation (Western ghats), etc. These are of more immediate relevance to a number of people. The resistance of the people of Kanvarthirtha to a Kerala tourism development plan, led by Mr Subhash Chandra, a school teacher at Bantwal. He has asked for information/support from EQUATIONS. Although the beaches are not enti rely cond ucive to swimm i ng/water sports, there are several hotel projects coming up in the coastal region. Since there has been a ong tradition of pilgrimage to the various temples here, it is likely that tourism promoters havetheir eyes on the Indian middle-class, who can be persuaded spiritual queststowith to combine Withhave the increasing region does disposable incomeavailable this worldly class, thepleasures. tourism development potential. Basic infrastructure is also available more readily in this region than in the rest of Karnataka. The relevance of this can be identified from the interest expressed even by an NGO leader in promoting tourism in Honavar. The ease with which our team could travel in the region and visit various temples and sites is another indicat indication ion of the overall tourism developmental potentiaL As of today, there are very few organisational initiatives to examine tourism  from a wholistic perspective amongst the local NGOs of the region. Neither  do any of the existing groups appear prepared to enter into a specific  involvement on tourism issues in the immediate future, since they have a  variety of other pre-occup pre-occupations. ations. 

Responses a. EQUATIONS plans to facilitate a seminar - work rksh sho op on tourism issues  in the region, inviting a number of NGOs and others whom we visited. For  this, we are seeking the help of interested local individuals. indi viduals.  b. EQUATIONS should also respond to the request of the Kanvarthirtha people.  We can begin by publicising the issues, as well as by sharing information  with Kanvarthirtha about tourism issues generally. 

c. If EQUATIONS is to build an active relationship with concerned people

in the region, we must not only be in regular touch about tourism, but also demonstrate an interest in local issues (other than tourism) which are of concern to them.

Issues in Kerala 1. Kerala seems to be clearly oriented to tourism development and provides support to the industry. The private sector is actively encouraged in its efforts, and the interventions of the state and its mechanisms could be stated as: integration, incorporation and even co-option. This is evident from the District level upwards. 2. Furthermore, the state demonstrates demographic and socio-economic characteristics similar to parts of coastal Karnataka: high rate of literacy, influence of Gulf boom, significance of religi religious ous instituti institutions ons (though political bodies exercise considerable leverage as well), well-developed infrastructure and economic institutions. 3. There is however a fair amount of understanding of the tourism issue amongst intellectuals and NGO-related individuals in Kerala. The historical development of political economy in the State is viewed as leading inevitably towards tourism development today. 4. The link between Union Territories (Mahe - Lakshadweep) at the tourism level appears to be potentially significant. It needs to be further exami ned. 5. Tourism strategy at Lakshadweep appears to be: high-cost, high quality, low density, low infrastructure. This is environment friendly, elitist-alternative tourism, with substantial revenue potential. This would lead us to surmise that "speciality" tourism developments can be foreseen in future. 6. Specifically, we have been asked for the following: i. to to produce a Kerala-specific tourism critique document; ii. provide inputs to KIiTTs students; iii. to place tourism on the agenda of ECO-92 (Brazil); iv. to collaborate with the International Collective in support of Fisherworkers (HQ: Madras); and,  v To share the report of our visit with those visited. 

Responses a. EQUATIONS has agreed in principle to respond to KIiTTs request by providing inputs on tourism critique. We also hope KIiTTs will be able to support us by undertaking or sponsoring research on tourism in coastal Kerala, and providing access to existing documentation. b. To prodClce a Kerala-specific tourism critique document, EQUATIONS should identify one or two persons in Kerala whose services can be uti lised

in this regard.

c. EQUATIONS can collaborate with others as per the requests made.

d. Following distribution of the report, EQUATIONS could organise a meeting of concerned people in Kerala.

General Following the presentations of the reports to the rapporteurs, and as a result of the discussions which followed, we arrived at a number of general conclusions and recommendations, given below: 1. That this experiment of visiting a region with a eam constituted of several different people is in itself a model which could be further developed and

explored. Not only does the process help us gain a primary database, it has the effect also of creating a positive image of EQUATIONS. Also, it puts a responsibility on us to be reciprocal in the relationships we enter into during such visits. 2. This particular visit the first of its kind - is a turning point for EQUATIONS. A number of new issues have been identified, and we have met with several people who have expressed an interest in ourperspectives and future plans in the region. In particular, we see the potential for much greater involvement in Kerala. As the tourism industry increasingly plays an important role in the Indian economy, there is a greater need for awareness and mobilisation at various levels of society. 3. The shift from elitist (traditional) tourism to recent mass tourism is a reflection of the economies of scale at work in the industry. As there is a low demand

(in the international market) for Third World agricultural-industrial products,

contd on page 19

 

7

Nepal: A Tourism Tragedy Tourism in Nepal is increasing by over 77 per cent a year: it is the only hard currency earner for the world's fourth poorest nation; and is being promoted destroyed,, sewage gets into vigorously. The result is predictable: footpaths are destroyed rivers, litter mounts and forests disappear at an alarming rate. 400 000 ha of forest are cleared each year; and each hectare cleared loses 30.75 tons of soiL devastating landslides and ffoods wreck both land and economy. The slopes of the world's highest peaks in the Himalaya were once a pristine j

wilderness. Desecration by climbers and trekkers has set in motioR their ecological degradation. Until a decade or two ago, it was a relativelv minor problem: today it has reached disastrous proportions. The worst affected region is around Everest: 'There is so much junk that a full-scale expedition is needed to remove it; says Chris Bon/ngton, an Everest explorer. In recent years, climbing from the northeast ridge on the Tibet side, has become the craze. As a result, Rongbuk the world's highest monastery; has become a toilet and rubbish dumb. Once-cfear view; of magnificent mountain vistas are now obscenely impeded by abandoned oxygen canisters, paper; foil and other garbage. Part of the problem lies in the growing number of expeditions to the top of Everest. Each year there are more than 300 expeditions and O ~ O O O trekkers the Himalaya. Of these, a large proportion are Everest climbers, 3 in the current season. The Nepal Government has more than 700 Everest climbing requests pending till 2003. The indian Mountaineering Association has laid down guidelines for anyone climbing in the Indian Himalaya: it offers cash incentives to all expeditions which clean up their camps behind them. The Himalaya Adventure Tru.st has a strict code of ofconduct conduct for trekkers, and Nepal tourism authorities have made it mandatnry for expeditions to leave no litter. Though this has helped wdecrease the size of expedition teams, the number of teams remains high, and is increasing. 104 peaks in Nepal are open climbers, 17 to joint expeditions, and 5 reserved for Nepalese climbers. 18 minor peaks are open to trekkers, administered directly by the Nepa Mountaineering Association. Frustrated in its efforts to control the ecological impacts of Everest climbing, the Nepal GO'vernment has finally decided that Everest can no longer be climbed after 7994. Tourism authorities estimate that 50 fonnes of waste currently litter Everest slopes, in the years since it was thrown open to the public in 1952. While this may help limit further destruction of the world's highest peak, the question of the existing garbage remains: will Nepal decide to allow dean-up expeditions after 79941 Moreover; it is not Everest alone which stands it danger of permanent destruction. It is high time that Nepal (and other countries in the Himalayan region) came up with a joint environment protection plan under the auspices of an officially constituted environment protection authoritY. laxes on mountain climbing could help to finance such a venture. Thi5, is what the article Mr Himalayan Environment; seems to suggest. j

Mr. Himalayan Environment The Swiss Alpine Club has recently appointed a permanent official for the protection of the environment. Shouldn't therE:' be at least one , ,;Ir. Environment for the Himalayas? He could easily be financed by a small head tax on all visitors. This is not a plea to stop tourism. That would be impossible anyway. It is a to regulate its future development far more strictly and that is not an easy task. If there is a lesson to be learnt from the experience of the Alps, it is this: protection of the mountai n environment needs determined action and hard work at all levels, from the highest government authorities to the lowliest individual. Interests of local people have to be catered for so that they have a vested Interest In protecting the environment. The Swiss, for examDle, have an active programme of aid to mountain communities. Protection needs some down-ta-earth action. Perhaps one way to start is to

talk less about the romantic attract attractions ions of mountai n wilderness areas and more • about toilets, garbage disposal a ld fuel. Once there is a heavier investment in tourism in the Himalayas, it will be difficult to fight destruction because money talks, and loudly too. Before this happens, I suggest that the Himalayas should be di divi vide ded d - wi with th the co operation of all the Himalayan countries into three zones. The first would be open for intense tourism development: climbers and trekkers would be welcome and infrastructure provided for them. Come one come all. The second one would be open only by special permission to a limited number of climbers and scientists. There are already a number of national these could be upgraded and perhaps even linked. The third one \'vould \'vould be inviolate and kept free of human intrusion. It would be a or two above the national park status. This raises some basic questions. Do we want to preserve some corners of the earth free from man's interference or do we want to open up every bit of it to human exploitation. Do we have the right to use up all the earth? Or are we willing to leave some space for the snow leopards, ghurrals and the abominable snowman? As Reinhold Messner wrote recently, "Man, through the centuries, has always chosen places which seemed special and declared them holy and untouchable. There, the Gods Iived....Today more than ever we have a need for unexplored wilderness:' And our Gods have always lived in the Himalayas. by Aamir Ali

T

HIMAl 28 May/June 1990

Upturning Virg Virgin in oil oi l

he term 'tourism development' implies much more than running tourist bus services or the stray holiday resort. Realising this - rather belatedly, it must be said the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has recently rewritten its agenda. Deviating from its traditional role of running resorts and bus services for tourists, it has set its sights on the development of virgin land along the Konkan coast The corporation has identified 32 locations where international standard, upmarket as vvell as budget hotels are expected to corne up within the next decade. In a change from its earlier policy, MTDC is now planning to withdraw from operational activities and become a nodal agency for the development of tourism by undertaki ng a different set of activities. Taking care of infrastructural providi ng land, offering basic amenities for motorists using national highways, are some of the major plans chalked out by MTDC

The corporation has a "PerspectiveGlvwth Plan'; basea on which it has asked for the allocation of funds from the Central government in the Eighth Five Year Plan. Its plans involve roping in privat privatee developers to bui Id resorts/hotels and

thereby develop the locations as tourist spots. The land is provided by MTDCIWe get the land either through an allotment from the government or we acquire d i r e c t l y ~ says Kawale. However, MTDCs offer to private developers has not met with a great deal of enthusiasm. According to Mukhtar Hussain of Suman Motels Ltd which runs five to six motels in Maharashtra (but aren't bui Iding any on MTDC land), 'Their location l for the promotion of tourism, our location is for busi ness faei I ties:' Another private developer is more explicit when he say\ "Basically the plots. Which MTDC are offering are not developed locations. They are beautifUl but ve arc sceptical about the availability of infrastructural facilities:' complain that not enough publicity has been given to MTDCs procedures. This means that only linsiders' have an opportunity to participate. Whilst MTDC plans to team-up with the concerned authorities for the of water, electricity and roads, private developers complain that most locations have no rail connections, another negative factor. Also, they are not interested in the development of hotels as a majority of them are slated to fall into the two or three star category. aimed at the tourist on a budget. ''l\lso there is no assurance of a minimum level of room occupancy;' states a developer. BUSINESS INDIA 1.5-28

pril 1991

 

18

History of A Small Place Caren Kaplan Kaplan

Jamaica Ki ncaid's A Small Place can be read as a pol iticized site of a poetics of displacement. Kincaid locates Antigua, the island where she was born, as not only a small place on the map, but a place in history. In the process of remapping this location, Kincaid remakes history from her multiple vantage points. InA Small Place the island of Antigua is limping along in postcolonial semi

collapse. describes a place looks like paradise but feels like else. She by explores contradictions of representation somethingKincaid the that investigating the stakes in each position available in that location. Who benefits from perpetuating the representation of paradise? Who benefits from the raw sewage in the pretty bay, the erosion of Antiguan culture, the condos and time shares ... ? Since the "exotic" food the tourist eats is probably flown in on the same plane as the tourist, A Small Place abounds in ironic revelations of modernity's representational imperatives. Kincaid uses the practice of tourism as a lens to view the discourse and counter-discourse counter-discour se of Antigua's relationship with the rest of the world. In this text the conflict between native and tou rist is an open one, at least on the part of the native. The text is addressed to you'; the past, present, or potential tourist. The narrator, Kincaid., however, is not truly a native anymore since she lives and writes in the United States. This displaced position gives Kincaid's text a particular value; it mediates the very oppositions it constructs, breaks open contradictions, makes connections. For example, the subject position of native is investigated in its full-blown ambiguity, as Kincaid illustrates a point made by Arjun Appadurai; the opposition between native and tourist is constructed by a transnational culture of tourism-that is, the native is constructed and "incarcerated" by the anthropological discourse of western travel. Kincaid's poetics of displacement acknowledges the constraints of historical constructions like native and "traveler" even as it resists the boundaries of essentialized identities. The story of Antigua's colonial and postcolonial experience is also part of the author's personal history. Her memories become a counter-narrative to official histories and public relations campaigns. Yet, Kincaid is equally frustrated with island approaches to time and history. She writes: To the people in a small place, the division of Time into the Pasf; the Present,and the Future does not exist. An event that occurred one hundred years ago might be as vivid to them as if it were happening at this very moment. And then, an event that is occurring at th/5 very moment might pass before them with such a i m n e ~ s that it is as i t had happened one hundred years ago.

Rather than impose linear, teleological time in the form of conventional history, Kincaid struggles with the legacy of imperialism and the split worlds haves andhonoring have-nots and of inventing a method of collating experience, oralbyhistory without valorizing valorizing universal memory essentialism. She maps even as she tells, in the process inventing a historical poetics of displacement. Antigua as chronotope collapses linear; imperial time masquerading as official history to rechart the stories of island culture and experience. The co-ordinates on the map drawn by A Small Place are Miami, New York, and London, The effects of English economic imperialism have combined in the post-independence era with North American cultural imperialism. Antiguans, in their small place on the map and in history, are inextricably linked to the fortunes and vicissitudes of power centres far from their home. This map of transnational, global conditions is, in part, the work of the text. It is this strategy of insisting on Antigua's tortured connections with its colonizers while agitating for specific, localized forms of knowledge that constitut constitutes es a historicized poetics of displacement. Kincaid is careful to place Antigua squarely in the midst of the problem of constituting history by asserting an alternate representation. Edward Said has described this impulse as cartogaphic, arguing that the ro<;trf)IQniai writer F ~ d a i m s t ~ r r i t o r y even in the imagination, It is necessary,

he suggests, to map or invent an identity in relation to a location that is not "pristine and prehistorical" but historically constituted by present concerns.

In describing one small place in the vast world, Kincaid's memories construct a counter-narrative that resists nostalgia and universality in favor of ahistorical a historical and geographical investigation of location in the expanded, global sense. Extract from an essay in PUBLIC CULTURE Vol. 3. No 1. (1991)

Heritage Tourism

(contd from page

6

structures which do not fit into the pattern of Rajasthani architecture.

While the organisation does not directly promote tourism, says INTACH's Harshad Kumari, it does contain the concept of tourism, insofar as it has to do with the country's herit heritage, age, u nder its umbrella. 'We believe in local people being able to use their old structures, not just in restoring them for the heck of it. Once a building is saved, restoration takes care of itself:' she says, citing successful examples in Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur. Right now, the sort of tourism that's happening is not benefitting the local people at all:' she feels, adding, By linking heritage and tourism, we should make sure that the revenue taken off the tourist percolates into the town;' Cultural festivals are as good a way as any of hearkening to tradition, and the musical nights in Jhalawar, apart from affording the tourist a more leisured insight into local culture than the package-tour, may well be a step towards greater cultural awareness. SUNDAY, 3 March 1991

Serve them right

(contd, from page

7

comes next with a dining-car full of diners finishing their meals in unison, it will be the multiple crunch of plates and cups being bitten, chewed and swallowed up - reminiscent, to the untrained eye, of d large c h o r u ~ of eaters in a circus or a magic show. Or of a hungry Charlie Chaplin eating his shoes in Gold Rush. No, despite the economic problems engendered by unification, is not suffering from a food scarcity that obliges its people to extract some their calories from porcelain. (In any case there's always beer to fall back upon if need be.) The German railways have thought up this idea of edible crockery - plates and cups made of bread or maize - to combat the environmental problem of disposable (mainly plastic) but not bio-degradable dishes. An Indian who is already familiar with the plantain-leaf plate, thrown away after use, as the prototype of the paper or plastic plate, might think that crockery made of bread is a genuine innovation. But he would do well to remember that plantain-leaf plates, as any dairy-farmer who operates nextto a marriage hall knows, are eaten - by cows - after being thrown away. The difference bet veen India and Germany then, is essentially this: we feed our cows with d i s p o ~ a b l e whereas the Germans will soon feed on both cows and disposable plates. Editorial, DECCAN HERALD, 7 March 1991

Summary Findings

(contd trom page 16)

there is likely to be an increasing demand instead on tourism products. On the supply side, this' is matched by the 'need' for foreign exchange. 4.  This will make the task of seeking 'alternatives' 'alternatives' (such as a variety ot alternative forms of tourism) more difficult to realise than we perceive. In a sense, the Third World cannot do 'without' tourism, in the present stage of economic development. By the same logic, domestic tourism is not a viable proposition either. 5.  The only hindrance to the present development model is its inherent limitations: that is, if t proves to be economically not viable. Therefore, this points at the need for EQUATIONS to conduct more serious micro-studies of the industry, its linkages, the convergence of different state inter/entior-s, and so on. In particular, we need to examine the links of tourism with changes in land use patterns in the coastal

 

19

Tourism in Goa

(conld from pag' 10)

metro cities like Bombay and Calcutta, it can easily exist in the relative anonymity of mass tourism resorts. The resistance to tourism in Goa has never stated that there should be no tourism at all. There are several groups who oppose mindless tourism (not just the 4 mentioned by the Gantzers), each of whom have obiectives and approaches. However, what all of them are asking for - even is for a check on unbalanced development. In fact, this s that the Gantzers argue in favour of, in a recent article unrelated to Indian Express 18/6/91). Thev suggest the need for a Tourism Areas Protection Act, and define its Yet in one of their articles Navhind the 'agitators' have gone to court because 'these cases could drag on One might well ask, what is the purpose of the law existing or proposed - and where it is not abided by, what are the means of enforcing The articles also seek to create on aura of doubt about the motive behind the resistanc resistance. e. More than once, we are casually informed that foreign money is involved ('a small group of agitators, some admittedly supported by foreign funds'). To my knowledge, this is furthest from the truth. Those who have opposed tourism in Goa have consciously avoided a foreign-funded label. That they are linked with people internationally who are concerned about the impacts of disastrous tourism is a fact: this is not the same as being foreign funded. However, there is an important issue to be considered: the hotel industry is open today to 51 percent multinational holdings, ngs, and in the case of NRls, 100 percent. These investments and their profits are fully repatriable, a result of the

If these doubts are groundless, if the agitators 'have either been misled, or have deliberately distorted facts: why botheLwith them at all? If the agitators; opinions are a lot of poppycock, why is it necessary to write six articles (at least) about these matters? Questions persist.

Travels in Five Tibets

(conrd. from p.lgp.12 )

 

massive liberalisation in Indian tourism policy. (Whether such a policy actually retains the foreign exchange it supposedly brings in would be interesting to examine, but is beyond the scope of the present discussion.) The Indian middle-class can be illogically moralistic on some matters: the Gantzers refer to this when commenting on the 'sex and drugs' issue. Foreign money is another such. While it s perfectly acceptable for industry to merrily profit from loads of foreign invested dollars and deutsche marks, it is not so in the case of people who raise questions, often at great personal risk. While deriding this double-edged morality of our people, it is ironic that the authors

appeal to this quality in their 'foreign money' comments. When all is said and done, it is hard to understand why these articles come down so harshly on the very legitimate questions raised abouttourism in Goa. After all, the Gantzers have raised similar questions at variolJs times. In late 1986, they wrote: : .we have travelled extensively across our mountains and we have seen the havoc being wreaked by distant DeoDle in power who have no awareness or concern for than in UP's ham-handed 6/9/90). issues which hold good in Uttar Pradesh somehow become iiTelevant when thev reach GO;}? nsteari of dismissing the ' ~ p I L p r v i r l l J ' and

quest the accounts are cliched, unreflective survivals of a bygone g e n r e ' ~ (his exceptions are David Snellgrove, Peter Matthiessen and Andrew Harvey, among others). Tourism litera literature, ture, particularly particularl y adventure tomism literature, is booming of course, beckoning tourists to the last hidden place. This literature, says Bishop, "has had profound influence on the shaping of the contemporary images of Tibetan landscape and cu Iture': What th s infl uence is and why contemporary images" no longer constitute a Western collective imagining, Bishop does not explain. One feels he has been confined by his own academic model of the creation, evolution and dissolution of a sacred place. The current interest in Tibet, although primarily touristic, would seem to indicate that Tibet is not yet an "empty v e s s e l ' ~ It is regretted that Bishop has not looked a little closer at the travel writing of the 1970s and 80s, at two schools the contemporary descendants the spiritual quest Europe. literature, in particular: and the new travel-realism and Eastern Ireland, writers of Britain, of Bishop is correct in stating that the focus of the spiritual quest was displaced with the movement of high lamas to the West. However, he seems unaware of the literary result of that movement. The lamas' Western students have been translating and practicing Tib,etan Buddhism for the last 15 or 20 years. They are knowledgeable about Tibetan history, iconography, and the lineages of teachings, and their vision of Tibet IS informed by the great Tibetan literary tradition itself. Their writing, like Keith Dowman's The Power-Places olCentral Tibet based on a ninth-century Tibetan pilgrim's guider has incorporated the Tibetans' vision of their own culture. The new hard-boiled school of travel writing, well represented in the periodic Mvel editions of the British magazine Granta, is in part a child of war journalism, in part a product of Europe's powerful ecological and democratic consciousness. It is hyper and sensitiv sensitivee to the nua nce of recent history. These writers have •. •• Tibet as they have touched other countries in pain: Cambodic The travel-realism writers will see Tibet with its bones  

while the Buddhisl wriiers will explore Tibet with full knowledge of its and religious tradition:.. Both will create fH .V imaginal olaces. ard the will be J Fn derick is travpl w n l u and editor of Sha Shangri ngri--La, La, the in-flight rlagazi ne of Royal Nepal Airlines

(Reprinted

their views have also bef'fl Correa committee appointt'd by the Goa g ( } ~ e r n m e n t recommended that the government withdraw its M a · ~ t e r Pian for Tourism (proposed in June 1987), which was done in 1988. There are other such instances. I have on purpose avoided - by and large - referring to the varied and complex questions thrown up by the resistance to touriml in Goa. These are issues intricately intertwined with wider issues such as political histOlY, pmt colonial culture and identity, and more recently, the directions of Goa's economic development. I have merely dealt with one aspect (related to economic development), that of national tourism pniicv. The research' pieces weeks Goa during the from years 'thrpehas pre-LentGantzer spectacle. Carnival, whichresuit in recent beenof turned into in a ourist Those who have expressed their doubts about t.Ol:rism are resident in Goa.

from HIMAl, May/June 1990)

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2

We

N TWORK N WS ROUN

invite Network members to contribute to the Network Letter

by sharing their work ideas and plans through the se pages. pages.

Communication is vital to the life of a Network especially when physical distances canno t easily be bridged by closer contacts. physical

UP

Global Touris Tourism m Activists Meet. CypntS Representatives from several countries will be meeting, for the first time, at September 28 to October 2, 1991. Plans are well underway for the

matters to the meeting, during which relatingwill functioning of the international tourism critique networks be structure discussed.and Apart from individual organisations, existing networks such as NANET, TEN/TWI and constituent members of ECTWT will be present. ECTWT and TEN are joint coordinators, with the Middle East Conference of Churches playing host in Cyprus.

Consultation

on

Tourism as a

C h a l l e n ~ e

to

e ~ i o n s

EQU TIONS at worll

the Government-sponsored India Tourism Year, we have ~ u n a number of new projects. Elsewhere in this new sletter. you in read a summary report of a 21-day  Visit to the southwest coastal states (Kamataba and Kerala). as well as a resPQnse t o a series of articles (by H.and CGantzer) e ~ d i n ~ tourism·activism in Goa, We are also involved in activities planned later this year at ~ o r e Tamil Nadu and B a n ~ l ( ) f e , Towards the end of the year. we hope to convene a meetinqfor Delhi-based peopJewho expreSsed an. interest in our activities. D u r i n ~

Goa

ECTWT, together with the Archdiocese of Goa and the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, proposes to hold this consultation, November 4-9, 1991. About 60 participants are expected. The consultation aims to achieve a perspective and planned response to the challenge that tourism presents to all religions, especially in India India.. Wri Write te to Fr Desmond de Souza, ECTWT, do Redemptorist Fathers, 876 Alto Porvorim, Goa 403 521.

National Forum on the Impact Impac t of Tourism Tourism,, Philippines The Center for Solidarity Tourism, Manila, o g e t ~ e r w i t h several Filipino NGOs, has formed the Phi Iippine Support Group for Victi ms ofTourism. The Support Group, coordinated by CST, plans to hold a 2-week national forum in Manila, to 'facilitate the long and difficult task of organising the victims of tourism' and

Resources Third World Tourism Research 1950-1984, by H Leo Theuns. Peter Lang

'prepare them to take an active role in meeting the challenges posed' Dates to be announced, while funding is being sought. Contributions to Norma Tinambacan, CST, 444 Guadalupe Bliss, Makati, Metro Manila. ENVIROfOUR VIENNA 1992

The International Society for Environmental Protection is conferel1ce 'on strategies for reducing the environmental impact Vienna, November 1992. It aims to analyse the impact of tourism professional travel on the environment, and to evaluate the effects of environmental measures, addressing d wide range of issues. ISEp, founded renowned scientists in 1987, includes in its aims 'the elaboration of ecological, economic and sociological strategies for the preservation and creation of a humane environment for all people: Write to Dr Susanne Burgstaller, ISEP, Marxergasse 3, A-1030 Vienna, Austria. Other f u m m s Tourism as a social concern will be raised at 2 forums planned in Thailand, First, at the NGOs parallel meeting during the World BankllMF General Assembly in October, 1991. Second, at the PP21 (Peoples' Plan for the 21st next year. While we do not yet have further details of either, it is obvious that tourism has to be increasingly recognised as an issue linked with other social concerns, and events such as these provide the networks of tourism critique opportunities to do so in an effective integrative way.

Sustainable Tourism,

fco

Institute, Costa Rica

The Eco Institute wants to bring a sustainable development approach to Costd Rica's tourism industry, before it is too late. The plan has 3 elements: to convene a task force-think tank to develop themes and affect public policy; act as a watchdog, reviewing tourism projects; and develop/fund small-scale pilot demonstrating the benefits of sustainable development The three year project wi II be coordinated by Deirdre Evans-Pritchilrd, who has extensive experience in tourism research.

Tplp) '

-Fax: Cable:

812-542313 AJ.r;-fU,OO

n

n

IIIJ (A TTN

007)

812-542627 (ATTN 020)/217890 (EQ. U. A.JlONS.)) EQUATIONS BANGAlORE-560 038 INDIA

TOE-DOC, No, l wurism, Development & Environment Project, ECTW7;

POBox 24, Chorakheboa, Bangkok 10230 6 0 p ~ june 1991. This first issue is a documentation consisting of selected newspaper clippings and articles on development and environmental issues related to tourism. Part of EGVVT's project on "Tourism, Development and the Environment'; this issue of TOE-DOC focusses on a general view of trends in tourism policy and development, cases of socially and environmentally degrading tourism projects, articles on debates and activities "towards sustainable development" and also

a section "Golf Course

M o n i t o r

~

Tourism in the People's Republic of Chinaby Anna Gerstlache!; Renate Areig Eva Sternk:ld 7iJurism Centrally Planned Economies Case Study No. 2. ECTW7; POBox Chorakheblla, Bangkok 1021088pp. 1991. This study examines the initial use of tourism by the People's Republic to gain more political recognition in the world by presenting successful socialist achievements. Though it started with an alternative, politically oriented to tourism, it ultimately fell victim to the massive powers of the international tourism industry. China today stands as one of the only nations to have experienced both the alternative approach of limited and controlled , tourism as well as mass tourism, The Chinese experience would be of relevance to those other centrally planned economies which aim to integrate this sector into t h ~ i r overall economic devE'lopement

Bananas, Beaches & Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, by Cynthia Enloe. Universityo/Cali/ornia r e s ~ Berke/e); 94720 244pp. 1989, The author takes a second look at fam familia iliarr s cenes - governments restricting imported goods; bankers negotiating foreign loans, soldiers serving overseas and show that the real landscape is not exclusively male. She also challenges

Please note the correct numbers at which to contact us: Phone'

jupiterstr. i Cl/-3000 Bern, i 8 3 p ~ 1991. This resource book with its over 2,000 entries, reveals the growing interest in one specialised research area: tourism in the developing nations. This bibliography, hopes to facilitate and promote research on tourism in developing countries a subject of utmost importance due to its nature and immense potential for growth.

P u b l k a t i o n ~

~ ~ Q ~ . ; ~

I

1 / ; ' h ~ ~

( ' ~ ; i : : ~ ; t ( t c ~ ,

l : n t ~ : : ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ : G r ; ~

!r;

~ h C '

IOn the Beach: Sexism and Tourism' she focusses on structural dimensions of tourism to drive home her arguments about the gender bias,

Puhlislud by Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), 96, H Colony, Ind iranaga r Stage Stage !, Bangalore 560 038.. INDIA. Dtrip and 'JYpestrting: Revisuality Typesetting and Graphic Design, 4211 Lavelle Road, Bangalore, INDIA.

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