Dimensions of modern mass tourism in Himalaya

Spaltenberger, Tobias. Research Paper: Tourism in the Himalayas. 

This research paper analyzed old and new forms of tourism popular in theHimalayaand the impact of new forms of tourism on the regional ecology, economy and society. The popular forms include pilgrimage, visits to hill stations and modern mass tourism. The domain of modern mass tourism covers mountain climbing, sightseeing, trekking and winter sports. Better accessibility to the Himalaya during twentieth century opened doors for adventure activity-based tourism. Although the modern tourism is not a very old phenomenon, the number of tourists rose substantially during this phase and directly affected the regional environment. For example,

  • Disposal of waste left by trekkers is a big concern.
  • Trekkers contributed to degradation of the Himalayan trails.
  • Traditional social value system is affected.

To contain these erosions, various governing bodies drafted different codes of conduct for the mass tourists. The following codes are discussed in the paper:

  • Minimum impact code for travel to Upper Mustang by the Ministry of Tourism,Nepal, 2000
  • Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme  (UIAA, International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation in English) Ethical Code of Expeditions
  • Recommended Code of Practice for High Altitude Guided Commercial Expeditions by International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation.
  • The Eco-Trekker: Sikkim Biodiversity and Ecotourism Project 1977

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