Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Education is meant to be inclusive of both staff and guests.
Principles of Ecotourism
Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles:
- Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
- Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates.
- Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.
- Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.
Ecotourism in Himalayas…..
Culture and Lifestyle
The fairs, customs, food habits, beliefs, attire and occupation explicate the hard-earned lifestyle of the aborigines. The people of Kullu believe in simple living and perseverance.
Simple food having indigenous recipes of dishes like: Siddu, Gicha, Bhatura (fermented flour bread), Stuffed Bhatura, Jatu (red rice) and Kodra roti (cereal bread),etc.
Western Himalayas especially the Kullu-Manali region has an endemic ecosystem with rich variety of flora and fauna. Himalayan mountain regions are very significant as per environmental perspective as well as social perspective but they are vulnerable and sensitive to any change imposed by outside world either in the form of climate change or overexploitation of natural resources.
With a majority of population dependent on horticultural activities cash/fruit crops like apple, plum, pear, pomegranate, etc. are very important for livelihood of the people of this region. Also from last few years tourism industry gaining ground and also becoming a major source of income for the people of this region.