Examining state government’s initiatives for promoting sustainable tourism in Himachal Pradesh
Rajni Tuteja and Dr. Imrana Khan
Himachal Pradesh, also known as Dev Bhoomi or the "abode of the Gods," is situated in the Lower Himalayan Hills. Agriculture and tourism, two clearly seasonal industries, are very important to its economy. Despite the massive reliance on tourism, it is much unorganized in nature and, among other connected concerns, faces a few developmental issues related to the environment as well as the exploitation of economically poorer groups of the population. The areas are in the unfortunate situation of growing polluted since they are so dependent on the seasonal inflow of tourists, whether they are coming to escape the summer heat or are drawn by the thick layer of snow. The fact that the sector is dominated by a small group of wealthy individuals, virtually to the exclusion of the rural population, who would otherwise have no other source of income besides agriculture and other seasonal activities like traditional weaving, basket making, or cattle rearing, especially during the long winter months, is a major concern. In the larger framework of social and environmental responsibility, this study examines these two facets of the tourism business and how one strategy for reversing the situation would be to educate people about the advantages of ecotourism and get them involved. This qualitative study will also consider the government policies that are promoting a start in this direction, as well as the contribution that social media and advertising make to its implementation.