What is the importance of sustainable tourism in India. What Major Steps To Be Needed To Develop Tourism?

The importance of including an environmental dimension in strategic management processes has grown during the last decade, leaving no industry unaffected. Concepts such as sustainable tourism, sustainable tourism development and sustainable principles have been discussed, and a review of the existing tourism literature clearly indicates two separate discussion paths. On the one hand, we have researchers who have focused on defining and comparing different concepts related to sustainability and who have developed guidelines for a sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism planning in tourism companies must be based on a positive attitude towards sustainable development.  The competitiveness of industry has been one of the most important themes of research in the fields of economics and business studies. Although the concept of competitiveness of nations was initially proposed by economists, the term has also gained importance as a subject of study among management scholars during the last decade.

The important thing about travel in foreign lands is that it breaks the speech habits and makes you blab less, and breaks the habitual space-feeling because of different village plans and different landscapes. It is less important that there are different mores, for you counteract these with your own reaction-formations.-
Paul Goodman (1911-1972) American author, poet and critic.

Most empirical studies on competitiveness at the industry level have been related to the manufacturing and related sectors, and only recently have some researchers started to examine the international competitiveness of the service sector with a particular focus on tourism destinations and the hotel industry that deserves a systematic and critical review. As the tourism and hotel industry continue to prosper in the global economy, competition, whether it be international or domestic, among members of the industries becomes fiercer. Possessing competitive advantages could be key to success for those members. Tourism is recognized as a resource-intensive industry; it needs, therefore, to be accountable in terms of sustainability at both local and global scales. Sustainable tourism (ST) is a major focus in the debate on environmentally integrated tourism development, but existing research shows that sustainability is a complex concept, and one that requires more critical and comprehensive analysis. Although philosophical discussion of scientific knowledge, paradigmatic and disciplinary debates can provide hypotheses regarding the evolution of tourism knowledge, the empirical study of the content of its literature provides grounded evidence about the evolution of such knowledge, paradigm or discipline.

Our instructed vagrancy, which has hardly time to linger by the hedgerows, but runs away early to the tropics, and is at home with palms and banyans –which is nourished on books of travel, and stretches the theatre of its imagination to the Zambesi.
George Eliot (1819-1880) British writer.

It is a known fact that as the economy grows the demand for services increases.“The service sector accounts for 54 percent of GDP in India and is currently the fastest growing sector of the economy” Hospitality and tourism is an important contributor to India’s service portfolio. To illustrate, the tourism industry in India is expected to achieve the fastest rate of growth of any economic sector.Liberalization, privatization and globalization has fulled the creation of a rapidly changing and highly competitive environment worldwide. Nations, industries and firms are strategically working to develop sustainable competitive advantage across sectors. Most of the developing economies are in rapid transit towards becoming “service economies” and therefore, the relative competitiveness of the service sector is emerging as a crucial factor as it influences the overall competitiveness of a country. Playing a significant role here is the tourism industry, the largest and fastest growing industry in the world, employing over 260 million people and generating 10.7 percent of the world’s GDP.

As noted by the World Tourism Organization (2004), sustainable tourism principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. A suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. Its importance lies in its objective which is to conserve resources and increase and preserve local cultures and traditions. In simple terms, sustainable tourism is responsible tourism intended to generate employment and income, thereby reducing any deeper impact on the environment and local culture. The principles of sustainable tourism lay especial emphasis on the participation of local communities at tourism destinations. Here, the active involvement of local people is the critical success factor in sustaining momentum. Ideally, local communities should reap direct benefits from tourism development as reflected by the expansion of local business opportunities. Training and education programmes play an important support role here as they help to improve cultural heritage and the management of natural resources. While attracting only a small proportion of international visitors relative to its massive population base, India has one of the most diversified tourism profiles of any Asian country. Domestic tourism in India has been growing at double the rate of international tourism, boosted by the expansion and liberalization of aviation networks and increasingly affluent populations after a sustained period of stellar economic growth. It can be seen that for India to tap its enormous tourism potential and to compete globally and within the Asian tourism market, it must offer world-class tourism services and destinations. There needs to be sensitization so as preserve the environment, local culture and involvement of local communities. There is also a need for a more robust educational system that can train the manpower needed for the industry. Hotel management education should have strong inbuilt management components and feature courses on sustainable development.

Four basic principles for the concept of sustainability have been considered:

(1) the idea of holistic planning and strategy-making;

(2) the importance of preserving essential ecological processes;

(3) the need to protect both human heritage and biodiversity and

(4) development based on the idea that productivity

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