The Future of Ecotourism
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Kerala is a state located at the Southern part of India. It is a place mentioned in many parts of the Mahabmarata, an infamous Asian epic. This place is a long shoreline with many serene beaches. It has an exotic and rich wildlife, picturesque waterfalls, sprawling plantations and fields. The place is rich with nature, culture and people. It is gifted with unique and beautiful geographical features that has made it one of the most visited, sought after and known tourist destinations in Asia. Kerala is peaceful and pristine. In fact, for many years it was considered as the cleanest state in India. It has the highest life expectancy rates and lowest mortality and infant rates. On top of that, it has an equable climate which allows many people to enjoy the beaches. Also, Kerala’s exotic and delicious cuisines offer tourists a wonderful experience (Ramachandran, 1995).
However, the roads which network tourism in the area badly need improvements. The level of tourism potential of a place depends highly on the number of tourists who visits it. Therefore, the roads which serve as the way to the tourism spots should be given priority. Fortunately, the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre, a body under the autonomous body of India recognized roads stretching to up to 441 kilometers that needed vital and urgent improvements such as widening, strengthening, resurfacing and other geometric improvements. In addition, with the help of the Asian Development Bank, India has received a loan for the Sustainable Urban Development Project. This provided for the improvements and upgrades of basic environmental services such as water supply, solid waste management and transport (Pucci, 2006).
India has been taking steps in giving focused attention to the ecotourism in the state of Kerala. In fact, a separate department was created to give support regarding the development of tourism spot destinations in the state. In cooperation with other departments such as Irrigation and Forest Tourism, an ecotourism project was formulated—the Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society. This is the very first ecotourism project in India. Their goal is to not only plan processes to be taken in the principles of ecotourism but to implement these as well. They made a conscious management strategy to create the familiarization among people regarding the impacts of human actions to the ecosystem. Also, one of their plans is for the periphery of the sanctuaries of Kerala so that it will not be affected with the pressures of tourism. In other words, tourists will get to enjoy the place without destroying the most precious possessions of Kerala—the marine life. Since the place is very rich in this, they plan to keep it that way (Pucci, 2006).
If nothing is done to try to improve Kerala and impose awareness on people about ecotourism, there is a very high possibility that the beaches will lose its beauty, the rich waters will fade and the wildlife population will decrease. The government of India needs to impose more laws and actions concerning the ecotourism in Kerala so as not to put into waste the beauty that the place has been equipped.
My challenge for Kerala is to finish what they have started and come up with more ideas for the betterment of their “home”. The process will be a learning experience. Through it, they will be able to make Kerala qualitatively better by means of getting valuable feedbacks from tourists. Striving for excellence with regards to the conservation of natural resources should be one of their primary goals. With the help of the people and their government they will be able to make their place one of the truly most sought after tourist destinations not only in Asia, but in the whole world.
Ramachandran, V.K. (1995, May 01). A note on Kerala’s development achievements. (Kerala, India). Monthly Review, 14-19.
Pucci, Carol (2006).Make yourself at home in India’s Kerala. Seattle Times (Seattle, WA).