Responsibility & sustainability in tourism: concerns in the context of liberalization policies Presentation of Tourism Services Workshop on WTO related issues for Government officials of SAARC countries New Delhi, May 2006 Tourism statistics & trends Fastest growing industry Increasingly dominant role in 49 less developed countries 694 mn tourist traffic1 Which rose by 23.8% (3.4 mn) in 2004 Earnings generated – US$ 4810 mn India: contributed 4.9% of GDP Supports 46.87 mn jobs – directly & indirectly2 Thematic areas of conflict: Economy Tourism is considered as an important development option for the purpose of: Providing income & revenue; foreign exchange Providing employment & augment livelihoods, through multiplier effect Aiding in strengthening economies Ushering in development Thematic areas of conflict: Economy The actual scenario is that: Leakages supercede incomes / revenues3 Offers low skill / pay jobs to local communities There is a lack of support to SMEs Creates dependency on tourism, which may be unsustainable in long run Tourism development is privileged & gets primary beneficiary status Indigenous & local communities, other marginalized groups become secondary or tertiary beneficiaries Thematic areas of conflict: Environment Tourism has a track record of negative impacts Current focus is on new tourism forms – “eco” Tourism operates in an unregulated climate & inadequate policy regime Sustainability is sought for tourism purposes Whereas, there is denial of access to natural resources for local communities Thematic areas of conflict: Institutions Constitutional provisions & contradictions Dilution of powers of local governing institutions Inclusion of scheduled areas (removal of trade barriers) Inconsistencies with international covenants that recognize rights of indigenous & local communities Thematic areas of conflict: Society Non recognition of impact of tourism on marginalized & vulnerable sections – women, children, indigenous communities Non participatory mechanisms adopted in tourism development processes GATS … on a hot tin roof! The GATS & tourism in brief – Sub agreement within the WTO-OMC – Aim: develop global trade rules in services, including tourism – Tourism: very important (125 / 148 members committed to have liberalized policies) – Very few limitations / regulations included in commitment schedule GATS … on a hot tin roof! The GATS & tourism: – Liberalization of tourism impacted by liberalization of other sectors as well: • Environmental services: water, waste management, landscaping • Transportation services • Construction services – Widening of inequities & imbalances – Failure to see linkages of local economy, livelihoods to natural resources and social processes GATS … on a hot tin roof! – Benefits to communities not considered – Challenges faced by community initiatives – Dilutions of domestic regulations (trade barriers) – Conflicts with other MEAs – e.g. CBD – Acknowledges only national governments & there are no consultations with state or local governments GATS – key questions What is the urgent need to hasten tourism development? Role of IFIs: local priorities, aspirations vs. mega plans – ADB SASEC Plan • Tourism a priority sector4 • Significant progress made • Focus: branding, connectivity & joint marketing, infrastructure • Negligence on: sustainability, conservation & community participation What needs to be done … Holistic development of tourism is required GATS impact assessment studies need to be done Democratic consultation & scrutiny of WTO positions & interventions by IFIs Thank You.
Pages to are hidden for
"Responsibility sustainability in tourism concerns in the "Please download to view full document