5.Scope and challenges in Ecotourism: a comprehensive study in Indian Context
Joyshree Nath and Asoke Nath
Abstract: Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries with an annual average growth rate of 5%, and numbers of international travel might nearly double until 2020 compared to 2006. Having experienced a growth of 25% between 1995 and 2005, tourism today accounts for 10% of the world's economic activity and is one of the main generators of employment. Tourism is also a major source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in many developing countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. The tourism industry ranks about 6th in international trade after trade in fossil fuels, telecommunications and computer equipment, automotive products, and agriculture. According to the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), tourism that involves travelling to relatively undisturbed natural areas with the specified objective of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural aspect found in these areas is defined as ecotourism. An optimum number of environment friendly visitor activities, which do not have any serious impact on the ecosystem and the local community and the positive involvement of the local community in maintaining the ecological balance are some of its key elements. In the present paper the authors have given a comprehensive study on ecotourism pertaining to Indian context and its scope and challenges in coming years. Ecotourism in India may take a very important role in unorganized sectors especially those who are not employed or are not doing any regular job. Keywords: tourism; employment; environment friendly; unorganized sector.