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Ecotourism- Now In India…
By Rajneesh
ECOTOURISM- Now in India…

In India, ecotourism is still mostly hype and inaction. The National Tourism Policy of 2002 is quite ambitious about eco-tourism. Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh also have ecotourism policies. But these are plans in government files. Outside the red-taped files, most of India’s forests are battlefields, with wildlifers/ conservationists on one side and forest-dwelling communities on the other. It is essential to ecotourism that the people living in the area take a lead in conservation and tourism. This still looks some way off.
And just in case you don’t have enough reasons to ecotravel, consider this: the United Nations General Assembly had designated 2002 as the international year of Ecotourism.

Ecotourism is a novel concept, an effort to make the global-rambler politically correct and free of guilt

Ecotourism, more than any other form of travel, demands that the tourist be able to reconcile the inner journey with the outer one. In simpler terms, the joy you get out of the environs should be shared with all that makes the surroundings what they are-the plants, animals, ‘local’ people, everything. Another fact that you need to bear in mind is that ecotourism is different from-and distinct part of- nature tourism
There are ecotourism success stories in India.

The Periyar Tiger trail
programme in the Periyar National Park, Kerala, has employed 23 former poachers as guides. The men know the forest like their backyards, and their nuanced understanding of plant and animal life provides tourists with the reliable information that is so essential to eco-tourism. The guides are also very effective in preventing the plunder of forest resources by outsiders, since they have a direct stake in the forest’s health.

Apani Dhani is located in Rajasthan’s Shekhawati region, famous for its beautiful havelis with painted walls, and is north India’s most notable ecotourism success. Founded in 1990, the attractions of this ‘ecolodge’ include: solar powered electricity, organically farmed food items, huts made of local grasses and sun-dried clay bricks, recycling of packaging material, yoga, naturopathy, and water-harvesting system. Tariff: $20 for a double/ $15 for a single.

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