|Title: PRO POOR TOURISM IN KERALA, SOUTH INDIA: POLICY IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACTS|
|Author: THIBAULT MICHOT|
|Keywords: PRO-POOR, TOURISM, RESPONSIBILITY, KERALA, POLICY, IMPLEMENTATION|
|Download PDF of Abstract: English Thai|
Nowadays the world is coming through a worldwide economic crisis. Meanwhile the tourism industry is still expected to keep booming at an impressive rate of almost 10%, and the figure of 1 billion international travelers will probably be hit in 2010. Therefore, this sector has consequent impacts on people's lives, especially in developing countries where tourism is seen as a great opportunity to generate income. However, because of the way the industry is ruled, tourism did not bring economic benefit that much to local communities. In many ways, tourism has been harmful not only to the environment, but also to social structures. It is clear that the authorities must redesign their tourism policies toward a more sustainable and responsible direction. The state of Kerala in India is aware of the issues generated by tourism and claims to be a pioneer in designing tourism policies that benefit the poor. Therefore, this study has the objectives to: (a) conduct an evaluation to see what is actually pro-poor in the policy recently implemented by the Kerala Department of Tourism; (b) assess what impacts these policies have on the peoples' lives; and (c) explore the possibility to replicate the model of Kerala to other destinations. The results showed that Kerala's new tourism policies are truly innovative. Under what is called "Responsible Tourism Initiative", there are definitely measures designed to achieve poverty alleviation through tourism activities. Kerala is paying attention to respect the Pro-Poor Tourism principles; and although it takes time to see the efficiency of policies on the field, the pilot project of Kumarakom already showed positive outcomes on economic and social empowerment of the local community. On the other hand, the possibility to replicate what is ongoing in Kerala seems more questionable regarding the state apparently benefited from a set of very favorable initial conditions that may not be possible to find anywhere else.
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