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Tourism in the Himalayas: Seizing the opportunity in gender and tourism: Women's involvement in tourism planning and management

  • Gupta, V.
  • Shah, K.

Travel has long been an important part of the life in the mountain villages of the Himalayas. Political and economic developments disrupted the traditional trading actives across the Himalayas and the movements of shepherds from the middle of the century, resulting in a significant negative impact on the economy of the region. Modern tourism, which began to pick up in the region in the sixties, has helped to fill the gap in some parts of the region. This paper is based on the experience of the authors of working in the Indian Himalayan region and on a large number of existing studies on tourism for Nepal and the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It examines the various forms of tourism that have emerged in the region with the ad-vent of modern tourism and the initiatives that have helped in maximising gains for the local host communities and minimising the potential of negative impact. It emphasises that these initiatives have succeeded in linking conservation issues and tourism in and around protected areas and that there are important lessons to be learnt from their experience. Whilst not focusing on a specific gender project, this paper examines the various gender issues highlighted by the studies. It concludes with recommending a sector approach, addressing issues related to all forms of tourism and their impact rather than just concentrating on interaction between tourism and conservation.

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