Garhwal hills the regular organisation of Himalayan Car Rallies has put a grave danger to an already fragile eco-system. In fact in 1989, people of Garhwal stood up against the onslaught of automobiles and blocked the Rally.
Such instances are many that are not recorded properly nor any scientific study had been taken up to evaluate such dangers.
It is commonly observed that tourists visiting popular places particularly in hills, take along with them a lot of cans and plastic sealed materials. These matters are not dissolved easily and have started creating a permanent damage to the environment.
In fact serious view has been taken by government. Regarding adventure tourists as things left out by them are degrading the eco-system. However, much needs to be done in this regard. If this is not done the day will not be far when like Ganga, entire Himalayan region will be without greenery.
Instances of tourists being cheated by locals are now in numerous. However, the local population is also cheated by itself. For example, in the hill areas local people provide all the facilities to visiting tourists with a smile on their faces.
During summer’s people of Nainital, Almora, Ranikhet, Mussoorie etc. even rent out their houses for the tourists. Such actions of locals make such spots popular. However, due to this popularity, the city gets costlier and the ultimate victim of this situation is the local person.
This is why whereas the popularity of the hill areas is on the up, the poverty of the local area has showed no signs of coming down.
Cultural integration is said to be one of the objectives of tourism development. Because of this monuments are saved, festivals are popularised, new outlets are provided to traditional craft and performing arts and align industries are benefited.
However, given a deep-insight, it will be apparent that all is not well with tourism. Although it does save monuments, however, it does so only for a few popular ones. In fact when monuments are preserved through tourism, market forces concentrate all work on the most prominent and accessible buildings, leaving others to rot untouched.
This is so, because like other industries its actions too are dictated by the market forces and usually by short-term profit rather than by long-term investment. Tourism’s most obvious disadvantage for conservation is the physical destruction of buildings and streets under pressure of tourism-based development.
Furthermore, it is true that tourism provides new outlets for traditional crafts and for the performing arts, work done for tourists is rarely of the quality produced for a more experienced market. Therefore, quantity is achieved at the cost of quality.
Similarly, although tourists may be interested in traditional culture, they bring with them alien values whose superficial attraction leads the local people away from tradition.
Tourists can be seen as wealthy and successful role models. Tourism, thus, creates dissatisfaction with the local culture and is unable to supply anything of value of its place.
Therefore, too great a dependence on tourism may result in a chain of unpredictable economic, social and cultural changes which may cause irreparable damage to the society.