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Resource Center
Is India Trying to Subdue Kashmir Through Religious Tourism? 
July 17, 2018
The Indian state under the increasing influence of Hindu nationalism is using Hindu pilgrimage sites..
“Aswachh Bharat” marks Amarnath yatra 
July 15, 2018

Tourism and Plastic: Exploring the Contours 

June 04, 2018
The threat that plastic poses to the health of the planet has been raising alarm bells for some time..
As Women, Are We Really Economically Empowered A view from the point of view of Tourism 
April 10, 2018

Do we enjoy the same quality of life as our male counterparts? How can we, when the figures of women..

Meet the Majid Squad, a Group that Voluntarily Cleans Filth on Amarnath Yatra Routes 
January 29, 2018
Notwithstanding the National Green Tribunal directions, Governor N N Vohra recently decided that a 60-day-long..
We initiate campaigns and support people’s struggles, against unjust, undemocratic and unsustainable forms of tourism. We advocate people’s concerns with the local, regional and national government and lobby for change.  Our advocacy aims for decentralised democracy and believe that communities should have a decisive voice in the access, control and ownership over their livelihood, natural resources and common resources. We try to ensure people’s experience influence changes in tourism policies.

Find below our Campaign Letters and Statements in the context of tourism development. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective campaign material.

You can sort the campaign materials across the two filters available (Year and Thematic Areas).

Statement on Just Tourism - Tourism Alert and Action Forum (TAAF 
March 18, 2018

Tourism Alert and Action Forum met at Salvador, Brazil in March, 2018 in a side event to the World Social Forum. TAAF reaffirmed its commitment to the principles of the Istanbul Statement, considered the experiences of communities suffering the negative impacts of tourism policies and projects that are included within the imposition of models of hegemonic development and took inspiration on resistance and transformations in tourism.

Goa Tourism Master Plan and Policy, 2016: Annihilation of people and Sale of a state 
April 14, 2016
On 26th April 2016, key newspapers reported that the Department of Tourism, Government of Goa had invited views and suggestions from various stakeholders on its proposed 3-Module Tourism Master Plan and Policy. This letter is to share with you the views of the Centre for Responsible Tourism* and EQUATIONS** on this document.

December 07, 2015
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which celebrates International Aviation Day on 7 December calls air transport “by far the safest mode of mass transportation”1.  With climate change careening beyond acceptable limits, and the biosphere endangered by mass tourism, we must broaden our concepts of safety.

September 27, 2015
This year’s World Tourism Day theme ‘1 Billion Tourists – 1 Billion Opportunities’ sounds like a slogan for an advert to entice consumers to buy a product like a laundry detergent or hamburger. The UNWTO invites us to celebrate 1 billion tourist arrivals per year and the seemingly unlimited growth of the travel and tourism industry; it is hoped that by 2030, almost 2 billion people will have embraced the tourist lifestyle.

Down Tourism's Slippery Slopes 
July 26, 2015
On February 6, 2014, the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed orders in a 2010 case which had been transferred from the High Court of Himachal Pradesh in 2013 with Application No. 237 (THC)/2013 (CWPIL NO. 15 of 2010).

Statement of Civil Society Organisations to the draft National Tourism Policy, 2015 
May 10, 2015
In the introductory chapter of the draft National Tourism Policy (NTP), 2015 the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), attempts to present the overarching perspective of the proposed policy, and which is further elaborated in the next chapter on Vision, Mission and Objectives. Both these chapters lead to what follows in the rest of the policy. Keywords across the two chapters which stand out are

Written Submission to Ministry of Tourism on National Tourism Policy, 2015 
March 23, 2015
Sustainable tourism development is applicable to all forms of tourism, which are in harmony with their economic, social, physical and cultural environment in the long term. The 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment that took place in Stockholm and which, in its declaration, defined key principles of sustainable development concerning environment and development, which was to be followed by all countries who are signatories. With the failure of the effectiveness of the 1972 declaration, the World Commission on Environment and Development was created to formulate a global agenda for change. It is in their report 'Our Common Future' released in 1987 that a definition of Sustainable Development was promulgated and which has today gained universal acceptability. Below is a reproduction from the document

Failure of British Government to Extradite Notorious Paedophile Raymond Varley to India to Stand Trial. 
November 10, 2014
We the undersigned NGOs working on the issue of child rights are shocked by the Order passed by a UK Judge on 10th October this year admitting Raymond Varley’s plea that he was suffering from dementia and turning down the Indian government’s request for his extradition on those grounds. Significantly, the diagnosis of dementia was made by a neuro-psychologist of Varley’s choice. Apparently the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) did not ask for Varley to be examined by an independent expert. According to the news article, by which we are informed about the outcome of the 10th October hearing, the Indian government was given ample opportunities to examine him, which they however, did not do.

World Tourism Day, An Occasion to Evaluate Promises of Community Development 
September 27, 2014
During our deliberations, we noted with concern that the theme for this year’s World Tourism’s Day is “tourism and community development”. We find this theme to be highly misleading about community benefits, since the policies and practices of tourism are heavily weighted in the favour of the industry, and its unchecked growth. At our meeting, we shared research on tourism worldwide – for example, in Hawai’i, India, Palestine, Peru and Tanzania - which confirms widespread and deepening violations of the rights of vulnerable peoples and communities, women, children, and both local and migrant workers. Alarmingly, their vulnerability to tourism is more pronounced than a decade ago, due to the practices of neoliberalism, which commodify people, places and cultures, privatise the commons and undermine people’s livelihoods. Today, the heavy, aggregate impacts of tourism on the biosphere threaten community development on an unprecedented scale, globally. Yet populations living in and around tourism destinations generally are excluded from meaningful roles in decision-making about the nature, scale, and regulation of tourism development.

Make Tourism Work for Women: A way to Engage with Women's Safety in Tourism 
September 11, 2014
Recent statement made by the Union Finance Minister Mr. Jaitely about the incident of Delhi gang rape costing millions of dollars to the tourism industry has once again brought the attitude of the State towards women to the fore. It does not only speak  volumes about the government perception towards women’s safety but also reveals the approach of government towards tourism.

Tourism Advocacy and Action Forum-Istanbul Statement 
August 30, 2014
We have gathered in Istanbul because of our shared recognition of the urgent need to rebuild an international network and forum for courageous dialogue on global tourism impacts. We are gravely concerned about today’s converging global crises, which are manifesting with particular and increasing intensity through tourism, and include both the biosphere crisis and the numerous intensifying social crises that accompany it. These multiple crises profoundly affect humanity, especially today’s children and future generations worldwide, and merit our immediate collective action. We therefore strive for a proactive global tourism advocacy and action platform.

Tourism Advocacy and Action Forum decries aggression against Gaza; calls for freedom and justice in Palestine 
August 01, 2014
We, members of the Tourism Advocacy and Action Forum, which includes tourism activists and representatives of civil society groups whose work focuses on advocating human rights, community rights and justice, gathered in Istanbul between 28th and 30th August, 2014 to plan advocacy of human rights and social justice concerns in tourism.  We pronounce our strongest condemnation of the recent assault on Gaza and here want to draw attention to the issues that come out of this. Witnessing 51 days of extreme violence; criminality violating international human rights law and the Geneva Conventions; and unlimited damage to civilian lives, infrastructures and essential services, we assert these action are unacceptable. This occurs in a context of more than seven years of illegal occupation and brutal blockade of the Gaza Strip which has resulted in the imprisoning of the Gazan people in a virtual open-air prison in violation of international human rights law.

A Call for Systemic Engagement with Women Issues in Tourism! 
June 16, 2014
Tourism development is often rationalised on economic grounds in terms of employment generation, especially for women. Focus only on employment generation without taking into consideration social, cultural, economic and political power relations has resulted in tourism development being divorced from ground realities. This has significant consequences for women living and/or working in and around tourism destinations as well as women tourists.

EQUATIONS Submission to Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on the Issue of Child and Tourism 
December 01, 2013
Kerala State Tourism policy states the setting up of the Task force against Trafficking and Abuse which should be taken up. Kerala State Tourism must declare for Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse in Tourism which clearly denounces sexual exploitation of children and commit that tourism and tourist destinations will be child exploitation free zones

Submission To Justice Verma Committee On Tourism's Role In The Exploitation Of Women 
January 30, 2013
In our quest for tourism that is more equitable, sustainable and just we have had on our radar the impact that current forms of tourism development have on women’s lives.

A Robin Hood Reversal Facilitating The Powerful and Punishing The Weak 
October 30, 2012
The Department of Tourism had announced the Draft Karnataka Tourism Trade Facilitation Act, 2012 in September 2012. This document is the critique of the Draft Act along with our suggestions and recommendations for change in the Act.

Note of Objections 
September 22, 2012
This has reference to our earlier communications to you (Tushar Dash through an email dated 18th September 2012, in response to email from Dr Rajesh Gopal sharing the final draft of the guidelines for tourism in tiger reserve, and Swathi Seshadri in the meeting).

Changing Stripes - A Call to the MOEF to Walk Its Talk 
August 23, 2012
Submission of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to the Supreme Court on August 22, 2012 in the case of Ajay Dubey vs. National Tiger Conservation Authority & Ors. (SLP (Civil) No (s). 21339/2010) asking for permission to review the existing guidelines for conservation of tigers.

Kerala Tourism Policy 2011 (Draft) Participatory? - YES! Inclusive? NO!-30 Nov 11 
November 30, 2011
The Kerala Tourism Policy 2011 (Draft) issued by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala in November 2011 recognises the role of local self governing institutions in tourism development. The policy also visualises sustainable development through involving local panchayat and communities. Both these are welcome moves. What needs a perspective change is the excessive tourist focus without consideration of the impacts on local communities. The objectives of the policy seem to be primarily about the role and functions of the Department of Tourism and the formal sector of the tourism industry while the informal sector of the tourism industry that constitutes a significant part of the industry and economy has been ignored. EQUATIONS’ critique highlights the need for tourism impacts to be considered in policy formulation and implementation.

EQUATIONS Response to the National PPP Policy, 2011-Draft 
October 13, 2011
The Ministry of Finance issued the draft National PPP Policy, 2011 on September 27th and had invited comments/suggestions by October 15th. EQUATIONS has submitted it comments from the point of view of tourism. There are 5 key inadequacies/issues that need to be addressed: inadequate review for the need for PPPs, inadequate impact studies on PPPs, PPPs are driven by economic interests and returns on investment, impacting the access of under-privileged to basic services like health and education, clubbing of all tourism projects as public purpose being problematic as many of the PPP projects are in the high-end sectors and finally lack of basic documentation on the outcomes of existing PPP projects. While highlighting these issues, the comments also propose specific changes that need to be made in the text of the policy.

Call For Protection Of People's Right Along with Heritage Conservation In Hampi 
August 17, 2011
We condemn the inhuman and illegal eviction and demolition at Hampi Bazaar:  Hampi has been more than just a collection of ruins scattered in a magnificent landscape. It is part of the historical and ancient city of Vijayanagara, which has survived as a living site. Here visitors (domestic, foreign, pilgrims, researchers etc) experience the dynamism and colour of a vibrant bazaar. Today the Hampi Bazaar is facing a crisis, with it having been illegally demolished. Eviction notices were issued a few hours before the demolition, giving no time and opportunity for people to respond and react to the notices. Neither alternate housing nor clear guidelines for conducting business were issued prior to the eviction.  The fallout of this demolition has been that many families, some with small children and some with aged people have been pushed on to the streets, do not have a place to lives, and livelihoods have been affected. To endorse this statement please send a mail to [email protected]

We Seek Stringent Regulation Of Tourism In And Around Protected Areas 
June 30, 2011
The (Draft) Guidelines for Ecotourism in and around Protected Areas were issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on June 2, 2011 and comments invited by June 30, 2011. Through detailed comments and documentation, we have recommended that the Ministry recognise the primacy of the Gram Sabha and the various committees formed under The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 in forest governance. A proposed structure for the guidelines, a note highlighting the realities of ecotourism in the context of conservation and livelihoods form important parts of the documents sent to the Minsitry.

Protecting Livelihoods and Regulating Street Vending in India Widen Scope and Make Process Inclusive! 
June 30, 2011
The Supreme Court in October 2010 directed the state governments to enact a law before 30th June 2011 based on the Model Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill 2009. EQUATIONS highlights the need to make the Bill more inclusive, contextual and holistic . We recommend an inter-ministerial collaborative approach.

Act on a ACT! Not a CRZ Notification! 
March 17, 2011
In May 2010, EQUATIONS sent detailed comments on the Pre Draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2010 issued by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). We specifically focused on tourism development issues vis-à-vis protection of coast. In September 2010, we reiterated our concerns on the Draft CRZ Notification 2010. Though the process evolved by MoEF in drafting the Notification was welcome, we were hopeful that through this process MoEF would issue an Act for the important extensive coastline of India.

On 6th January 2011, MoEF still took the route of coming with another Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2011 under Section 3(1) and Section (2)(v) of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and Rule 5(3)(d) of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986, superseding the CRZ Notification issued on 19th February 1991. CRZ Notification 2011 recognises the need to protect the interest of people on the coast and the protection of the coastal ecology. But a Notification is weaker than an Act when it comes to protection of the coast. This brief analysis of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2011 in relation to tourism seeks to secure the protection of the coastal eco system and the livelihood of the communities directly dependent on it. We continue to stand by our call on the necessity for a strong Act to prevent violations instead of the current easily amendable Notification.

Tourism Regulation in Ecologically Sensitive Areas 
January 11, 2011
In a letter to Shri. Sujit Banerjee, Chairman, Committee – Guidelines for Forest and Wildlife Ecotourism set up by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), we raise certain issues such as the need to expand the scope of regulation of tourism beyond tiger reserves, the composition of the committee, non-acknowledgement of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 in the Terms of Reference (ToR) and on the process of finalising the guidelines.

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