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Assessing the Responsible Tourism Practices for Sustainable Development - An Empirical Inquiry of Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu

Journal of Hospitality Application and Research

Volume 13 Issue 2

Published: 2018
Author(s) Name: Hemachandran Rajamanicam, Priyakrushna Mohanty, Anu Chandran | Author(s) Affiliation: Junior Research Fellow, Tourism & Member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), Pondicherry
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Abstract

Tourism in India is experiencing exponential growth with a massive contribution of 9.6% to the GDP and 9.3% to the total employment. Nevertheless, sustainability is emerging out to be one of the most predominant factors to be considered while developing and promoting Indian destinations. Ever since the formulation of its definition in the Brundtland Commission report, entitled Our Common Future, “Sustainable Development” has been invariably the most discussed concept in the development literature. To ensure sustainability, each stakeholder must be conscious about their actions and impacts on the destination. In that regard, Responsible tourism is a useful tool to identify key local issues and address them to attain sustainable development by providing clear report of the progress. The current study is an empirical analysis which tries to assess the extent to which responsible tourism practices are followed by different stakeholders at Yelagiri and consequently, highlight the sustainability of the destination. Both qualitative and quantitative data have been collected through questionnaires (i.e. structured and unstructured), field notes and participant observation. Thematic content analysis has been employed to analyze qualitative data while quantitative data has been analyzed through SPSS software and Microsoft Excel. Qualitative data collected from the local community members and Govt. officials have been triangulated with the quantitative data collected from the tourists to further reinforce the findings. The findings of the study reveal positive economic benefits to the host community albeit negative social and environmental impacts on the destination; thus, pointing towards unsustainable development.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Responsible Tourism Practices, Host Community Benefit, Economic Development, Environment Protection

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