ANLetter Volume 1 Issue 1-Apr 1993-EQUATIONS

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Alternative Network Letter and ANLetter is EQUATIONS’ newsletter, which was produced until the year 2000. The central aim of the newsletter is to increase awareness on the impacts of tourism, especially on local communities at tourism destinations, and the necessity to make tourism development non-exploitative, equitable and sustainable. The articles, contributions both by EQUATIONS staff team as well as relevant articles commissioned or featured provide a basis for action and change at both policy and implementation stage. Publisher: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) Contact:, +91.80.25457607 Visit:, Keywords: ANLetter, EQUATIONS Newsletter, Tourism, Tourism Impacts, India, Third World, Non-Exploitative, Equitable, Sustainable, Tourism Policy, Tourism Development, Local Communities
  Vglume l, lssue 1 Apnl-l993 For Private Circulation Only ANew ldentity Welcome to the first issue o/ Altlktter, EQUATIONS' new publication. With this, we also enil the publicntion of the ALTERN ATNE NETWOR K LETTER - / NL in brief - which we brought to our renders since early '1986. As some of you who were with us back then might remember, ANL was first published following the'1984 Workshop on Alternatiae Tburbm held at Chkng Mai in Thailand. EQUAT/ONS was setup in'l 9 8 5,par tly as a result of Chian g Mai, anil t nk rap onsibili ty for puhlkhing ANL from its second issue. Anewpublication signifiesachange: in this case,it represents thechanges that haoe takenplace at EQUATIONS wer the past yearor so, and those that are planned t'or the next coupleof years. Our role in the past has mainly beenas aresource and informtion centre on Third World tourLsm bsues, focussing on India. An!7: 'n'trt of our wor\ centered around our drcumentation ai,. . r,.!hich prouided the basis for workhops, campuigns,publicni'ions nnd audio-aisunls, and collnborations with actiuists and acadenics. By enrly '199'l , there was a clear sense thatghangeswere needed, giaenthcchangingcontext of tourbminlndia. We inztitedsome network partners in April thatyear to share with ustheir palues andaiauts, their assessment and future expectations of us. This pr trc ess c ontirurcd with the setting upan internal Task F orce in late 1991 . During the latterpart of 'l 992, we uere able to retsicw the progress in these efforts,anrlarrioed at a number of decLsions regarding the future. Starting this year, we will proaide aaried anil multi-t'aceted Iearning experiences on tourLsm doncerns in lndia. A nationalseminar is scheduled for May, to be folluaeilup by a training programme inDecember. Alongside, zne will work towardsrsetting up aTouism Policy Group in India, consisting of wdlthrum people t'rofiuried backgrounds who wouldcollcctiae$ be in a paition to influence poltcy. Wh ile wc u i Il co nt irut e o u r f o cu s o f t ou rism c r it iq u e an d r espo nsfu c action, ute wiII actiaely seek lhe inttokrement, etpertLse nrulsuyrport of ucademics anrl othcrs concerned utith the issue. Additionally, communication will be combined with campaign acti<tns. Seuer aI such camlnigns are planned for lhe year, on isx rcs Iike Tourism andIndigenous People , GoIf Touri^sm, Tourism and Structural Adjustnrcnt, and so on. Ciuen thnt tourL<nr is an internalional issuc,ute plnn to strengthcn ourlink utith grou;n u,orkingwithsimilar ualues,and especiallq those in South Asia. We shnll do so throughthe existing ,ANTENNA network,and a meetingis plnnned during'1993.Ohuiously, such changes cannot take plnce without appropriote hunnn and structural re-rtrganising,, and ute hope to hnaen t'ant new fatesnt thc officc stnn! A N Letter will re.flcct thc new f trus of our efforts , nul int'onn our readers of ei,ents ,n,1 flngktpments at EQU,ATIONS md Ltllrcrs inoofued in tourLqm critique and response . Your contrihutians in tlrc form ofnrticles , nppeals ,lctters orneus items arc most wclcome , Finally, n pcrsorral niote. I hnac cnjoycd being nt the hclnr ol uf fairs since '1985, nnd uill continue tolte assuinted with EQUATIONS. I am sure ottr readers nnd ynrtners aiII continuc to support nnd enciluogetryr zuork in the t'uture,in pnrtiarlnr thc le.ndcrship thnt Sureih prot'idx to this phase. Paul Gonsalves  lssues Glimpsesof a Culture of dependency JEREMY SFJBROOK ftt rrpu, sikri in UttarPradesh is a lr!' r oi merancnorrc granoeur.Tne I capital of Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, it was abandoned after only 14 yearsand no one quite knows why. lt is an evocative, eerieplace; the palace has a vast red sandstone courtyard surrounded by high crenellated walls. Allock ol parrots on the Chhatris looks like an eflorescence ol vivid green vendors of shinynovelties,trinkets and mementoes; the degradedvillage in theshadow of themajestic ruinis a curious metaphor for India. The ruins of a civilisationinhabited by its own estranged descendants is always a poignantspectacle; inlndia, it is tragic.Fatehpur Sikri is some 40kms lromAgra. At Agra, there is the contemporary equivalent of the old Mughal capital, moneyhome to his motherand threeyoung sisters;the stone- masons, whose ancestors built the RedFort, chippingawayat slabs ol red sandstone in a work ol skilled and lovingrestoration for Rs. 60 a day; the youngman who is a securityguard at the Jewel House for Rs. 1,000 a month; thecycle-rickshaw men from Bihar, Orissa andother parts of Uttar Pradesh, fighting each other at Agra station for the privilege ol driving tourists and their baggage to*the shelteredluxury of five-star hets' '.rd the tourists, who may be paying $ r50 per night, will haggle over the Rs. 10 which the cycle-rickshaw drivers ask: such thin men, prematurelyaged, with wastedbodies, the sinews ol their legs taut as theypedalup the slight inclinefrom the station. Enjoying thesuper-rich The tourists thinkthey are being brave by travelling in the lragile vehicles, perched onthe leatherette horse-shoe andjoltedby the potholes in the road. The drivers do not even own their vehicles:They payRs. '15 a day to theowners. some of whomhave a fleetof 50 or more.There are too many of them, and the work is fiercely competitive; many have no shelter but their rickshaws;and at night, they can . rn in the unlit side- roads, thdlu'ucidy perched on thecrossbar, theirleet on the handlebars, their back resting on the seat.Noneof this disturbsthe touristswho will find a'welcome'spelt out in iasmine and red rose-petals on the lloorol the lobby. Some will be garlanded with marigolds andescorted to the Mughal Chambers;forthem,a lantasy isbeingenacted that makes Akbar'sgames ol hideand seekin hispalacewithwomenfrom the harem a reality, the use ofslaves as pieces on a giantoutdoor chess-boardas nothing,compared to the self-importanceol these parties of westerners, who are decked out in velvetwaistcoats,and caps with glittering tinsel designs,kurta and kamiz, or diaphanousgold-edgedrobes belore proceeding to their banquets o{ secret recipesfrom the Emperor's kitchen , or the appropriatecomplement to Jehangir'stable . leaves.The fretted marbleand the tomb-stones in the mosque are dazzling in thealternoon sun;the rools of thetowersare covered with lichen, whilepurple and orange bougainville has invaded thecrumbling edge of the city. The dust and gritswirlin the courtyard,polishing thestone till it shines like glass. ln the shadow of the abandoned city, visited now onlybytourists, a culture of mendicancy and servility has grown. Children who live in thepoorvillage at the foot of thepalacehave acquired theaccomplishment of touching the hearts of visitors by saying, No mother, no {ather , and to ask lor money in all the principal European languages and Japanese. Around lhe monument, anotherexpensive folly,which suggests that histoiy does repeatitself. This is in thelormof the Mughal Sheraton Hotel. It, too, is an enclosed fortress, a defensive architecture, a place of sequestered privilege, and within, it replicates some ofthe excesses of the Mughal emperorswhosename it flaunts. Only this time, the invaders,who must be kept lrom any disturbing contact withthepeoplewholive here, are tourists,whose sojourns at the lavishhotel is of even shorter duration than that o{ Akbar atFatehpur Sikri. In the service of masstourism,people have come lrom all over India; the sadboy {romWest Bengal, living in asingle slraredroom with three others for theprivilege of earning Rs. 500 a monthin a restaurant, so thathe can send some  The hotel lobbyflashee and explodea withpeople taking photographs of eachother in their exotic wear.Here arebeing staged memories to last a lifetime, an experience to cherish, as befits a day when they have seen the Taj Mahal; monument to the wife of Shah Jahan.who diedgivingbirth to their 14th Child. They have seen the Red Fort where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by hisgrandson, lrom where he could lookout from his marble jail inlaid with semi-precious stones and diamonds,across theYamuna. lt is only fitting at the end ofsuch a be processedby a hotel chain that bears as its mendacious log, 'WeEnjoy People', when all they really enjoy are the super-rich. Anl yet,those whomust at all costs be f lved from the derelict culture of dependence, poverty anddust outsideare also, in their way,mendicants, avid {or somenew experience, some fresh sensation; there is a deepsadness in them too; perhaps they have beentouchedby the melancholy of Akbar, theghost o'f Shah Jahan. Or perhapsthey know that this kind ol tourism, imposedupon a society where40percentof the people are malnourished, whosepurchasing power is too leeble even to register in the same marketplace in which the rich display theirprior claims of theirwhims over the necessities of thepeople. lt is argued that this kind of travelbrings foreign exchange to the country, and is thereforejustifiable, evendesirable. Understanding the exileYet, in the hotel, the foods, and especially the drinks,consumed by theguestsare imported:Black-Label whisky, Cointreau, NapoleonBrandy; French cui6ine in the restaurants; and, where local produce is used, money is no obiect, which means that the best of it is consumedhere: this distorts the local economy and places even basic nourishment out ol the reach of the people who live in Agra. The easy spending of tourists raises thepriceoltransport; it attracts desperate people whose lives have been scarred by casteism, communalismand monstrous social injustice;andwho have been im- pelled to travel 2,OOO kms to earn something to send home thatprecarious and vital remittance that is lssues theonly thing standing between so many villages in India andutter destitution - as rickshaw driver,kitchen boy, or that peculiar form ofhistrionics required by a servitude that lights up tired faces, as though the arrival of eachnew stranger were the culminatingexperience of a li{etirne. We have heard recently rnuch abor-rt ecologicaltourism,about not ruining the beachesandpolluting such 'unspoilt'cornersasremain in the world. But we should perhaps also consider what might be the meaning of a tourism,or lorms oltravel, thatdo not exacerbate social iniustice; a kind ol interaction, where thelives of the people are not simply an adjunct to our own fantasies, but wherewe begin to understand our relationship to them, where they mightbegin to receive rewards commensurate with the tasks they perlorm. But thatwould mean following them backtotheir hutments, the hovels and letid rooms where they receive the letters with the pictures of their own children whomthey have not yet seen; it would mean witnessingthegrielof those who labour overtime to pay for a father's medical expenses, or to help a sibling through school; it wouldmean understanding the exile from which.unlike the tourists whose fast coaches will taken them to the airport or thestation lirst thing in the morning, thereis no going back.t The Pioneer, B Decemher 1992. hational Action Plan The National Action Plan for Tourism formally released by the Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, Mr. Madhav Rao Scindia on Sth May, 1992, projects theambitious expansion plans for lndian tourism. Following isa summary of this 2O pagedocument. lncreasing employment opportunltles Employment opportunities should. be atleast double the present level of 13-14 millionpersonsbefore the turn of the century. Development of Internatlonal tourlsm and optlmlsation of foreign exchangeearnings Tourism will be so developed that foreign exchange earnings increase fromRs. 2440 crores to Rs. 1O,OOO crores bytheend of the century. Diversiflcation of the tourismproductDiversification of the tourism productwould continue, particularly in the lield of leisure,adventure, convention and in-centive tourism. lncrease in lndia's share In world tourlsm: One objectivewould be to increase lndia's share to 1% within thenext fiveyears, from thepresent O.4% (oI globaltourist arrivals). Accommodatlon: The interest subsidyto all 4-5star hotels will be discontinued. Tourism Policy In special areas and specilied destinations, theinterest subsidy will be increased lo 5 / lor 1, 2 and 3 - star hotels to stimulate their growth,as wellas on loans advanced lor construction oJ new heritage hotels. Heritage hotels will also receive a capital subsidy of Rs. 5 lakhsor 25o/o ol the cost. Pilgrim tourism: The central govern- ment will earmark an annual sum ofRs. 5.OO crores for this purpose. TravelTrade: Streamlining and liberalising rules and procedures for recognising travel agents and touroperators. (Continued on page 7)  UpcomingConferences TheWorld NoGolf Doy At present,about 24,000 golf courses are operating in lhe world, with further lew lhousandsunderconslruclion or planned. Whichmeans more than 2.4 millionheclares of land are assumed lo be occupied withgolf courses. (The avsrage area ofone golfcourse is about100hectares.) The largest golf country, U.S.A., has more than 13,600 golf courses, more than a half ol all the golfcourses in theworld.Hawaii, Californiaand Florida are the most crowded slates. Though Japan is a small and mountainous country, it is expected to environmental pollution fromrunolf of silt, pesticides,chemical lertilizer and other toxic chemicals such as soil hardening agents and soil improvingagents, as well as skyrockelingprices lor land and homes,corruplion in local government in adminislrative, repre- se'ntalive andjudicial branches, and social disruption such as an increase in homelesspersons and incidence ofcrime.Ina worldtodaybeset by seriousglobal environmentalproblems, there is no room for environmental deslructioncaused for the sake of a meregame. We, GNAGA, (TheGlobal Networkfor Anti-Golf Course Action),organized on April 29, 1992 hasbegun networking with citizens around the world who are opposinggolfcoursedevelopment. And through informatlonexchange and networkingwith others abroad, we hopeto be able toslop the development of gollcourses abroadby Japanesecompanies In order to raise a world wide public awardness on golf course issue, we herebypropose lo our friends in the wdrld an international action of The World No Golf Day on April29th 1993 of GNAGA'Sanniversary. Eachpeople of sach lcountry are expecled to make feel-freeactions simultaneouslysuch as opposition campaigns or rallies to the golf courses,developing companies or administrative branches, or holding symposia and olher meetings on gollcours€ problems.At the Third WorldTourism Forum ii People's Plan for the 21st Century, h-eld in Phuket/Thailand from November29th to December 4th 1992andorganized by the Phuket Environmental Protection Group (PEP), the Thai Network on Tourism (TNT) and the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism (ECTWT),the participants conlirmedthe declaration of the TheWorld No Golf Day and agreed to initiate activitiesaccordingly. One of the proposedactions, which emerged from the PP21 Third World TourismForum, is by a joint initiative of Sahabat AlamMalaysia(SAM, Friends ol the Earth), the South East Asian branch of lhe Asian Tourism Action Nerwgrl (ANTENNA)and the Global Netwc )r Anti-Golf Course Action (GNAGA)lo hold a Workshop onGolf Course and Resort Development inthe Asia-Pacific Region in Penang,Malaysia, on lheoccasion of the theWorld No Golf Day betweenApril26-29, 1993. The first lwo days will be organized aroundexposures,presentationof case sludies and working.groupsessions. The ihird day will be reserved for strategy discussion. Theworkshop will end with an action day on April 29th 1993, the 'World No Golf Day .I e lO a have2,000 golf courses in near future. Escaping from sucha heavy concentration in its own counlry, theJapanesedevelopersare going abroad lo seek for the cheaper land such as Hawaii, Australia,South East Asia, etc.Also in olher areas like Europe, Oceania,Pacificislandsand Central America, golf course conslruclions continue to spread. Golf course conslruction results in seriousproblems for the local society near thesile including destruclicln of f orests, f armland and wetlands, and o e'^g {- i: \. LctsMake a WorldWideAnti-GolfCourseAction on 2914193
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