Eco-Cultural Tourism: A Tool for Environmental, Cultural and Economic Sustainability (A Case Study of Darap Village, West Sikkim)
Department of Geography, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India
Eco-cultural tourism is a concept where both ecological and cultural aspects of a landscape are combined together creating a tourist paradise. It is travel to destinations where both cultural and natural endowments are the prime attractions and thereby considered to be a potential strategy to support conservation of natural habitats along with economic sustainability particularly to indigenous communities. North Eastern Region of India is one of the most mesmerizing regions of the Indian subcontinent that mirrors a perfect blending of life, culture and ecology. It is a relatively unexplored and unique area in terms of both ecology and cultural diversity and is characterized by the abundance of natural endowments; pristine forests with a huge diversity of flora and fauna, enchanting hills, fast flowing streams and meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls, snowcapped mountain ranges etc. Approximately there are 65 indigenous tribes in the region along with a host of sub-tribes having their own distinctive cultures, customs and traditions preserved till today. This article tries to argue through a case study of village tourism at Darap in West Sikkim that eco-cultural tourism is a potent force for the overall economic, social and cultural development as well biodiversity conservation in the region.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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