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 Tourism in Kullu Valley
 Problems and Prospects of Sustainability -
 Lifestyle

 
by Ben Heron
benheron@ecosse.net

The western tourist can represent a vast economic resource in places where alternative sources of income are scarce. This means that the relationship between local people and tourists, especially in the hotel sector, is increasingly becoming based on economic gain rather than friendship and cultural understanding.

The wealth displayed by the western tourist causes many local people to pursue a (materialistic) western lifestyle - for it can seem to them that money and its material comforts will bring them happiness and fulfilment. What the local people do not see is the lifestyle that the western tourists have left behind in their home countries, which is often stressful and lonely - and most importantly, very unsustainable.

In their attempt to become rich like the western tourists, local people often ignore their own cultural wealth such as their religion, arts & crafts and music, become disconnected from their traditional way of life and lose touch with their traditional and sustainable understanding of the natural environment. If the local people choose to follow a materialistic way of life instead of a more spiritual and creative path to fulfilment, they will be in danger of making the same mistakes that have already been made in the West. They will develop an unsustainable way of life that will deplete their own resources and endanger the livelihoods of future generations.

 
 

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