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Chapter IV- Environment Analysis and Destination Development in Sikkim

Chapter- IV
Environment Analysis and Destination Development
in Sikkim


The Relationship between Tourism and Environment


Destination Environment and Sikkim


Destination Environmental Analysis and Change


Tourism Development Initiatives and Environmental Perspectives


Importance of Environment Analysis and Its Future Implications



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Chapter IV- Environment Analysis and Destination Development in Sikkim

4.1 The Relationship between Tourism and Environment

f all the political, economic and social revolutions of the last century,
none has so fundamentally changed human values and behavior as the
environmental revolution (Mc Cormik,1995,p.11). Concern over the

relationship between humanity and the environment has, since the late 1960s,
remained high on the international political agenda. Attention is not only paid to the
exploitation and degradation of the global ecosystem but also to the socio-cultural,
political and economic systems underpinning excessive or inappropriate resource use.
Consequently, the competing perspectives on the means of achieving a more
sustainable future for the planet and its inhabitants have fuelled what has now become
a weary intellectual debate (Southgate and Sharpley, 2002; p. 231).Environment is
the sum total of all conditions and influences that affected the development and life
of organisms. The term environment is not much different in tourism from its
generic meaning as used in any other subjects. But tourism is environment-related
and dependent as people visit a destination mainly for the distinct environment, if it is
leisure tourism and even for other purposes the environmental features of the area are
also extensively related. Systematically defined, tourism environment is that vast
array of factors which represent external (dis)-economies of a tourism resort: natural
anthropological, economic, social, cultural, historical, architectural and
infrastructural factors which represent a habitat onto which tourism activities are
grafted and which is thereby exploited and changed by the exercise of tourism
business. (EC, 1993; 4) According to Mathieson and Wall (1982; p. 97), if tourism is
to be successful and sustained, it requires the protection of the scenic and historical
heritage of destination areas and in the absence of such attractive environment, there
would be little tourism. Ranging from the basic attractions of sun, sea and sand to the
unbounded appeal of historic sites and structure, the environment is the foundation of
the tourist industry. The following diagram would better explain the environmental
aspects of tourism.
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Chapter IV- Environment Analysis and Destination Development in Sikkim

Figure 4.1: Potential Actor Groups Related to Tourism and Environmental


Tourism and Environmental

Policies in a Tourist

National Actors
National tourism
Govt. ministries
National ministry

Local Actor Groups

Local communities
Local tourism
Tourism employees
Local Govt.
Local environmental

International Actor
National tour
International tour
environmental NGOs

Source: Adapted from Bill. B. and Hashimoto A., Actors, Networks and Tourism
Politics in Buhalis D. and Costa C. (2006), eds, Tourism Management Dynamics: Trends,
management and tools, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, pp. 157

Many research studies have represented environment for tourist destinations in a

different way as economic, social, cultural and environmental inclusion has been
influencing and significantly increasing the scope and range of tourism environment
with its conventional and natural trends. Holden (2002) discussed tourism
environment by considering different and distinct perceptions of tourists which is also
effective in the narrow sense of each and every destination. This approach also tends
to the fullness but in many cases loses its clarity and significant presence of other
interest groups involved in tourism environment. So, the destination environment

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Chapter IV- Environment Analysis and Destination Development in Sikkim

(Adapted from Holden, 2000; p.49-50) to the tourists and tourism industry is
expressed through different perceptions as given here under.
Figure 4.2: Destination Environment to Tourists and Other Groups

Environment as
setting for action

Environment as a
social system

Environment as
emotional territory

as self

Functional role:
support specific
activities, a place
for hedonism etc.

Interactive role:
a place for

Emotional role:
evokes feelings
of well being,
pride etc.

Identity role: the

becomes part of
the self

Tourist has
conscious and
disregard for

Tourist focuses on
social interaction:

Tourist involves
himself/herself in
gazing, painting

Tourist integrates
with place; adapts
behavior to blend
with environment

environment is
irrelevant to

Source: Adapted from Holden et.al. ( 2002)

Probably the single greatest concern for every country is the impact of tourism on its
environment (Naisbitt, 1994, p. 140). So far, the travel and tourism industry has taken
little active part in framing the environmental policies so vital to its own interests
(Economist Intelligence Unit, 1992). Wahab ( 1975, 49) claims the genuine
environment always attracts more tourists than the imitation the creation of
artificial environment, similar to those which the tourists have at home, does not
promote tourism in the long term. On the other hand, mass tourism is economical
and socio-psychological (as many people seem to enjoy being a mass tourist) and
full-fledged alternative tourism can not replace conventional tourism as it is more
realistic to concentrate efforts in attempts to reform the worst prevailing situations,
not the development of alternatives. The more sensitive approach to tourism
development strives to satisfy the needs of local people, tourists, and the resource
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Chapter IV- Environment Analysis and Destination Development in Sikkim

base in a complementary rather than a competitive manner. So, each destination is

not only unique with respect to its physical resource base, but also for different
perceptions and outlook of that resource base with respect to the different groups and
stakeholders both within and external to the destination. In other words, even within
particular destinations numerous environments potentially exist. From the view of
management, each destination is a sort of business unit or strategic business unit
(SBU) or, more precisely, a corporation comprising numerous business units. All the
facilities, attractions and other organizations that collectively supply tourist services
and experiences in the destination are, in a sense, different divisions within the overall
destination business and ensure paradoxical competitive and cooperation. Each
destination (including those in the travel and tourism sector) / corporation/ strategic
business unit (SBU) is intended to follow a strategic management process that seeks
to achieve a goodness of t between their resources and the external environment in
order to remain competitive and protable. So, while framing strategy for a
destination, its mission, vision, capacities, resources, structure and system must play
an interactive role with what do we mean by the term destination environment.
Destination development plan or process should adequately contribute to destination
needs/community development/sustainable development issues as an interactive
process of destination capitals and Destination resource pulls with external forces
and tourism development opportunities. But the concept of environmental
management of a destination development program deliberately deals with specific
issues or factors from within a holistic environmental perspective. Otherwise,
comprehension of actual intricate environmental conditions would remain
undisclosed and misleading results may come out. Following diagram discussing the
relationship of social goals, economic goals and environment and resource goals and
their logical relationship is given here under for the better destination environmental
analysis of Sikkim.

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Exhibit 4.1: Relationship between Social goals, Economic Goals and

Environment and Resource Goals

Source: After Sadler & Wright (1993)

In the context of Sikkim, integrated land use planning and suitable use of unused
land, implementation of Ten R-Word guide to corporate actions 1 ( Middleton,1998;
p. 133-140), updating environmental laws, control of air and water pollution,
population stabilization and human settlements, use of non-polluting renewable
energy system are important issues to be considered. Thus a destination area would be
well advised to retain those elements or priority issues which made it distinctive, and
to present its cultural heritage in such a way that it would be both meaningful for
themselves and convenient for the visitor. Conservationists and some resource
managers now claim that the tourism industry runs the risk of spoiling its main

Ten R-Word guide to corporate actions comprises Recognize, Reduce, Refuse, Refuse, Replace,
Retrain, Re-engineer, Replace, Reeducate, Reward

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attraction- the natural environment. It is also acknowledged that there will,

increasingly, need to be some trade-offs between tourism and the environment.
However, it becomes difficult to limit visitors once a location has gained a reputation
as an attractive destination (Davis & Weiler, 1992; p. 313). Budowski (1977, 3) feels
that for the majority of cases the relationship between tourism and conservation is
usually one of coexistence moving towards conflict, mainly because of an increase in
tourism and the shrinking of natural areas. Various projects and environmental
studies conducted so far exhibit the same relationship with respect to the important
destination specific forces/ variables/ attributes. Mercer (2004; p.466) suggests that
arguably biodiversity decline is the most serious global environmental problem and
is representative of an emerging set of new problems in tourism management that is
the subject of ongoing, and at times acrimonious debate. Weaver et.al.(2000)
identifies three key elements in terms of the management implications of sociocultural and environmental impacts of tourism. The first is that all tourism-related
activity causes a certain amount of stress and the critical issue is whether proactive
management strategies can be used to reduce the level of stress to acceptable levels.
Acceptability is influenced by the perceptions of the benefits received from tourism.
The second point is that stress is linked to carrying capacity, which varies from site to
site and, in some cases, can be manipulated through adaptive measures. However,
ecosystems, societies and cultures all have different levels of resiliency and
adaptability. Their third key point is that carrying capacities are difficult to measure as
stress and its impacts are incremental and long term in nature.
Budowski (1976) suggested that three basic relationships typically interacting with
the ecosystem, societies and culture are-

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Exhibit 4.2: Different Interactions among Ecosystem, Society and Culture


Tourism and the environment is in

conflict when tourism has a detrimental


impact on the environment.

Tourism and environmental conservation
can exist in a situation where the two have
relatively little contact, because either
both sets of supporters remain in isolation
or there is a lack of development or
administrative barriers. However, the




particularly as an increase of tourism is






Budowski 1976, p. 27).

Tourism and environmental conservation
can be mutually supportive and beneficial
when they are organized to ensure that
tourists benefit and the environment
improvements in management practices.
This relationship may have economic
advantages and contribute to the quality
of life in host communities.

Source : Hall, C.M. (1998). Introduction to Tourism: Development, Dimension & Issues. P- 226

While analyzing the relationship between tourism and environment in Sikkim the
total area covered by the Ministry of Environment and Forest i.e. the ratio of the
reserve forest to the total area and its interaction with different stakeholders need to
be taken care. The fragility of the ecosystem, disruption of breeding habits, changes
in flora and faunal species composition need to be measured with its specific impacts
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on tourism. Analyzing the impacts of tourism on the biological, economic, sociocultural environment needs is an extensive research.

4.2 Destination Environment and Sikkim

Destination environment in Sikkim is discussed in this chapter under three subheads
viz. ecological environment, social environment and economic environment.
Ecological Environment of Sikkim
Sikkim includes the lesser Himalaya, Central Himalaya, and the Tethys Himalaya. It
is essentially a mountainous state without flat land areas. The mountains rise in
elevation northward. The northern portion of the state is deeply cut into steep
escarpments, and except in the Lachen and Lachung valleys, is not populated.
Southern Sikkim is lower, more open, and fairly well cultivated. This configuration of
the state is partly due to the direction of the main drainage, which is southern. The
physical configuration of Sikkim is also partly due to geological structure. Major
portion of the state is covered by Pre-Cambrian rock and is much younger in age. The
Northern, Eastern and Western portion of the State are constituted of hard massive
gneissose rocks capable of resisting denudation. The central and Southern portion is
formed of comparatively soft, thin, salty and half-schistose rocks, which denudes very
easily. The trend of the mountain system is in a general east-west direction. However,
chief ridges run in a more or less North South direction. The Rangeet and the Teesta,
which form the main channels of drainage, run nearly North-South. The valleys cut
by these rivers and their chief feeders are very deep. The valleys are rather open
towards the top, but usually attain a steep gorge like structure as we approach the bed
of the rivers. There are 180 perennial lakes of different altitudes. There are many hot
water springs in the state. These are Phur-cha-chu, Ralang cha-chu, Yumthang,
Yumesamdong . The perpetual snow line in Sikkim may be approximately at 5500 m.

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Table 4.1: Features of Physical Environment of Sikkim


Two major river systems originating from glaciers,

Ecological zones

Rangit (West Sikkim), and Teesta (North Sikkim).

Alpine (>4,000 m), sub-alpine (3,000-4,000 m), cool
temperate (2,200-3,000 m), warm temperate (1,400-


2,200 m), and subtropical (300-1,400 m).

Mostly sloping land only with scarce flat lands in


valley. These are marginal lands

Lush green board-leaved mixed forests in subtropical
and temperate zones. Silver fir and rhododendron

Unique/special flora

forests in the sub-alpine zone

Rhododendrons, orchid, medicinal plants, and a
large variety of wild edible plants apart from plants

of academic interest.
Issues of concern and Specific habitat degradation and loss have caused a

threat to:
1. Wildlife such as Red Panda, Thar(s), and Musk
Deer, etc.
2. Plant diversity such as medicinal plants (Aconitum
sp, Nardostachys jatamansi, Picrorhiza kurrooa,
Swertia chirata, Podophyllum hexandrum), wild





Elaeocarpus sikkimensis, Elaegnus latifolia, etc.),

Policies and execution

wild orchids, and some species of rhododendron.

Creation of natural conservation areas such as the








Source : Envis Centre Sikkim on Ecotourism

Sikkim houses flora and fauna of all the three main regions i.e. tropical, temperate,
and alpine zones. State has not experienced a single case of laxity and to compromise

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on this critical issue. However, other issues related to carrying capacity which include
the physical burden of these forces as a pressure on land and other natural resources
are quite gigantic. All these incur a huge development and environmental cost to the
State which many other States in India do not have to incur. This also means that a
significant portion of the developmental resources are spent to maintain this supreme
national interest. The onus of protecting and conserving the significant portion of the
fragile Eastern Himalayas including the mountain range and its environment has been
with the people and Government of Sikkim. The protection of bio-diversity and the
forward and backward linkages exhibiting from it to the entire Himalayan community
and the plains land have never been quantified. However, many quarters are not able
to appreciate the work Sikkim and Sikkimese are doing for the sustainability of the
region. This makes Sikkims development options and maneuverings very limited.
The basic statistics of flora and fauna of Sikkim is given here under.
Table 4.2: Flora and fauna of Sikkim
Butterflies and Moths
Flowering Plants
Ferns and Allies
Medicinal plants

144 species
550 species
650 species
33 species
16 species
550 species,95 Genera
36 species, 45 varieties
Over 4000 species
300 species
9 species
Not enumerated

Source : Economic Survey 2006-07, Govt. of Sikkim

There are 6 wildlife sanctuaries in the state which are set aside for protection and
conservation of the endangered flora and fauna. Following figure is given here under
with a detail structure.
Table 4.3: Wildlife Sanctuaries in Sikkim

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Name of Sanctuary and Location

Size of the Sanctuary
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary,
43.00 sq.km.
North Sikkim
Fambonglho Wildlife Sanctuary, East

51.76 sq.km.




31.00 sq.km.

Moinam Wildlife Sanctuary, South

34.35 sq.km.

Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, West

104.00 sq.km.

Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary, East

208.00 sq.km.

Source : www.stdc.org 2010

Social Environment of Sikkim

The present multiethnic society of Sikkim is the result of the perpetual co-existence
of different aboriginal and migrated communities for a long period of time. The
society of this small beautiful land is a joint exuberance of Buddhist-Hindu-Lepcha
culture though the influence of increasing Christianization is prevalent. The residents
in this land are having a huge impact of the mountains and as such they are peaceloving, painstaking, honest, hospitable, and happy with their basic needs and
aspiration. It is praiseworthy that the standard of living of the people has been
improving rapidly with the adoption of modernity. Literacy rate of Sikkim with
69.68% (2001) is above the national average of 65.38% supported by the monthly
expenditure of Rs. 960 per student is far above the all India average of Rs. 210 per
student (Sikkim Human Development Report 2001). The teacher student ratio of 1:19
at the primary level is considered to be better than the all India ratio of 1:46 in 1995.
Even though the state performs well on its Gender Development Index (GDI) the sex
ratio is found to be negative at all levels except in the middle School. The drop out

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rate at school level is high and it is higher for girls because of their early marriage.
Over 60% of rural women and 70% of urban women get married before they are 20
years old. The median age at marriage is 19.8 yearsmore than 3 years higher than
the national average of 16.4 years. Some 79 per cent of women have access to money
as against the national average of 60 per cent and 28 per cent in Nagaland. Married
women (42 per cent), do not need permission to visit friends and relatives, the
proportion is 24 per cent for India as a whole. Only 11 per cent of ever-married
women have been beaten or physically mistreated since the age of 15 yearsthe
lowest proportion in the North-East. The proportion for all India is 21 per cent. In
1991, East district reported a literacy rate of 65.1 per cent in the age group of greater
than seven. West district reported the same rate of only 45.6 per cent in which rural
female literacy rate was only 34.8 per cent. Again, the urban male literacy in East
district was significantly 85.7 per cent in the same year. Studies have shown that
Family Health and Education are positively linked with the level of Mothers
education. Sikkims health standards have improved significantly over the last 15
years. Better health and Medical Facilities have hindered the infant mortality rate
from 88 per 1000 in 1988 to 51 per 1000 in 1997 against the national rate of 71 per
thousand. The birth rate of 1997 was 19.8 per 1000 and the death rate was 6.5 per
1000, which are lower than the all India average of 27.2 and 8.9 per 1000
respectively. The state also pays for secondary and tertiary health and treatment in
and outside the state. According to 2001 Census, the sex ratio in India is 933 Female
per 1000 males, in which Sikkim has lower of 875 Females per 1000 Males. Sikkim
reports a Human Development Index (HDI) value of 0.532 for 1998lower than all
India HDI of 0.563. However, both per capita income and the HDI value fail to
capture the true vulnerability of the people, the insecurity of the population, and the
challenges for ensuring sustainable human development. Despite the relatively high
levels of per capita income, the proportion of population living below income poverty
has gone up from 36 per cent in 19878 to 41 per cent in 19934. There is, however,
a large disparity in the prevalence of income poverty between rural and urban areas.
In 199394, for instance, only 8 per cent of the urban population lived below the
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poverty line. The corresponding figure for rural areas was more than five times higher
at 45 per cent. There has been a considerable expansion in the physical
provisioning of basic social services. Much of the provisioning of health care is by
the public sector. But the health status of people needs considerable improvement. In
199899, 61 per cent of women were reported suffering from anemia. The national
average is 52 per cent. Similarly, 77 per cent of children below 3 years were found to
be anaemic. However, a small population size dispersed over hilly tracts makes the
provisioning of such services very difficult. As a result, the reach of health services
remains limited. According to NFHS-2, during the late period of the last decade of the
twentieth century only 47 per cent of children between 1223 months were fully
immunized, 32 per cent of births were delivered in a medical institution, 35 per cent
of deliveries were assisted by a health professional. Gangtok, the capital city, has
benefited the most from the rapid expansion in economic and social opportunities.
Equal gains are yet to reach in all places with a decentralized and improved manner.
Despite being more affluent, Gangtak is not without its set of human development
concerns. The quality of life is constrained by severe problems of over-crowding,
congestion, and different types of pollution. Women enjoy relatively greater freedoms
than other parts of the country. According to the Census of India 1991, around 38 per
cent of women participated in the total workforce of Sikkim against the national
average of 20 per cent only. Another striking feature of Sikkim is the absence of
gender differentials along many indicators of human development. In 199899, for
instance, 83.2 per cent of boys and 82.6 per cent of girls between 617 years attended
school. Nevertheless, women still face unequal opportunities in a variety of spheres.
Women still remain largely involved in traditional but unpaid tasks of community life.
Girls are typically denied the opportunity to pursue higher education since it often
involves moving out of the village, district, and even the State. Socio-cultural and
family considerations often deny women the opportunity to pursue employment
outside the State. The State remains extremely dependent on agriculture which, for
instance, accounts for nearly 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current
prices. In 1991, 65.6 per cent of the main workers were dependent on agriculture,
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either as cultivator or as agricultural laborers. Food production has been declining in

recent years. Agricultural productivity is stagnant, dependency on rain fed agriculture
remains high, shifting cultivation is still prevalent on a large scale, land holdings are
small and dispersed, and production technology is outdated in most parts. However,
there is a great deal of scope for commercial cropscardamom, oranges and flowers,
but the full potential is yet to be tapped. The potential of agriculture to absorb young
people is limited. There has been an impressive growth in incomes in Sikkim in
recent years. Effective policies have been put in place to ensure that the benefits of
growth reach the people and they are able to secure many of their basic social and
economic rights. Between 198891, the government consciously stepped up
investments in the social sectors, particularly those related to health and education.
The State has a traditional culture of collective decision making and dispute
resolution. Nevertheless this community participation needs to be strengthened in
order to ensure the success of the development projectsthrough all their phasesas
they have an impact on the environment and therefore on the lives of the people.
Community participation in development projects will also influence structural
reforms positively and help improve the quality of life in the State. Sikkim has the
potential to become the first poverty free State in India by assuring every citizen
social justice, equality and a decent standard of living. To achieve this, concerted
public action is needed to focus on ensuring balanced development, enlarging
employment opportunities, safeguarding environmental resources, and putting in
place a responsive system of governance. The State Government has taken several
steps to ensure sustainable development which does not have to imply the destruction
of natural resources and significant and equal socio-economic and cultural
development. Another important social practice in Sikkim is how they get their
drinking water collected and purified. It is found from the empirical evidence that tap
water is the main source of drinking water in rural and urban Sikkim followed by
spring water which is used more in rural Sikkim though the use of tap water remains
more high all over Sikkim. Following is the source of drinking water in all four
districts in Sikkim
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Sources East
Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban Rural Urban
74.8 89.9
85.7 76.4
61.60 63.60 91.40
Natural 20.0 8.10
10.4 15.10 15.50 31.10 33.10 6.90

Rural Urban
77.80 84.50
17.10 12.30

Others 5.2
6.50 7.30
Table 4.4: Source of Drinking Water in Sikkim





Source : Gyatso and Bagdass, 1998

Note: Figures indicate the percentage of respondents collecting their drinking water from nearby

A significant number of rural people dont purify water at all while the maximum
number of citizen in rural and urban areas purifies water through boiling. The use of
flush toilet in urban Sikkim is 82.9% while 9.10% of the urban population does not
have any latrine. More than 30% of the rural population has no latrine at all. Besides,
most of the sheds for the livestock are unhygienic and in deplorable condition. The
over all health services in Sikkim is EastSikkim centric with only one of its State
referral hospital and maximum number of community health centres and primary
community health centres. The quick air transport service is in vogue for emergency
and critical cases of patients. Following is the table given here under showing the
distribution health services in all four districts of Sikkim.

Economic Environment of Sikkim

In the 10th Five Year Plan draft document of the Union Government, with a growth
rate of 8.3 percent in the 9 th Five Year Plan (1997-2001) Sikkim was second to
only Pondicherry, Chandigarh and Delhi. The State was ahead of many other well
performing states. The growth estimates in the last four years of the 10th Five Year
Plan do indicate that Sikkim has not only maintained growth regime achieved
in the Ninth Five Year Plan but also strived to enter into a higher and double digit
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growth rate in the 10th Plan. This would certainly help achieve the national goal of 8
percent growth rate for the 10th Plan period (2002-2007). There has been a steady
increase in the share of the tertiary sector also, which recorded an increase from
41.79 per cent to 49.24 per cent during the same period. Within the tertiary
sector also, sub-sectors like transport, banking, insurance, communications and
public administration are accounting for a much larger share of the States GDP.
Public administration alone contributed to the extent of 30 per cent. Plan allocations
in different plans have recorded very significant jumps. The allocations to different
sectors have also been as per the priority discussed and declared by the
Government and also the needs and aspirations of the people of Sikkim at large.
The State has been raising the issue of the injustice done to Sikkim in the
award by the12th Finance Commission. The award of Rs 188.67 crores as against
the projection for post-devolution non-plan revenue deficit grant of Rs 2681.50 crores
for 2005-2010 and the abrupt withdrawal of subsidies in the power and
transport sector have made it extremely difficult to both carry forward the reform
process and achieve a higher growth regime of 10 percent. This has naturally tended
to jeopardize the implementation of the plan and other development programmes.
Unlike all the other North Eastern States which have received more than what they
received under

the 11th Finance Commission award,

Sikkim was awarded a

strikingly lower amount of Rs 188.67 crore as against the awards of Rs 841 crores by
the 11th Finance Commission.

4.3 Destination Environmental Analysis and Change

Tourism is an industry but it is also a form and agent of development and change and
must be recognized as such. If, controlled and managed properly, it can be a non or
low-consumptive utilizer of resources and can operate on a sustainable basis.
However if developed beyond the capacity of the environment, the resource base, and
the local population to sustain it, it ceases to be a renewable resource industry and it
instead becomes..a boom-bust enterprise. (Butler 1992, p.34). Beyond its economic
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importance, tourism development can promote the preservation of cultural and social
values, including historical places of interest that might otherwise be lost. This is
particularly true for nature tourism because it promotes culturally and ecologically
sensitive travel. Environmental strategies for tourist destinations are implemented by
putting Environmental and Accessibility Strategies together (Murphy, P.,1983; p. 6078). Because accessibility, very often, resurrects the place itself but at the same time
degrades wilderness of that area and as such the core point of strategy is how to seek
balance between tourism development and conservation. Practically we have to
consider the balance among tourism, conventional economic development, and
conservation which are interrelated, interdependent, and intricate and in some cases
inter-contradictory. By grouping these forces we get some factors initiating changes
while others are resisting the same. Here lies the introduction of a detailed macro and
micro environmental analyses and consequent change management and development
of proactive future strategies, based on sustainable use. Kotler (1982, p. 84) argued
that if an organization is going to adapt to changing circumstances, it must figure out
what it must adapt to. So, keeping in view all these forces, we can prepare a force
field as introduced by Kurt Lewin. Here we are modifying Lewins model with
respect to a destination although the basics are the same.

Figure 4.3: Modified Lewins Model with respect to a Destination

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Kurt Lewin introduced a Three-Step Model of understanding change that we can

discuss with respect to a destination as there is a little difference in the concept of
change for an organization and that of the destination.According to Lewin (1947)
organizational (destination) changes could be understood in terms of three
consecutive processes: unfreezing i.e. shaking up the organization to adopt or accept
new change, moving i.e. bringing about the requisite change (structural change or
change in internal system etc.), refreezing i.e. cementing in or locking in the changes
and prevent the organization from going back to its old days. Unfreezing involves
introducing measures that will enable employees to abandon their current practices or
cultural norms in preparation for the change. In many organizations nothing has
changed for many years and unfreezing is necessary as a shaking-up phase. The
impetus for unfreezing can come from either inside or outside the organization itself.
Changing market conditions, for example, sometimes give employees warning that
change will be imminent. A particular market crisis may precipitate the expectation
amongst employees that change must happen as a result. Internally, a management
shake-up, a profit warning or talk of restructuring may bring about similar
expectations. Moving to the new level involves bringing about the requisite change
itself. The time period given over to this phase varies widely. Structural change can
usually be brought about relatively quickly. Changes in internal systems sometimes
take longer (such as the introduction of new quality or information systems), whilst
changing culture can take years. Refreezing is necessary to lock in the changes and
to prevent the organization from going back to its old ways. Again, we would usually
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take cultural changes to require more cementing in than some other changes and
some resolve might be required on the part of senior management. Again the pace at
which change happens can usually be divided into two categories step and
incremental (see Exhibit 13.5). There are two factors that determine which is the most
appropriate (Quinn and Voyer, 1998).
Exhibit 4.3: Step and Incremental Pace in the Change of Organizational
(Destination) Environment

Source : Southgate, C., Sharpley, R. Tourism, Development and the Environment. In Sharpley
R. and D.J. Telfer ( Ed.). (2002). Aspects of Tourism: Tourism and Development, Concepts and
Issues (p. 231-262).

All broad issues of the macro destination environment should be categorized. One of
the well accepted techniques is STEEP (Socio-Demographical, Technological,
Economic, Environmental and Political) Analysis for a destination. While discussing
STEEP Analysis it should be noted that some factors are generic and others are
typically oriented to travel and tourism. Peattie and Moutinho (2000) provided a
review of some of the major environmental influences in travel and tourism using an
extended framework, which they termed SCEPTICAL2 analysis. This acronym stands
for Social, Cultural, Economic, Physical, Technical, International, Communications
and infrastructure, Administrative and institutional, Legal and political. Lockwood
and Medlik (2001), Bulhalls (2001), Vogel (2001), Cooper and Gilbert (1998) and

SCEPTICAL Analysis stands for Social, Cultural, Economic, Physical, Technical, International,
Communication and Infrastructure, Administrative and Institutional, Legal and Political Analysis with
exhibited factors.

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Vanhove (2001) also give some interesting and delicate insights in discussing the key
macro environmental factors affecting the travel and tourism industry. In her analysis,
Auliana Poon (1993) explained the issues of radical changes and found out that a new
tourism was developing to replace the old tourism based on mass tourism. The five
key forces (consumers, technology, production, management and frame conditions)
which had served to create mass tourism in the first place were themselves changing
to create the new tourism. The Porter (1980) model emphasizes the competitive forces
of enterprises and (to a lesser extent) of destinations, and the related generic
competitive strategies. Porter (1990) model emphasizes the home environment and
related determinants.
Destination environment changes with the passage of time and so the planning
process. Planning process generally changes from active to reactive as tourism
develops into mass tourism (Butler 1992; p.39). There is a need to continually review
strategic objectives because the environment is always changing. The purpose of
strategy is to make an organization/ destination to fit into its environment. By
achieving this, the probabilities that it will survive and prosper are enhanced. There
are a number of areas of which we need to be aware in order to effectively implement
a strategy for a travel and tourism destination. Implementation of a destination
development strategy typically involves the (i) adequacy of a destinations resource
base; (ii) the readiness of the destinations culture and structure to undertake the
proposed strategy; (iii) the management of any changes that are needed to implement
the strategy; (iv) the extent to which the organization positions itself in respect to its
geographic coverage and international presence.
In implementing the strategic process it is necessary to be aware not only of changes
occurring to the internal and external environment, but also of changes to the subject
matter itself.
While analyzing the environment of Sikkim as a destination, following factors we can
consider to categorize its features and to describe the strategic orientation.. These are(i) Economic environment,
(ii) Physical/ ecological environment,
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(iii) Technological environment,

(iv) Social environment,
(v) Cultural environment,
(vi) Political environment,
(vii) Legal environment.
All these issues are revolving around a typical geographical segregation viz. within
the destination and outside the destination, though this kind of specification is not
fully free from criticism. The following issues of discussing all the aspects of
environment should be discussed from within the destination and outside the
destination but the actual fact is how the intricate issues involved in each aspect of
environment are interacting and synthesizing among themselves and integrating with
other aspects. Political environment accentuating the major decisions relating to other
aspects of the environment is typically preceding and interacting with the sociocultural issues of the society but political ideology of a society is responsible for the
major decisions of tourism development and management. Economic environment is
also influenced by political aspects for the generation and distribution of financial
resources, institutionalized and structural issues of tourism in an economy. The
interaction of the economic issues from within the destination and with the outside
the destination should be properly assessed to analyze economic conditions and
related significant changes therein. Legal environment is intended to be proactive,
futuristic and very often compared from one destination to another with reference to
these qualities. Legal environment has a conventional contradiction with the
development procedure and as such seeks a balance between these two. Of late, all
places accept the increasing contribution of technology as a key factor of all business
and economic activities and in tourism the technological environment has an
extensive role to play with respect to each element and jointly with all.
Broadly divided macro and micro tourism environment are significantly influencing
tourism development and impact assessment in Sikkim. The opinion survey for hosts
conducted to analyze economic, socio-cultural and ecological problems and prospects
associated with tourism environment and its development in Sikkim. More
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specifically, the six broad areas or factors of tourism environment of Sikkim viz.
importance of guest-host relationship, need for outside investment for tourism
development, level and effectiveness of tourism legislation, type of tourists and its
compatibility, extent of alternative approaches taken by the government to utilize
tourism as a community development tool, extent of sustainable practices followed in
destination management were addressed in the survey. Each one of these variables
was ranked at five point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. A
suitable nonparametric Kruskal Wallis Rank test was used with the null hypothesis
that individual wise ranks are consistent and alternative hypothesis that individual
wise ranks are not consistent.

4.4 Tourism Development Initiatives and Environmental Perspectives

The tourism policy of Sikkim is revolving around sustainable economic practices and
the State Government is strongly determined to develop and promote Sikkim as an
ultimate eco tourism destination with quality tourism practices from all concerned
issues. Following are the initiatives contributing to sustainable tourism development
in Sikkim.
Tourist hotels and eco lodges are a priority for tourism sector in Sikkim.
Today, Sikkim can boast of more than a couple of three- star hotels. For the
high-income visitor, a five-star hotel is coming up at Pangthan in East Sikkim
for which a memorandum of understanding was signed. The numbers of
tourist hotels and available beds have increased manifold in the last ten years.
Sikkim Industrial Development Investment Corporation (SIDICO), in
association with the Voluntary Health Association of Sikkim (VHAS),
promotes environment friendly tourism in two remote villages, Rong in the
South District and Lading in the West District. An interesting finding from
these projects is that success in involving villagers in the development work
and effecting changes among the community is inversely related to
accessibility to government funding. In Lading, which is more remote than

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Rong, and thus had lower recourse to government resources, the project was
able to secure higher levels of village participation.
Eco-tourism project in Assam Lingzey (near Gangtok) run by project KEEP
(Khedi Eco-tourism and Eco-development Promotion) local residents offer
rooms in their homes for home-stays and work as guides for trekkers
traversing the Khedi route and for day-long hikes through the village and
neighboring areas. By involving visitors in their traditional way of life, the
project encourages the local Bhutia people to retain the traditional features of
their homes, local customs, and sensitizes village inhabitants and visitors to
the importance of environmental preservation.
To promote village tourism, thirty model villages having all the basic and
modern facilities are being constructed in different parts of the State. All these
will enable the visitors to enjoy a first-hand experience of the rich heritage
and lifestyle of Sikkim. The Government is ensuring that these model villages
should be included in every tourists itinerary.
To enable tourists to comfortably visit the old temples, monasteries, churches,
Gurudwaras and mosques and other shrines in Sikkim, pilgrim tourism is
being promoted vigorously. Sikkim has immense potentialities for Buddhist
tourism that can directly ensure foreign tourist arrival and increase per capita
spending. A Pilgrim cum Cultural Center was proposed on top of the hill at
Solophok which is 5 Km away from Namchi town in South District. This hill
is opposite to Samduptse Hill where Statue of Guru Padamasambhava exists.
The State government has now proposed to support at least one tourist centre
in each Gram Panchayat Unit in the State.
Adventure Tourism is one of the prime tourist products of Sikkim. About 80%
of the foreign tourists come to Sikkim with their prime motivation to go for
trekking and biking on the mountains of Sikkim and for Water Sports in Teesta
and Rangit.

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Among domestic tourists also, the number of youths interested in adventure

tourism has been increasing every year. There is a huge market for adventure
tourism in Sikkim. The State Government has identified and promoted
adventure tourism in the five main routes which include Monastic trek (51
kms), Rhododendron Trek (18 kms), Khangchendzonga Trek (88 kms),
Coronation Trek (60 kms) and Kasturi Orar Trek (78 kms).
The Himalayan Centre for Adventure Tourism is being established at
Chemchey Village. The centre will further boost the activities of Government
in the adventure tourism sector. This will also add a new facet of mountain
tourism in the overall tourism development interventions in the State. Three
more peak which are below 20000 ft viz., Brum Khangtse, Lama Angden and
Frey peak have been opened for alpine expeditions in 2005.
A new adventure tourist complex, the Rangit Water World (RWW) at the
NHPC (National Hydle Power Complex Dam at Legship - the first of its kind
for boating and rafting in dam water has been inaugurated. It is a new tourist
spot that provides a major employment opportunity for the local youth.
The Surajkund Mela near Delhi attracts lakhs of visitors in February every
year as it promotes crafts from all over India. Sikkim was the theme of the
Surajkund Mela in 2002 with its crafts, folk arts, and heritage. New projects
like Nagi Dara Lake Development, South Sikkim, and WSA at Simchuthang,
South Sikkim and at Sirwani have been completed.
Touch screen kiosks have been installed at Pelling, Pemayangtse, Siliguri,
Kolkata, Delhi, Rangpo, and Gangtok. Supply of adventure tourism related
equipments and angling equipments has been made and a number of way side
amenities including cafeteria, public convenience, information centers, guest
houses, and village craft centre have been created .
A range of new tourist attractions including 135 ft statue of Guru
Padmasambhava at Samdruptse, South Sikkim and Tashi View Point, East
Sikkim, Water Garden, Martam, East Sikkim, development of seven sisters

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water fall at Menronggong in North Sikkim, construction of tourist

complex/trekking camp at Yuksam and development of Rock Garden at Rimbi
,West Sikkim has been constructed. Besides cleaning drive of the existing
trekking trails and Tsomgo Lake, training on Water Sports was conducted by
National Institute of Water Sports ( NIWS) , Goa, for introduction of boating
at Aritar Lake and Uttaray in the near future.
The State has organized a Tourism Orientation Program for transport operators
and taxi drivers with a view to motivate them to enhance their professionalism
and make them realize the importance of their relationship with the tourists.
The government has now declared that it will start working to make Sikkim as
the Total Organic State. A sub-committee of the Sikkim State Planning
Commission has prepared a road map to achieve this goal.
A Task Force on Environment headed by Director of the Centre for Science
and Environment has been appointed. This Task Force will not only critically
evaluate the actions taken by the Government on the environmental front but
would also provide a road map for the sustainable development project in the
States forest cover has increased from 42.3 % in 1991 to 45.97 % in 2005-06.
Adoption and enforcement of the Forest, Environment, and Wildlife Policy in
1999 has been ensured. This has been a very significant step taken to protect
its environment and conserve forests and wildlife. Sikkim is perhaps the first
State in the country to adopt this all encompassing policy.
Smriti Van (SV) or Memorial Forest concept by the Chief Minister, Pawan
Chamling has been a grand success. Smriti Vans are located at various
places of social, religious, and other important areas as a part of Green Sikkim
effort by involving all segments of the society. People from all walks of life
responded to his call with great enthusiasm. Under this program, social,
religious, educational institutions, defense, police, tourism, NGOs and
Government agencies have voluntarily come forward and undertook initiative

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for plantations in different parts of the State in memory (smriti) of their near
and dear ones.
Grazing for domestic and semi-domestic animals in reserve forest areas has
been restricted in many places of the State, even at political risk.
Ban on the use of non-biodegradable products like plastic bags to protect the
environment has increased but expected to receive threats from increased
tourism related activities. Landscape and other beautification of numerous
parks, gardens and other aspects of urban areas including those of tourist
importance have been carried out throughout the State for the purpose of
aesthetic and recreation as well as for education and awareness.
The State Government safeguarded the religious-cultural interest of the people
by scrapping the proposed Rathong-chu Hydel Power Project.
Protection of cultural ecology of the Mount Kanchenjunga by banning
climbing expeditions to this revered mountain.
Closing down of shooting range in the fragile region of North district
The State Government has launched the Green Mission which invited and
encouraged people to plant trees on the roads, vacant lands, nearby gardens
etc. to plant trees and other foliages. People have overwhelmingly responded
to these missions. This also covers urban areas of all four districts where in
planting of ornamental trees and bushes were undertaken with a view to both
enhance scenic beauty and check soil erosion and landslides.
States forest cover has increased from 42.3 % in 1991 to 45.97 % in 2005-06.
This is a major achievement. In order to deal with the issues related to the
intellectual property rights, the Intellectual Patent Committee and State
Intellectual Law Committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister has
been set up.
Specifically for eco-tourism development in the State following initiatives are
being completed during the 10th Plan period.
Rock Garden at Changaon, Namchi, South Sikkim,

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Eco-tourism Park at Rapdentse, Gyalshing, West Sikkim,

Creation of Jureli Dara Park, Sombaria, West Sikkim
Kumrek Picnic Spot, Rangpo, East Sikkim
Forest House at Sombaria, West Sikkim
Inspection hut at Phurchachu, Reshi, West Sikkim
Himalayan Zoological Park
Besides emphasizing on Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT), the State government has
been consistently trying to create a spirit of Private-Public Partnership while
developing and promoting tourism in the State. Its mission has been to take
create friendly atmosphere for tourists, develop human resources, and create
synergy among all players of tourism like government, local administration,
local people, media, private developers and operators of facilities, tourists and
NGOs. The abiding principle is to regulate tourism so that the negative social,
economic, and environmental impacts are minimized.
Sikkim has taken up aggressive marketing strategy in India and abroad to
promote Sikkim as a brand name and the Ultimate Eco Tourism Destination.

4.5 Importance of Environment Analysis and Its

Future Implications
Think global and act local is a broad motto put forward by the several
environmental movements in the world. It implies that there are many transnational

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environmental problems at the local or regional level, requiring cooperation between

states and secondly, there are large-scale problems that require local solutions based
on the decentralized actions of many. All these are equally true for Sikkim and it has
been empirically tested by a field survey at three different places viz. Gangtok,
Namchi and Mangan. The six broad areas or factors of tourism environment of
Sikkim viz. importance of guest-host relationship, need for outside investment for
tourism development, level and effectiveness of tourism legislation, type of tourists
and its compatibility, extent of alternative approaches taken by the government to
utilize tourism as a community development tool, extent of sustainable practices
followed in destination management were addressed in the survey with a five point
scale for each question. The result clearly shown the inconsistency and there by a
regional disparity in this regard. As a part of this result, the impact assessment
program for tourism should consider all the six statements and related disparities.
These statements or questions were essentially asked to assess the prior reactions of
the local people. A process of environmental planning to protect environment of
Sikkim needs to be initiated with the existing projects and programs. Based on an
impact assessment and other important documents showing the ecological, economic,
social and political future impacts, a Code of Ethics needs to be prepared for the State
and this Code of Ethics for tourism in the state will ultimately signify the legislation
for tourism in Sikkim. Following is the document

covering the areas of future

tourism legislation for Sikkim.

Exhibit 4.4: Sustainability Issues Relevant for Sikkim

Illicit Felling
Wildlife Poaching including NTPC and Medicinal Plants
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Poaching incidences by Assam Rifles and GREF

Lack of Awareness
Plantation in private lands
Firewood and fodder demand
Increasing demand for medicinal plants
Demand for wild edibles (ferns, nettles, roots, tubers fruits, flowers etc.)
Landslide control
Requirement of seedlings
Alternative energy
Requirement of LPG
Requirement for biogas
Livelihood issues
Ecotourism enterprise
Lack of capacity
Lack of publicity
Improvement of trekking trails
Agriculture and horticulture development
Decline in soil fertility
Requirement for food preservation and processing technologies
Increased introduction of exotic/ hybrid flora for commercial purposes; No
state level gen bank
Animal husbandry initiatives
Husbandry of high yielding livestock (local and exotic/ hybrid)
Decline in yak breeds
Decline in indigenous sheep varieties
Mules for army and tourists, employment potential, especially during road

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Improvement of existing breed of livestock for more meat, milk, etc. to

decrease the existing pressure on forests
Need for better marketing of milk products from temperate and transHimalayas where yak, goat, sheep and cow population occurs
Lack of cheese processing plant in livestock dominated areas of transHimalayas
Micro enterprise development
Revival/ protection of indigenous handicrafts and handloom
Infrastructure development
Communication problems, damage to environment in trans-Himalayas
Essential services
Health issues in remote areas encompassing nutritive foods including
traditional diet, medicinal plants conserving the use, traditional medicinal
systems, diverse agricultural produce, foods, from the wild
Improvement of drinking water source
Cultural and traditional knowledge conservation
Reduction of vehicular emissions
Efficient garbage management
Biodiversity conservation
Source : Sikkim Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

Based on the above issues and other issues of sustainable development hypothetical
steps can be considered for the strategic implementation of tourism legislation
contributing to the sustainable tourism development. The environmental planning
should promote, support and help to raise funds for conservation and polluter-paysprinciple ( PPP) should be one of the important avenues therein. It should be based on
the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, and other
international/ national/ state level organizations like International Ecotourism Society
(IES), Himalayan Environmental Trust( HET), Indian River Runners Association
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(IRRA), Himalayan Tourism Board (HTB), Travel Agents Association of

Sikkim( TAAS), Sikkim Association of Adventure Tour Operators( SAATO) etc. and
have proper coordination with the public sector and private sectors. All these planning
issues should consider that over 81% of the total geographical area under the
administrative managerial control of the Ministry of Environment and Forest,
Government of India. Over 45% of the total geographical area of the state is under
tree cover and nearly 34% of the geographical area is set aside as protected area
network in the form of national park and wildlife sanctuary. Greater cooperation/
coordination/ integration and collaboration should be established between Sikkim
Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) and all industrial representatives e.g.
TAAS, SAATO etc. or giant industry houses like Reliance, Hyatt etc. Cooperation
should also be extended with registered NGOs and Eco-clubs in the matter of
alternative tourism development and community benefits. Funds to be raised from
institutionalized form of tourism and other related informal and subsidiary sectors in
Sikkim on the basis of polluter-pays principles ( PPP) and a major chunk of collection
to be spent for the adoption and promotion of ( point wise and targeted) sustainable
practices already derived from the process ( Step one) of environmental planning.

4.6 Conclusion
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Destination environment analysis of Sikkim essentially dealt with conventional

models and literature with a distinct orientation of tourism and its relationship with
the bio-geography, geology and ecology. The scope for sustainable development
philosophy and its inclusion in existing tourism practices in Sikkim is a complex
process. The tendency to support through review of literature and consideration of
maximum possible key areas of concern are strategically sought to a respectable
number is inter-conflicting through inter-linkages. From the destination specific
environmental analysis, concerned areas are found out, screened and sorted out.
Again the sorting process has interrelated and interdependent limiting factors.
Destination environmental analysis has essentially forecasted consequent changes
also. In doing so, various phases of development and related environmental issues
have been addressed several times. The present environmental analysis is supportive
to the reactive as well as proactive tourism development of destinations at various
phases in the State. At the time of sorting out viable key issues of sustainable
development, the differences and similarities of sustainable development and
sustainable tourism development have been taken into note of as the scope, range and
depth of sustainable tourism development vary. This analysis is also supportive to the
inception of generic environmental impact assessment ( EIA) and capacity building
(CB) program for tourism in Sikkim.

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