The Himalayan range of Nepal is home to 8 highest peaks of the world, and is a major biological hotspot and tourist destination. Himalayan tourism is a major source of revenue for the country. Despite the difficult topography of the place and the difficult accessibility, we get millions of tourists on our mountains. Tourists are especially attracted to mountaineering, adventure tourism and the diverse culture that exists there. With so many tourists visiting Himalayas every year, many problems have arisen, like the dumping of solid wastes. A mass cleaning program in Mt. Everest took place recently to recover the wastes. The wastes are usually the oxygen cylinders and other resources used by the climbers. The solid waste has also increased from the numerous resorts, hotels and lodges for the huge number of tourists. Another major problem is deforestation. With increasing tourists, we require more lands for hotels and resorts. Similarly, fuel wood is the major source of energy, so forests get cut for fuel wood for cooking and heating purposes. Excess energy consumption is taking place with so many hotels and resorts.etc. All these are causing major problems in the mountain region. But, as mentioned earlier, mountain region is the major source of revenue for the country. With so many opportunities, as well as challenges and problems, it is important to take tourism and conservation side by side. An excellent way to do that is Eco-tourism.
Eco-tourism focuses on energy efficiency and nature conservation along with tourism. It is promoting tourism in places where the natural flora and fauna are the major attractions. It poses least harm to the environment and promotes the local group of peoples. With so many visits every year and so many impacts, it is important to avoid extravagance in tourism, and reduce energy consumption. Not only is the tourism increasing wastes and deforestation in mountains, it is also reducing the aesthetic value and increasing the incidences of bio piracy. Similarly, it is also seen that the benefits of the tourism is not really uplifting the local community but the revenue is leaking elsewhere. Therefore, it is important to have proper policies to address the issues of tourism. We need to promote hiking and trekking and avoid carbon emitting vehicles as far as possible. We also need to use the local resources instead of importing materials from elsewhere. This helps in preventing energy wastage, as well as helps in improving income generating sources for the local peoples. The revenues generated from the mountain should be used for the conservation and betterment of the mountain region and mountain peoples. The tourist visiting the mountains should be made aware about the fragile nature of our mountain and prevent the smuggling of native plants as well as local knowledge.
Nepal, a beautiful country with such vast immeasurable beauty, has lots of resources for us, but is also getting affected by the ongoing degradation, changing climate and global warming. In this state, it is important to prioritize sustenance in whatever we do.