The impact of COVID 19 on the economy of India has not left the tourism sector which is one of the worst-hit industries by the pandemic. There is a lot of philosophy talks about the revival of the tourism sector in Karnataka. We are today speaking about responsible tourism in the Malnad region of Karnataka and the role of homestays. We are not insulated to climate change which is an ongoing process all over the world. If you closely look at the implications of climate change in Karnataka it has not spared the rural parts either. We have to pledge for sustainable business models built on the strong foundations of responsible tourism. It is very important to consider the contributions of local communities in preserving, developing the green zones in the Malnad region.
The activities of tourism should be such that it becomes an enabling feature in the overall growth of the environment and people around us. Tourism has always a mixed reputation for conservation. We cannot deny the fact that we human beings have destroyed natural habitats for developing sites required for tourism activities. We have failed to allocate the same place elsewhere for nature to grow on its own. Encroachments of forest lands or even reserved revenue lands have been ignored by officials. As the pandemic brought the tourism activities to a standstill its best time to allow nature to revive on its own.
Responsible tourism expects visitors to be more mindful about residents with adhering to the responsibilities of guests. It is a very unscientific approach to carry out intrusions to habitats in nature in the name of ‘night camping’ or ‘day camping’ in forests. We need not have to create intrusion to other habitats to find some leisure time or have fun for ourselves. It will be too selfish to do so, there are a lot of unregistered businesses illegally taking people to forests by just doing social media postings and luring adventure seekers. We cannot blame them because we as guests are not fully aware of a lot of things. We think everything sold online is cheap & value for money and would attribute it as commercial. At least the homestays in Malnad listed under Travel Malnad® are responsible for carrying out ethical tourism activities since 2005. Once we started using their services we realized how blessed we are to have magnificent power of nature around us. When we travel next time to Malnad let’s not forget that because we have paid to stay at a hotel or do trekking we cannot take nature for granted.