Case Essay

2247 Words Apr 30th, 2012 9 Pages
Kumarakom: A Case Study of Sustainable Tourism Background Kumarakom is situated on the banks of the Vembanad Kayal (backwater), 10 km. west of the Kottayam District Head Quarters in Kerala. Located between 9o37’ N and 76o25’E, the Kumarakom panchayat is bounded by Kavanar and Aimanam panchayat in the north, Kottayam - Alappuzha Canal in the south, Thiruvarppu panchayat in East and Vembanad Kayal in the west. It has an area of 51.67 sq. km. of which 24.13 sq. km. is Vembanad Kayal, 15.04 sq. km. is land and 12.50 sq. km. is Paddy fields. Kumarakom has a bird sanctuary home to 91species of local and 50 species of migratory birds. Prof. K. K. Neelakandan, renowned ornithologist reported thousands of Night Herons, Darters and …show more content…
The arrival of tourism industry was well received by the local people initially with the land value increasing many folds in the potential areas for tourism ventures. Local farmers offered their agricultural lands and paddy fields for tourism construction at exorbitant prices. Although the conversion of land reduced the agricultural yield and employment, the temporary employment opportunities in the construction sector and relatively higher wages earned, made the local workers happy. But all was not well in the years to come. Meagre employment gains The employment opportunity in the tourism sector was not favourable to the local community with 80% of the regular employees in big hotels appointed from outside Kumarakom. A study conducted by EQUATIONS in 2000, “Women’s participation in tourism development” revealed that most of the labourers lost their traditional occupations. Women and agricultural labourers displaced from the lands converted for tourism could not be compensated with alternative jobs. The contract labourers appointed by the tourism industry did not have job security and were terminated at any time without assigning any reason. Although these workers are eligible for minimum wages, they are paid at much lower rates. The clustering of the resorts on the banks of Vembanad Kayal denied access to local people involved in fishing and shell collection to

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