Perceptions of trekking tourism and social and environmental change in Nepal's Himalayas

Gyan P. Nyaupane, Alan A Lew, Kevin Tatsugawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Himalayas are among the world's youngest mountain ranges. In addition to the geologic processes of mountain building and erosion, they are also highly vulnerable to human influenced change, occurring at local, national, regional, and international scales. A photo-elicitation methodology is employed to show how residents perceive those changes from historical perspectives, as well as their current conditions and impacts on their daily lives. Nepal's Khumbu region has undergone major social and environmental transformations since the 1960s when international trekking first began to influence the area's economy. The current perceptions of Khumbu residents of these changes are assessed through photo-elicitation interviews. Their responses are placed in the historical context of: (1) institutional and political changes, most of which have been driven by national government policies; (2) social and economic changes, for which the tourism economy has been central; and (3) environmental changes, reflecting the impacts of resource management and climate change. The mostly positive perceptions of Khumbu residents toward how their region has changed reflects general improvements in the physical and cultural landscapes of the Khumbu over time, as well as its continuing geographic isolation, which has helped to slow the rate of globalization, while also keeping the region a dynamic and popular tourist destination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-437
Number of pages23
JournalTourism Geographies
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Nepal
social change
environmental change
tourism
Tourism
resident
First International
tourist destination
economy
political change
cultural landscape
historical perspective
institutional change
economic change
government policy
globalization
erosion
social isolation
tourist
resource management

Keywords

  • community development
  • environmental perceptions
  • global change
  • mountain regions
  • photo elicitation
  • Sagarmatha National Park
  • Sherpa
  • sustainable tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this

Perceptions of trekking tourism and social and environmental change in Nepal's Himalayas. / Nyaupane, Gyan P.; Lew, Alan A; Tatsugawa, Kevin.

In: Tourism Geographies, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2014, p. 415-437.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nyaupane, Gyan P. ; Lew, Alan A ; Tatsugawa, Kevin. / Perceptions of trekking tourism and social and environmental change in Nepal's Himalayas. In: Tourism Geographies. 2014 ; Vol. 16, No. 3. pp. 415-437.
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