Our valued readers may have wondered why the Dodo, a bird that is extinct now, became extinct. The hunters of the yore may have been fascinated by it or they may have killed it due to the fine taste of its mean. We can only make a wild guess about its fate. The Dodo is nowhere to be seen today. Similarly, we can expect threats to other plant and animal species of our planet, if we do not nurture and protect them in a professional manner.
Likewise, the water bodies, glaciers and other natural resources of the earth are dying at a fast pace. But the mad rush of tourists for the mountains is increasing in terms of number. For example, The Gangotri glacier (Uttaranchal) has receded by 620 m during the period 1962-91.
Thus, its receding rate was 20 m per annum. The condition of other glaciers of the Himalayas is no better. That is why; tourism industry must plan its operations and develop the tourist spots with the concept of sustainability in full view. If there is no Gangotri, there would not be a sustainable eco-system in the Himalayas and India. The consequences of reduction in the flow and volume of waters of the Ganges can only be imagined! Places of historic and cultural heritage come next in this discussion several hundred forts have perished, thanks to the illegal activities of locals and visitors. An old building is already too old to stand.
And, if tourists take away its artifacts, stones, figurines, paintings and sculptures, how can these relics of the past sustain the vagaries of time and weather. Thus, sustainable tourism planning has assumed more importance as places of historical value are the ones that attract tourists; and there are the ones that ought to be protected from thieves, international smugglers and some naughty tourists.