Ecotourism As A Sustainable Livelihood Option In Mountain Community: A Case Study Of Hunza Valley
Author: Nazia Deedar

The environmental concern of tourism requires immediate policy attention in Gilgit-Baltistan where the current mass tourism is creating immense pressure on the vitally important mountain resources. The increasing mass tourism in the region has created many ecological and other issues including pollution, crowd, resource exploitation and over construction etc. Ecotourism has become very common especially in conservation and expansion concerns. It is basically a concept of tourism that not only provides economic benefits to the visiting areas or the host communities but also protects the culture and the environment of the host region. This study is an attempt to highlight the ecotourism potential of Hunza Valley. Qualitative research approach is used to conduct this study. In-depth interviews are conducted with tourism department government of Gilgit-Baltistan, academia, hospitality sector and visitors in Hunza valley and the collected data are analyzed using thematic approach. This study reveals that Hunza valley has tremendous ecotourism potential and it can contribute significantly to the livelihoods of local community if it is managed properly. Ecotourism not only ensure environmental protection of tourism but it can also contribute to the livelihoods of local community by engaging them in various tourism activities. As this study explored that some conservation models in form of trophy hunting etc are being practices in few villages in Hunza valley which needs to be strengthen and replicated to the regions. Thus, ecotourism is the only way to ensure sustainable tourism in the region. This study highly recommends that the policy makers are needed to devise policies in such a way that the social and ecological concerns should be addressed while including local community in policy formulation. Supervisor:- Dr. Usman Ahmad

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Supervisor: Usman Ahmad
Cosupervisor: Hafiz Hanzla Jalil

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