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The Impact of a Tourism Boom in an Environmentally-Sensitive Region:A Case Study of Ladakh (Kashmir, India)



Ladakh is an extremely arid and mountainous part of India which is located near the Chinese andPakistani borders, and which environmentally is a very sensitive region. The steady growth in tourism,and especially the almost exponential rise in tourist numbers since 2010, has placed great burdens on theenvironment. Of particular concern is the increased demand for the use of the scarce water in the region,a problem which has been further exacerbated by the effects of climate change, but there are alsosignificant problems associated with soil degradation, water pollution and waste disposal, as well aspossible negative effects on the traditional society. Based on literature reviews, interviews conducted inLadakh, and personal observations, this paper examines the various environmental concerns and themeasures employed to mitigate them, and suggests ways in which sustainable tourism can beimplemented.



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