Tourism role in ‘Miandam Valley’, district swat

Miandam Valley is known for its scenic beauty and considered to be one of the prominent tourist destinations of District Swat. The influx of tourists both (domestic and foreigners) is increasing day by day promoting the socio-economic condition of the local people.

Tourism role in Miandam Valley,  district swatMajority of the people are greatly dependent on tourism sector to earn their livelihood. The main purpose of this research is to valuate the tourism as an important ecosystem service. Besides tourism there are many other ecosystem services i.e. medicinal plants, grazing, timber etc. but tourism’s important for economic development of the area.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

Ecosystem services can be defined as, the terms and procedures which satisfy humankind as well as the species comprise and maintain natural ecosystems (Daily 1997). The gaining of benefits directly or indirectly from ecosystem by human populations (Costanza et al 1997). The getting of benefits by people from ecosystems (MA 2005).

The four wide classes of Ecosystem services (ES) are Ecosystem provisioning services, which includes, supply of water and food, medicine, building and construction materials, genetic resources and energy;

Ecosystem regulating services, are climatic regulation, regulates water siltation’s in dams, pests control, diseases, wastes, Ecosystem supporting services, like maintaining food cycling and dispersal of seeds through different mediums, and the last one as Ecosystem cultural services, e.g. recreational and spiritual benefits.

The ecosystem services of the area has not been valuated in past and ignored in GDP. For valuation of these ecosystem services 100 household, 13 hotels and 50 tourists were interviewed. The total worth of tourism in this area was calculated as per local perception as (RS.) 157.84 millions both from daily and staying tourism annually using contingent method of valuation.

This amount play a momentus role in the poverty reduction of the area. Besides, the tourism also provides employment and business opportunities for the local people. Its concluded that tourism play a vital role in poverty reduction of the area by providing opportunities to locals inhabitants in various sectors.

TOURISM

The word tourism is defined as “the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes”(World Tourism Organization).

Tourism is one of the most important services provided by the ecosystem. Tourism is also refer to the development in global economic system. It contributes approximately about $50 billion annually to the economy of developing countries. In the present modern period of global economic regression, tourism is still unexpectedly strong (Anon 1989).

VALUATION OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

Valuation is a new concept in environment worth of these ecosystem services are often neglected at all level which results in a less attention to these ecosystem services at government level. Valuation is defined as, giving of proper expression to services and benefits with respect to its economical perspective is said to be valuation. To evaluate value of a good or service, economic value role is very important in defining it (King et al 2004).

On the basis of economic and ecological point of view, permanent and proper management of Natural resources needs good knowledge (Mahat 2001).

VALUATION METHODS

The approach to economic valuation depends upon the action of qualities of an individuals, family and local selection. Particularly selections are authentic kind of evidence as it occurs to finding values and preferences.

We often disclose our preferences for one thing over another whenever we make choices. Choice is referred as paying for something. Generally the following valuation methods are used for valuation of ecosystem services.

STATED PREFERENCE METHOD

It also referred as contingent method. Stated preference method deliver structural framework to the people and ask them to choose between an ecosystem good or service in a survey format. Which give a clear dollar value, e.g. property tax increase?

An undisciplined choice of people’s stated preference methods are controversial because their willingness to pay of spending money lead them to overstate habit. Defining and set apart the good or service obviously care, should be given. However stated methods are an advance proportional with rating that neglect communal desires.

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REVEALED PREFERENCE METHOD

Revealed preference methods use the idea that some environmental goods/services are related to market goods. We can try to infer it from their behavior in other markets referred as revealed preference methods

In particular; we may want to find substitutes or complements of those environmental services we want to value. The latter include the Travel Cost Method and the Defensive Expenditure Method, both based on the Production of Function Approach, and Hedonic Price Methods (Rusche, Wilker et al. 2013).

Tourism is basically a systematic, constant and complicated business activity. Due to worldwide significance it has been raised to the grade of an industry. It is utilized by about 20 Crores individuals throughout the world. To global economic development it

shares up to about US$600 billion annually directly and indirectly in the form of tax. Day-by-day extraordinary increase in tourism industry leads it to outstanding economically and social background followed by three subdued years (2001-2003).

After that the three critical years tourism bounce back in 2004 making a record arrival of international tourists to 10.7% increase. In 2005 it reached to the record value of US$622 billion dollars.

Majority of aid agencies does not give more attention to tourism developmental works. It is real, that in every period of time there is always a success competition between different departments. Hopefully signs, you will be seen that one day tourism should be largest industry on the earth. Which have great potentials accordingly to the reducing poverty?

For eliminating poverty sustainable tourism acts is a tool. It also helps in participation of locals and donors. It assures more stake holder contributions resulting in policies related to poverty reduction.

Development should be not only limited to reserve in national airline but more fund should be invest on developmental work but small business also creations tools in the constructions.

Due to mountainous terrain, agriculture is practiced in terracing which is vulnerable to floods for erosion. Average land holding is smaller and people mostly cultivate vegetables and maize crop.

For the last few decades, tourism is developing rapidly, but this sector was affected adversely by Nine eleven incident and era of Talibanization where the tourism industry was most affected.

After the Talibanization, the tourism is again gaining popularity and emerging as good livelihood source for the locals of the area. The present study was designed to valuate tourism in the study area and its role in poverty alleviation with the following objectives.

  • AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The present study has been carried out with the following objectives,

  1. To valuate daily tourism in Miandam valley swat.

  2. To valuate tourism based on stay in hotels in Miandam valley swat.

  3. To find out the role of tourism in poverty alleviation in Miandam valley swat.

    • DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY AREA

Miandam valley is located in district Swat, Khyber pakhtunkhwa at a distance of 58 km from the main city of Mingora. Miandam valley comprises of two types of tribes one is Swati and other Gujar. Approximate area of Miandam valley is 70 km2 and climatically falls in moist temperate zone. The total population of the area consists of 1000 households with an average of 6-7 members per household.

Mostly Miandam valley is mountainous area lies in the Hindu Raj series. Which occur in Hindu Kush region. Geographic coordinates of Miandam Valley is 35, 02 N and 72, 33 E. The total area of the valley is 6,949 ha, in which 638 ha is irrigated and 1,081 ha is un-irrigated, agricultural land. The total forest cover is on 4,388 ha and 842 ha are non forest areas. Miandam valley having 4388 ha forest area which acts is the biggest watershed for Swat River.

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The Forests is in protected state and divided into shares among various tribes. Ownership of forest is defined with no common land. Share ratio from harvesting is 80:20 percent. Mostly forest area is covered with conifer forests. Tourism is one of the major sources of income for the locals people which are mostly occurring in summer season while in winter mostly people migrate to lower areas. (Adnan, Ashiq et al. 2006)

Like other areas of Swat, Miandam valley is also provides enormous ecosystem services, in which tourism is most important. The current study aims to valuate tourism and its role in poverty alleviation.

DATA COLLECTION

Questionnaire was prepared for data collection and was tested in community before the actual survey. The deficiencies of the Questionnaire identified during pre-testing were rectified for final survey.

To valuate daily tourism in the area 10% sampling intensity was used. The 100 key informants were interviewed on valuation of tourism on pre-tested questionnaires and later the data was transferred to excel sheets for further analysis. . A total of 100 respondents from households (50 respondents in each village), were interviewed.

For the valuation of tourism which involves stay in hotels 50 tourists were interviewed on the role of tourism in the poverty alleviation on pre-tested Questionnaires. Also the data on tourism was collected from 13 hotels and then the data was transferred to excel sheet for analysis.

Due to limited number of hotels, all the 13 hotels were covered during survey. From households and hotels Interviews were conducted in Pashto language while majority of tourists were Urdu speakers so the data were collected from tourists in Urdu Language.  (Questionnaire attached)

From the Questionnaire the total number of daily tourist and staying tourist was calculated along with average expense. All the calculations were carried out on actual basis.

From the average expense, the valuation of tourism was calculated in the study area.

Three different Questionnaire were made for the data collection which are as under

  • Household Data or key informants, for collection of household data Questionnaire were constructed to collect data from distinct respondents. Which was composed of three distinct sections. First section was about generally common data of respondents i.e. age, Gender, income and household size etc. Secondly section was designed to find information about tourist’s arrival to area in different seasons. The remaining portion was comprised of different questions regarding proper management of natural resources.
  • To collect data from tourist separate questionnaire was constructed to collect information from tourists in the study area. Questionnaire was comprised of one part regarding Name, gender, income, willingness to pay for the improved area facilities and recreational behavior of tourists etc.
  • Similarly for collection of data from hotels, Questionnaire was designed for 13 hotels. Different hotels located in the study area which was comprised of two parts. First part was about name of hotel, total accommodation capacity in the hotel and the second part was meant to find the tourists arrival in summer and winter season.

HURDLES DURING DATA COLLECTION

  • That the respondents of the area not giving full time every one has shortage of time.
  • Due to lack of awareness several respondents not give us correct information.
  • The respondents Hesitates during interviews because they were afraid of implementations of Tax in the region.
  • Medium of conversation with some respondents literally different which consumed  more time so it was also hurdle in communication with respondents.
  • Some hotels were also not giving a proper data about tourists staying in hotels because they were afraid of security threats.
  • Data collection from tourists also creates a lots of difficulties i.e. not giving proper attention because they were busy in there enjoyments.
  • Busy schedule of key informants, hotel owners and tourist.

MATERIALS

  1. Questionnaire
  2. Computer
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RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 1, shows the average income of the area from daily tourism. A total of (RS.) 86481176/= is obtained annually from daily tourism. Which plays in important role in poverty alleviation and economic development of the area. This amount is earned by the local communities through various activities.

Duration

Estimated No. of tourist

Average Expenditure

Total expenditure (Rs)

1998-2002

80956.1

1994

161426463.4

2003-2007

39655.6

1994

79073266.4

2008-2012

23163.14

1994

46187301.16

2013-2017

72978.36

1994

145518849.8

Total

216753.2

 

432205881

43350.6

 

86441176.16

Table 1.  Showing Annual income on daily basis tourist’s arrival.

On the basis of hotel, the calculated numbers of staying tourists were about 18776 annually and their daily based expenditure was also calculated on average basis which was (RS.) 3803/=. Also their expenditure with respect to staying in hotels was calculated in Pakistani Rupees (RS.) 71405128/= annually.

This amount or income of the hotel is increasing with the passage of time due to development of hotel industry in the area. The number of tourist staying in hotel is expected to increase in future which will play a pivotal role in poverty alleviation of the area.

Duration

Estimated No. of tourists

Average Expenditure

Total Expenditure Rs.

1998-2002

83320

3803

63373192

2003-2007

124483

3803

94679488

2008-2012

20090

3803

15280454

2013-2017

241510

3803

183692506

Total

469403 

 

357025640

71405128

Table 2 showing annual income from tourists on the basis of staying in hotel.

CONCLUSION

This study analyzes local perception of valuation of tourism and its role in poverty alleviation in Miandam Valley swat. For valuation of tourism on the basis of daily and staying in hotels the total income calculated in Pakistani rupees is  (RS.) 157847060.56 annually.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Miandam Valley Swat has great potentials. It is best recreational and beautiful place for visitors to visits here and enjoy the nature. For the sake of its proper management and conservation to remain in its natural status the following points I should recommend are as under

  1. A tourism development cell (TDC) should be established to coordinate tourism related activities in district swat.
  2. The youth of these areas should be facilitated in terms of education, capacity building and technical education to reduce the pressure on the forest resources due to unemployment which maintain to tourism in the area.
  3. The youth of the area is unskilled and uneducated which restricts their chances of employment thus they involve themselves in sale of forest produce which in turn deteriorates the forest resources.
  4. To give the potential role of district swat in the development of tourism, it is recommended that tourism training institutes should be established.
  5. The Government should take strict measures for maintaining law and order in the area to ensure security for tourists.
  6. Deforestation should be controlled by providing alternatives of fuel wood to maintain natural resources in its pure status.
  7. Government should be to arrange the local festivals for the advertisement of the areas culture heritage and handicrafts to the tourists.
  8.  To bring awareness among the local people about the environmental degradation.
  9. Telecommunication network needs to be improved.
  10. Electricity should be improved and power station should be constructed.
  11. Separate sites for all kind of recreational activities like picnic spots etc. should be developed.
  12.  Sign boards should be installed to provide relevant information about the area.
  13. Name plates on trees, containing its technical and local name as well as its importance will be fixed for knowledge of the people.
  14. Publicity of the valley through pamphlets, broachers, magazines, newspapers and television will enhance ecotourism in the valley.
  15. Security of tourists must be ensured.
  16.  Construction of hotels and restaurants are in dire need of the area.
  17. Clean and clear water should be made available to all.
  18. Regeneration of the blank areas should be done. 

Author: Uzair Khan

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