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Tourism-Related Facility Development in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal Himalaya

Yujie Sun () and Teiji Watanabe ()
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Yujie Sun: Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
Teiji Watanabe: Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan

Land, 2021, vol. 10, issue 9, 1-20

Abstract: The increase in the number of tourists to mountain regions poses both opportunities and challenges for sustainable mountain development. In order to achieve sustainable development, it is essential to examine societal, landscape, and population transformation in mountain regions. This study explores transformation in the context of the tourism-related facility in Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone (SNPBZ) of Nepal as an example of the Himalayan region. Questionnaire surveys targeting the owners and managers of tourism-related facilities and interview surveys with various community leaders, officials, and school principals were conducted in the park in 2017–2019. Both surveys show that the types, ownership, distribution, and capacity of facilities in the park have been transformed. Growth of tourist numbers, improvement of porters’ accommodation conditions, and migrant labor are the main factors driving the transformation. Tourism has also induced imbalanced development and unequal benefits among the villages in the park. The findings suggest that diversification of trekking routes and facility and service quality improvement could help to mitigate imbalanced development and unequal benefits. The in-depth examination of the transformation of tourism-related facilities augments the knowledge of the dynamic changes of facilities in mountain regions, which is vital for sustainable mountain development.

Keywords: mountain region; facility status transformation; imbalanced tourism development; unequal benefits; sustainable tourism; Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone (SNPBZ) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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