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  • Thumbnail for Modeling the sustainability of tourism in Leh, India ‘The little Tibet’ : an econometric analysis
    Modeling the sustainability of tourism in Leh, India ‘The little Tibet’ : an econometric analysis by Angmo, Namgyal

    Over the past couple of decades, tourism has become one of the most significant and vibrant aspects of the economy of the Ladakh region in Northern India. It is probably the largest revenue generating sector, especially since the past few years with tourist arrivals exceeding the local population of the region. While tourism definitely seems to have boosted economic growth, it has also led to growing concerns regarding the impact on the natural as well as the cultural environment and the possible consequences on the touristic appeal of the region. Although this forms an important issue for the stability of the local economy, it remains fairly unstudied in the context of Ladakh. This thesis attempts to contribute to the scant literature by providing quantitative evidence to back up the underlying concerns by investigating the sustainability of tourism in the town of Leh in Ladakh through the application of an ordered probit model on tourist survey results. Tourist satisfaction level is used as the sustainability indicator and is modeled in terms of the tourist’s preferences and assessments of the characteristic features of the region. The paper also analyzes Leh’s tourist arrival trends in the context of Butler’s tourist area life cycle (TALC) model and employs the ARIMA forecasting method to produce short term predictions for tourist arrivals. The overall results suggest that Leh’s strength lies in its characteristics like the unique landscape, the cultural heritage and traditions as well as the monasteries and other ancient architectural heritage. The high satisfaction levels reported from the majority of tourists combined with the forecast results seem to suggest that tourism can be sustained at least in the short term. Long term performance would be entirely determined by how the present strengths are handled and by the measures taken to counter the ongoing negative changes.