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Research Article Open Access


Tourism activities began in time immemorial, early travels were primarily for sustaining livelihood activities but the modern travel and tourism is mainly for pleasure and recreation; this results in an exploitation of newer and newer areas without any apprehension for nature. Varkala, a coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram district, is a fast developing tourism destination, all the time more attracting many Indian and foreign tourists. The area covers a total of 29.62 km2. Varkala has witnessed great infrastructure since the advent of tourism industry. There has been a detonation in the hospitality sector in Varkala in the recent years. Owing to the attractiveness of its beaches and various religious spots in the area, the maximum sustainable capacity of an area requires cautious planning of geographically separated access points and placement of tourist’s facility to avoid excessive contacts between different groups visiting the area at the same time. The over exploitation of the tourism area can result in pollution, destruction of natural flora and fauna, natural beauty of the area, adverse social, economic and cultural impacts on local population. Tourism development based on carrying capacity and sustainable development becomes relevant in this scenario for proper management of natural resources so that the present as well as the future generation may enjoy nature’s beauty and thereby augment tourist flows and revenue. The landuse/land cover analysis using remote sensing and GIS shows impending tourism sites for development through proper planning and encouragement.

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Author(s): Brilliant R. Vincy Mary Varghese and A. P. Pradeepkumar


Tourism, Varkala, sustainable development, landuse/land cover, remote sensing, GIS, Sustainable Development

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