The Spiti Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh has long been hidden from most of the world but all that changed when the Indian government opened up the place for tourism in the early 1990s. The people here used to lead simple lives where greed was spurned and violence was condemned. The influx of tourists has brought massive changes such as economic development but also related problems. Grains and lentils not possible to grow here are now part of the diet but so are junk food items. There now are asphalt roads being constructed and flush toilets depleting or even polluting the Spiti river. Tourism consulting provided by Ecosphere confirms that the influx of foreign tourists like every year has increased again in 2016. While mass tourism has its pitfalls, the local community with help from outsiders is forging ahead with eco-tourism.


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