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The highly popular tourist destination Darjeeling, lovingly named the ‘Queen of Hills’, has been facing the menace of excessive and unrestricted tourism development due to massive tourist influx throughout the year. This has resulted in ecological degradation in terms of the proliferation of multistoried buildings, unchecked felling of trees, piles of garbage, increased road networks on wobbly hillsides, unbridled tinkering with the social structure of hilly ethnic communities, etc. Homestay-based tourism can offer a sustainable solution to the perils of overtourism in Darjeeling hills, not only by preaching and following responsible tourism practices but also by diverting a substantial portion of tourist inflow to various unexplored virgin areas of Darjeeling hills, thereby playing a balancing role among tourism, the environment and economic development of the local populace and the region altogether. The present study aims to address these concerns and propose effective suggestions and recommendations to meaningfully contribute to the sustainable socioeconomic growth of this region suffering from problems of unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and inadequate infrastructure through the effective utilization of the opportunity presented by homestay tourism, which makes use of the 4Rs of sustainable tourism, i.e., reduce, reuse, recycle and regulate. The study concludes that homestay tourism in Darjeeling hills still remains in its infancy in relation to sustainability endeavours.


Coupling-coordination Ecological-degradation Harrington desirability Overcrowding 4Rs of Sustainability

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How to Cite
Dutta, S., & Mukhopadhyay, D. (2024). Homestay-tourism - A viable alternative to the perils of overtourism in the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal, India. Environment Conservation Journal, 25(2), 516–531.


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