Comprehensive Spatial planning of Sonamarg resort in Kashmir Valley, India for sustainable tourism
Keywords:Indian, India, Kashmir Valley, Sonamarg resort, Tourism Industry, environment, tourism, Geospatial Approach, Kashmir valley, Master Plan, village settlement
The tourism Industry is directly linked with the environment, as tourists mainly travel to natural and green environment destinations. This study has made an attempt to demonstrate the application of Geospatial Approach in evaluation of Master Planning for Sonamarg Resort most visited tourist place of Kashmir valley. Master Plan (MP) for Tourist Resort of Sonamarg was evaluated using topographical settings (Slope, Aspects and Elevation) natural drainage and land use land cover map. Evaluation of Master plan for Sonamarg tourist resort was carried out in two ways i.e., zone vise (A, B, C and D) and slope vise. High resolution Google Earth satellite images of IKONOS were used to analyze current land use land cover in Sonamarg, which are classified into 7 classes. ASTER DEM was used to prepare the slope, elevation and drainage maps. RETScreen Expert was used to get the climate data from NASA to correlate it with the Tourist inflow months. Results indicated that “Zone A” may exhibit conversion from pastures and built up into mixed zone and village settlement; “Zone B” from agriculture to riverfronts; “Zone C” from pasture land to golf course and camping areas; “Zone D” from built up, pastures and recreations sites to golf lodges and facilities areas. Slope vise evaluation indicated that forest should be on higher slope, recreational tourist including Golf Course, River Front and Organized Parks on the moderate slope while built up on the lower slope. The Rapid settlement expansion is seen as one of the potential threats to sustainable development and settlement planning coupled with effective resource utilization and allocation of infrastructure initiatives are other key concerns.
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