Mountain society, mountain tourism, human-nature linkages, Himalaya
- Jiho Han, Professor, College of Tourism, Rikkyo University, Japan
- Kazuyuki Watanabe, Associate Professor, Faculty of International Tourism, Hannan University, Japan
Mountain societies are diverse in terms of the lifestyles, customs, religions, and languages of their inhabitants, but they are also affected by various external pressures/factors (natural pressures such as climate change and disasters, and social pressures such as changes in political systems, policies, development, and war). In mountainous areas of developing countries, especially of Asian countries, the impact of such external pressures on the society is particularly great. The linkages between people and nature are extremely diverse in High Asian Mountains such as the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Pamir. As the linkages between people and nature are rapidly changing due to various external pressures, it is extremely important to understand the current status of the human-nature environment for future generations and to find a direction for creating and maintaining a sustainable society. This session, focusing on the issues observed in the mountain society in Asia, discusses how the residents and visitors of the mountainous areas use the natural environment; how mountain people and visitors use and influence nature; conversely, and how they are influenced by the natural environment. In addition, this session will discuss the direction of sustainable mountain tourism and mountain society in developing countries in and after the COVID-19 pandemic.