This of economic development and hence investment in

This work is an attempt to find out the role of various media in
creating ecotourism awareness among tourists in Kanyakumari district, Tamil
Nadu, India.  The study combines a
general review of media’s
role on ecotourism and then aims to find out which
media are catering to the tourists. The questionnaire is designed to study on two
aspects, namely information completeness
and persuasiveness of the media. The
Western Ghats provide Kanyakumari district with rich natural resources of flora
and fauna. In the present scenario of climate change in terms of erratic
rainfall and rising temperatures, Kanyakumari district is losing some of its
charm. This negative trend can be checked by the
proper interlocking of conservation through education and awareness. The economic status of the district should also be developed along
with it. Many environmentalists suggest ecotourism as a means for conservation of
environment and socio-economic development. Today’s society spends much time
with the media. In this modern era, human ecosystem is significantly mediated
by the media. So it is the time to initiate development policies and strategies
for encouraging tourism based on the media messages.  As the media has the power to grab one’s
attention and it plays a significant role in socio-economic development. The media
in general is persuasive in nature, and the media primarily has the potential
to control to some extent the minds of users. The role of mass media is
important to promote the brand-image of the destination. Most governments see
tourism as a means of economic development and hence investment in the industry
is usually encouraged. In the rapidly-changing global economic scenario,
tourism is considered as one of the largest sustainable industry. Kanyakumari
district has been chosen for the study as it has a good potentiality for tourism destination for
both national and international tourists. The pleasing weather of Kanyakumari
district throughout the year provides best sites for the tourism industry. A
questionnaire was administered to collect data from 100 respondents.
Respondents to the questionnaire were selected through stratified random
sampling technique.

Keywords: Kanyakumari, Western Ghats, ecotourism, ecosystem, livelihood,
sustainable economy.

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Introduction:
 Kanyakumari,
located at the southern extremity of Indian Peninsula where the Arabian Sea,
the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet together hence referred as
‘Thriveni Sangamam’ (confluence point of three sea).  So the district occupies a unique place in the
world tourism map for this location. Kanyakumari has always been considered as the
prime cultural hub of India. The Western Ghats keeps the district with rich
natural resources of flora and fauna. The district is blessed with a moderate
climate and seasonal rains twice a year. This supports a wide variety of banana
agriculture than most other places. The district is made up of different topography
where the western seashore supports coconut groves, the Western Ghats that have
flourishing rubber (latex) plantation, pepper, cashew, the plane region has
vegetables, tapioca and horticultural crops like mango, pineapple and jackfruits
are grown. This natural scenario of greenery attracts the
tourists from the worldwide. But, in
the present scenario of climate change, Kanyakumari district is losing some of
its charm. This negative trend can be checked by the proper interlocking of
conservation through education and awareness.

The economic status of the district should
also be developed along with it. Tourism, in this
context, can be considered to cope up with this situation on acting as a
catalyst for the economic and social development of the district. At the same
time, tourism without proper management lead to heavy damaging impacts on the
environment such as increased water use, increased pollution loadings through waste and emissions,
and direct and indirect disturbance to wildlife and vegetation (Fennell, 2003).
This may destruct the beauty of natural destination and the tourists reject the
destinations which are polluted and natural environment is destroyed. As
tourism open door for rapid economic growth that attracts a number of foreign
and non-local investors, this may neglect the prosperity of indigenous people. So
tourism also has its own seeds of destruction and therefore tourism can kill
tourism. Henceforth destroying the environmental attractions for which visitors
come to this location (Glasson et al., 1995). Many environmentalists suggests ecotourism as a promoting
tool for environmental conservation as well as socio-economic developments.
Ecotourism may play a vital role in this regard.  Tourism activity in the district could be
taken as a vibrant tool in enriching the social status of the society.  Therefore, tourism calls for awareness
for the conservation of nature and environment which can be done by media. With
the advent of modern media technologies, there is an immense possibility to
reach the unreached tourism spots and enlighten significance of ecotourism.

In
the ancient times man had the urge to explore new places and their travel were
less sophisticated than current generation. Today, the situation is different. Human ecosystem is significantly
mediated by technology.  The
development in the field of transportation as well as communication makes
travelling more sophisticated and a modern traveller demands safety and comfort
for his enjoyment. According to modern tourist, the tourism is not just packing
the bags and exploring a new destination. It’s about stepping to another
comfort zone. So it is the time to initiate development policies and strategies
for encouraging tourism based on the uses and gratification of modern
travellers. In this
sophisticated age, the efficiency of a department can be measured by the usage
of technical competence for the promotional activities. People use digital
technologies for their day to day life considering digital technology is
smarter than anything else in this world. So it is quite natural that in the field
of tourism that travellers are interested to use digital communication technology
to get tourism information.