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Tourism is the practice of travelling for pleasure especially on one’s holidays. It is an organized journey during which several places are visited.
Motives/Purposes behind of Tourism
Tourism serves some purposes such as
- It causes us to go to near or distant places, to see things with our eyes, and to fulfill our curiosity.
- It satisfies our hunger for natural-beauty. A beautiful mountain scene, a lovely beach, or an exquisite sculptural work, casts an irresistible charm on our mind, and tourism lets us enjoy it to the full.
- It makes us tolerant and broadminded so as to appreciate different people, their speech and dress, their manners and customs, their social and economic conditions.
- It encourages intercultural contacts and intercultural activities.
Rural tourism in India: Scope and Potential
Any form of tourism that showcases the rural life, art, culture and heritage at rural locations, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially as well as enabling interaction between the tourists and the locals for a more enriching tourism experience can be termed as rural tourism. Rural tourism is essentially an activity which takes place in the countryside.
Major Tourist Spots in India
There are a few countries which can compete with India in respect of worth-seeding tourists’ spots.
Hill stations: India has such hill stations as Darjeeling, Shillong, Gangtok, Manali, Shimla and Kashmir, Ooty and Panchmari.
Sea beaches: India has magnificent sea beaches at Puri and Pandicherri, Kovalam and Goa.
Architectural beauty: Sculptural marvels like the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho and Konark, temples like Meenakshi and Kanyakumari, caves liked Ajanta and Ellora, forts like Agra and Lalkilla.
Forests: Forests like the Sunderbans, and sanctuaries like Kaziranga and Jaldapara, are important tourist destinations.
Religious places: Places of worship like Sringeri Math and Vaishno Devi for the Hindus, Pawapuri and Dilwara for the Jains, and Jama Masjid and Khaja Baba Mosque for the Muslims.
Metropolitan cities: Metropolitan cities liked Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai add to the unending list of her marvelous tourist spots.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that “INDIA LIVES IN VILLAGES”
It is the place where you can meet the ‘Real India’.
- It can generate job in villages.
- Reduce migration towards cities.
- Preserves dying art forms.
Potential of rural tourism:
- It is an effective way of providing experiential travel and diversifying the tourism product as well as helping rural communities by increasing their income
- Contributes to Indian economy
- Extincting cultures can be protected
Government Initiative for Development of Rural Tourism
Major types of Rural Tourism in India
Agriculture Tourism: To explore more about the agricultural industry and how farmers work with crops.
Cultural Tourism: To allow tourists to be immersed in local culture related activities, like rituals and festivals.
Nature Tourism: Responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.
Adventure Tourism: Any constructive activity which tests the endurance of both a person and his equipment to its extreme limits is termed as Adventure.
Community Eco-tourism: When tourism is for a purpose. It is a rather responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improves the well-being of local people
Schemes of the Government of India
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme (Click me and know about this scheme)
- Prasad Scheme (Click me and know about this scheme)
- Sham-e-Sarhad Scheme (Click me and know about this scheme)
Impact of rural tourism-
Scope for improvement
For sustainable development it is essential to optimize the positive impacts and minimize the negative impacts
National Tourism Policy: The Potential Game Changer
Why there is need for tourism policy?
To know this, we have follow the trend of tourism in India
As it is evident from the figures above, Indian tourism is doing remarkably well but the major challenge lies in providing adequate infrastructure and logistic support to sustain this growth
National Tourism Policy
- To position tourism as a major engine of economic growth.
- To harness the direct and multiplier effects of tourism for employment generation, economic development and providing impetus to rural tourism.
- To focus on domestic tourism as a major driver of tourism growth.
- To position India as a global brand to take advantage of the burgeoning global travel trade and the vast untapped potential of India as a destination.
- To acknowledges the critical role of private sector with government working as a pro-active facilitator and catalyst.
- To create and develop integrated tourism circuits based on India’s unique civilization, heritage, and culture in partnership with states, private sector and other agencies.
- To ensure that the tourist to India gets physically invigorated, mentally rejuvenated, culturally enriched, spiritually elevated and “feel India from within”
Rural Tourism: Infrastructure and Capacity Building
The Endogenous Tourism Project-Rural Tourism Scheme (ETP-RTS)
It is a joint project of Government of India-Ministry of Tourism and United Nations Development Programme (Gol-UNDP) to support the rural tourism initiatives of the Gol which would serve to create sustainable livelihood opportunities among low income villagers
Supply chain for tourists and major organisations in India
Tourism is linked to a larger private sector network. Requirement of travel trade include sanitation and hygiene, safety of tourist at the rural tourism sites.
- Apart from the support of Rs50lakh per site, MoT also support the ETP-RTS project by providing assistance through its various marketing initiatives in foreign countries.
- MoT & UNDP partnered rural tourism location showcased their site attraction through impressive on-site art and craft demonstration.
The capacity building for Service Providers Scheme (Software) aims to develop a sustainable Rural Tourism product, converging with the Ministry’s Rural Tourism Scheme (Hardware) through tourism awareness, capacity building for tourism/hospitality services, gender equity, gurukul, environment care and marketing.
Rural people and farmers have inadequate knowledge, education and exposure which construct problems in understanding and management of travel and tourism sector which is most dynamic and vibrant.
Employment potential in rural tourism
Tourism is currently the world’s largest industry and the fastest growing sector of the market.
Need for an Entrepreneurial Approach
It is the key for economic development of any sector
- To facilitate the use of local resources (both human and non-human).
- To create additional scope of employment for every type of rural labour.
- To achieve a better standard of living and increased income sources.
- To explore the possibilities of forward and backward linkages through vertical and horizontal integration of labour.
- To preserve and maintain the traditional culture and value system along with refinements on these via the assimilation process of tourist linkages.
- To grow consciousness of eco-biodiversity.
Skilling the unskilled
Inspite of the developments in technology, telecommunication and transport facilities, still a substantial portion of rural India retains the rural ambience and pride
Most of the agricultural operation are seasonal, villagers have long spell of time that can be utilized by engaging themselves in tourism and allied activities.
Ecosystem for Rural Tourism
Four pillars of tourism
ATMs and telecommunication facilities, internet connectivity are essential for promotion of tourism in rural area
Panchayati Raj institutions: Promoting Village Tourism
Panchayats are India’s ancient autonomous democratic institutions. Whose description is found in the ancient Indian text ‘Rigveda’ in the form of ‘Sabhas’ and ‘Samities’. At various points of time these autonomous bodies of governance have proven their importance inspite of the political disturbances within the country.
- Drinking water supply, cleaning and maintenance facilities.
- Maintenance of public lamp posts, roads, drainage system, cleanliness programmes, primary schools and maintenance of other public assets.
- Construction of Panchayat Bhawans for meeting halls and for the residence of secretary of Gram Panchayat.
- Construction of Gramin Kisan Bazaar and Livestock Markets.
- Construction of underground water drainage system for the objective of environmental cleanliness.
Strategy for development of village tourism
- Swagat (Welcome)
- Swachhta (Cleanliness or Sanitation)
- Soochana (Information/communication)
- Suvidha (Facilitation)
- Surakhsha (Security)
- Sahyog (Cooperation & Coordination)
- Samrachana (Structure)
These are seven Ss capsules for promotion
Why there is need for promoting Panchayati Tourism?
Uniqueness in term of people’s participation through the institutions of Panchayats, Gram Sabha and various subject committees.
Farm Tourism may be another tourist products, tourist may like to eat fruits by taking it from tree itself.
Cleanliness and Village Tourism
On the 15th of September, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind had launched the Swachhata Hi Seva movement in Uttar Pradesh from a village in Kanpur.
It will accelerate people movement for sanitation CAO GIST Yojana & Kurukshetra
Circuit Tourism: A Unique Model for Indian Tourism(Click & read)
Community Based Eco-Tourism for North–East
North East is a land of diverse cultures, loaded with hidden potential for tourism that would bring inclusive development in rural communities.
Issues with community based tourism
- Cleanliness Accountability is generally lacking in Indian tourism.
- Tourist destinations are littered with plastics and packaged food containers.
Example of successful community based tourism
- It is situated relatively close to Kohima, the capital of Nagaland
- This village has population of around 200 with household of 33.
Tribe : Angami Naga Tribe
- Stone walkways surrounded by forest and rice fields
- Bird and butterfly watching
- Nature walk and trekking
- Snow trout
Project Initiation of Eco Tourism in Dauleke
The Dzuleke’s village Council has set up the Dzuleke Eco-tourism Board (DETB) to manage tourism activities.
To support the conservation effort of the village by involving local communities and promoting economic activities for preserving nature and local culture through the introduction of community based eco-tourism.
It would enhance the community’s pride in their rich natural and cultural heritage, which would motivate them to conserve these resources
Community Ownership and Management
- Supported by stable community institutions
- Village council-Eco tourism board
Community-Based Tourism sees visitors hosted by locals – accommodation, tours and travel. It offers the tourist a deeper experiential, participatory, cross-culturally interactive insight into local people, culture and the environment than they would otherwise get, and the community as key stakeholders can exercise greater control and accrue more benefits than they would otherwise receive.
Communities can promote their history, if they don’t have any history they can make up grand events, the sort that bring visitors from miles around. This flow of money pays wages, makes taxes, promotes further development. Communities should learn to take care of its tourists, you don’t want insecurity to drive them away
Marketing Needs for Rural Tourism in India
Marketing in rural tourism is specific in the fact that the main object is not a product but a service.
Most small-town businesses live or die based on their local customer base.
- The basic benefit that motivates customers to purchase.
- Stay in rural areas (contact with nature, peaceful environment), farming (contact with agriculture and animals, domestic consumption of food and agricultural products).
- The basis of a product such as accommodation and sports infrastructure.
- What the customer expects when buying a product.
- Style and quality of the offer.
- Cleanliness and quiet environment.
- Includes additional services and benefits.
- Additional activities (horse riding, fishing, educational courses, crafts, etc.).
- Represents the direction of future developments in the business.
- Environmental protection, environmental behaviour, production of organic products.
Marketing communication includes five communications tools which form a so-called communication or promotional mix. In the rural tourism sphere, all tools of promotion are utilized.
Public relations (PR)
These are programmes for the improvement, maintaining or protection of the entity’s image. PR thus represent an efficient form of indirect communication and the development of good relations inside as well as to the outside.
Among the main means of PR in rural tourism are articles in the press, seminars, gifts and souvenirs, sponsorship, speeches and personal appearances on TV and on the radio etc
- Paid form of non-personal product presentation.
- Some of the following might be used: catalogues, printed and broadcast advertising in different media, internet sites, promotional material, posters, leaflets, postcards, phone books, symbols, logos etc.
- Sales support can be realized through using methods of special communications and so called specialised offers, represented for example by coupons (i.e. as proof that the given customer is entitled to reduced price of listed services), reduction of price e.g. when introducing new services, also competitions, games, presentation of tourism entities and their services at fairs, exhibitions, seminars etc.
- Its part can also be an offer of samples (e.g. tastings of various meals), services of the “higher level for free” type, whereby the clients have the possibility to use a higher level of services than they paid for.
It is represented by direct personal communication with one or several potential customers with the aim of sales realization. Within personal selling, the participants can mutually react to their behaviour, explain and answer questions.
It means an immediate conveying of messages and gaining direct answers from certain customers and a survey of their opinions. This form of sale includes all activities representing a direct contact with target groups of customers.
The main tools of direct marketing are catalogue marketing, mail order service, telemarketing and internet marketing etc.
Important tool of tourism promotion is the Internet.
- The global reach of the Internet (no geographic boundaries exist between users).
- Formation of communities with shared interests (the Internet is a place where you meet people with common interests to create different user communities – social networks).
- The Internet commodity is information (information retrieval is the main reason why people “surf” the net).
- The Internet is a medium for providing permanent services (Internet access is now available almost anywhere and at any time).
- Flexibility (the Internet can offer the latest and at the same time the most comprehensive information).
Each day of the “Paryatan Parv” organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with other Central ministries, State governments and Stakeholders from 5th to 25th october 2017 was full of activities.
Components of Paryatan Parv
Dekho Apna Desh
This program is designed to encourage Indians to explore their own country. It will include blog competitions, video, photograph and painting competitions. The prime focus is on promoting travel to North Eastern State and Jammu & Kashmir.
Tourism For All
This component is designed to promote tourism events at sites in all the states, nation-wide. The event is designed to encourage people’s participation. Exhibitions showcasing handlooms, handicrafts, cuisine and culture; cultural programmes such as including theatre, dance and music will be organized at all the sites.
Tourism and Governance
Interactive workshops and sessions will be organized with the stakeholders on various themes like “Innovation in tourism”, “Inducting ex-servicemen as service providers for Taxi Operations, “Developing Rural Tourism in locations near established destinations”, “Skill development in tourism sector” etc.
Union Ministry of External Affairs would be organizing outreach programmes in the overseas markets through the Indian Missions with the aim of encouraging people to visit India. It will primarily lay its focus on Persons of Indian Origin who have never visited India.