(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Amenitisation of Rural India for Nature Tourism

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Amenitisation of Rural India for Nature Tourism


Amenitisation of Rural India for Nature Tourism


  • Rural tourism, as per World Tourism Organization (UN Tourism) has characteristics as having: low population density; landscape and land-use dominated by agriculture and forestry; and, traditional social structure and lifestyles. In Indian context, rural tourism brings sustainable development to the aspirational countryside at the same time preserving cultural identity and social values for posterity.

  • Urban migration is leading to immense pressure on limited capacity of cities to provide basic infrastructure and dwindling job opportunities. Rural tourism opens rather entrepreneurship based job opportunities and therefore is the key driver to check urban migration phenomenon.

Panacea for Environmental Challenges

  • Rural tourism is perhaps the best way of experiential promotion of sustainable lifestyle nestled in the nature. It is now a well-established fact that changing lifestyle is the most important aspect for sustaining development without infringing into the rights of the future generations on resources. At the same time, it reinforces the conviction in the minds of the rural populations to refrain from embracing the unnecessary urban attitudes of resource consumption. Instilling a sense of pride in the traditional LiFE principles is best way to ensure conviction and perpetuity. 

Affirmatory Amenities

The foremost may be termed as Affirmatory Amenities in absence of which the very idea would fail to create interest in Rural Tourism. Affirmatory Amenities include:

  • Access to healthcare: Villages being rather remote from the main town, need to have reliable access to healthcare, especially for emergency support within a reasonable time. While aged populations may in any case be vulnerable, the younger ‘adventure spirited’ populations would need emergency support in case of any untoward incidents. 

  • Sanitation and waste management: Lack of sanitation and effective waste management is a major inhibitor. This can lead to unsightly conditions. In a small village level setting, it is fairly easy to overcome this challenge.

  • Access to safe potable water: Assurance of safe potable water is important to ensure that the visitors would not fall sick.

  • Green power: Besides having reliable power, it is important not to have to resort to noisy generators. Green power using solar panels is an explicit statement of environment consciousness. 

  • Street lighting: It is most essential for the safety and security for those who are not familiar with the surroundings. In any case, it is too restrictive to be confined just to the room after sun-set.

  • Smart security solutions: For security needs, linkage to external remote support through smart solutions is an essential enabler.

Supportive Amenities

Basic Supportive Amenities would be necessary for creating tourist-friendly environment which would include:

  • Digital services: Beyond mobile connectivity, access to digital services is a convenience to stay connected which can otherwise be an apprehension of disruption for career-sensitive populations.

  • Travel connectivity: Preference of a remote location is an attractive option if supported by travel connectivity.

  • Explicitation of restrictive practices: Making tourists aware of sensitivities of local communities and enhancing compatibility with tourists, bringing restrictive practices to the fore is a significant catalyst. Such common restrictive practices include dressing, gender issues, food, alcoholic beverages, religious sentiments, behavioural customs, use of certain language jargon, etc.

  • Access to conveniences: Availability of basic confectionery, grocery, packaged food, bakery, and bank ATMs is a significant relief from the burden to stock up supplies. 

Value Adding Amenities

It is necessary to provide Value Adding Amenities which would create a memorable impact and an enhanced experience of the folk culture, the unique selling proposition (USP) of Rural Tourism. These would include:

  • Digital skill set: The interface between the tourist and the village host is through digital technologies which requires enhancement of digital literacy of village communities to handle social media engagements, e-marketing of home-stays, and home-based local produce.

  • Hospitality skill set: Host communities need to acquire hospitality skill sets for professional treatment of the guests. National Strategy and Roadmap for Development of Rural Tourism in India, under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has specifically delineated a 150-hour Homestay course as a part of its reforms to bridge the skill gap as a major initiative to boost entrepreneurial skills of Home Stay owners.

  • ‘Village Kutir Udyam’: Local art, craft, cuisine, pickles, wellbeing engagements, facilitation of outdoor activity such as trekking, are home-based value-added enterprises that give enhanced memorable experience to a tourist. At the same time, it gives additional income with no burden of overheads to the village communities. 

  • Local community connect: Targeting the volunteer tourists, connecting with organised local community groups is significantly motivating. It also helps in giving exotic exposure to cultures and life-styles wherein guests can also participate in family and social activities. A step further, village festival calendar can be a value adding USP.


  • Rural Tourism has a transformational potential for the villages. It is now for the other stakeholders to synergise their efforts and contribute to sustainable development of villages through Rural Tourism.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra