(The Gist of Kurukshetra) INCREASING
INTEREST IN RURAL TOURISM
INCREASING INTEREST IN RURAL TOURISM
- India with all its geographical and cultural diversity has always
been an attraction for tourists. The mighty Himalayas, vast deserts,
lushgreen forests and beautiful beaches intertwined with ancient temples and
the majestic forts of Rajasthan make India truly an 'Incredible'
- However, India has much more to offer than just being the 'land of
tigers and temples'. Spread across its lakhs of villages lie untold venues
in all their myriad colours and hues. If explored and developed as rural
tourism sites, these venues could be instrumental in bringing out the much
needed turnaround of rural communities and at the same time providing a
visitor wholesale tourism experience. Rural tourism holds immense promise
- When developed to its fullest potential, it could provide jobs to
many young men and women who otherwise are increasingly migrating to cities.
Rural tourism can revive many of the arts and crafts traditionally being
practiced in the rural communities but dying a slow death.
- Socially, it can open rural mindset to new thoughts and ideas from
the outside world. On the other hand, for the urban citizen, a few days
spent amidst traditional rural lifestyle may prove to be a great stress
Major Types of Rural Tourism in India :
- Agricultural 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 limit is termed
as Adventure Tourism.
- Food Routes: Where wanderlust meets thevariety that persists in
our cuisine. This tourism is all about food and knowing more about diverse
staples of different places.
- Community Eco-tourism: Where 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.
- Ethno-tourism: To expand the horizon to view different cultures.
It is essentially to know more about various ethnic and cultural lifestyles
Increasing Interest in Rural Tourism:
- Rural tourism helps to garner knowledge on agriculture, farming,
local governance etc.
- Rural tourism helps to remove myths about rural lifestyle that may
exist in urban minds, like villages are unhygienic, rural life is unsafe,
- Rural tourism will help a person to explore the vast diversity
that breathe in the interiors of India.
Some Popular Rural Tourism Destinations :
- Kutch Adventures India: Community Tourism in Kutch; Forays into
Rann of Kutch of Gujarat to visit artisans' villages as well as the salt
- Itmennan Lodges Punjabiyat : Farming in Rural Punjab; Gives the
tourist a taste of various farming activities.
- Ecosphere Spirit: High altitude rural tourism; Visits to Buddhist
monasteries, yak safaris, treks to villages, village homestays, and cultural
performances are some of the possible activities.
- Lachen, Sikkim: It is located at 8500 feet against the backdrop of
snow-capped peaks, glaciers and rock cliffs, amidst mixed conifer and
Rhododendron forests. Made accessible to tourists only a few years back, it
retains an unspoilt freshness.
- Ballabhpur Danga, West Bengal: Ballavpur Danga, 3 KM from
Shantiniketan, is a Santhal Adivasi tribal community in the pastoral beauty
of rural Bengal. The Sonajhuri forest lies to the east and the Ballavpur
Avayaranya forest area and bird sanctuary is to its south. Santhali art,
craft and culture is closely knit into the community's life.
- Sunderbans Village Life: The UNESCO World Heritage Site with the
largest mangrove vegetation in the world is a great attraction for tourists.
- Majuli in Assam: The largest river island on the Brahmaputra river
in Assam is a popular tourist destination.
- Pochampally, Telangana: Tourists can have a look weaving of the
famous slik sarees known by the same name.
There are more to the list, which still remain unexplored by the tourists.
Rural Tourism and Rural Women :
- Tourism is one of the most important activities in the world,
employing large number of women in industrialized and developing countries.
- Rural Tourism presents both opportunities and challenges for
women, which makes the gender equality perspective highly relevant.
- Work in the rural tourism sectors of destination areas is
concentrated particularly in retailing accommodation & catering, selling
entertainment & transportation provisions.
- Rural Tourism can create long term employment and provides
skilled/ unskilled training and career development opportunities for women.
- Rural Tourism will boost women's empowerment and provides young/
agriculturist livelihood diversification.
- Rural Tourism has the potential of establishing medium and small
enterprises started by women entrepreneurs.
- Rural tourism will promote local production, education, art and
architecture, community self esteem and pride, heritage and nature
- Rural Tourism will create new infrastructure superstructure, helps
to maintain local services and facilities and improves quality of life for
- Development of Rural Tourism is the passport of poverty
alleviation and can double the women farmer's income without creating
negative , new professional profiles in the form of local tour guides
escorts, Manager of Accommodation, Transportation, Shopping Centers, Travel
Circuits, Production House, Food Joints, Souvenir Shops and Services. Women
can be hired for such impacts on environment and ecology.
- Rural Tourism has the potential of developing services.
- Rural Tourism creates jobs for women, but domestic objections,
religious beliefs, already established cultural beliefs regarding gender
roles, ability to travel longer distances for work and child rearing make
them less accessible to women. Because of this, women supplement income by
side jobs (e.g. baking, cleaning) to sustain household livelihood. Rural
tourism has the potential to be a vehicle for the empowerment of women in
- It provides better opportunities for women's participation in the
work force, women's entrepreneurship & women's leadership than other sectors
of the economy. Women in rural tourism are still underpaid,
underutilized, under educated and under represented, but tourism offers
pathways to success, if properly developed.
- Due to its size, its rapid growth and its extremely diverse and
dynamic nature, the tourism industry has an enormous flexibility. This can
enable the industry to develop key initiatives for the advancement of women.
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