(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Tourism: Catalysing the Multifold Developments in Rural India

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Tourism: Catalysing the Multifold Developments in Rural India


Rural Tourism: Catalysing the Multifold Developments in Rural India


Rural tourism is tourism that happens in the countryside or a rural area. However, it has been noted that the concept of rural tourism is much more diverse when it is dismantled to the elemental level. Superficially, the elemental level of rural tourism consists of the area that concerns the land use pattern, economy of the area, involvement of the community, undisturbed development of the area, and its traditional and cultural identity. 

Realising the Potential

  • In India, one of the first mentions of rural tourism can be seen in the tenth five-year plan (2002 - 2007). However, rural tourism was first prioritised through the eleventh five-year plan (2007 - 2012) by providing infrastructural development in these areas as the new form of tourism. Within the specific time frame, out of the total 1003 projects 65 were specifically sanctioned for rural tourism.

  • The twelfth five-year plan (2012 - 2017) tries to embrace the opportunities and opening the avenues for the development of the niche areas of tourism like medical tourism and rural tourism.

Strategising the Way Forward 

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for promoting and developing rural tourism in India has formulated two strategies. 

The National Strategy and Roadmap for the Development of Rural Tourism in India and the National Strategy for the Promotion of Rural Homestays in India. Both strategies are formulated with a broader vision to capitalise on the potential of Indian rural tourism. The strategies focus on the holistic approach for developing rural tourism uplifting the rural economy alongside. To deliver the multifold benefits of rural tourism the strategies are based on several major key strategic pillars: 

  1. Benchmarking of state policies and best practices

  2. Digital technologies and platforms for rural tourism III. Developing clusters for rural tourism 

  3. Marketing support for rural tourism 

  4. Capacity building of stakeholders 

  5. Governance and Institutional Framework

Rural Tourism for Community Empowerment & Poverty Alleviation

  • Tourism is an industry with no boundaries. Nations are working in harmony to reap the benefits of tourism. World’s largest economies came together in the form of G-20. Among the discussions on the numerous horizons the first Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting held at Rann of Kutch with the special focus on Rural Tourism. The first side event of the first TWG meeting was on the Rural Tourism for Community Empowerment & Poverty Alleviation.

Community Reinforcement

  • Identifying the need to generate awareness and understanding about rural tourism Ministry of Tourism is strategising capacity-building initiatives amongst the stakeholders ranging from the Central Government Ministries to the local communities. To enhance the capacity and ensure the enduring sustenance of rural tourism, the Government is aiming to establish Capacity Building Resource Centres at the National, State, and Cluster levels. These resource centres will serve as pivotal platforms for stakeholders, facilitating knowledge exchange and fostering interaction among practitioners, educational institutions, government agencies, and volunteers. 


  • In fostering rural development, rural tourism plays a pivotal role in providing a range of benefits and avenues for development. Initiatives like competitions, international recognition, and strategic programs taken for the development of Indian rural tourism, unlock economic growth, preserve cultural heritage, and empower local communities. These comprehensive approaches not only showcase the untapped potential of rural India but also position it as a vibrant hub for responsible tourism, fostering resilience, and enhancing the overall well-being of rural communities.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra