[Answered] Discuss the potential of rural tourism in India. What measures and precautions should be taken to promote rural tourism?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Potential of rural tourism in India. Measures to promote rural tourism.
Conclusion. Way forward.

India with all its geographical and cultural diversity has always been an attraction for tourists. However, India especially rural area has much more to offer. 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.

Potential of rural tourism in India:

  1. The development of a strong platform around the concept of Rural Tourism is definitely useful for a country like India, where almost 74% of the population resides in its 7 million villages.
  2. Numerous local traditions like plays, art forms, dances etc. enhance the cultural wealth of rural areas, making these attractive for the tourists.
  3. Lush green forests in south Indian villages, sacred groves etc. make them an ideal site to promote tourism. Growing trend of short-break holidays, rural areas being near to cities can easily provide for great tourism destinations.
  4. When developed to its fullest potential, it could provide jobs to many young men and women who otherwise are increasingly migrating to cities.
  5. Rural tourism can revive many of the arts and crafts traditionally being practiced in the rural communities but dying a slow death.
  6. 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 reliever.
  7. Rural Tourism is 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.

Measures and steps to promote rural tourism:

  1. Improved infrastructure and connectivity of rural India can improve rural tourism.
  2. Identification of strength’s of villages in different states and introduction of customised trips like Cultural and Heritage walk in Rajasthan, Tribal tours in North-East India.
  3. Promoting Farm and home stays to provide local and humane touch to tourists.
  4. Destinations should be specific and proximate to the conventional tourist spots.
  5. There should be an improvement in the accessibility, proper marketing and periodic maintenance of the destinations.
  6. Home stays need to follow the traditional style of construction and lifestyle.
  7. A concerted effort from both the Union Government and State Governments based on a proactive approach is needed.
  8. Safety of tourists, especially females should be ensured.
  9. Adequate finances must be devolved to the gram sabha for maintenance of basic infrastructure.
  10. Training of villagers to avoid any kind of hostility towards tourists.
  11. Adequate healthcare facilities must be provided.
  12. Environment impact of increased number of tourists must be assessed.

It is important to prepare a roadmap for promoting tourism and at the same time preserving

the cleanliness. Government initiatives of Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD  will help develop tourist circuits on principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner. Rural tourism can generate employment and would help in realising an inclusive growth.

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