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Rural tourism and travel trade

New Delhi, Wed, 16 Apr 2008 Deepak Kumar Mohanty

At present Indian tourism industry is blooming with a greater pace and so the share of rural tourism. It is not merely developing five star hotels in some of the preferred destinations but reaching out some unexplored destinations in the remotest rural locations where travellers could find the best in rural arts and heritage.

Rural tourism has taken its shape since 2005 when the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India set its mission of Rural Tourism Project based on natural heritage, art and craft skills of rural communities. The renew focus on rural areas its natural and heritage resources certainly proved beneficial for a strategic marketing for rural product of tourism.

Recently concluded India@60 event in Singapore held from April 05-07 this year served as a right platform for some of our handicrafts to demonstrate their art and craft through specific sites. The event had been a great promotional practice and a direct rural interface to the travel trade.

Explore Rural India has made impressive progress with tourism industry partnerships. It can also be viewed from the fact that tourism ministry initiatives like Delhi Haat, India International Trade Fair (IITF), the Toshali Mela in Bhubaneswar (Orissa) and now the India@60 road show in Singapore have brought ample media attention for special promotion of rural India tourism.

It is no more the Golden Triangle of India and nor the Heritage of Rajasthan, Indian panorama can be well experienced from its countryside, its village cuisine and some untouched destinations long away from the urban-concrete lifestyle.

The emergence of rural tourism though has reached some parts of the country but not all, considering the huge scale of land with unique taste of heritage and culture. The promotion of Indian rural tourism not only increases the over all inbound tourists but also the living standard of rural population by engaging them with various activities.

Starting from keeping their arts and handicraft production the people of those villages can start several other business associated with the needs of travellers but the entire project needs complete support from the administration in terms of fund and developing infrastructure to accommodate tourist traffic.

However, it too becomes utmost important for the particular locality and the administration to preserve heritage, environment or overall culture which is the sole cause for the region’s attractiveness. Though on one hand it would generate new source of income for locality but objectives of ‘farm tourism’, local culture and their craft should not be overlooked. Hence there needs to be a better strategy after analysing various facets of existing rural economy for a sustainable development; thereby making rural tourism a better half of Indian economy.

Read More: Delhi | Bangalore Rural

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