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Rural Tourism in India: Characteristics Features and Facts

Shikha Goyal

Tourism is a socioeconomic activity with the competence of creating large scale employment without compromising with the environment and ecology of destination. We know India’s rich culture and heritage remain unparalleled and the country’s unity in diversity is still looked by the entire world. To understand India’s true tradition, heritage, culture, festival, etc. rural area is the best place.

As per Ministry of Tourism statistics (2018)

India 
● No. of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India: 10.56 Million (P)
Annual Growth Rate: 5.2%
● No. of Indian Nationals Departures from India: 26.30 Million (P)
Annual Growth Rate: 9.8%
● No. of Domestic Tourist Visits to all States/UTs: 1854.9 Million( R)
Annual Growth Rate: 11.9%
● Estimated Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism
i) In INR terms: 1,94,892 Crore rupees (# 2)
Annual Growth Rate: 9.6%
ii) In US$ terms: US$ 28.585 Billion (#2 )
Annual Growth Rate: 4.7%

World
● No. of International Tourist Arrivals: 1403 Million (P)
Annual Growth Rate: 5.6%
● International Tourism Receipts: 1448 US$ Billion (P)
Annual Growth Rate: 7.6%

India’s Position in World
● Share of India in International Tourist Arrivals: 1.24%
● India’s rank in World Tourist Arrivals: 25th
● Share of India in International Tourism Receipts (US$ terms): 1.97%
● India’s rank in World Tourism Receipts: 13th

India’s Position in Asia & the Pacific Region
● Share of India in International Tourist Arrivals: 5.05%
● India’s rank in International Tourist Arrivals: 7th
● Share of India in International Tourism Receipts (US $ terms): 6.60%
● India’s rank in International Tourism Receipts: 7th

According to Ministry of Tourism: 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. This article deals with the main characteristic features of Rural tourism.

Main Characteristics and Features of Rural Tourism in India

1. The tourism activity took place in the countryside and community participation or initiative is a prerequisite.

2. It incorporates different forms of tourism and is multi-faceted.

3. The architecture of the village is promoted by locally providing accommodation and food should be served. More focus is on accommodation that should be clean, pest controlled and hygienic.

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4. A tourist shopping centre can be opened so that tourists can purchase local products like food, tea, honey, fruits, painted pottery, carpets, traditional embroideries, etc.

5. Locally available traditional transportation is used like a tractor, Bi-cycle, Bullock-cart, etc.

6. Rural Tourism Focus must be on something to see, something to do and something to buy.

7. Tour to production centre like fruit gardens (mango, grapes, poultry, dairy farm, etc) and visit local facilities like Gram Panchayat, school, Village, River, tube well, different types of trees, old religious places and Museums.

8. Family and village games like gilli danda, kabaddi, kushti, high jump, long jump etc. are organised and evening entertainment is provided like a campfire, rural folk dance, local songs like kajari, birah, etc.

9. The prime beneficiary is local people who are trained professionally to provide a complete package to Rural Tourist. Local and district administration’s support is pre-requisite.

10. Rural tourists should be educated to act “Responsibility” and should respect the human and natural heritage of the host community. Tourists should be sensitized towards cultural values, social norms, and traditions.

From the above article, we have seen that the Government is also taking measures to promote rural tourism, its importance and features are also discussed.

Source: Tourism.gov.in

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