Agritourism, art and culture, ecotourism, wildlife, tribal tourism, and homestays are six niche experiences for visitors who want to travel to rural India that have been identified by the Central Nodal Agency for Rural Tourism and Rural Homestays (CNA – RT and RH), the coordinating body between the Center, States, and other stakeholders.
GS Paper-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development, and employment
Talk about India’s rural tourism industry’s potential. What different actions has the government taken to support it? (250 words)
- There are more than 134 villages listed, and each one offers visitors a variety of special experiences.
- For instance, Nagaland’s Konyak Tea retreat takes visitors on a journey through tribal culture; Telangana’s Pochampalli village showcases its traditional weaving techniques; and Himachal Pradesh’s Pragpur village immerses visitors in Kangra heritage architecture. Tamil Nadu’s Kolukkumalai is the highest tea plantation in the world. Kerala’s Dewalokam is a yoga centre on the banks of a river.
- In the Karnataka village of Mattur, everyone speaks Sanskrit.
- A rural homestay in Maharashtra called Maachli is encircled by banana, betel, and coconut plantations.
- The endangered Great Indian Bustard frequents the Bishnoi village in Rajasthan.
- These are locations where visitors can fully experience the rural tourism experience that the government is currently creating. Depending on the experience, visitors can partake in textile weaving, sample the local cuisine, observe how crops are grown, go on nature trails, and witness folk art being practised and performed.
- The emphasis of this rural push is sustainability, avoiding extensive infrastructure development and little involvement from the private sector, and increasing employment opportunities in villages by utilising local resources and communities to offer a distinctive organic experience.
- The Union Tourism Ministry is currently developing a budget, with some district-level training modules receiving 100% central funding and other components receiving 60% centre and 40% state funding.
- Grand View Research, a market research company based in the United States, predicts that agritourism will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4% from 2022 to 2030 despite the lack of comprehensive data on global rural tourism trends.
- Finding groups of five to seven villages that are close to one another is essential to the promotion of rural destinations.
- The Central Nodal Agency has asked States to identify both individual and clusters of villages with high potential for tourism development. A cluster will offer more tourist attractions than rural tourism projects of individual villages separated by great distances. A cluster can also help in the marketing of local products of a group of villages through craft bazaars.
- The Rural Development Ministry’s Rurban clusters, which identify a group of villages with the potential to grow, are another resource the government is considering.
Government initiatives to promote rural tourism
- Creating MGNREGA assets: The Ministry of Rural Development has been asked to look into the possibility of developing MGNREGA assets for tourist infrastructure.
- The government is looking into developing organic agriculture areas into rural tourist destinations. These areas were created under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCD-NER).
- State assessment and ranking criteria: The Tourism Ministry is also putting the finishing touches on the State assessment and ranking criteria in an effort to promote competition and advance the broad goals of responsible and sustainable tourism.
- The “Swadesh Darshan Scheme” aims to create “integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.”
- Dekho Apna Desh: With the “Dekho Apna Desh” initiative, the middle class is urged to travel domestically rather than abroad.
- Vibrant Village Program: This initiative will develop tourism-related infrastructure in border settlements.
- The Amrit Dharohar scheme’s founding objective is preservation and conservation.
- It will maximise the use of the region’s wetlands, promote ecotourism opportunities, and increase biodiversity, all of which will boost tourism.
- Unity Malls will open soon:
- By building Unity malls in popular tourist areas, the federal government will be able to help the state governments promote locally made crafts.
- The state’s distinctive ODOPS will be sold in these malls alongside GI goods (one district, one product).
- Improvement of infrastructure: According to the Union Budget, 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and landing strips will be built.
- The railways have also gotten Rs. 2.40 lakh crores. As connectivity improves and there are more transportation options available, tourism will unavoidably increase.
- One of the initiatives the government has started to support the tourism industry focuses on rural tourism with investments in infrastructure, accessibility to attractions, and local communities.
- As a result, jobs will be created and India will draw tourists by preserving its cultural heritage.
- Rural tourism not only has the potential to revive local arts and crafts and keep viable traditional jobs from being eliminated, but it can also help redevelop rural areas and revitalise rural life.