Enhancing the scope of Rural Tourism in your destinations

Rural Tourism: Experiencing Rustic India: Village Tours 

PC: Indian Safaris

Rural tourism signifies the visitor’s interest in the customs of the indigenous and exotic destination. Rural tourism represents rural life, culture, art and heritage in the destination, from which the local community benefits economically and socially. Rural tourism products provide visitors personalized contact, a taste of the unique village life, and opportunity to participate in the activities, traditions and lifestyles of local people.

Rural tourism can facilitate a harmonious exchange between urban and rural communities in a way that enriches both. They are a refreshing alternative for urban travellers looking for authentic experiences – especially in the post-Covid world that has replaced commercial tourism with conscious, responsible, and immersive travel.

The pandemic has made us rethink the way we live and explore. The travel industry, which is slowly recovering from this blow, is expected to reach $250 billion in India by 2030, and the way to get there must be learnt from the experience of recent years.

The World Tourism Organization estimates that by 2030 there will be 1.9 billion tourists worldwide, representing 23 percent of the world’s population. The World Tourism Organization further states that in the next 5 to 10 years, there will be a significant increase in the supply of tourists seeking a genuine and rural experience. Rural tourism is seen as a new strategy for cultural heritage and sustainable development in most rural areas of India.

Specific potential areas for rural tourism in India may include The Hills of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, the backwaters of Kerala, the dances and folk songs of Orissa, the Punjabi cuisine, Shanti Niketan in West Bengal, the Nithyagram of Karnataka, the tribes of Bihar, the natural beauty of Meghalaya, the folk dances of Andhra Pradesh, the Teej festival of Rajasthan, the Holi of Nandagaon Banaras, the mask dances of Sikkim.

Rural tourism includes thirteen aspects that can attract tourists to rural areas:

Benefits of Rural Tourism:

  • Create economic opportunities which help curb migration

All the TOFTigers certified member lodge employ their staff from local villages including guides, cooks, naturalists etc. They also provide hospitality trainings to the locals and generate opportunities for their career development. Few examples could be as follows: about 90% of the staff at Barahi Jungle lodge are locals and Pugdundee provide multi-faceted trainings to the villagers.

  • Boost farm income 

Examples: Rural Tourism Programs: By Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Live on farms, homes built in authentic local styles.

  • Preserve arts, craft and culture.

 TOFTigers member organization already have policies such as selling local art at their souvenir shops, tribal performances, pottery making and more at the lodge to promote and preserve local culture and art.

E.g. (1)The art of pottery is promoted by Woods at Sasan, Gir, one of the oldest earning sources for the nearby local village. Classes for guests are arranged and the products made by villagers promoted for sale. Local women are hired by Woods at Sasan, Gir for making mud wall art, drawing inspiration from the tribes of Sasan-Maldhari and Siddi. The lodge also presents traditional Goma dance and drumming performances by the Siddi community.

(2) Handbags and plant hangers made by local women trained in the lost traditional technique of macramé by Forsyth Lodge are on sale at the lodge and in city retail outlets.

  • Support infrastructure: This will help the perks of development reach grassroot communities
  • Create pride in the minds of village communities 
  • Offer an authentic, mindful experience for the visitor 

Action Required for Realisation of Rural Tourism:

  •   Increasing levels of awareness
  •   Industry partnership involvement
  •   Heritage and cultural education
  •   Improved accessibility
  •   Vocational training
  •   Infrastructure support by the govt.

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, recognises the potential of rural tourism and implements rural tourism programmes to promote village tourism as the primary tourism product. Under this programme, the Ministry of Tourism supports 168 potential rural tourism destinations in terms of infrastructural facilities and aims to achieve the overall goal of establishing a sustainable and responsible tourism system in India.

#Rural Tourism Scheme: development of rural area under 13th five year plan

# Aatmanirbhar Bharat



·         https://www.forbesindia.com/blog/travel/make-rural-cool-again-how-rural-tourism-can-become-an-opportunity-for-local-communities/ ·         National Strategy and Roadmap for development of Rural Tourism in India.pdf: by Ministry of Tourism, Govermnment of  India ·         “Rural Tourism: A Tool for Sustainable Development in India”: Asfiya  Banu & Dr. G Krishnamurthy: International  Journal of Emerging Technologies and Innovative Research (www.jetir.org), ISSN:23495162, Vol.7, Issue 1, Page no. 1-11, January -2020.