We are the best HOST


B. Abhay Rathore
Asst. Professor
Shivalik Institute of Management Education and Research

Slowly but steadily a country with varied diversities in culture and traditions is making a mark in the international business. Along with a mark the country is making its way ina big way to reap profits in the World Tourism. World Travel and Tourism ( WTTC ) in its estimated has a claim of Rs. 850000 crores to the GDP by 2020.

With a growing economy of 7-8 percent and rise in disposable income there has been a phenomenal growth in the number of people going for pleasure trips. It cannot be any exaggeration in the statements if number of tourists visiting the country has risen to 20 percent in the financial year with 2.2 million in numbers making their mark on land during the year 2002.

Yess….If Conde Nast ranked that country among the top tourist destinations, JBIC ranked her as the fifth most attractive destination then it has to be India. Tourism industry in India was the second foreign exchange grosser for the year ended March 2003. The outlay set in for the tenth five year plan is Rs. 2900 crores. With a low-fat tax structure by extending the benefits of section 10(23G) of the Income tax act, 1961 to institutions financing hotels of a three star category and above and setting up of a top level executive of Travel Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) India is gearing up to make itself a hot sort after destination in world tourism. There are state governments which have been given free hand in boosting tourism at the regional level and also making it possible to make a mark globally.

The efforts got noticed when Ministry Of Tourism during Jan-Dec 2006 confirmed that total tourist inflow stood at 4429915 as against 3918610 in the same period of last year. The total foreign exchange earnings earned during 2006 rises to US $ 6569.34 million against US $ 5730.86 million Today tourism in not confined to three S i.e. Sun, Sand and Sea. It has widened its scope. Now it's being tuned in words such as rural tourism, pilgrim tourism, health tourism, convention tourism, etc.

In the west, and other developed countries, they call it Farm Tourism, as it largely offers a 'back to nature' experience. Rural Tourism, the catalog India has adopted, is poles apart the western concept. India, it has been aptly said, lives in its villages, and that is where a visitor can get the feel of the real India. The official booklet on the subject says it succinctly. "The rural heartland of India", it points out, "is home to an array of endowments, each distinctive, with lifestyle redolent of art, craft, culture and natural heritage. Rural tourism thus connects the visitor from the frenetic present with the traditional assets of communities whose domain lies off the beaten track. It recognizes the role of women in civil society, the primacy of human development and the preservation of heritage". This country has more compelling reasons to aggressively promote rural tourism.

The ministry of tourism launched a major rural tourism project, covering the whole country, in association with UNDP (United Nations Development Fund). Some fifty villages have already been chosen, where access and basic infrastructure like accommodation, food and guides are being provided. To quote again from the official booklet, "virtually every corner of rural India possesses a craft or traditional skill, preserved and passed on by the gurus to their pupils……Patachitra painting and Gotipura dance in Raghurajpura, Ikat style weaving in Pochampally, metal mirrors and Vaastu Vidya in Aranmula, the Chanderi weave in Pranpur, embroidery in Hodka ….. the list is endless". "For the visitor", it adds, "rural tourism will add value through packaged programmes in art and craft, imparted by skilled local artisans. And village entertainment groups will unveil local history, and cultural, natural and oral treasures."

Even before the tourism ministry had moved in a big way, Haryana State, bordering Delhi, had made a pioneering effort. It came out with a colour brochure and an evocative theme. "Rural tourism," the word itself seeks to awaken the child in us …to experience the unforgettable whiff of the countryside…to plant baby seeds…enjoy the delights of organic food and experience many spontaneous joys of nature that we may never have known before." Initially, Haryana tourism began its foray into rural holidays in association with a dozen or so farms around Delhi. They are located in the Faridabad, Gurgaon, Rohtak and Karnal districts. But now Kerala has showed the whole nation the way to responsible tourism. As said earlier in the writings here, states having a free hand in the whole international marketing and management process of tourism, now are keen to make a mark of theirs, on their own.

Thus, we can truly say that we are proving to the world as the best host and when we read this sentence we are looking forward to the sports unification through 2010 also.


Rural Tourism and Tribal development    by  Verma , S.B., Jiloka, S.K. & Thryambakam, P

Fundamentals of Travel and tourism by Ballabh, Anand



B. Abhay Rathore
Asst. Professor
Shivalik Institute of Management Education and Research

Source: E-mail November 5, 2008


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