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Impact of Rural Tourism on Rural Economy

Rural tourism provides a way for economic development apart from agriculture.

Why people settled in cities focus on rural tourism?

1. Urbanization has become one of the parameters to measure economic prosperity.

2. Urbanization leads to better standards of living for individuals and economic growth for the economy.

3. India has also pushed towards urbanization since independence.

4. But to get relieved from the stress created in concrete jungles of urban areas, tourism or vacations is the perfect solution.

5. Tourism today is spreading from places of historical importance or natural beauty to rural areas in the form of rural tourism.

What does ‘rural areas’ and ‘rural tourism’ mean?

1. Rural area is broadly defined as the area which has low population density, less degree of pollution, large open fields and less technology-driven means of livelihood.

2. There are about 7 lakh villages in India and 69% of the population resides in these villages (Census 2011).

3. Rural tourism is any form of tourism that showcases rural life, culture, traditions, folklore, handicrafts, heritage at rural locations.

4. Rural tourism includes – agri-tourism, eco-tourism, adventure sports and cultural tourism.

How rural tourism benefits?

1. It contributes a good share of the GDP of the nation.

2. It results in capacity building in terms of culinary skills, soft skills, etc which provides indirect employment.

3. Local business gets a boost by the visit of foreign travelers and domestic tourists.

4. It acts as a source of foreign exchange and huge investments.

5. Local inhabitants become aware of the rich culture, tradition, and heritage, which may help their villages to get a place in the global map.

6. It makes villages self-reliant.

Which are the steps taken by the Government to develop rural tourism?

1. The government had sanctioned various projects in Tenth and Eleventh Five Year Plans for rural tourism sectors.

2. In Twelfth Five Year Plan it was decided to develop clusters.

3. Villages with special art form, cuisine, historical importance, and beauty or adventure sports sites have developed in various states.

4. Infrastructure (power, connectivity, sanitation, and health) was developed.

Where the negative effects of rural tourism felt?

1. The serenity of these villages gets destroyed by the new technology and means brought by the urban mass.

2. The environment of villages becomes polluted.

3. The work culture of the villages gets disturbed as tourism is usually part-time.

4. There is also local price inflation that reduces the local demand and thus makes the model unsustainable.