Gist of Kurukshetra April 2024 Issue: Tourism: Enriching Rural Development

Kurukshetra Magazine is a vital source of study material for the UPSC IAS exam. It is a monthly magazine that gives information about important government schemes and programmes in various sectors. Kurukshetra is an authentic source of information for the UPSC Exam. Here, we provide the Gist of Kurukshetra, exclusively for the IAS Exam.

Gist of Kurukshetra April 2024
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1. Rural Tourism
2. Amenitisation of Rural India for Nature Tourism
3. Different Hues of Rural Tourism

1. Rural Tourism

What is Rural Tourism?

  • Rural tourism in India refers to travel experiences that showcase the cultural heritage, lifestyle, traditions, and natural beauty of rural areas. 
  • Rural tourism was first prioritized through the eleventh five-year plan (2007 – 2012) by providing infrastructural development in these areas as the new form of tourism.

Significance of Development of Rural Tourism

  • Economic Benefits
  • Income Generation  
  • Job Creation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social and Cultural Upliftment
  • Preservation of Traditions  
  • Empowerment of Women  
  • Improved Infrastructure

Challenges in the Development of Rural Tourism in India

  • Infrastructure constraints pose a big challenge in the development of rural tourism in India
  • Limited Connectivity: Many picturesque rural locations lack proper transportation infrastructure.  
  • Inadequate Amenities: The absence of basic amenities like clean and functional toilets, reliable power supply, and proper waste management systems in rural areas can significantly compromise the tourist experience.
  • Skill and Capacity Gaps: Lack of training and skilled people.
  • Limited Awareness: Many rural communities lack awareness about the potential of rural tourism and the various aspects involved in managing it successfully. 
  • Environmental Impact: Uncontrolled tourist influx can strain local resources, leading to issues like water scarcity, littering, and potential damage to sensitive ecosystems. Sustainable tourism practices and responsible tourist behaviour are crucial.
  • Cultural Homogenization: Excessive commercialization of rural tourism can lead to a loss of cultural authenticity. Communities must be empowered to retain their unique traditions and practices while engaging with tourists.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Low focus on marketing and promotion of rural tourism.
  • Low Visibility: Many beautiful rural destinations remain unknown due to a lack of effective marketing and promotion strategies. Reaching potential tourists and creating a strong brand identity for these locations is essential.
  • Limited Funding: Funds are not enough to meet all challenges.

Steps have been taken by the Government

  • The National Strategy and Roadmap for the Development of Rural Tourism in India 
  • National Strategy for the Promotion of Rural Homestays in India

2. Amenitisation of Rural India for Nature Tourism

  • Amenitisation refers to the process of creating an enabling environment in rural areas to attract tourists and provide them with a fulfilling experience.
  • While urban areas often dominate discussions about tourism, rural areas hold immense potential due to their natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique experiences.

Rural India: Custodian of Nature

  • Rural areas typically have abundant natural resources, including forests, rivers, and wildlife, making them crucial for preserving biodiversity.
  • However, rapid urbanization can lead to deforestation, pollution, and loss of traditional practices that are integral to rural landscapes.

Amenitisation Overview

  • Amenitisation is the process of enhancing rural tourism infrastructure and services to attract and accommodate tourists effectively.
  • Categorization of amenities into –
    • Affirmatory
    • Supportive
    • Value-adding
    • Affirmatory Amenities

Essential amenities for rural tourism success:

  • Detail essential amenities such as healthcare facilities, sanitation, safe drinking water, renewable energy sources, street lighting, and security solutions that are critical for tourist safety and comfort.

Supportive Amenities

  • Tourist-friendly environment essentials
  • Supportive amenities like digital services (internet connectivity, online booking), transportation options, accessibility to local attractions, and facilities for convenience (shops, ATMs) that enhance the tourist experience.

Value-Adding Amenities

  • Enhancing tourist experience and folk culture
  • Value-adding amenities such as digital literacy programs, hospitality training for locals, promotion of local arts and crafts, culinary experiences, wellness activities, and engagement with community events to create memorable experiences for tourists.

Steps to Promote Tourism in India

3. Different Hues of Rural Tourism

Tribal Tourism

  • Unique traditions and vibrant cultures of tribal communities across India.
  • Witness age-old customs, captivating dances, and exquisite handicrafts passed down through generations.

Key Features:

  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Explore the customs, rituals, and folklore of tribal communities.
  • Traditional Crafts: Witness skilled artisans creating handicrafts, pottery, and traditional artwork.
  • Sustainable Practices: Learn about eco-friendly practices and traditional knowledge for sustainable living.

Agricultural Tourism

  • Agricultural tourism focuses on showcasing rural farming practices, agro-based activities, and agrarian lifestyles.

Key Features:

  • Farm Experiences: Engage in farm activities such as harvesting, planting, and animal care.
  • Farm-to-Table Dining: Enjoy fresh and organic meals prepared from locally sourced ingredients.
  • Educational Tours: Learn about different crops, irrigation methods, and sustainable agriculture practices.

Art and Culture Tourism

  • Art and culture tourism highlights the artistic heritage, traditional performances, and cultural diversity of rural areas.

Key Features:

  • Cultural Festivals: Experience colourful festivals, folk dances, music performances, and theatrical shows.
  • Artisanal Crafts: Explore local markets showcasing handmade crafts, textiles, pottery, and traditional artwork.
Related Links
Bharat Gaurav Scheme Buddhist Circuit
Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor HRIDAY Scheme
Char Dham Project World Bank


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