Kurukshetra Magazine Summary

April 2024 

1.Rural Tourism in India

Question : Examine the significance of rural tourism in India’s socio-economic development, highlighting its potential to empower rural communities and promote sustainable livelihoods.

What is Rural Tourism?

  • Focuses on exploring and experiencing rural lifestyle and culture.
  • Takes place in non-urban areas showcasing art, culture, heritage, and native life.
  • Activities include farming, fishery, crafts, and various aspects of rural life.
  • Targets areas with low population density, dominated by agriculture, forestry, and traditional social structures.
  • High potential to stimulate rural economic growth and social change.
  • Aligns with “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) and “Vocal for Local” initiatives.
  • Prioritized for development since the 11th five-year plan (2007-2012).

Strategies for Development

  • Ministry of Tourism has formulated two strategies:
    • National Strategy and Roadmap for Development of Rural Tourism in India
    • National Strategy for Promotion of Rural Homestays in India
  • Focus on a holistic approach for developing rural tourism and uplifting the rural economy.
  • Key strategic pillars:
    • Benchmarking state policies and best practices
    • Digital technologies and platforms for rural tourism
    • Developing clusters for rural tourism
    • Marketing support for rural tourism
    • Capacity building of stakeholders
    • Governance and Institutional Framework

Mapping Rural Tourism Potential

  • Ministry of Tourism launched:
    • Best Tourism Village Competition – identified 35 best tourism villages from 795 applicants.
    • Best Rural Homestay Competition

Positioning at Global Level

  • Pochampally village, Telangana (2021) and Dhordo village, Gujarat (2023) recognized as UNWTO Best Tourism Villages.

From Last Village to First Village

  • Vibrant Village Program for India’s Border Villages – focuses on holistic development of villages in border areas.
  • Upgrading infrastructure, healthcare, education, and fostering economic growth.
  • Key areas of development:
    • All-weather roads
    • Drinking water
    • 24/7 electricity (solar and wind focus)
    • Mobile and internet connectivity

Community Reinforcement

  • Ministry of Tourism strategizes capacity-building initiatives for stakeholders.
  • Establishing Capacity Building Resource Centers at National, State, and Cluster levels.
  • Centers will:
    • Facilitate knowledge exchange
    • Foster interaction among stakeholders (practitioners, institutions, government agencies, volunteers)
    • Serve as repositories for tourism knowledge


Rural tourism plays a pivotal role in fostering rural development by providing a range of benefits and avenues for growth.


2.Amenitisation of Rural India for Nature Tourism

Question : Analyze the potential challenges in implementing rural tourism initiatives and suggest strategies to overcome them, with a focus on ensuring long-term sustainability and community involvement.

True Potential of Rural Tourism

  • Lies in experiencing open areas, nature, and folk culture.
  • Rural India acts as a custodian of nature, but rapid urbanization threatens this.
  • Rural tourism can create entrepreneur-based jobs and discourage urban migration.

Nature Tourism Activities

  • Nature walks: Showcase real rural life with authentic experiences (e.g., interacting with cattle).
  • Volunteer tourism: Tourists contribute to villages (teaching, creating art) while enjoying their stay.

Benefits of Rural Tourism

  • Low-carbon development strategy: Reduces pollution, emissions, and energy demand in cities.
  • Sustainable carbon dioxide sink: Creates a natural way to absorb carbon dioxide.


  • Creating an enabling environment for rural tourism.
  • Multistakeholder engagement involving various parties.
  • Three categories of amenities:
    1. Affirmative Amenities (Essential)
      • Access to healthcare
      • Sanitation and waste management
      • Safe drinking water
      • Green power
      • Street lighting
      • Smart security solutions
    2. Supportive Amenities (Enhance Experience)
      • Digital services
      • Travel connectivity
      • Awareness of local customs and traditions for tourists
      • Access to conveniences (shops, ATMs)
    3. Value Adding Amenities (Memorable Experience)
      • Digital skills for village hosts to interact with tourists
      • Hospitality skills for professional guest treatment
      • “Village Kutir Udyam”: Local businesses offering crafts, food, wellness experiences, and outdoor activities.
      • Local community connection: Connecting tourists with volunteer groups.

Government Schemes Promoting Tourism

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme (2014-15): Develops themed tourist circuits focused on value, competitiveness, and sustainability.
  • PRASHAD Scheme (2014-15): Improves pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
  • Adopt a Heritage Scheme (2017): Encourages public-private partnerships to improve amenities at tourist sites.


Rural tourism can transform villages. Stakeholders must work together to ensure sustainable development through rural tourism initiatives.


3.Different Hues of Rural Tourism

Question : Discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with promoting tribal tourism in India, considering factors such as infrastructure development and cultural sensitivities.

Tribal Tourism

  • Majuli Island, Assam:
    • Scenic river island on the Brahmaputra River.
    • World’s largest river island with a tribal population.
    • Assam’s cultural capital known for Satriya culture and Neo-Vaishnavism.
  • Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh:
    • Rich cultural history with beaches, temples, and hill stations.

Agricultural Tourism

  • Farm of Happiness, Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra:
    • 20-acre organic farm stay with opportunities for visitors to participate in farming activities.
  • Konyak Tea Retreat, Mon District, Nagaland:
    • Upscale farmhouse located on a private tea estate.
    • Offers organic vegetables, orange orchard, and activities like nature treks and helping in rice fields.

Eco Tourism

  • Kumarakom, Kerala:
    • Offers opportunities to witness the eco-friendly craft of coconut frond weaving.
  • Malarickal, Kottayam, Kerala:
    • Backwaters and natural beauty attracting tourists.
  • Madla, Madhya Pradesh:
    • Unique town with all three natural geographic features (hills, plains, and rivers) within 1 km.
    • Offers experiences like folk music, dance, and regional cuisine.

Art and Culture Tourism

  • Ajrakhpur, Gujarat:
    • Art and craft town known for Ajrakh print, a block printing technique with natural dyes.
    • The craft originated from the Muslim Khatri community.
  • Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh:
    • 11th-century town known for charming forts, hand-woven Chanderi sarees, and rolling hills.
    • Offers a variety of weaves like pure Chanderi silk and Chanderi cotton-silk.


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