Rural tourism was a term that I had never dreamt of in my career plans. It was a tough decision for me to leave such a promising industry of IT. That was so obviously the demand of time. It was obviously a shocking news for my friends and family. One big reason was that I was going back to my village. That is a long story to recite, but today I see the same situation from a different perspective.The rural sector has today become a field of uncountable opportunities providing enough space for innovations in different sectors of development. Such innovative approaches seldom can have any opportunities in the urban sector. Rural tourism is one such big industry. It provides the opportunity to combine almost all the industries of development to come into a single concept with all its viable objectives.
There has been a dramatic change in the mainstream flow of Tourism sector’s conceptualized demand. So, there is a sudden rush in the industry to focus more on the rural sectors. This is in order to support several socio-economic and socio-ecologic projects. In contrary to all the schemes and projects implemented by the Government and private investors for urbanization of remote destinations, the industry now focuses more on protecting such destinations from urbanization syndrome. Apart from the Tourism industry, there are also many other organizations that have taken these initiatives as major steps to work on the social and environmental issues internationally.
So, Rural Tourism has now become a major development program for most of the international organizations working on holistic developmental issues of the world. Social development, economic development, and ecologic development are the three main components. They all measurably support the concept of holistic development through Rural tourism.
How Rural Tourism helps in the social development of rural areas?
Rural tourism works mainly on the basis of the community effort. The benefits are preferable to be enjoyed by if not equally, then at least shared, in community level. It just not relates to providing accommodation and food to the travelers, but has many other indirect services that are inter-related to each other. This way a social mobilization takes place involving not individuals but a host community. The host community includes both direct and indirect beneficiaries. The direct beneficiaries are always the host family. They are the homestay owners. The indirect beneficiaries are those who serve indirectly following the objectives of rural tourism. The examples of indirect beneficiaries are organic fruits and vegetable growers, grocers etc.
<< Read : Women empowerment through Rural Tourism>>
This diversity of work involvement encourages social bonding and also generates the sense of collective responsibility in the society. Rural tourism is also all about conserving the richness of ethnic culture, tradition, and heritage of a destination. It plays an important role in the social development of rural areas.
How Rural Tourism helps in the economic development of rural areas?
Rural tourism does not only refer to the traditional tourism. In today’s classified definitions of tourism, it can also include all the possible types of tourism. Some good examples are business tourism, medical tourism, adventure tourism, voluntourism, educational tourism, etc. It means that rural tourism can act as a single window promoter for all the possible employment sectors in the rural areas. This will further create self-employment and promote various other sustainable income generation schemes.
The role of rural tourism in ecologic development:
The concept of rural tourism is to promote tourism in a way that it sells the comfort of nature in its pure form rather than any artificial modification. The most important goal of rural tourism is to enhance the roles of the community. Their roles are conservation and preservation of their natural resources. The environmentalists of the world have made it clear that the initiatives taken by the regulatory approaches alone can seldom maintain the required level of ecologic balance. The real stakeholders are the community who traditionally have been living in a close relationship with nature. They follow customary and traditional rules that indirectly help in the conservation of nature. The concept of rural tourism is to create a strong sense of environmental awareness and the realization among the community. The best example of this is the revival of such traditions and customs.
Due to the alarming issues of environment, the concept of rural tourism has also opened a new stream of research and development sector for career specialists. This new stream has shown many possibilities in the future. The same concept can develop a better linkage with the urbanized world. This will again create employment in both the rural and urban sector.