Announcement Date: December 1, 2015
Sodhi Vikram Singh, Managing Trustee, Anandpur Sahib Heritage Foundation, was invited as a speaker to share his vision on how rural tourism could benefit the entire ecosystem of a rural community through sustained efforts. The Foundation is promoting Sri Anandpur Sahib as a global tourist destination.
Concept of Rural Tourism workshop: It was decided that tourism growth potential can be harnessed as a strategy for rural development. The development of a strong platform around the concept of rural tourism is definitely useful for a country like India, where almost 70% of the population resides in its 6.41 lakh villages as per census of India-2011. Across the world the trends of industrialization and development have had an urban centric approach. Alongside, the stresses of urban lifestyles have led to a “counter-urbanization” syndrome. At the same time this trend of urbanization has led to falling income levels, lesser job opportunities in the rural areas leading to an urbanization syndrome in the rural areas. Rural Tourism is one of the few activities which can provide a solution to these problems. Besides, there are other factors which are shifting the trend towards rural tourism like increasing levels of awareness, growing interest in heritage and culture and improved accessibility, and environmental consciousness. This concept has taken the shape of a formal kind of Rural Tourism. Under this Scheme, thrust is to promote village tourism as the primary tourism product to spread tourism and its socio-economic benefits to rural and its new geographic regions.
About the workshop: This workshop was aimed at to bring all the stakeholders (which are already involved with the implementation of rural tourism projects) to one platform where they can exchange their experiences and draw lessons to deal with the challenges and bring meaningful solutions for implementation of rural tourism projects as well as create sustainable development practices in the rural areas.
Objectives of the workshop: The broad objective of rural tourism models is crystallized into the specific objectives.
- To increase tourist volume and spending in rural area.
- To share the experience in developing and implementing the rural tourism projects.
- To discuss the success (or failure) stories so that the role models can be identified for future development of rural tourism.
- Social and economic benefits of tourism for rural communities;
- Involvement and participation of rural communities in the entire rural tourism development process; and
- Empowerment of women, youth and disadvantaged groups through the development of rural tourism.
- To create awareness among tour & travel operators regarding potential of rural tourism, tourist’s circuits, food & craft trails, in & around established tourist destinations.
Organizers: Department of Tourism & Department of Culture-Government of Punjab, PHTPB in association with UNWTO.