Tourism-Concept, Resources and Development Objectives, Meaning of Tourism and International Tourist, Types of Tourism Part 1

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The beauty of nature lies in its variety which indeed is endless. So is the timeless desire in the human beings to appreciate the nature from the bottom of their heart. This is why since ancient times explorers, discoverers, and travellers undertook adventurous journeys in spite of all difficulties they came across. The underlying idea of visiting new places to appreciate their beauty, in course of time, has given birth to a modern industry called tourism.

It is the job of tourism industry to spot such places of beauty and interest and bring people and places physically closer to one another by providing every facility and comfort. Thus, natural scenery, favourable weather and climate, and cultural heritage are used for area development through promotion of tourism.

Objectives

The major objectives of this chapter are:

  • To explain the process of transformation of travel of past into tourism of today

  • To discuss various types and related purposes of tourism

  • To explain the variety and value of tourist resources of India

  • To explain the causes and factors responsible for the growth of tourism

  • To analyse the area development through the promotion of tourism

  • To classify tourist places known for varying attractions in different regions of India

Meaning of Tourism and International Tourist

Tourism in its modern form is not the same as travels of the early periods of human history. In the language of Jews, the word ‘Torah’ means study or search and ‘tour’ seems to have been derived from it. In Latin the original word ‘Tornos’ stands close to it. ‘Tornos’ was a kind of round wheel-like tool hinting at the idea of a travel circuit or a package tour. In Sanskrit, ‘Paryatan’ means leaving one’s residence to travel for the sake of rest and for seeking knowledge. ‘Deshatan’ is another word which means travelling for economic benefits. ‘Tirthatan’ is the third equivalent which means travelling for religious purposes. All the three words convey the meaning and concept of tourism much more appropriately. Since 1970, India collects statistics in regard to tourist traffic on the basis of following definition given in the United Nations Travel and Tourism paper : “A person who travels in India on foreign passport for a minimum period of 24 hours and the maximum period of 6 months is a tourist provided he or she does neither settles nor gets employed (or exiled) in this country.” It applies to international tourists.

Tourism as a modern term is applicable to both international and domestic tourists. It is the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal place of work and residence. Such a pleasure-seeking tourist is a traveller moving from place to place or visiting the same place again and again. Tourism includes all economic activities which are organised around the needs of such travellers. Any travel for holidaying, business or professional trip becomes a part of tourism if it is temporary and is undertaken voluntarily, without an aim to earn any livelihood out of it. The concern of business or professional tourism is for exchanging views for seeking collaboration between different parties. It is an era of economic reforms within the prospective of globalised economy. It is bringing more and more business tourists to our metropolises and other growing centre of industry and commerce.

The word ‘holiday’ is derived from the term ‘holy day’. The reason being that for long it was associated only with the day of religious observances. By 19th century, a number of other holidays have been fixed keeping in view the secular activities of the state.

The concept of annual holidays allowed or taken by a citizen and their association with tourism is a very recent phenomenon.

Growth from Early Travels to Modern Tourism

Travel as a wanderlust in some form or the other has attracted human beings from the earliest periods in history. The sages in India travelled to the Himalaya, sea shores, views or lake sides, and close to forests for meditation. People of all faiths have since been visiting shrines established in every nook and corner of India.

We also come across examples of travelling to explore new places and looking for changes in environment. Such travels were undertaken in the absence of facilities provided now by modern tourism. There were neither well-defined routes, nor any kind of maps nor any safety measures along these paths. Yet the explorations contributed to the slow growth of civilisation and of knowledge about homeland of the Homo Sapiens.

There is an interesting tale of adventurous travels of a few Indian explorers to Tibet and the adjoining areas in the mid-19th century. In those days the maps showed Tibet as one huge white blank as it was covered by snow. The native rulers were suspicious and hostile, not permitting the foreigners to enter the remote region. On the other hand, the British officers of the Survey of India had no knowledge of towns, mountains, rivers, roads, and passes of the region, which was just 500 km to the north of Indian capital city of Calcutta in those days. The British government wanted the information to protect India’s northern frontiers. Mohammad Hameed, a young clerk in the Survey of India, Nain Singh, Mani Singh, and Kishan Singh, in their thirty’s followed by many others were selected to enter these areas. The Singh brothers were code-named as ‘Pundits’ to collect the valuable information secretly, posing as Buddhist pilgrims or traders. As they belonged to a place close to Indo-Tibet border, they had the advantage of looking like Tibetans. The journey they undertook was not a travel for enjoying the scenic beauty of the areas.

Mohammad Hameed went from Ladakh in 1863, reached and stayed in Yarkand for six months, recorded the much-needed information, under the constant risk to his life. He died of illness and exhaustion in the Karakoram mountains on his way back. His travel notes proved very valuable.

Kishan Singh, code named as ‘A.K.’, crossed and re-crossed the region in 1870s, went around the Everest and reached the heart of Gobi Desert up to Lake Lop Nor beyond the Himalaya covering 4,500 km. After over four years, this daring ‘traveller tourist’ could return via Darjeeling carrying this prized information with him.

How different were the travels of these gallant explorers, a saga of endurance, and of great risks! It was the culture of the persons committed to their great missions. Today travel is the concern of businessmen, the pleasure seekers, and the holders of Leave Travel Concession tickets.

Types of Tourism

Tourism and tourists are of many different types depending on length of stay, mode of transport used, distance covered, purpose of trip, and the price paid by the tourists.

Here we will discuss about four primary types of tourism. International and domestic tourism, long and short distance tourism are the most important types. An international tourist crosses the frontiers of many countries, uses different currencies, and faces different languages. Larger countries are likely to have greater attractions for international tourism. It is simple to state that longer distances will have to be covered in this type of tourism. Yet for small size countries like Netherlands, Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka, crossing into a neighbouring country involves very short distances.

On the other hand, domestic tourism concerns traveling within the home country. It does not face the problem of seeking a passport and visa or the conversion of one currency into another. Scope for its expansion is generally more in a large size country like India with rising standards of living of its people. The distinction between these two types is getting reduced with the greater ease of movement between countries.

A large number of countries in Europe are now included in the groups called the ‘European Union’. So, from January 1993, all travels of the citizens of its member states are classed as domestic. The lowering of barriers between friendly countries like the USA and Canada may also decrease this distinction for practical purposes. Even in case of Pakistan and India, travel is becoming easier as compared to many earlier years. Yet travel between India and Nepal has been generally free of such hindrances.

Types of Tourist Areas and Types of Tourism

Image of Types of Tourist Areas and Types of Tourism

Types of Tourist Areas and Types of Tourism

Types of Tourist Areas and Types of Tourism

On the basis of distance, tourism can be divided into two types: long-distance tourism is generally taken to be journeys of over 3,000 kms and short-distance tourism is below that limit. This consideration is important for managing aircraft operation and for providing the marketing facilities. Greater the level of details required to be observed, larger is the level or scale of tourism. From a geographical viewpoint, tourism is also considered ranging from the local levels of home locality to regional or national level of the country and the world level areas. The flow of tourists at home or in local areas may take place in many directions. It may be between the cities or out of cities to the coast, a lake or the countryside and vice-versa as a sort of travel excursion. Availability of land, suitable sites, and favourable environment for planning the development of tourism are important determining factors at this level.

At regional and national levels, the extent of area becomes larger and there is a greater variety in patterns of tourist flows. We have to keep finding new places for development of tourism to avoid the crowding of areas already developed.

At the world level, there may be one dominant direction of this flow depending on the location of the areas of origin and destination of tourists. In Northern Hemisphere, it is from north to south and in case of India from west to east, e.g. from developed countries of the Western world to our country.

The tourist flow between places depends upon general attractiveness of one country for another and business or cultural connections. The countries of origin of international tourism are one type of areas and those of their destination are of another type. The former areas are called the tourists generating areas and the latter are tourist destination areas. For example, the tourist generating areas of India are mostly in the countries of Western Europe and North America. These are our tourists’ markets. The tourist destination areas fall in our own country in this case. We have to provide amenities to the arriving tourists, for accommodating them in hotels, in tents or in the camping grounds. We also have to create attractions not generally found in their native countries.

The third type of areas cover the transit routes between the places of origin and of destination. The accessibility between the two, the efficiency and comforts of transport, influence the size and the direction of flow of tourists.

On the basis of purpose of tour or the motives of tourists, common-interest tourism, holiday-tourism, and business-tourism are the three types. The purpose of visiting and the visited persons is common in the first case. Visiting friends or relatives in this type puts very low pressure on the provision of tourist facilities at the destination. Holiday-tourism is the most popular type. A fine weather favourable for sightseeing, touring, recreation, and going around different cultural sites are sought after by the incoming tourists of this category. Business tourists travel to attend trade fairs and conferences pertaining to commerce or professions. Yet they combine it with recreations using the same facilities as provided for holiday tourists.

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