Tourism-Concept, Resources and Development Historical and Cultural Resources, Development of Tourism

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Historical and Cultural Resources

  • The wealth of these resources is found in artificially created landscapes. This component of India’s tourist resources is widespread almost in every part of the country. These are associated with some historical, religious or a cultural event. During the course of a very long history of India, different people and different religions have left a mark in the concrete forms. They comprise statues, shrines, tombs, minarets, forts, palaces, ancient monuments or recent buildings created by our people. These are known for their architecture or the plans of cities now lying in ruins.

  • Many sites may not be having any visual appeal today. But these are still significant for some historical or religious events or because of their association with the life history of a great person. There are evidences of changing settlement like seven Delhi constructed in the same area over a period of 455 years in 12th to 17th centuries. Two of these last cities are yet intact. Some such old sites are even now of great economic use by earning revenue through tourism.

  • Above all, the performing arts (music, drama and dance), traditions and customs, costumes, cuisine, languages, social habits, religious rites, and festivals are expression of culture. The industrial and planned cities, scientific installations, river dams, and other modern structures created in independent India, are the attractions added to India’s heritage. Greater the variety of tourist resources and their easy accessibility by well-connected transport network, more are the chances of the development of tourism resource potential.

  • The revenue earned and the direct or indirect sources of employment created for the people, have made the great pool of all our tourist resources of much relevance.

Development of Tourism

  • Tourism received a sudden great impetus by Industrial Revolution which brought about many changes in social and economic life in its wake. Social life became more secular i.e. it got disassociated from the so-called religious festivities in many respects. It gradually led to a number of paid holidays allowed to workers as a matter of their right. For spending these holidays, the workers are now free to exercise their individual choices. Even in India, a worker can choose to have leave on an average of 30 days in a year as paid holidays.

  • The provision of such holidays and concessions has also increased the free time available for recreative tourism. Greater freedom of voluntary movement more is the time and leisure for people’s participation in recreations of their choice. These are the initial set of determining factors. They have acted in a positive way for the development of tourism in India as well.

  • The leisure without more of income is of little value for the growth of tourism. All kinds of tourists must have large disposal incomes and fewer financial commitments towards their families. This makes it possible for them to spend more money and time the way they like. During the years prior to the Second World War, only a few rich leisure loving persons could afford to move out and stay on at a place of scenic beauty and cultural attractions. Since 1945, a large number of tourists hailing from all classes of the society, each with its own level of income and tastes have started moving about. They may like to spend less money and are in a hurry to see the maximum within a short time. This is natural because sparing long seasonal vacations for recreative touring is becoming a rarity in modern times. They may choose to combine holidaying for relaxation with something of an adventurous travel, recreative sports, and entertainments. They may like to travel as an individual or in a group.

  • The provision of seasonal charter flight fares leaves travel concession, travel concessions, and low-budget hotel or tent accommodation has emerged as necessary incentives. India has been much more conscious of the need to boost tourism since the last decade. It has helped the growth of tourism to a large extent though at a low pace. The world prosperity and world tourism move hand in hand. For this reason, foreign tourists visiting India come from the developed high-income countries of the western world. A greater value of their currencies makes their travel in India very cheap for them. At the other end, if a developing country is very poor, it can spare much less from its scarce resources to expand the amenities and transport facilities for the incoming tourists.

  • As India is a developing country in terms of economic growth, it has led to a relatively greater development of tourism as compared to many other countries in the Third World, particularly in Africa. On the other hand, Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Philippines are far ahead because of their fast-growing economics in recent years. Thus, at the level of an individual, the motives, availability of leisure, physical energy for active holidaying, income, education, and freedom to utilize the personal budget act together.

  • These are the motivating push forces. At the same time, there are the pull forces. The pull forces pertain to the attractiveness of natural landscape, cultural sites, and a favourable climate at tourist destinations. A region or a place having a variety of such tourist resources exercises the greatest pull. Multiple attractions of tourist resources in a region are likely to have the maximum pull effect on the incoming tourists. The development of travel tourism is thus the result of the interplay of both these forces.

  • Closer the two countries geographically, historically, culturally, and commercially greater may be the tourist flow, between them. India’s increasing trade with a growing number of countries, its collaboration for sharing technical skills, and cultural ties have paved the way for faster development of tourism.

  • Although India is situated along the crossways from the east and the west, it is far distant from tourist-generating developed countries of Europe and North America. Only 10% of world’s tourist is of a long-haul type so far. But it is becoming less costly and less time-taking than in the earlier days. The share of distantly located developing country like India in this tourist flow has been increasing though it is not yet high enough.

  • A modern tourist with higher standard of living requires to make about hurriedly by a comfortable and fast-moving air, rail, or road transport to places of recreational tourism. India could attract a large number of international tourists only after providing greater infrastructural facilities. However, it still remains a weaker link in the chain of our tourism development.

  • Besides the positive factors encouraging tourism, there are negative factors which act as hurdles. The political instability, conditions of insurgency in parts of the country, and keeping foreigners as hostages by terrorists have also drastically cut down the tourist arrivals in the affected regions, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and in the North-east. Even a rapid rise in prices, cost of transport, and crisis like that of the scarcity of petroleum products occasionally may discourage the growth of tourism.

  • As a key economic activity, at present Indian tourism has started contributing 5.3% of our total gross domestic product. An overall prosperity (measured in term of GNP per head of population) and normalcy of political, economic, and social conditions at the two ends determine the growth of tourism.

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