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Inclusive Growth Requires Vibrancy in Tourism Sector



                        Assistant professor

                      Electrical Department



Pardhi tribe is a particularly vulnerable tribal group living in areas around Madhya Pradesh. Due to development projects they lost their rights over land and forest .However with efforts from the Government and a NGO “Last Wilderness Foundation” Pardhi people were trained to use their traditional knowledge of forest to become tourist guides. They now guide “Eco-tourism” and earn a decent livelihood.

Truly, the tourism sector here came to save the Pardhi’s and it shows the great potential for tourism to bring out growth for people.


Bring in all– Inclusive growth as per World Bank means a growth that is fairly distributed across all sectors and brings opportunity for all. It encompasses in itself participation of people, equality, growth, security and sustainability.

When we talk of inclusiveness we consider in it all the stakeholders that are poor’s, vulnerable, farmers, women and others .Tourism sector provides that opportunity to harness its potential for the gain of all.


Stakeholders– Since ancient times we have seen tourism has played a key role in connecting the world and bringing to each other best practices.Huein Tsang travelled during the 6th century AD in India bringing Indian culture to Mongols, Chinese etc. In medieval times academic tourism flourished as Amir Khusro, Marco Polo and others visited India. The thing to be noted among it is that tourism has benefited people, for example good medicine travel to India, Arabic practices got assimilated into our culture.

We have seen tourism since the past as being harbingers of growth, be it music, culture, dance or economics. For inclusive growth its benefit should be accessible to all Stakeholders.For instance when tourists visit Jaipur they tend to purchase Rajasthani crafts, they all usually made by women at home thus tourism indirectly led to economic growth of women.

Similarly the Tharu community of lesser Himalayas practices Homestay tourism where tourists stay in “lap of nature”. It has led to generation of employment for locals. It thus signifies that tourism can bring inclusive growth.


Visit Our Land–  tourism in India contributes nearly 5% of GDP and employees more than 1 crore people, as per the economics survey 2021-2022.However, it is still miniscule to the potential of our tourism sector promoting rich cultural heritage is the first among our tourism potential. We have diverse temples Khajuraho, Ramappa, chola temple,  khandariyaMahadev, then we have monuments like TajMahal, QutubMinar etc. When we promote these tourist spots it leads to a boost to the local economy, livelihood to people and sustains the significance of the places.

As per our culture we have often heard “PadharoMaroDesh ” visit our land as engraved in our culture. IT in itself is a symbol for inclusiveness.

There is a need to explore new forms of tourism. Agro tourism where urban people visit rural agriculture farms, learn good farming practices helps in boosting regional agriculture and a source of passive income to farmers.

Similarly ecotourism where people visit a natural ecological place leads to generation of livelihood for the locals. For example, in Nallamala hills Chenchu community becomes a tourist guide for visitors.

Another area is medical tourism in which patients from all around the world visit our country for their treatment. It not only benefits our Doctors, Economy but also traditional practitioners as well. The Prime Minister in his “Man Ki Baat” noted that the former Prime Minister of Kenya once visited Kerala to get her daughter treated by Ayushpractitioners, it thus promotes traditional knowledge in world practices.

Religious tourism has been at the core of tourism for centuries, places like Varanasi, Gaya, Badrinath have their local economy dependent on it. BanarasiSaad,iTirupatiladdu has an element of bringing inclusiveness in society. When we promote the Buddhist circuit, Char DhamYatra it is to harness the Pilgrimage to economic opportunities.

Another sector which has emerged is MICR tourism (Meeting, Interaction, Conference, and Explore) which has its roots in a new corporate setup. People engage, do meetings, outings, offsite work which boost sales of hotels, transportation etc.

When we diversify the tourism landscape its related sectors also diversify thus diversifying the stakeholders and people’s income.

As the Oxford report “Inequality kills” noted that the top 10% of people hold more than 70% of the wealth, it requires us to diversify people’s source of income and create more employment opportunities to cut this gap. Tourism with its noted potential provides this opportunity, the income from tourism flows directly to locals, also they grow culturally and socially, when they get connected with the outside world. Having explored its potential we need to see what challenges are restricting us to realise its potential.


The Dark Clouds– Firstly poor maintenance of archeological sites, poor waste management restricts the further visit by tourist, Secondly there are institutional challenges like coordination between Ministries is poor and slow approach is usually taken.There is lack of master plan for conservation of heritage sites.

Another is there is a lack of social security laws, labour laws to regulate tourism. Highly diffused and informal sectors restrict formation of strong groups to raise demands.

Furthermore infrastructure and connectivity issues restrict the expansion as time taken to travel is often more. Moreover, elderly friendly infrastructure is usually not there like ramps which make it not inclusive.

Another challenge is exploitation of locals. For example in Andaman Island Jarawa tribe girls were made to dance naked in front of tourists, Is this Inclusive? Clearly not, making people’s dignity a mockery for money can’t be inclusiness to bring vibrancy in the tourist sector.


Vibrant Tourism– to bring vibrancy in tourism, multi pronged strategy at various levels is required.At governance level, institutional mechanism and authorities like Archaeological Survey of India needs to be strengthened. Moreover tourism should be recognised as a sector to promote other sectors like infrastructure, trade, export etc

 At the tourism spot level, there is a need to open foreign exchange, promote good civic culture and develop 100 model tourism sites. Schemes like “Hriday and Prasad” should be utilized to conserve them.Corporates can be nudged for conservation of sides like “Aravali conservation” by Corporates. At the infrastructure level, bringing more connectivity, theme based tourism can bring a change in scenario.At the individual level, a will to visit places like Prime Minister said “DEKHO APNA DESH”, “VISIT A SITE” “Museum” can help in bringing change in tourism sector especially after it was hit by Covind-19.

Moreover, Tourism not only helps in inclusive growth but is a factor for social cohesiveness for instance Madhavpur fare in Gujarat is organised where people from north east, east and other places also participate. It reflects amalgamation of culture and Unity and Diversity.

Tourism thus can become an agent of change for a wider variety of people- elderly women, farmers, tribals and others. We should thus uphold our spirit of”AtithiDevoBhava” {guest as god} rooted in our ethos and transform it into an economic opportunity for growth of all “SabkaSath, SabkaVikas” so that we achieve our Sustainable Development Goals. Kautilya also pointed out that “prosperity is desired for morality and Dharam”. Thus the tourism sector provides that scope for uplifting Dharm and being inclusiveness in society.



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