25 Nov 2022  |   05:03am IST

Tourism in need of extra edge

Tourism in need of extra edge

Words such as sustainable and reliable have become redundant over the years. It has been insisted upon for even the tourism sector to be sustainable. For that, the sector needs to be given different dimensions. Till now the State has been attracting thousands of tourists for coastal and religious tourism but now it has become crucial to prepare in attracting them towards agriculture tourism. The human mind is always in search of something new hence doing the same thing over and over again will bore a person. The need for tourism originated from human behaviour wanting to experience something different than the usual. However, the over commercialisation, artificiality and extreme modernism has seeped into the field of tourism which the tourists are growing weary of. Therefore, they are choosing quaint places such as Karwar and Sindhudurg. Right from the people belonging to the middle-class category to foreign visitors, everyone seems to want a change in the current nature of tourism. 

Agriculture and rural tourism can be thought of as an ideal option to this. When we look at natural sources available in our region such as land, water, clean air, rivers, cliffs, hillocks, sand, trees, animals, jungle, etc from the tourism point of view, we realise that we want to experience all this ourselves. We want to experience the folk songs sung during various activities related to farming such as ploughing, planting, harvesting and threshing in its natural environment. We want to witness cowsheds, schools, temples and gram sabhas from rural areas without having the layer of artificiality. Of course, all this is possible only through agriculture and rural tourism. This could be a complementary business involving a small budget and the already available sources. 

Through this initiative it’s also easily possible to conserve and protect local breeds of seeds. Agriculture Tourism means an agriculture-based business which allows farmers to earn reputation and economic backing. In another two-three months the cashew trees will start bearing young cashew fruits which are used for producing feni. This process is carried out in almost all the villages of Goa and visitors would be more than excited to witness it firsthand. It is considered that sustainable tourism could be an answer to all this. The word sustainable literally means durable and permanent. The resources used for sustainable tourism should either be inexhaustible or renewable. The services provided at the tourist spots should also be renewable and localised on as many levels as possible. 

The focus should be on using the solid and liquid waste at the same spot through reusing or by processing. The required manpower should also be resourced at local level so that the employment opportunities through such tourism can be generated. Agriculture tourism could be an ideal concept to implement these initiatives. Agricultural works such as creating dung gas, farming, orchard planning and management, drip irrigation could be innovative for tourists. Since most people travel to escape their daily routine, activities such as swimming, fishing, bird watching and taking a stroll through greenery can be implemented in villages. Local produce such as vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, honey, pickles and papads can be kept for sale, which most of the time are not available for foreign visitors in commercial areas. Even if they are available, they are machine-made and lack organic quality. 

Not all tourists are keen to visit only popular places, some are more enthusiastic to explore off-beat adventures. There are groups of explorers who wish to see rural villages, lesser known temples, rivers, ponds, hillocks, waterfalls, jungles and so on. Some even go to an extent of searching for birds, butterflies and trees which are indigenous to that particular place. This will also give a platform for local artists to showcase their art. Locals themselves can act as tourist guides. If different dimensions such as this one are given to tourism, then the frequently used word ‘sustainable’ will actually stand true to its meaning.


Idhar Udhar