INDIA: Minister of State for Tourism & Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in Rajya Sabha recently announced that the ministry has identified Rural Circuit as one of fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under Swadesh Darshan scheme.
The Ministry of Tourism has launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for Integrated Development of theme-based Tourist Circuits for development of tourism infrastructure including last mile connectivity in the country. Recognizing the potential of Village tourism in the country, the Ministry has identified Rural Circuit as one of fifteen thematic circuits for development under this scheme.
One of the rural development schemes being implemented is Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) under Ministry of Rural Development. SPMRM is a program focused on integrated development of Rural clusters by stimulating local economic development, enhancing basic services, and creating well planned Rurban clusters.
Ministry of Rural Development provides a list of leading sub districts to each State for selection of Non-Tribal clusters under SPMRM, within which the clusters could be identified. One of the parameters in the selection of these sub districts by the Ministry of Rural Development is presence of places of Tourism and Pilgrimage significance.
SPMRM follows the vision of “Development of a cluster of villages that preserve and nurture the essence of rural community life with focus on equity and inclusiveness without compromising with the facilities perceived to be essentially urban in nature, thus creating a cluster of “Rurban Villages”. Under SPMRM, 300 clusters are developed across 28 States and 6 Union Territories. Tourism is one of the themes of Rurban cluster development. Tourism related activities/ projects are among the 21 component categories under SPMRM and suitable works are undertaken in clusters with tourism potential. Under SPMRM, there are 105 clusters in 30 States/ UTs where tourism related activities have been proposed.
For the promotion of rural/village tourism in the country, the Ministry of Tourism undertakes several promotional activities in the domestic and international markets. As part of its marketing/promotional activities, the Ministry produces publicity material and collateral in important and potential markets under the “Incredible India” brand-line. Promotions are also undertaken through the website and social media accounts of the Ministry.
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