Ministry of Tourism is promoting rural tourism through various initiatives-Tourism Minister

New Delhi: 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 rural tourism in the country, the Ministry has identified Rural Circuit as one of fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under this scheme.

The objectives of the Swadesh Darshan scheme include creating employment through active involvement of local communities and promoting community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach.

Based on the above criteria, the Ministry has sanctioned following 2 projects total amounting to Rs.125.02 Crores for development of Rural Circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme which are under different stages of implementation: –

In the State of Bihar, during FY 2017-18, the project “Development of Bhitiharwa – Chandrahia – Turkaulia” amounting to Rs.44.65 Crores.
In the State of Kerala, during FY 2018-19, the project “Development of Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism” amounting to Rs. 80.37 Crores.

Ministry has also instituted a National Tourism Award in the category of ‘Best Rural/Agri/Plantation Tourism Projects’ to motivate the stakeholders in the tourism sector for implementing such projects.

Ministry of Rural Development has informed that their Shyama Prasad MukherjiRurban Mission (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 the Mission, 300 clusters are being developed across 28 States and 8 Union Territories. Tourism is one of the themes of Rurban cluster development. Tourism related activities/ projects are among the 21 component categories under SPMRM.

Ministry of Rural Development has further informed that a total 67 Rurban clusters have proposed tourism related activities in gram panchayats across 26 States/ UTs.

This information was given by the Minister of State (I/c) of Culture and Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

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