Tag Archives: holidays in India

How Tourism can Revive the India Story

India is on its way to becoming one of the greatest nations in the world. Some, like Masayoshi Son, the founder-CEO of SoftBank, back this statement not with mere words but capital, while others believe in its very essence and are committed to acting on their conviction.
I’m among the believers, and this is why I think tourism will go a long way in kick-starting India, in making India! Speaking from the perspective of a travel startup, I will now seek to analyse how the sector can help create jobs, reduce inequality and empower various social sectors.

Tourism India

Empowering Local Businesses
Consider the individual who lives in his own house in a village, with a small plot of farm land. He eats fresh food, breathes fresh air and has a social circle. Forced to leave his home, he travels to the city, where he lives in dirty shanties looking for daily wage work and has no access to education or healthcare.

Tourism is perfectly placed to promote reverse migration. We are able to put to use resources that are locally available and create a sustainable business for local communities.

Take, for instance, Orchha, a small town in Madhya Pradesh with a population of just 9,000. Orchha’s rich heritage makes it a popular tourist destination. Locals started to work in Orchha’s famous hotels as the tourist inflow gathered pace. Many went on to become entrepreneurs, opening cafes or retail stores. Some are expert guides and conduct tours. The local activities and crafts of the area are thus thriving.

A smaller example is that of Sattal, a hamlet in the hills 15 km from Nainital. The boatmen of Sattal were extremely poor as they waited for busloads of people to come from Nainital for day picnics, which happened only in the peak season of April, May and June. While each boat ride cost Rs 200, the boatman would earn only Rs 50. They earned barely Rs 50,000 for the entire year.

The first hotel started operations in Sattal in 2011, and provided guests with complimentary boating. Soon, customers started trickling in even during the lean season. In that first year, 2,000 customers stayed at the resort. As occupancy rose, so did the boatmen’s income.

At Rs 200 per trip, the boatmen were totally able to earn Rs 4,00,000 from us alone! Given 10 boats, it still meant Rs 40,000 per boatman only from us, almost equivalent to what they earned from day tourists. And then something else happened. As Sattal became a well-known tourist destination, new resorts and hotels came up. The number of boats increased several fold. In just a few years, tourism enabled the entire village of Sattal to generate ample employment and prosper.

Linking Micro Supply Chains
The plight of marginal farmers is a constant source of contention, with economists propagating further price reduction in agricultural commodities. Meanwhile, customers still pay high prices owing to supply and logistics constraints. So how does tourism help?

Meet Bashir Khan, a marginal farmer in Ramgarh who has a 1,000-square yard plot. He grows lemon grass, a herb popular for its oil extract. From his sparse available land, Bashir produces roughly 500 ml of oil a day. While the unsuspecting customer usually bought the oil at Rs 200-500 per 50 ml bottle, Bashir was forced to sell his produce for a meagre Rs 150 per litre! Impressed with the quality of extract and the low prices, tourists heading to Ramgarh started to buy the oil directly from Bashir. Surprised at the price he offered, they educated him about the demand and prices of comparable products in Delhi. Bashir now supplies to retail shops in Delhi.

Tourism has this ability to create a market for local products and match demand at that very destination, all while keeping prices attractive for customers.

Reviving Arts And Crafts
Indian design has been applauded for ages, yet, absurdly, we see Indian towns, cities and even the more affluent villages emulate western design, with concrete structures and the modern architecture of the West. Ironically, the poorest villages retain forgotten Indian designs — mud structures, thatched roofs and tiles, and make for the most beautiful settings.

Close to Mhaismal, a small hill station near Aurangabad, are the last two remaining households that work on the beautiful — but vanishing — metal art form of Bidri. Today, it’s in desperate need of support in the region. As resorts opened in Mhaismal, customers were able to visit the craftsmen’s homes and appreciate their art. One discerning guest even ordered the metalworks for her website, and as orders poured in, the Bidri trend caught on.

Tourism can revive arts that were once lost. Tourists can visit craftsmen, see their works and create new channels of demand. Its power in reshaping and rejuvenating the Indian economy should not be underestimated.

Source: yourstory.com

5 Things You Must Try When Travelling in India

India’s palette has a lot to offer. Many interesting sounds, smells and sights come along the road you travel here. While you see the best of India don’t miss out on the best of experiences you can get at bare minimal prices. We bring to you the FIVE must try outs when travelling in India. This is not a ‘travel guide’ or ‘tips to travel’ blog, these are just few things you shouldn’t be missing out on. To live and feel like the locals try some of these desi things every Indian does almost as part of their daily routine. No matter where you are in India or which road you are travelling, you can try your hands on these things very easily.

Paan Corner in India
1. Eat a Paan – Paan has been a favorite mouth freshener available at the local Paanwaala shops located around every corner or street in India. It’s a burst of flavours wrapped in an edible betel leaf. Oozing liquid fills up your mouth leaving your tongue red and longing for more. Paan has been a part of Indian tradition and customs since time immemorial with many famous variations of it. But today’s Paan has been experimented with many ingredients to give it a modern twist. Fused with strawberry, chocolate, crushed ice, mint and other relishing ingredients has changed the way Paan is eaten today. To avoid any health issues try it at a known or branded shop like Panchayat and Prince Paan in Delhi . ‘Meetha(sweet) Paan is our recommendation if this is your first time.

wedding in India

2. Attend an Indian Wedding – Weddings in India are not less than a circus or a Bollywood movie. There is dance, drama, emotions, lights, camera and action. We love all this and so will you. Go ahead and ask a local friend or your agent to help you get an upclose experience of an Indian wedding. We are sure you will enjoy it thoroughly. Two things to look out for in an Indian wedding are crazy dancers on the dance floor doing the funny ‘cobra dance’ and some mischievous kids in the wedding trying to hide or find the groom’s shoes (an Indian tradition). Rest of the fervor comes along.

barber shops in India
3. Visit the local Barber – Just like our street food and paanwaalas, our barbers have hundreds of tiny outlets which are simply dirt cheap. A visit to the local non-branded shop/barber is an unusual and thrilling experience of all. Barbers in India can be found sitting under a tree with just a table, a mirror and some simple instruments that they carry back home every evening. The mirror and the chair is left on the road tied up without any guarantee of finding it there the next day. We recommend you to get a the special head massage done, and if you want a shave too, try to carry your own blade/ razor to avoid any infections.

panipuri stall
4. Relish over Golgappas – The ever favourite ‘Dilli (delhi) ka golgappa’; Mumbai ki paanipuri or Kolkata’s puckas. So many names for this one bursting bomb found in every market or street. So in the evening if you see a small stall swarmed by a group of ladies saying out ‘Bhaiya ek aur de do’ (brother give one more) that’s the stall with the yummiest ‘Golgappa’ of the town. There is no end to the street foods of India so we can’t list all of them but this is ‘IT’. If you have a weak stomach please visit the branded ‘Chat Corners or restaurants’ and if you are really desi at heart you have to go to Old Delhi or Mumbai’s Chowpati because there is lot’s more to explore..

Rickshaw ride in old Delhi
Rickshaw ride in old Delhi

5. Tricycle Ride – ‘Trin trin’ – it’s riding time. A rickshaw is a tricycle used as a local mode of transport in India. A quided rickshaw ride of Old Delhi or the rickshaw pullers of Kolkata are one of the best experience to sink in the frenzy of colors, vivacity and irresistible charm of India. It’s arguably better to explore the city on a rickshaw than on a walking tour as you are much higher so you have a better vision and you will have less chances of being stalled by beggars.