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Rural Tourism: An Instrument for Local Development in Hamlets around Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh (India)

AVAHAN: A Journal on Hospitality and Tourism

Volume 2 Issue 1

Published: 2014
Author(s) Name: Amit Katoch, Amit Gangotia | Author(s) Affiliation:
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Rural tourism is now the new buzz word for the development of tourism in Himachal Pradesh, a beautiful mountain state of India. The concept of Atithi Devo Bhava has been further enlarged by the Government of Himachal Pradesh (India) by steering a new scheme of Har Gaon Ki Kahani- the story of every village. The scheme has been implemented keeping in mind the rural status of the state and the Historic and traditional fables associated with a number of villages. The scheme has been cautiously prepared in order to encourage more tourists in the rural areas of the state. According to 2011 census of Himachal Pradesh, 89.96 % of the state dwells in the villages. As such the rural environment, rural culture and rural people can play a vital role in the local development by involving the concept of rural tourism. A group of villages around Dharamshala have got immense potential in terms of rural tourism product to showcase the rural life, art, culture and heritage thereby benefitting the indigenous population economically and socially as well as enabling a rich and real tourism experience. This research paper is exploratory in nature and inspects the rural tourism resources of the villages around Dharamshala. It further focuses on identifying the rural populations understanding of the rural tourisms development and its consequent benefits. Further, the research examines the willingness of the communities to participate in rural tourism.

Keywords: Rural Tourism, Development, Resources, Community Approach, Benefits, Challenges, Impacts

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