Agripedia

Agri-Tourism: Best Tourist Destination Spots in India & Its Scope

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

Agriculture is the main sector of Indian Economy. Around 65 per cent of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. Out of total GDP around 13 per cent comes from the agriculture sector. Providing additional income-generating activities to existing agriculture would certainly increase the contribution of agriculture to national GDP.

Agri Tourism will serve this purpose. Agri Tourism is the latest concept in the Indian Tourism industry. It gives an opportunity to experience real enchanting and authentic contact with real life. Promotion of Agri-tourism needs conceptual convergence with rural tourism, health tourism and adventure tourism.

Tourism is termed as an instrument for employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. The world tourism organization has estimated that the tourism industry is growing at a rate of 4 per cent a year. Whereas the Indian tourism industry is growing at 10.1 per cent which is 2.5 times more than the world rate. The tourism sector is one of the major foreign exchange earners for the country. Agri-tourism is one such form of tourism which has recently emerged in Maharashtra. It is a field with the potential to develop.

Certainly, as a newly developing field, it has its own share of challenges and management issues to face. The issues like a guest-host relationship, sustainability, economic feasibility are important for any new tourism development at a destination. It is more so in the case of Agri-tourism as it has a direct impact on the host culture and rural community as a whole.

Agri-tourism industry in India has a lot of potentials to develop rural India. This report gives an overall perception of agritourism, its opportunities, challenges and the role of Extension & Advisory services in promoting agritourism in India.

World Tourism Organization (1998) defines agri-tourism as “ involves accommodation being offered in the farmhouse or in a separate guesthouse, providing meals and organizing guests’ activities in the observation and participation in the farming operations.”

 SCOPE OF AGRI-TOURISM (Source- Research Gate)

  1. An inexpensive gateway - The cost of food, accommodation, recreation and travel is least in Agri-Tourism. This widens the tourist base. The concept of Agri-Tourism takes to travel and tourism to the larger population, widening the scope of tourism due to its cost-effectiveness.
  1. Curiosity about the farming industry and lifestyle - The urban population having roots in villages always have had the curiosity to learn about sources of food, plants, animals, raw materials like wood, handicrafts, languages, culture, tradition, dresses and rural lifestyle. Agri-tourism revolves around farmers, villages and agriculture has the capacity to satisfy the curiosity of this segment of the population.
  1. Strong demand for wholesome family-oriented recreational activities - Villages provide recreational opportunities to all age groups i.e. children young, middle and old age, male, female, in total to the whole family at a cheaper cost. Rural games, festivals, food, dress and nature provides a variety of entertainment to the entire family.
  1. Health consciousness of urban population and finding solace with nature-friendly means - Modern lifestyle has made life stressful and average life span has come down. Hence, people are in constant search of pro-nature means to make life more peaceful. Ayurveda which is a pro-nature medical approach has roots in villages. Indigenous medical knowledge of villagers is respected.
  1. The desire for peace and tranquillity - Modern life is a product of diversified thinking and diversified activities. Every individual attempts to work more, in different directions to earn more money to enjoy modern comforts. Hence, peace is always out of his system. Tourism is a means for searching for a peaceful location. Peace and tranquillity are inbuilt in Agri-Tourism as it is away from urban areas and close to nature.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE AGRI-TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN INDIA

  1.  Dewalokam Farmstay Retreat, Karimannoor, Kerala- Dewalokam is the organic ancestral farm of a welcoming Syrian Christian family. The name means "paradise" and the property certainly is that! This faultless farmstay is conveniently located only 90 minutes drive from Kochi airport, in the spice belt of Kerala, bounded by a placid river and nature reserve. Fruit, vegetables, spices, milk, and honey are all produced there. An extensive range of activities is available for guests, including spice walks, village walks, bamboo rafting, temple visits, cow milking, and swimming.
  2. Vanilla County, Kottayam, Kerala- It's located two and a half hours drive from Kochi airport, near Vagamon in the lush Western Ghat mountain range. Guests can swim in natural rock pools, go on plantation walks, go trekking, birding, visit villages and a local meditation ashram, and cruise the Kerala backwaters.
  3. Konyak Tea Retreat, Mon District, Nagaland- The host is the great-granddaughter of a tattooed headhunter, and she's actively involved in researching and documenting the various tattoo patterns of her tribe. The boutique farmhouse is located in the middle of a remote, privately-owned 250-hectare tea estate. However, tea isn't all that's grown there. The farm also has an orange tree orchard and organic vegetable garden. Guests can pick and eat during harvesting season (mid-November to December).
  4. Maachli, Sindhudurg, Nagaland- The name "Maachli" means "elevated huts" in the local Malvani language. There are four architecturally designed hut-style accommodations on the property, built deep within nature among the Samant family's coconut, betel nut, banana and spice plantation. Everything revolves around nature, and there is a sweet water stream flowing through the property. Responsible tourism is also a strong focus. Activities include village walks, cooking lessons, farming experiences, trekking.
  5. Enchanted Forest Farm, Gangtok, Sikkim- The tranquil setting, deep inside the forest with a waterfall, and delightful hosts are totally worth it though! The farm is completely organic and the property is pretty much self-sufficient. There's a fish pond, cows and goats. If you're a music lover, you're also in luck. The host plays the guitar and loves a good jam session. Guest accommodations consist of three rustic yet elegant standalone cottages.

 (Source- tripsavvy)

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