Ethnic Tourism Essence of India

Tourism is travel for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes or the provision of services to support this leisure travel. The World tourism Organization defines tourists as people who “travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited”. India, like many other countries has had a long tradition of religious and spiritual tourism.

Our ancestors traveled to the different corners of the sub-continent, sometimes on foot, to visit places of pilgrimage. While the main objective of the pilgrim was to attain communion with the nature, the route always had an element of adventure and of the unexpected. The journey also brought the traveler face to face with the marvels provided by Mother Nature whether in the form of The Himalayas, the deep jungles or the deep blue of the Indian Ocean. This used to be an ideal tourist package – low in cost but high on experience and adventure-in effect, it gives shape to the tourist’s dream.

Today there are many types of tourism in vogue. Some of the prominent tourist products are spiritual tourism, ecological tourism, religious tourism, health tourism, festival tourism and cultural tourism, ethnic tourism, farm tourism village tourism, rain tourism, tribal tourism, rural tourism, dark tourism and the list goes on. In a country like India opportunities to explore tourism are tremendous. In this paper a brief outline is drawn on Ethnic Tourism and its dimensions in India . what effects ethnic tourism has on Indian economy, environment and community.

Different colors of ethnic tourism in India are reflected through various destinations already explored and yet to be explored. India is a land where people come from all over the world to experience the cultural and regional diversity. So let’s feel the experience and see how Ethnic tourism has helped promoting tourism and bringing world closer. Introduction India known as Visitor’s paradise derives her roots from a rich past both culturally and historically.

This is manifest in the wealth of its cities and magnificent architecture. Starting from the tip of snowcapped mountains f Kashmir to beautiful landscapes allover to Kanyakumari there are enormous stories of cultural and ethnic wonders. There are scores of existing locations for groups of any size: the elegant eternal city of Delhi, the medieval fairy tale – the city of Jaipur, the Mughal city of Agra in which the sublime Taj Mahal is but one of the attractions; the Himalayan garden of Eden called Kashmir and the palm fringed tropical seas Spectacular landscape, wildlife, sun, sand and surf, great architecture, folk and classical dances, richness of music, festivities, attractive shopping are all at the disposal of travelers.

Above all, the warmth and hospitality of Indian people is unparalleled, who welcomes people from allover the world with warmth to their country, into their homes and into their hearts. India is an indescribable and unforgettable land and only by visiting the country can the truth be experienced.

The delicate fragrance of fresh Jasmine flowers being sold in the streets, the cool and beauty of the heady Himalayas, the endless stretch of white beaches and waving palm trees in Goa and the south, Backwaters of Kerela, The carved architecture and beautiful cave temples and other attractions are just beckoning people to experience the countless forms of tourism one can experience in India. India is a land of virtuous wisdom; a land where the soul sought the spiritual dimensions of mankind and perpetuated aspirations to decipher a world beyond this world.

India has dominated the world stage through most of human history, as the home of mighty empires, as a powerful trading nation, and as a wellspring of culture and civilization. India, the land of culture and heritage.. Tourism in India has shown a phenomenal growth from its distant past. Today, Indian tourism offer array of tourist destination that attracts travelers from all over the world.

India, the land mighty mountains, sandy beaches, magnificent monuments calls for exploration, scenic attractions tribal and rural tourism fascinates the entire world and a little effort in exploring and tapping its natural and cultural heritage in a sustainable manner will leave us at a peak which would be unattainable! Everything a tourist desires “you name and we have it “is the specialty starting from the greeting that we have to offer in the word namaste which denotes respect and love in the welcome.

With folded hands and bowed head the culture leaves the tourists enchanted and spell bound The top 5 travel destinations of 2006-2007, according to the USA Today and some major travel guides, are: 1. Netherlands 2. Turkey 3. Brazil 4. Scotland 5. India So the journey has already begun. As the time passed this new India is a place of most well equipped transportation and hotels featuring diverse cuisine and delicacies with spas and offering best medical services to tourists who are coming for medical tourism.

According to Abhijeet Patil of the Raja Rani Health Alliance “Medical tourism is one of the most lucrative industry as it is anticipated to attract tourists from world over especially the UK, South Africa, Canada and Malaysia, and is expected to grow into a $1. 5 billion industry by 2010. ” According to Dr. Philip Augustine, CEO of Lakeshore Hospital, the number of tourist coming into the state for a health vacation was 16,000 in 2006.

It is estimated that this number could rise up to 100,000 by 2010 and the credit goes to Kerala’s world-class doctors and excellent infrastructure. The bulk of medical tourists are coming from the Middle-East, the U. S, the UK, and the Maldives. In Punjab alone, more than five lakh NRIs make annual visits home. This single largest group of visitors is a big source of revenue, especially for the dental treatment and cosmetic surgery market. The cost of a tummy tuck in the UK is about ? 7000-10,000, while in Fortis it costs approximately ? 500. Add ? 300 (Rs 24,000) for the round trip airfare on a Sahara flight and what best you can get?

So it’s the time to capture all the opportunities our country is providing us as we don’t want to be lagged behind at least in this phase where entire world and small countries some being our neighbors have realized the importance of tapping the golden possibilities of tourism resources. India as rightly mentioned the land for all reasons and seasons can rightly be called as ethnic destination.

From the culture of Jammu Kashmir the diversity from traveling to Ladakh from Kashmir is unmatchable We move down to Himachal and Uttaranchal and their experience a completely different and indescribable beauty and cultural diversity in the language,costumes,religions festivals traditions cuisines historical monuments, temples and climate. Madhya Pradesh which is rightly mentioned as heart of India has also unique ambiguity to offer to the tourists who are coming to search their roots to see where the ancient travelers have wandered and have written so great about this country.

We can’t ignore what these travelers like Fa-Hien, Sultan Mahmud of Persia, Alberuni, Hiuen-Tsiang and William Jones have written about India. So in lieu of that people from those countries want to come and visit India and compare the difference between what’s written and what is the reality. The journey to the tunnel of ethnic tourism just starts through these travelers and tourists coming from their countries and is endless. During A. D. 399-414, Chinese scholar Fa-Hien traveled to India in search of great Buddhist books of discipline.

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