Gap Analysis and Infrastructure Requirement for Tourism Development in the State of West Bengal: Evidence from Bishnupur, West Bengal, India

Gap Analysis and Infrastructure Requirement for Tourism Development in the State of West Bengal: Evidence from Bishnupur, West Bengal, India

Dillip Kumar Das (University of Burdwan, India) and Nilanjan Ray (Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5154-8.ch023
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Abstract

The rural tourism concept has become one of the vital issues of economic and social benefits to the society. This study identifies the problems and prospects of rural tourism in the state of West Bengal. The primary objectives of this study include an exploration of the development and emergence of rural tourism in the state of West Bengal, analysis of the tourism gap at Bishnupur, examination of the existing as well as future requirement of tourism infrastructure of Bishnupur, and the promotion and marketing of Bishnupur as an important rural tourism destination in Indian Scenario. For the fulfillment of the basic objectives, data for the study were collected through field survey. Information about the profile of tourism industry includes hotels, guest houses, number of rooms, number of persons employed, etc., as well as the profile of the tourists. The collected data has been analyzed using different statistical methods, Wilcoxon Pair Ranked Model used for Gap analysis. This study indicates how to develop and upgrade the rural tourism destinations by proper utilization of tourism infrastructural amenities in the area as well as active participation by public private initiatives and local resource utilization. This study is relevant for balancing the demand and supply of tourism infrastructural requirement indicators, which can offer service excellence.
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1. Introduction

Tourism turns the largest industry worldwide in terms of employment and gross domestic product. The tourism industry has been growing rapidly as well as changing at a fast pace. West Bengal is a land of splendid destination with rich cultural heritage, historical heritage, flora and fauna, spectacular beaches and mountains and wildlife. There are a few states in India with the variety that West Bengal has offered. Tourism has various dimensions in various aspects like economic, social, demographic, technological, geographical, cultural, natural, and so many fields. The attractions of tourists have been growing up on the above stated types of dimensions. Tourism now has laid down emphasis on the rural areas. In the context of socio-economic objectives it is necessary to take vital steps which are constructive and positive. Tourism is also an employment oriented sector. It is estimated that hotel and catering sector provide more than 10% of the total employment generated by the tourism industry. There is an opportunity which supplies various goods, needed for tourism product may be in the position to open avenues of employment. Rural parts generally following kinds of products are available viz. historical, heritage, natural based, medication based, religious based, cultural based and manmade. Which have got a great potential with respect development of tourism, also if certain constraint are removed this could be developed to their fullest excellent and there are certain great examples and certainly few countries where it will be showing public and political will these things have been made possible. All of them religious and historical type of rural tourism products are given much space for rural development. (Trivedi et. al., 2005). In India we observe that there is tourist congestion in urban, religious and historical sites and simultaneously innumerable tourist sites remain unknown and unnoticed in the rural belts of our country. This paper has observed that a tourist site, which was, once located in extreme rural location has come to limelight due to its historical importance or publicity by the local government and they have developed into a tourist village with variety of improvements in civic amenities, road and rail connection, hospitality and cottage industry. This has in turn bought immense change in the local economy in terms of growth of handicraft industry, employment, life style of the local population, etc.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Rural Tourism: Tourism that focuses on actively participating in a rural lifestyle. It can be a variant of ecotourism. Many rural villages can facilitate tourism because many villagers are hospitable and eager to welcome (and sometime even host) visitors. Agriculture is becoming highly mechanized and therefore, requires less manual labor. This trend is causing economic pressure on some villages, which in turn causes young people to move to urban areas. There is however, a segment of the urban population that is interested in visiting the rural areas and understanding the lifestyle. This segment in the tourism industry has been rapidly growing in the past decade, leading to rural tourism becoming not just a good business prospect, but a genuine vacation trend.

Tourist: Someone who travels for pleasure and recreation and exchange of culture.

Tourism: A social, cultural and economic phenomenon related to the movement of people to places outside their usual place of residence. Tourism comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying 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.

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