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: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6543-9.ch012

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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2. Literature Survey

Tourism studies turned its attention to ‘alternative’ forms of tourism, suggesting that these were more likely to overcome the exploitative dimensions of mass tourism in developing countries (Lea 1993; Brohman 1996; Khan 1997). The ‘pro-poor tourism’ (PPT) approach can be seen as an attempt to take these questions into account and to target the benefits of tourism more directly towards poverty reduction (Brown & Hall 2008). According to Negi (1990) the attractions in rural areas are enjoyment of rural scenery, the desire for open space, quiet and peace of mind, rural sports like hunting, fishing, ethnic attractions like folk life, custom, food, drinks, and festivals, educational and historical attractions like castles, churches, temples and monasteries etc. According to Jennet Hanshall (2000) “describes that Rural area is that rural tourism uses the country side as resources, which is associated with the search by urban dweller for tranquility and space for outdoor recreation rather than being specifically liked to nature.” Bramwell and Lane (1994) point out that “Rural tourism is a multifaceted activity. It is not just farm based tourism. It includes farm based holidays but also comprises special interest nature holidays and ecotourism, walking, climbing, riding, adventure, sports & health tourism, hunting, and angling, educational travel, arts & heritage tourism & in some areas ethnic tourism .”Tourists participate in creation of sales, profits, jobs, returns and income. Tourism is characterized by the fact that consumption takes place where the service is provided (Steenwegen, 2003), and the economic impact of tourism is an important factor of national, regional and public planning and economic development. Focusing on the demand side as several authors have pointed out (Page & Getz 1997, Sharpley & Sharpley, 1997), the recent trends in tourism lead to shift from standardized mass tourism to more individualistic patterns, which look for a more meaningful experience. In this sense the emergent rural tourist segment has varied motivations, which might include ecological uniqueness, cultural attractions, special adventures opportunities or the peace and quiet of the countryside. This represents a unique opportunity for rural operator, who can established network of different service providers to maximize opportunity and offer a diverse range of activities (Briedenhann & Wickens 2004).

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