Pro-Poor Development through Tourism in Economically Backward Tribal Region of Odisha, India

Pro-Poor Development through Tourism in Economically Backward Tribal Region of Odisha, India

Soumendra Nath Biswas (Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM), India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5154-8.ch007
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Abstract

In India, tourism plays an important role in economic development and creation of jobs. The Approach Paper of the 12th Five Year Plan prepared by the Planning Commission highlights the need to adopt “pro-poor tourism” for increasing net benefits to the poor and ensuring that tourism growth contributes to poverty eradication. Tourism plays a key role in socio-economic progress through creation of jobs, enterprise, infrastructure, and revenue earnings. The Planning Commission has identified tourism as the second largest sector in the country in providing employment opportunities for low-skilled workers. Odisha has a large tribal population: out of India's 427 Scheduled Tribes, Odisha accounts for 62 tribal communities who constitute 27.08 percent of the state's population (2001). Of the 62 Scheduled Tribes, the state has declared 11 tribal communities as Primitive Tribal Groups. Each of these tribal communities is rich in social institutions and poor in economy. Achieving poverty eradication requires actions on a variety of complementary fronts and scales, but a prerequisite of significant progress is pro-poor growth – growth that benefits the poor tribal community. This chapter explores these.
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Executive Summary

Attempts have been made in this study to examine the economy and sustainable development to the poorest of the poor tribal community of Odisha. This article begins with the meaning, and importance of Pro-poor Tourism for the socio-economic development of the indigenous groups in the state. Sustainable Socio-economic development in the tribal regions is the central idea of this article. Key issue of this paper is to find out the way for economic development of this indigenous people followed by the social development to fight against the biggest internal security threat from Maoist in India.

Tourism in recent years has developed into one of the world’s largest industries and a major engine for economic growth. Globally, tourism is a 3 billion dollar a day business that all countries at all levels can potentially benefit from. The sector is one of the world’s biggest sources of jobs and export earnings, and it can be a primary vehicle for job creation, enhanced development, trade promotion, economic recovery and the transformation towards a greener economy.

According to UNWTO, inbound tourism has become one of the world’s major trade categories, as an internationally traded service. The overall export income generated by inbound tourism, including passenger transport, exceeded US$ 1.2 trillion in 2011, or US$ 3.4 billion a day on average. Tourism exports account for as much as 30% of the world’s exports of commercial services and 6% of overall exports of goods and services. Globally, as an export category, tourism ranks fourth after fuels, chemicals and food. For many developing countries it is one of the main sources of foreign exchange income and the number one export category, creating much needed employment and opportunities for development.

Tourism has great significance to developing countries. But is it important in those countries with the highest proportion of poor people? Analysis of tourism data shows that in most countries with high levels of poverty, tourism is significant or growing. Tourism is therefore a fact of life for many of the world’s poor people. A reduction in world poverty is an internationally agreed priority and targets have been set to halve poverty by the year 2015.

In India, Tourism plays an important role in economic development and creation of jobs. The Approach Paper of the 12th Five Year Plan prepared by the Planning Commission highlights the need to adopt “pro-poor tourism” for increasing net benefits to the poor and ensuring that tourism growth contributes to poverty reduction. According to Biswas (2012), Tourism plays a key role in socio-economic progress through creation of jobs, enterprise, infrastructure and revenue earnings. The Planning Commission has identified tourism as the second largest sector in the country in providing employment opportunities for low-skilled workers.

The term ‘tribe’ originated from the Latin word ‘tribus’, which means a particular kind of social and political organisation existing in traditional societies of Africa, America, Oceania and Asia. The word ‘tribe’ was used by the Europeans who in their view led a primitive way of life. In India in the colonial period, British people were used this term for their ‘divide and rule’ policy. Because the tribes were not having developed language, religion or social organisation and so they were different people.

In India especially in Odishan context the word ‘tribe’ has several usages. Here the word ‘Jana’ was used for these tribal people. These so called ‘Janas’ or pre-Aryan people were said to inhabit the plains and river valleys of the main land and in course of time, due to the pressure of the outsiders or superior societies, were compelled to move to inaccessible areas. As a result of this perhaps, the tribes have been physically and emotionally associated with such remote and inaccessible areas at present. Besides the term ‘Janas’, there are other term like ‘Adivasi’ (original settlers), ‘Girijana’ (hill-dwellers), ‘Vanyajati’ (forest castes), ‘Adimjati’ (Primitive casts), ‘Janajati’ (folk communities), ‘Anusuchit Janajati’ (Scheduled tribes) etc. usually used for the tribes in Indian context. In Odisha, the term ‘Adivasi’ is mostly used for them (Pati & Dash, 2002).

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