Urban and Rural Ecotourism in and Around Bolpur: A Study of Destination Marketing and Challenges – Ecotourism Practices in West Bengal, India

Urban and Rural Ecotourism in and Around Bolpur: A Study of Destination Marketing and Challenges – Ecotourism Practices in West Bengal, India

Debasish Batabyal (Amity University Kolkata, India) and Dillip Kumar Das (University of Burdwan, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8494-0.ch005

Abstract

Bolpur is a district town in Birbhum, West Bengal. This place is famous for Viswabharti in Shanti Niketan where a new school of thought was initiated by Rabindranath Tagore. Later on, the place became an epicenter for Bengali education and culture. Though the place has other noteworthy academic and cultural records, this place has immense scope for urban and rural ecotourism. With the blend of rural Bengal and its rich artistic and spiritual exuberance, Birbhum offers a lot. Now, as a mean of entrepreneurship and employment, ecotourism can provide the local people with new alternative scope and opportunities. This chapter is an attempt to revisit and reorganize destination Bolpur with a sustainable marketing orientation for ecotourism. Further attempt is also made to support industry leaders and tourism academicians interested to invest or study for business and commerce. Familiarization trip has been conducted along with a survey for the tourists to better understand their expectations and perceptions.
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Review Of Literature

Ecotourism is often considered to be a potential strategy to support conservation of natural ecosystems while at the same time, promoting sustainable development (Ross & Wall; 1999). Ecotourism is usually considered to be more than just tourism to natural areas. The notion of ecotourism was initially developed in 1987 by Ceballos-Lascurain who defined ecotourism as an experience of ‘travelling to relatively undisturbed areas with the specific objective of studying, admiring, and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals as well as any existing cultural manifestation found in these areas’ (Boo, 1990). The definition by WTO also falls in this category. World Tourism Organisation (WTO, 1993) defined ecotourism as, ‘tourism that involves travelling to relatively undisturbed areas with the specific objective of studying, admiring, and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals as well as any existing cultural manifestation found in these areas’.

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