A country like India with it’s diversity can best be covered in clusters of tourists spots grouped together so that they are well connected for all travelers, especially international travelers and more especially repeat travelers.
Circuits can be developed within a state or between two states. Inter-state circuits could be based on various themes or on effective transport connectivity. What we mostly see is intra-state circuit tourism development. For example Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala states are individual success stories. Other state are also doing their part like Uttarakhand is promoting ChardhamPilgrimage Circuit with the help of private participation. The state of Gujarat plans to develop Kuch and Junagarh regions, West Bengal has identified circuits in the north Bengal region covering Dooars and places like Lava, Lolegaon, Bishnupur, Bankura, Tarapith and Shantiniketan and also historical places like Murshidabad and Plassey. Thus there could be various types of circuits i.e.
1. Religious Circuit
2. Freedom Movement Circuit
3. Tribal Circuit
4. Harappan Circuit
5. Heritage Circuit
6. Art and Crafts Circuit
7. Wildlife Circuit
8. Island Circuits
The Golden Triangle circuit i.e. Delhi – Agra – Jaipur has been India’s golden ace to attract international and domestic tourists alike for long. However India has not created more popular circuits that this in past. As is proved else where in the world that there comes a time when innovation must be called upon to stay fresh and have instant recall.
The Tourism circuits have all the advantages. They can be designed both within a state and between states. Unfortunately, India hasn’t exploited this enough as a result of which it either has the same old circuits to promote or has newer ones but with a weak foundation. Circuit Tourism was strongly advocated by IATO and has recommended that the country should create more well designed, well developed and well marketed tourism circuits that can be offered as a complete product to travelers.
Repeat visitors to India are aware of the rich cultural and ethnic bio-diversity that we have to offer, but are often disappointed with their second and third trip to less developed parts of the country because it entails uncomfortable journeys and bad connectivity. After a long haul international flight and long waiting in the immigration visitors do not want to spend hours traveling within the country. The key drivers of tourism circuits are accessibility, connectivity and infrastructure. Once these are in place, effective marketing can bring the circuit onto the World Tourist Map.
Difficulties in creation of newer circuit:
• The circuits are in proposal stage. • Implementation depends on Ministers or bureaucrats. • Short duration of authorities like MD’s of Tourism Corporation or Secretaries of Tourism Department. Constant shuffling of bureaucrats affects long term circuit development plans. • Lack of political will to get things moving. • Inconsistent, piecemeal and half hearted approach by the state tourism boards to see a proposal and project through. • MoU’s between states are not taken seriously. • Lack of infrastructure support and connectivity which is the most vital component for the success of any circuit. • PPP model needs to aggressively take off for any circuit to be a success. Tourism stakeholders from to private sector need to support the public sector for a proposed circuit and deliver a policy programme on time. • Too much contemplation, less on action.
Previous attempts to create intra state Tourism Circuit like Mowgli trail that was to connect forests in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra on the lines of Jungle Book. The project kicked...