Tourism in the rural areas is one of the new opportunities that are being created for those dwelling there. They have the resources, the manpower, the basic skill &expertise in terms of hospitality and a down-to-earth approach that is in sharp contrast with the five star culture of tourism in city areas. The rural residents have a scope and potential to present a very pleasant and exciting change from traditional tourism which tourist are finding jaded and therefore have begun exploring new vistas of adventure and experience. Rural tourism, of which, agri-tourism is also a part, can attract tourist to rural communities for a form of relaxation that follows the growing trend of tourism that is both educational and relaxing. It is another option for farmers wanting to diversify their farming operations that will bring more economic activity to rural areas. It cannot be doubted that rural areas have undergone substantial transformation in the past few decades and that they are receiving influences of urban activities which have transformed them in spaces that are not restricted to agriculture production. Tourism in rural areas can be considered a promising alternative for increasing employment and income levels for rural residents, provided not only by the sector itself, but by other closely related activities such a commerce and services. As a matter of fact, the whole rural community ends up as a beneficiary of the improvements brought about by tourism implementation, which can be expressed as a better provision of infrastructure and public services.
OPPORTUNITIES IN RURAL TOURISM
Fig- opportunities in rural tourism
At the heart of rural tourism is farm based experience. Associated with these are a range of experience that the tourist enjoy because they are imbued with the rural character of the place. The above figure shows that within the rural tourism sphere, agri or farm tourism is a clearly defined subset of tourism experiences. The landscape and culture created by agriculture is at the core of tourist interest. Human habitation and tamed nature are the essences. These tourists are the easiest to identify and hence to develop marketing strategy for, because their choice of experience is firmly grounded in farm based experiences. Within the enveloping sphere more general characterization applies. Rural tourism is any tourist activity that takes place in the countryside. The landscape, culture and activities available are the essence. The general nature of this definition is not terribly useful from a marketing point of view, so additional classification criteria need to be brought to bear if segmentation of the market is to be achieved. This provides a logical framework within which to think about marketing, planning and management of rural tourism. The overlapping ellipses indicate that other forms of tourism can be a part of the whole experience package whilst in rural areas. However, if they are the principal motivation of the visit, the tourist should not be classified as a rural tourist. In these cases, the geographical context has little relevance to the tourist’s experience seeking behavior. For example, it is quite possible for gastronomic or adventure tourism to take place in a rural landscape, but the principal motivation of the tourist will actually determine if they are rural tourists. Calling a visitor a rural tourist simply on the basis of their geographical location is as absurd as describing visitors to cities, city tourist. What defines rural tourism is inherently the intent of the tourist in seeking out a rural experience. For these tourists it is the rural character of the places that is the attraction, and it is these characteristics that help us to define rural tourism experiences, not just experiences in rural places. Agri-Tourism
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