Tourism in Rajasthan: Challenges & Proposals
Abstract: Rajasthan State is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in India and has a prominent place on the world tourist map. It has varied tourist attractions for both domestic & international tourists. Rajasthan, which is a premier tourist destination, attracts tourists for its historical forts, palaces, art and culture. In the world scenario also, tourism has emerged as the biggest industry and possesses great employment potential. The boost in tourist arrivals has resulted in the swift growth of the tourism sector in Rajasthan. The growth of the tourism sector has resulted in employment generation, foreign exchange earnings, development of infrastructure facilities, capital investment, socio-economic growth, increase in the contribution to GDP and so on. This paper is an effort to understand the perspective of tourism in the economic development of Rajasthan and identify the factors influencing the growth of tourism. It also identifies the challenges and opportunities of tourism development in Rajasthan
The tourism industry in Rajasthan is a very important economic activity, which has a direct and indirect impact on the economic, social and cultural life of the people. This industry has many benefits to the state in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment generation, increase standard of living, regional development, promotion of international understanding, conservation of local arts and crafts etc. The State Government has already realized the potential of this industry for economic development in the state and has adopted various measures to promote tourism in the state. The popular slogan, “Padharo Mhare Desh”, means Rajasthan invites and welcomes tourists. The Government of Rajasthan and the private sector both are engaged in the development of the tourism industry. The Department of Tourism in Rajasthan mainly relates to exploring new places, planning and developing new areas, advertisement and motivational activities to enhance the tourism industry; similarly, the private sector generates employment by investment in already developed and new potential areas. All these activities increase the income level of society and help in economic growth and development. But it has been observed that the potential of the tourism industry in Rajasthan has not been fully utilized as it was expected to be. Before discussing the problems, it would be worth to glimpse at the growth of tourism in Rajasthan.
Over the last two decades, Rajasthan has emerged as one of the the leading state in India and the state was the third preference of tourists after Goa and Kerala as travelled destinations in India.Rajasthan is a natural choice for international and domestic tourists. The rate of growth of domestic tourism is expected to be 7% while that of foreign tourists, is likely to be 5% as per the studies conducted by “TCS Projections” up to the year 2020. At present, the state economy-industry sector contributes 32.5% agriculture sector and 22.5%. The service sector is 45% while tourism contributes 15%.
The objectives of the present study are as follows:
- To identify the hurdles and problems in the development of tourism in Rajasthan.
- To suggest measures to overcome the problems and hurdles in the way of proper development of tourism in Rajasthan and to suggest further measures for development.
- To evaluate the role of government agencies in the development of tourism in Rajasthan.
- Tourism potential has not been fully utilized in the state of Rajasthan.
- State government and government agencies have not played an effective role in exploiting the tourism potential of the State.
Poor Conveyance System:
The poor conveyance system is a crucial problem in the development of tourism in Rajasthan. Though the famous tourist destinations are having well connectivity, there are so many spots of tourist importance where adequate and proper conveyance facilities are not available. Most of them are unidentified due to this reason. Besides, in urban and semi-urban areas the traffic system is not proper or even in miserable condition. Most of the roads are not well maintained.
Inadequate advertisement and weak publicity of many important tourist destinations are the major problems. Tourists are not well-informed about attractions of a particular destination, accommodation facilities available and other services of their interest; all these adversely affect the tourism and revenue in Rajasthan. Now State Government is serious in this regard and a systematic advertisement system has been adopted.
In the last few years, domestic, as well as foreign tourists, are attracted to Rajasthan, but the accommodation facilities are not increasing accordingly. Seasonal pressure of tourists also cause price hike; this situation adversely affect the budget of tourists, and they are forced to cut their stay in Rajasthan. Now Government of Rajasthan has taken a policy decision to promote the hotel industry and many relaxation and incentives have been announced for the hotel industry.
Non Availability of Tourists Reception Centers:
Whenever a tourist comes to visit Rajasthan he wants someone to guide him properly, but in place of proper guidance, he is often misguided by strangers because there is not the facility of Tourists Reception Center. Though the Government of Rajasthan has established TRCs at important tourist destinations, these TRCs are facing the problems of understaffing. Sometimes the TRCs personnel does not have proper information about touristic attractions.
Insufficient Communications Facility:
The present time is known as Information and Communication Technology time, but in Rajasthan, ICT facilities are in poor condition. Most of the area is out of this service. Tourists, especially foreigners, find difficulty calling their natives or accessing a site. It has been found that many times they leave their tour without completing it due to poor communication facilities.
Rajasthan is a deserted land, most of the area is under the desert. The hot and dry climate does not suit tourists. They visit the land in winter. Thus, the problem of seasonal business arises. Hoteliers curtail the staff due to the down season. The staff and the persons who are directly and indirectly associated with the tourism industry face part-time unemployment problems. They have to depend on other sources of earnings. The seasonal business cause losses to the government as well as others.
Keeping in view the higher earnings, especially from foreign tourists, the State Government charges high tariffs from foreign tourists. We can see this price discrimination in many places, for instance, while visiting heritages, national parks, zoos or even using cameras, foreign tourists are charged higher rates. This practice should be banned because it hears them, and we should not forget that we have invited them.
Problems of the Officials of RTDC:
Shortage of funds and facilities, instability of tourism policies, lack of training for human resource development, lack of coordination, lack of professionalism in policies formulations, shortage of professional in RTDC, poor innovativeness in marketing, Lack of personnel at TRCs and hotel units, impediment from local people, insufficient communication with travel agencies, non-cooperation of travel agents and absence of performance evaluation etc. are some of the major problems associated with RTDC.
Proposal for Tourism in Rajasthan:
Rajasthan is a natural choice for international and domestic tourists. The rate of growth of domestic tourism is expected to be 7% while that of foreign tourists, is likely to be 5% as per the studies conducted by “TCS Projections” up to the year 2020.
At present, in the state, economy-The industry sector contributes 32.5% agriculture sector and 22.5%. The service sector is 45% while tourism contributes 15%. Several industry drivers such as government initiatives, diverse product offerings, growing economy, Increasing disposable income levels and marketing initiatives along with key trends such as an increasing number of women and senior citizen tourists, multiple short trips and weekend holidays, and innovation of innovative tourism concepts and tour packages are playing a pivotal role in shaping the Indian tourism sector. The number of tourists is increasing day by day in Rajasthan. A key attributable reason for the success of tourism in the State is the increasing investments in the tourism sector. The Government of Rajasthan allotted Rs. 167 crores for the tourism sector for the financial year 2017-18. In the budget 2018-19, the State government has given a relaxation of 50% on stamp duty while purchasing tourism property. At Mahi Project in Banswara district, the government has announced to expend 10 crore rupees for the development of 100 islands and Rs.2crore in other districts for the development of historical and cultural places which are important from the point of view of tourism. Besides, Rs.33 crore, 25 lacs on conservation of the 19 monuments. The State Government has allotted Rs 7 crore for the development of Mangarh Dham.
The entertainment and tourism units which were getting the benefit of tax rebates under entertainment tax and luxury tax before GST, such units will get GST-based benefits. Lastly, tourism is known as the smokeless industry. Rajasthan has been endowed by nature, historical and cultural heritages, young and hardworking generation. The State Government has taken the tourism sector under priority all these indicate that though there are many problems and hurdles in the development of the tourism sector, the prospects are very high. The Government of Rajasthan and RTDC have the primary responsibility for tourism development, but the RTDC himself is suffering from the problem of a shortage of staff. Many RTDC units are in losses. Their working and operations are not proper. Now it is the duty of the government to fulfil staff, improve infrastructure, aggressive advertisement policy, effective marketing strategy, relaxation in taxes, and control over malpractices then certainly it will attract foreign as well as a domestic tourists to the State and the tourism industry in Rajasthan will be greatly flourished.
Opportunities for the Tourism Industry in Rajasthan
Tourism in Rajasthan is one of the fast-growing industries. There are many tourism products in the state which attract tourists such as forts and palaces, shopping, safari tours, wildlife sanctuary parks, heritage and pilgrimage places, lakes in Rajasthan and many more. There are many popular tourist destinations in the state which attract tourists from India and abroad including historic cities (Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner), wildlife centuries (Sariska Ranthambore, Keoladeo) and desert locations (Jodhpur, Jaisalmer). Jaipur and other cities of Rajasthan have developed some unique selling propositions to attract domestic and foreign tourists. Some of the hotels of Rajasthan are providing traditional food in a very traditional style. The state runs the “Palace on Wheels, ‘Heritage on Wheels and the luxury train ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, which is a famous attraction for foreign tourists. The government can promote medical tourism by providing super speciality medical facilities at a cheaper rate the government can also develop infrastructural facilities for promoting camp tourism and eco-friendly nature tourism. If efforts are made by RTDC to promote tourism, by means of adopting a better marketing strategy, and providing services at a cheaper and reasonable rate compared to that being provided by the other countries, then definitely the inflows of foreign tourists will go up from the present level. If this is achieved, then the tourism industry in Rajasthan will be greatly benefitted. Thus, it can be said that the tourism industry in Rajasthan is a very important economic activity, which has a direct and indirect impact on the economic, social and cultural life of the people.
Tourism is a triadic composition of social, natural and the cultural phenomenon, which is emerging as the world’s largest employment generating industry. Tourism in Rajasthan offer many unique products such as forts and palaces, heritage hotels, colorful fairs and festivals, local art and handicrafts. The total number of foreign tourist arrivals in the state has increased. It showed an increasing trend except few years during the study period. No doubt tourism industry in Rajasthan suffers some social and environmental problems. Though it is true that
the state government is giving concentration both on the development of the tourism and activities related to tourism industry in Rajasthan.
- Manisha Sharma
Tourism in Rajasthan: Problems and Prospects
- Seema Choudhary1 , Dr.S. B. Yadav 2
Role of Tourism in Economic Development of Rajasthan
- Vikram Singh Dhodhliya
Rajasthan Rural Tourism
National Government / State Government
htpp:// www. Incredibleindia.org.; tourism.gov.in;