Govt focuses on rural tourism

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Chennai, May 8: Marketing nativity by simulating the rural environment is the latest trend to woo tourists, both domestic and foreign.

Cashing in on this fast growing segment, the Tamil Nadu Government had decided to promote rural tourism in natural settings and give visiting tourists a feel of the traditional village atmosphere.

Moving the demand for grants for his department, Tourism Minister N Suresh Rajan said the concept of rural tourism would be promoted by involving villagers, who would own the entire project.

''Rural tourism could not have any impact in an artificial atmosphere as anything created out of deliberate design will lose its natural flavour and fade into insignificance'', he said.

To give a fillip to the rural ambience, the tourism department would erect an arch at the entrance of each village, welcoming the visitors. ''The design will be totally ethnic, depicting the rural features with a natural flavour.'' Mr Suresh Rajan said the tourists would be taken in bullock carts, the traditional mode of transport in rural areas, around the village.

''Houses designed with natural backdrop will be the resting places for tourists, where they will be served with sweet rural cuisines or the healthy ragi gruel, as a starter drink and its preparation will be demonstrated to them,'' he said.

This would help the tourists, especially the foreign tourists, to understand the typical Tamil village traditions Mr Rajan added.

Lunch would be served in traditional manner on banana leaf with typical village preparations. ''After lunch, they will have a siesta in the rope cot (a typical village cot), before moving out for the evening experience.'' The Minister said places near the tourist destination would be identified and developed under rural tourism. As a first step, Kadambadi village near the tourist resort of Mamallapuram in Kancheepuram district would be taken up for development.

A documentary film on rural tourism, highlighting both inland and foreign tourism meets, would be made to give more insight to the tourists.


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