Community Tourism

To enhance the value consciousness of a destination, engagement of local communities in the tourism sector is shaping the Community Tourism social initiative of Unexplored Bastar. This initiative has created opportunities for self-employment of the local youth giving them an alternative income source with the development of their interpersonal skills. 

Tourism, in recent times, has rapidly increased and evolved as an economic activity. The engagement of host societies through the means of “Community Tourism” is giving a new direction to the scope of tourism. A balance between the economic stability, environment, and the community creates the base for Community-based Tourism (CBT).

  • Community
  • Economic Stability
  • Environment

Why local communities?

To create a link between the tourist and the community, Unexplored Bastar has been working tirelessly in the field of tourism since 2016. It works on the model of social entrepreneurship where the community plays a pivotal role at the grass-root level. With an objective to create awareness about the local culture and heritage, local communities act as the mirror for the tourists.

Local communities engaging with foreign tourists

To showcase the natural beauty and further conserve it, local communities act as the guardians of their respective places. They work as tourist guides to acquaint tourists with the untold history of Bastar and its hidden beauty. All this enhances the experience of a traveller. The local communities are well trained in the tourism and hospitality sector by a non-profit organization, APS. APS has trained the youth of the local communities to take care of all the services that need to be provided to the tourists. Almost 250 youngsters have been trained at Bastar, Chitrakote, Dantewada, Dholkal, Palnaar, Barsoor and Kondagaon. These trained youth have been then linked to the market through Unexplored Bastar through the initiative named “Paryatak Mitra” where these local youth have formed Self Help Groups (SHGs). Hence, in short, Unexplored Bastar acts as an indirect link between the communities and the niche market, i.e, tourists from local periphery, nearby cities, from connected cities and foreigners.

  • Niche Market
  • 2016-17
    ( Number Of Youth engaged in Toursism)
    ( SHG’s Functioning)
  • 2017-18
    ( Number Of Youth engaged in Toursism)
    ( SHG’s Functioning)
  • 2018-19
    ( Number Of Youth engaged in Toursism)
    ( SHG’s Functioning)

With the support of the District Administration of Bastar and Dantewada, Unexplored Bastar has actively framed the outline for the initiative of Community Tourism. The trends of tourism and the reforms/initiatives made for sustainable options in tourism are very well implemented by the administration through the local communities. Hence, Unexplored Bastar acts as a link between the administration and the local communities. The assessment of these initiatives is also looked up by Unexplored Bastar.

Economic stability of SHGs functioning as Paryatak Mitra

Paryatak Mitra:

“Paryatak Mitra” are the real change-makers in this initiative of Community Tourism. “Paryatak Mitra” offer their guiding services, provide assistance in camping and trekking, familiarize tourists to the culture of Bastar and also maintain tribal homestays. Apart from their regular work of guiding, parking and cleanliness, they participate fully in creating awareness of culture and identification of new places from a touristic point of view.  Being in the tourism sector, Paryatak Mitra is now open to the process of socialization. Visiting a number of people has broadened their perspective towards life and culture. They have learnt many life skills like time management, the importance of discipline and importantly developed the habit to question “why, how and when”. Many-a-times, Paryatak Mitra have been appreciated for their hospitality and engagement with the travellers.

  • Guiding
  • Trekking And Camping
  • Maintaning Homestay
  • Serving Local Food
  • Awareness About The Culture
Why, how, when questions of Paryatak Mitra

Impact of Community Tourism:

The migration of local youth to the urban and metropolis were doing no good to the cultural identity. So to preserve the natural beauty and conserve the cultural heritage, Unexplored Bastar linked communities with the sustainable tourism model. Tourism acts as an alternative income source for the youth and offers a mutually enriching experience to the tourists. This further gives a boost to the regional economy and the overall economic stability of the region has improved.

Hence, Community Tourism brings the following impacts in the society-

  • Boost in regional economy
  • Control in diaspora dispersion
  • Sustainable tourism model
  • Preservation of natural beauty and conservation of cultural heritage
  • Enriching experience to travellers

Case Studies:

Heeralal Karma – Dholkal Tourism Group

Heeralal Karma, the Secretary of Dholkal Tourism Group, is a very lively boy. Belonging to the Gond tribe, Heeralal manages the activities of the tourism group. Decision-making and assignment of different roles to all the team members are very well co-ordinated by him. Dholkal Tourism Group engages a traveller by assisting in trekking, camping, village visit and also manages the homestays. Under the leadership of Heeralal, Dholkal Tourism Group has enhanced their economy rate at a rapid pace.

Girls of Bastar Tourism Group at Chitrakote Adventure Camp

Talking about women empowerment, Bastar Tourism Group is the only tourism group functional here totally handled and operated by the girls. It must be noted that Bastar Tourism Group handles the maximum tourist inflow of Unexplored Bastar. Managing all the logistics and arrangements at Chitrakote Adventure Camp, these girls are rocking till date. The exotic dishes prepared by them compels tourists to visit again and again.

Initiatives taken so far:

– Making plastic free zones

– Conservation of archaeological sites

– Timely skill development of Paryatak Mitra through exposure trips

– Exploration of new places

– Monthly record keeping of tourists

Plans for future:

– Local food exploration

– Identification of local products and linking them with market

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