Friday, October 19, 2018


PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG :
Friends, I am trying to bring  all organisations & individuals  engaged in the ruraltourism space , big or small,across India, under one umbrella, A task long time due.This is not only to hand hold,but to share and sustain the efforts .It is also now very important  that we influence our governments at both center and state to use rural tourism as a tool   to mend the ailing backbone of our villages. An initiative to  find economic development to nearly 70 % of India. Providing basics.




The concept of Agri and Rural Tourism as a means to mend the breaking backbone of Indian villages hit me as early as early 80's. The meaningful stint at UN  strengthened the idea. Understanding development helped me see the issue and a possible solution on the same plate. Thank god there were no government takers for my ideas that I was forced to make it  my business. But that was the time any development initiative needed external funding. INDeco was born.INDIA ECOLOGY. The hotel business became the finder and development became the mission. Today, both exist in humble harmony. A redefinition to the hospitality business had to evolve. Here it is no more suited, booted western diction and style. The mission has redefined the business and emerged a winner too. Beyond the call, the word 'DEVELOPMENT' has passed several avatars and has now settled in 'RESPONSIBLE'. From a well understood global word POVERTY.the mission redefines the word DEVELOPMENT. It is no more UNDERPRIVILEGED, MAL NUTRITION, UNEMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, and LOCAL MATERIAL et al. It is today something very beautiful. It aims at offering EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES to all. It is not about money and alms. It was SELF HELP. It is about marrying local talent to external demand. And the span of this business engulfed many areas..most beautiful ones changing the rhythm of the business. Now it is all about a never ending long list. Art, culture, lifestyle, Traditional Practices, Information, Heritage, Local Food,Vernacular Architecture,Ecology,Culture,Museums,Conservation,Education, Publication,Documentation- the list may sound like departments of an institution. But I must admit they are. They come out of a University called PASSION.A business that evolved out of what the rural communities KNOW,HAVE & DO.

Steve Borgia @ the TED Talk



We all know that if India has to sustain the highly demanding Tourism Inbound market,  as a country  our strategy, policy and projects will have to look at the niche products more seriously than now. And also find continuity in doing that.  Thank God, we are traditionally  known to the world as a  Heritage country and truly we are blessed with more than enough of tangible and intangible  assets to sustain that title for a long long time. This is in spite of all the destruction we have brought about in the last one hundred years or so. While our attention has already turned towards Eco-tourism, Responsible Tourism, heritage tourism ,Sustainable tourism and  their criteria, it’s time we focus  on  rural tourism too. The UNEP’s rural tourism attempt in India in  the late 90’s was nearly a wash out. Unfortunately that was an United Nations approach. The social work route. Fortunately ,a few of us looked at rural tourism not only as an economic tool to improve the percapita income of the rural  communities but also to protect, preserve their life style, art, culture, cuisine etc, looking at them as an ideal product for inbound tourists. As a pioneer in rural tourism INDeco and its allied companies and Trusts have made serious inroads and has today converted the initiative into not only as accountable ,successful  businesses model but as very lucrative one for both the local communities and the venturing  entrepreneur and  the well meaning hoteliers. Today, the world is seeing the trend and what sustainable and rural tourism can do to  our  economies.





AGRI and RURALTOURISM :
AGRI AND RURALTOURISM  ESTABLISHES  SENSITIVE, RESPONSIBLE, ECOLOGICAL  AND SUSTAINABLE  TOURISM BUSINESSES AND INITIATIVES IN  RURAL REGIONS  ACTING AS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOL.
AGRI AND RURALTOURISM  PRACTICES LOW IMPACT, EDUCATIONAL, ECOLOGICAL AND CULTURALLY SENSITIVE HOSPITALITY BUSINESS THAT BENEFITS LOCAL COMMUNITIES, THE TRAVELLER AND HOST COUNTRIES. OFFER ECONOMICAL AND SOCIAL BENEFIT, EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES TO THE RURAL  PEOPLE. IT ALSO  PROTECTs  NATURE, HERITAGE, ART, CULTURE, BELIEFS, LIFESTYLE AND PRACTICES…ALL WITHIN THE FRAME WORK OF WHAT THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES KNOW, HAVE AND DO.
                                                                            

NEED FOR POPULARIZING AND NETWORKING AGRI AND RURAL TOURISM :
Sustainable and Rural Tourism on a global upward trend. And most economies have realized the benefits it can bring to rural communities and natural resources at large. There needs to be a concerned effort in popularizing Agri and Rural Tourism. Efforts have to be on networking and skilling .

NEED FOR AGRI AND RURAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION:
Currently there are a handful of rural tourism establishments in India. Some left behind by the UNEP initiative, some from the agri-tourism organisations and many from the NGO social work organisations perspective. Now there is a need to bring them all together and orient them with the tourism focus.
And to look at the initiative with more accountability than as social work. And then the association can mentor the members and bring them into the mainstream and work in tangent with the government initiative.

WHAT CAN ARTI DO FOR YOU, YOUR WORK, OUR VILLAGES & THE COUNTRY :
1.Pollinate information.
2.Voice to the industry
3.Seminars and Conferences
4.Spread the good word.
5.Annual Conventions
6.International Learning
7.Assist Government to look at AARTI as an economic development tool for rural development.

FOUNDING MEMBERS:
The following have come together to found AARTI and  guide AARTI to arrive for the purpose for which it is being founded.

1.


Mr. Steve Borgia

Founder - AARTI (Association for Agri and RuralTourism in India)
CMD - INDeco Leisure Hotels Pvt Ltd
Founder member and President - EcoTourism Society Of India (ESOI)
Vice President - Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA)






2. 




Mr. Satyajeet Rajan IAS

Director General (Tourism) - Government of India (or) Nominee










3.





Padmabushan Shri. S K Misra IAS (Retd)
Former Principal Secretary to the then Prime Minister
Former Chairman - INTACH
Chairman - Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development (ITRHD)








4.





Mr. Sujit Banarjee IAS (Retd)
Former Union Secretary - Ministry for Tourism
Government of India






5.









Mr. Madan Bezbaruah IAS (Retd)
Former Secretary - Ministry for Tourism
Government of India
Honorary Permanent Representative - UNWTO






6.




    Mr Jose Dominic
    CEO - CGH Earth Group






7.





Professor Dr. Nimit Chowdhary 
Professor and Head
Department of Tourism, Hotel, Hospitality, and Heritage Studies
Jamia Millia Islamia (A Central University) - New Delhi







8.










Mr. Supratim (Raj) Basu
Active Member - Help Tourism Pvt. Ltd





9.








Mr. Pandurang Taware
Founder/ Director Marketing & Sales-  Agri Tourism Development Corporation






INTERIM OFFICE BEARERS:
A group of enthusiasts  among the founding members have to  take the responsibility  of being the Interim Office bearers and take the organisation to the elections.

IMMEDIATE  PLANS:
1.Membership drive.
2.Launch the E News letter.
3.Founding members and  Interim office bearers to finalize by laws/articles/objectives  etc.
4.Registration of AARTI
4.Plan for election .
5.Ministry acknowledgment/faith membership


THE LOGO FOR AARTI HAS BEEN COMPOSED WITH SOME KEY SYMBOLIC ELEMENTS  CHOSEN FROM THE RURAL ENVIRONMENT ACROSS INDIA. IT IS SO FORTUNATE THAT THE WORD AARTI  ALSO MEANS LIGHT, A LIGHT THAT WELCOMES ALL GUESTS INTO HOMES, RICH OR POOR. THE COLOUR SCHEME HAS BEEN RESTRICTED TO JUST BLACK AND WHITE EXCEPT THE SAFFRON COLOUR OF THE TIKKA TO KEEP TO RURAL
REALITY. THE KEROSENE TIN LANTERN STILL REMAINS A KEY RURAL SYMBOL. VERY VITAL AND  UNIVERSAL.
MADE BY LOCAL CRAFTSMEN AND EXTENSIVLY USED, NEARLY IN ALL RURAL HOMES. AARTI IS INSCRIBED AS THOUGH WRITTEN IN CHALK ON A HUMBLE BLACK BOARD TO SIGNIFY BASIC RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE 

IN WHICH RURAL INDIA SURVIVES…. S T E V E B O R G I A


Contact details : 

Santosh M.R
Co-ordinator  
Association for Agri & Rural Tourism in India (AARTI)
Mob : +91-96000 57031
Email : ho@indecohotels.com
              info@associationforagriandruraltourisminindia.com
Website : www.associationforagriandruraltourisminindia.com

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