TODAY -

SWOT analysis of agro-tourism in North Eastern States

Dr Dipak Nath / Dr Daya Ram *



The SWOT analysis is very much important to provide a strategy for development by consolidating the strengths, overcoming the weaknesses, building on the opportunities and mitigating the threats.

Strengths

1. North East India is full of rich natural resources and diversity.
2. Rich cultural heritage is the great Potential for Adventure tourism across the North Eastern regions.
3. Home stays may be a good option for the people because, in North-East India people from all the communities are very much fit for hospitality industry.

Weaknesses

1. Accessibility and Transportation, because most of States in the region are hilly areas
2. Security Threats/Perceptions : People always make some wrong perception on the basis of one or two spot incidents.
3. Regional spread of resources is not uniform- most of the places are still undiscovered in whole North Eastern Region.
4. Very poor brand recall/ less advertisement
5. Marketing strategy: This is very much important in rural tourism sector also, without marketing mix no will not about the region, marketing can be done in three ways e.g. by Government, by local people itself or by the tourist itself, and all the three sector is essentially important for marketing of rural tourism sector.
6. Few accommodation facilities at rural places in the whole region, e.g. homestays are running by only few individuals in some selected places over North East India.
7. Scarcity of skilled as well as unskilled labour, if we consider homestays as a sustainable source of livelihood than people from that community where homestays are available, should be trained enough in every possible way for the hospitality of the tourist.
8. Travel Permit Procedures should be in online mode with full information about the State or the region.
9. Visitor Information Services should be available easily.
10. Intra State Linkages should be there- Tourists Have No Geographical Boundaries.

Opportunities

1. North East region offers all what a tourist looks for- culture, heritage, nature, experiential tourism, community- Enormous Potential Tourism Resources.
2. North East has wide unexplored areas, while they present very high potential for tourism.
3. Development of the handicraft industry and local community involvement can improve tourist inflow trend.
4. Presence of international border
5. Easy facilitation for travel permits and Co-ordinated tourism circuit and tourists across 8 States

Threats

1. Instability in the region and neighbouring regions affects tourist inflows in North Eastern States.
2. Other competition circuits are equipped with better tourist infrastructure and facilities. Thus there is strong competition to North Eastern Region circuit from other circuits.
3. Increasing urbanisation
4. Probable cultural fabric degradation, which may result in dissolving tourism attraction
5. Over use and commercialisation of sensitive eco zones would lead to depletion of resources and dilution of attraction.

Tourism forms a significant aspect of the service sector which contributes largely to the Indian economic development. Indian tourism industry is growing at the rate of 10%, which is two and a half times more than the growth rate at global level.

The scope of tourism has varied branches very often depending upon the purpose and circumstances under which the activity is being taken up. In India of late the unique tourism arteries that have gained momentum are health tourism (medical tourism), religious tourism, sports tourism, educational tourism etc.

Agri-tourism is now an additional artery of the tourism sector in India. Though at present it is in nascent stage, with proper Government incubation it can gain flight. There by introducing agri-tourism concept all over India not only the present growth rate can be sustained but it is also a value addition and can accelerate further growth. Agri-tourism is unravelling various facets of village life.

It gives an opportunity to the tourists to experience rural life, taste the traditional food and to live in a peaceful environment. At present few agri-preneurs are involved in providing the agri-tourism services. The promotion of agri-tourism requires support of Ministry of Agriculture, Central and State Tourism Department and farmers.

Very few agri tourism centres are commercially operated. So there is a need to promote the concept to attract the farmers to get involved in the agri-tourism service industry. As this is a service industry farmers need to be oriented on maintenance of facilities, hospitality and public relation.

To increase awareness amongst urban customers' mass media like television and radio can be beneficial. Agri business companies should promote the services in consultation with the farmers, Government agencies, farmer's co-operatives and NGOs.

Agri-tourism activities can provide the additional income necessary to allow for the preservation of small and mid-scale farms and rural communities. Agriculture coupled with tourism business is a relevant and futuristic strategy to attain sustainable growth. It also helps in maintaining cultural diversity and community harmony among different groups and provides sustainable job oppo- rtunities for rural people.


* Dr Dipak Nath / Dr Daya Ram wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on March 08 2022.



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