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PILGRIMAGE TOURISM AND ITS ECONOMIC IMPACTS TO DEVELOPMENT

ABSTRACT

In recent years, pilgrimage tourism has become very popular among pilgrims. Pilgrimage Tourism to Shrine constitutes an important component of total tourism in and has contributed effectively to the growth and development of the place. Every year around 7 million pilgrims visit the Shrines in India which is influencing the socio-economic environment of the region and the present paper is throwing light on the economic impact of the pilgrimage tourism. This paper is based on the methodology adopted for estimation of economic impact tourism. This article explains and supports the idea that the economic impacts of religious tourism should not be neglected or underestimated, although religious institutions have traditionally attempted to downplay this in the past. Additionally, the paper argues that religion and tourism have much in common. In the modern world it is hard to ignore the impression that in most places of pilgrimage the profane impacts of tourism are just as important if not more so than the religious. This paper lends theoretical support to this argument.

Keywords: religious tourism, economic impacts, pilgrimages.

Introduction

Pilgrimage Tourism has emerged as an instrument for employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. Pilgrimage Tourism promotes international understanding and gives support to local handicrafts and cultural activities. It is an important segment of the country's economy, especially in terms of its contribution towards foreign exchange earnings, generation of additional income and creation of employment opportunities. The foreign exchange earnings from tourism during the year 2000 were estimated at about Rs. 14,408 crores with an estimated direct employment of about 15 million, which is about 2.4% of the total labor force of the country. Pilgrimage Tourism is the third largest foreign exchange earner for India. The International tourist traffic in the country is estimated to be 2.64 million during the year 2000. However, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), India's share in world tourism arrivals is only 0.38%, accounting for 0.62% of the world tourist receipts. This indicates that much of the tourist potential is yet to be tapped. With rapid advances in Science & Technology, tourism has acquired the status of an industry in all industrialized countries. The high influx of foreign tourist traffic has accelerated demand for certain economic production and distribution activities. Pilgrimage Tourism has emerged as an industry next in importance only to Information Technology industry in the Services sector. By 2012, the contribution of pilgrimage Tourism to the world economy will be doubled. The economic liberalization in India and consequent foreign investment opportunities, development of tourist facilities including expansion in air-line services, etc. provide an impetus for a spurt in tourist arrivals as in South Asian regions. Domestic pilgrimage tourism plays a vital role in achieving the national objectives of promoting social and cultural cohesion and national integration. Its contribution to generation of employment is very high. With the increase in income levels and emergence of a powerful middle class, the potential for domestic pilgrimage tourism has grown substantially during the last few years. Realising the importance of pilgrimage tourism, the Government of Tamil Nadu has accorded high priority to pilgrimage tourism promotion and has taken initiatives to improve/ create infrastructure in tourism potential centres and geared to encourage private sector investment in this regard.

 

OBJECTIVES

To study about the pilgrimage tourism and its economic impacts

To identify the social, cultural and economic impact of the pilgrimage tourism management

To study The Positive and Negative,Social and Environmental Impacts of pilgrimage Tourism management

 

METHODOLOGY

The data for this study were collected from local residents which engaged in tourism activities.

tourists were identified as a key factor in developing tourism in local communities. This research is mainly based on secondary data such as broucher, pamplets, books,news papers,internet,advertisement etc.

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:

The study would contribute to identify the need for economic dimension in pilgrimage tourism. Pilgrimage tourism helps in giving manifold economic benefits. The present study will be designed as an conceptual one,. few places of Tamilnadu had identified as places where high positive effects of pilgrimage tourism on income, employment and standard of living of local residents in Tamilnadu had analyzed here in this study. By studying this article it is possible to bring out the various strategies required for making the pilgrimage tourism in Tamilnadu a better destination in economic dimension. Further, this study may be useful to other states also for tapping the pilgrimage potential.


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