Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

A Study on Religious Tourism in India with Special Reference to the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

A Study on Religious Tourism in India with Special Reference to the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Article excerpt


Travel from the ancient time has held a fascination for mankind. The urge to explore new places and seek a change of environment is not new. In all the epics, whether it is the Ramayana or the Mahabharata or the Bible or the Quran, travel finds a place of prominence everywhere; only the reasons were different (Manish Srivastava, 2006).

In India, the origin of the concept of "Tourism" can be observed in Sanskrit literature. It has given three terms derived from the original word 'Ataña', which means going out :

Theerthatana - It represents going out and visiting places of spiritual or religious merit.

Deshatana - It represents going out of the country primarily for financial gains.

Paryatana - It represents going out for pleasure and knowledge.

Tourism is emerging as a leading global economic driver for the 21" century and has enonnous potential to become as a catalyst for future social development. Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes.

According to Australian economist Hermann Von Sehullard (1910. in Manish Srivastava, 2006) tourism is defined as, "sum total of operators, mainly of an economic nature, which directly relate to the entry, stay and movement of foreigners inside and outside a certain country, city or a region".

In the words of Hunziker and Kraph (1942, in Manish Srivastava, 2006), "tourism is the totality of the relationship and phenomenon arising from the travel and stay of strangers, provided that the stay does not imply the establishment of permanent residence and is not connected with their remunerative activities".

As per the definition of Tourism Society of England (1976, in Beaver and Allan, 2002), "tourism is the temporary, short term movement of people to destination out the places where normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination. It includes movements for all purposes".

The most widely accepted definition is given by the World Tourism Organization (WTO). This was standardized by United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) in its 27 " session held from 22nd February to 3rd March 1993.

"Tourism comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".

The United Nations (1994) categorized three types of tourism in its recommendations on tourism statistics'.

Domestic tourism, involving residents of the given country traveling only within the country.

Inbound tourism, including non-residents traveling in the given country.

Outbound tourism, including residents traveling in another country.

Importance of Tourism:

It is true that tourism stirs brisk activity in various spheres of the economy of the host region. The service sector contributes more than 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of advanced countries. Tourism is the chief basis of income to countries like Maldives, Greece, Bermuda, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Caribbean islands. It is the top employer in Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Italy Singapore, the UK, and the US. Number of tourists who visited countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seychelles has even outnumbered their population.

Tourism industry provides a number of economic benefits. Some of them are given below.

1. Generation of employment opportunities: Being highly labor-intensive tourism creates employment opportunities both direct and indirect.

2. Earns foreign exchange without exporting anything tangible: Tourism is considered to be 'invisible export' as it brings immense foreign exchange earnings without exporting anything tangible.

3. Leads to balanced regional development.

4. Facilitates development of basic infrastructure amenities.

5. Promotes a hub by economic activities.

6. Tourism promotes related industries such as handicrafts, spices, coir, textiles, gems, jewellery and furnishing goods. …

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