Farm Tourism - Kerala By Govind Kumar
Farm Tourism is an integral part of Eco Tourism but there is a slight difference. While artificially created landscapes are part of Eco Tourism - gardens, pond etc - the goal of Farm Tourism is to show the curious tourist about Nature in her pristine purity. Farm Tourism preserves the environment. Chemical Farming is also prohibited, as no processes which damage Nature is allowed. Organic Farming and its development give tremendous impetus to Farm Tourism.
These are the salient Points of Farm Tourism
1) It should be least damaging to Nature
2) Commingling Nature & the local Culture, it should impart worthy knowledge.
3) It should be beneficial to both host and tourist
4) Adding to revenue, it should preserve the Environment
5) It should be beneficial to the local people
6) Some part of the revenue should be given to safeguard the Environment
Tips to Entreprenauers who want to start Farm Stays
Find out what the tourist wants. Those who indulge in international tourism have got goals. Also dreams. Beaches, hilly regions, Wild Life Sanctuaries, Shopping etc Also the name Kerala is associated with vast rivers, the Key to Life which is Ayurveda, beaches which stretch from South to North, hilly regions which are as vast - these are the factors which have brought immense fame to Kerala. More than that is the enthusiasm of the Keralites to intermingle with "foreign" cultures !
The tourist knows that the True Kerala is rural. But they return without seeing Rural Kerala, which is Kerala Unrevealed. They have already heard about the family attachments based on Love in Kerala and would love to experience that Love. But they do not actually get the opportunity to live with and have food within that atmosphere. Most of them come from cultures which does not give much importance to family attachments & village or Rural Life. Most of the poets & philosophers have preferred the quietitude of a village instead of the articifial town. Wordsworth wrote about the beauty of living in harmony with Nature, which is possible only in a village. In villages, you meet simple folk while people who live in big cities are more business minded. You get fresh air & fresh water in villages in direct contrast to polluted air and polluted water in cities ! Return to Nature !
For entreprenauers, a web site is a must and the site should rank well in the Search Engines. Web Marketing & Search Engine Marketing should be done. There is another method and that is to link with the foreign tour operators but this will be very expensive.
An Ayurvedic Kashmiri Houseboat
Mud Therapy being administered at an Ayurvedic Retreat ( The patient is given 2 glasses of coconut water; one to drink and the other to take bath. Then red sand along with Azadirecta Indica is mixed and pasted all over the body. He will have to stand like that for 2 hours under the Sun. Then he can have a clean bath )
Elephants from an Elephant Farm taking part in a ceremony in Guruvayur
Entreprenauers should be careful as not to intrude on the tourist's privacy & to show him the rural landscape as it is. You can walk with the tourists on the rural roads, climb mountains which can be climbed, cycle with the tourists along the road, show the traditional fishing methods, show them the farm, show the organic farming methods which are capable of imparting knowledge etc. On 1 hectare of Organic Farm the gain is 30 lakhs, when compared to Inorganic Farming.