Rural Tourism in India: Exploring the Travel Blogger’s Perspective
In Agarwal S., Ranjan A., Kumar V. & Chowdhary N. (Eds.) Rurality, Ruralism and Rural Tourism. (pp 51-64) New Delhi. Ane books
14 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 7 Jul 2021
Date Written: December 19, 2019
The important assets in rural tourism are village or countryside, in which India is quite rich and diversified. In a country with 74 percent of the rural population residing over seven million villages, rural tourism is a fast growing concept providing ample opportunities in destination development, promotion as well as in employment. Though Government is supporting in promotion of rural tourism worldwide, still the tourist count is less in that aspect compared to other forms of tourism in India. In the advertisement and promotion aspect, rural tourism in India is lacking somewhere. In the digital era apart from social media marketing and web portal marketing, travel bloggers play a significant role in the promotion of tourism. Bloggers are the self-experienced traveler who briefs in their personal blog which becomes the most reliable source for new travelers.
This paper attempts to address the related issues related to travel blogging and rural tourism in India. In this study 30 travel bloggers including micro-blogging (15 Indian and 15 foreign) contents related to rural tourism are analyzed and presented in a logical manner. Textual and image content analysis was used to analyze the contents into qualitative data. The representation of data was scrutinized to distinguish the blogger's preference. Tourism stakeholders need to give effort to destination branding and improve the image of India as a better and safe tourism destination. Blog marketing can be considered as a productive marketing strategy for rural tourism and other special interest tourism products. Finally, the study suggests the practical implication of the findings and suggests the tourism organizations and Government take some corrective measures in this aspect of blog marketing.
Keywords: Traveller blog, Rural tourism, Travel writings, Rural India, Tourism blog
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