AARTI to organise a six-day global convention on Rural Development in January 2021 at Kumbakonam, Tanjore district, Tamil Nadu

The focus of the convention will be on innovative, responsible, regenerative, and sustainable tourism for rural development.

AARTI, is the Association of Agri and Rural Tourism in India supported by UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. It unites all organisations and individuals engaged in the rural tourism space with the sole objective of mending rural broken backbone and regenerate their poor economy with what the local communities know, have, and do.  Tourism that does not share with local communities is not fair tourism. 

It’s time we give back the villages what we have taken away from them. Starting from their dignity, life, lifestyle, natural resources etc. And sow in a seed of regeneration. Sustainable and rural tourism is on a global upward trend. And most economies have realized the benefits it can bring to rural communities and natural resources at large. There needs to be a concerted effort in popularizing rural tourism in India. UNWTO declaring 2020 as year of tourism for rural development creates an opportunity to popularise this tool and take it to all regions/countries that need such intervention. 

Hopefully, this initiative will help AARTI to take rural tourism to rural pockets that have the potential to create tourism destinations for the world to experience and regenerate our villages, their culture, lifestyle, and heritage.

The core of this convention is the seminar on innovative, responsible, regenerative & sustainable tourism for rural development. This will be parallelly supported by related workshops, site visits, demonstrations, creation of rural tourism products all aimed at propagating tourism for rural development. Numerous related events have been planned as a part of this convention that will help identify and build rural entrepreneurship. 

The founding members include pioneers in the field, stalwarts, bureaucrats, educationalists, policy makers etc. Most are hands on operating or governing projects across India. Some of them are: Padma Bhushan Shri.S.K.Mishra Ias (Retd) Shri. Sujit Banerjee IAS (Retd); Shri. Madan Bezbaruah IAS (Retd); Shri. Jose Dominic; Prof. Nimit Choudhary; Shri. Supratim Raj Basu; Shri. Pandurang Taware  and Shri. Steve Borgia (Co Ordinator)

The other supportive prospective knowledge partners include: Poompuhar Tamilnadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited; The Department Of Museums; Government Of Tamil Nadu; INTACH; The Crafts Council of India; The Indian Heritage Hotel Association; Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government Of Tamil Nadu; Aga Khan Foundation; Amazon; The Export Promotion Council; Chennai Silks; Global Adjustments; Radiant; Fohs, among others. 

Location of the event:@ indeco hotels  Swamimalai, www.indecohotels.com, Kumbakonam, Tanjore district, Southern India

Nearly all the programmes will happen outdoor strictly following social distancing principles and would take in a maximum of 100 members. All english sanitization methods will be coupled with the traditional sanitization practices when it comes to immunity and safety of the participants.
The programme 

It is a dual event. One is the seminar and the second one is the rural tourism region specific workshops and fairs which will exhibit all rural tourism products to train and skill rural tourism product managers and owners.  The seminar brings in global speakers to India, it will also bring pioneers in India who have produced great results in rural tourism. On the other hand, the fair event will aim at showcasing rural tourism as a product through parallel sessions.
The site visits, product development programmes, rural tourism project visits will be an eye opener to the stakeholders. This will also be bringing in the pioneers of rural tourism across India to do region specific workshops. And act as a monitoring and guiding body to make the project successful.  as of this day the organisers have drafted a programme that is necessary and essential. Yes, it is of tall order, but necessary to take India in par with other countries that have used sustainable tourism as a tool for rural economic development. Final programme will be edited to the affordability of AARTI.

Tentative Agenda:
 Day 1

1. Arrival of the participants.
2. Pre-Convention Site visits/Tours
4. Inauguration of the Rural product Fair/Demonstrations/workshops
5. Inauguration of the temporary museum and Research foundation for Bronze Iconography.
6.Laying foundation for the HINDU CHOLA BRONZE MUSEUM at Swamimalai in collaboration with the global museums.
 7. Music and Food offered by Rural talent/cuisine

Day -2

1. THE SEMINAR ON INNOVATIVE, RESPONSIBLE, REGENERATIVE & SUSTAINABLE TOURISM FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT. Evening cultural programme followed by dinner provided by Rural Tourism stakeholders.

Day -3

1. Heritage walk 6-8 am
 2. Pan India Project Presentations. Lunch at the hotel
 3. Rural Tourism Project Presentations
 4. Impact of Rural Tourism on neighboring towns and villages with regard to Conservation.
 5. Presentation on subsidy and funding by MOT and MOT plans.
 6. Q & A


 3.Way forward.
 Evening – Rural Tourism entertainments followed by Dinner and Cultural programmes at DARASURAM.(World Heritage Site)

Day 4 & Day 5

1. Short pre-registered course and Workshops for aspiring Rural Tourism Entrepreneurs.
2. Short course on marketing and selling Rural Tourism destinations / projects. Formation of a marketing body. Courses directed by India’s Pioneers in Rural Tourism in the likes of Raj Basu, Steve Borgia, Pandurang Taware, Jose Domnic, Architects, Decorators, Chef, service and House Keepers etc.
3.Networking Rural Tourism Projects Pan India. And creating a chain link program for continuous hand Holding, Education, Collaborations etc.


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