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Tourism as a livelihood development strategy: a study of Tarapith Temple Town, West Bengal

Masud Rana Mondal ()
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Masud Rana Mondal: Sailajananda Falguni Smriti Mahavidyalaya

Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, 2020, vol. 4, issue 3, No 8, 795-807

Abstract: Abstract In India, tourism development has also been used as a strategy for upgrading socioeconomic conditions and living standard of the local people. This study intends to examine the effects of tourism on job and income distribution and also its effects on local people’s livelihood and living standard. The growth of tourism sector in the study area has developed some selected infrastructure and has also generated a lot of employment and income opportunities for the local people and outsiders. This study shows that the high paid jobs and income go to the outsiders, though 34.6% of the owners and employees are from adjacent villages of the study area. Though it is the result of a huge in-migration due to the attraction of jobs and income, one group of local people were found to be engaged in tourism activities only for their subsistence, whereas the other group of people were engaged in high income businesses. This situation creates an intra-village disparity in the study area and adjacent villages. Tourism also seems to positively affect the livelihood and standard of living of the local people. In the study village (Chandipur; Tarapith) where most of the households are directly engaged in tourism-related activities, they are found to spend 35.94% more than the control village (Batail) where none of the households are engaged in tourism-related activities. The expenditure, assets holdings and living condition are also better in the study village compared to the control village. As far as direct economic benefits are concerned, tourism seems to have promoted agricultural production, construction and supply business, craft and manufacturing products, etc. The study observes that lack of human capital among the local people prevents them from drawing the right economic advantage from the enormous growth of tourism in the area.

Keywords: Tourism development; Spatial job and income distribution; Livelihood strategy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s41685-020-00164-6

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Handle: RePEc:spr:apjors:v:4:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s41685-020-00164-6