Saturday, December 15, 2007

Be Sensitive to rural folks

Suppose you are developing the concept of rural tourism for a village. You start getting enquiries for weekdays trip or for bulk booking say 50+ people or for overnight stays. Now what will you do? You only thought that the village could be a weekend destination with 10-15 people per day but its not.

I would recommend that you discuss the same with your local connect and lt him have a internal discussions with various stakeholders in village and come back with his commitment. Show him the stretch goals but do not enforce them. Its their village and they know best as to how much capacity they can build and how much timeoff they can take from their routine farming tasks. Its their business to decide how much they want to take/make? Its not easy for them to accept money in return for the hospitality they provide, they treat it as their duty and do it out of pure love.

You may want to go beyond tourism development and will get an urge to develop village. Resist your urge and allow the problems to be initiated by the villagers ; participate actively in discussions but be careful about promising solutions. Promises are easily broken, politicians do it all the time. Instead come back and spread the problem description amongst your network and seek help from people who might have resolved similar problems before. Connect the villagers to such people and allow them to resolve local problems. Do not become government, judiciary , politician or a pure businessman.

Be consistent in your approach.

Let me know your experiences with the rural folks.

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