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Urban Tourism and Poverty Reduction A Case Study of Jaipur City in India

Stuti Lall Professor & Associate Director Society for Development Studies (SDS) 1. Perspective Tourism, of late, has assumed a social dimension of poverty reduction in the developing world, apart from its traditional role of foreign exchange earnings. In India, the traditional approach to poverty reduction has largely been direct, in terms interventions related to basic empowerment of the poor, primarily through the skill-credit-subsidy route. Tourism, per se, has not been consciously integrated into the poverty reduction programme, though tourism related activities in India, as in other parts of the world, do stimulate a series of income generation activities of the poor. The externality of other development projects or interventions in other sectors on the poor was not generally considered and, as such, they were designed on a stand-alone basis, unintegrated with the sectoral development programmes on a policy basis. This is true to a large extent in countries in South East Asia. As it is, Indias share in the world tourist traffic is less than 1 percent. The potential of tourism in a globalised environment was brought out in the first Tourism Policy of India in 1982 that perceived the role of this sector as a major engine of growth and sought to integrate it with all other sectors that are related in a major way with tourism through a well defined and fully integrated national programme.1 Both the public and the private sector was to play an important role. Tourism was subsequently recognized as an industry in 1986 and in 1991, it was declared as a priority sector for foreign investment. It was in this context of changed thrust on tourism, the Policy was revised in 2002. Apart from retaining the role of tourism as a major engine of economic growth, the 2002 Policy Statement intends to expand the role of tourism to harness its direct and multiplier effects for employment and poverty eradication in an environmentally sustainable manner.2 The Tourism Policy of Government of India, 2002 aims at taking advantage of the tourism potential of all sectors, starting with spatial physical diversity from mountainous range to desert stretches in different regions in the country, the man-made attractions of historical interest, heritage buildings, crafts and culture of the people as tourism products, and in this context, also seeks to use the tourism route to create as many skilled and unskilled employment as possible. The eco-tourism policy and guidelines states that one of the cardinal principles of tourism is involvement of the local community with minimum conflicts between resource use for tourism and the livelihood of the local people. On a case study basis, the present paper traces the prospects of tourism when traditional destination attractions are skillfully combined with its local human resource originated novel products and examines the sustainability issues. A case study of a 275 year old city, Jaipur, located in the north western part of India, has been presented in this context.

Department of Tourism, Government of India, Draft National Tourism Policy: Spatio- Economic Development Record, Vol. 4, July-August,1997 2 Minisrty of Tourism and Culture, Government of India: National Tourism Policy 2002 1

2. The Pink City of Jaipur The city of Jaipur, nestled in the rugged hills of the Aravallis, was named after its astronomer prince Sawai Jai Singh, who founded the city in 1727 as the new capital city of Amer State, that remained a separate entity till late 40s. In 1956, it became the capital city of desert state Rajasthan, located in the north-western part of India, bordering the Thar Desert and Pakistan. (Map1) The population size of the city is 2.5 million, as per Census 2001. The Municipal body was recognised in 1926 and a Municipal Act was in place in1929. Recently, it achieved the status of a Municipal Corporation and its jurisdiction spread over 64.75 sq.km. The old city occupies 9.8 sq.km. The average density of population works out at 38610 persons per sq km. The city is growing at a fast rate. The growth rate of population was 5.9 percent per annum in the last decade as against 4.9 during 1981-91. Poverty level in Jaipur is estimated at 36 per cent. Management of tourism is not a direct responsibility of Jaipur City Corporation (JMC). 3. Tourism Potential of the City Jaipur is acclaimed by the tourists as one of the most picturesque cities in the world. The people of the city and the Tourism Department itself view it holding immense tourism potential that has not been explored fully. The city apart from having its worldwide acknowledged hardware and software tourism resources that are of interest to the tourists of all classes, it enjoys high location advantages. It belongs to the world famous golden triangle circuit comprising of Delhi (historical city of monuments of seven cities) Agra (the Tajmahal) and Jaipur (city of distinct city planning and architectural novelties). Map2 depicts the triangles along with others in North India. The Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) claims that annually 60 percent of international tourists in India take the opportunity of visiting the city. It also derives a major advantage of being the capital city of the state and thus is often considered as the gateway to a state that is strewn with at least 25 tourist destinations (Map3). The state has emerged in the last decade as one of the favorite tourist destinations in India, receiving about one- third of the international tourists in India and Jaipur specific traffic share is around 10 per cent. In addition, over 7,75,000 domestic tourists visit the city3 .The quick estimate of the revenue earned from the tourism related activities in the State in 2001 shows its share accounts for 14 per cent of the state domestic products and amounts to US$ 408 million. It is assumed that that at least 30 per cent of it is originated in Jaipur.4 Coming to the city specific tourist interests in Jaipur, the first feature that attracts the tourists, especially the educated ones is the unique straight line planning of the city with wide roads more than thirty three meters width and the division of the city in seven rectangular sections. The crenellated walls encircling the old city on three sides with splendid seven gates opening it up to the outside world that was designed following the Vedic treatise on architecture, is of no less attraction. The founder king of the city had rightly foreseen the value of the human resources in the development of the city as a growth centre and invited at the initial stage of the city building, people and their families who excelled in certain trades. To day Jaipur is known for these activities. The city, therefore, witnesses the careful planning of the sites of the shops, and they are arranged in each rectangular city centers. The city is often claimed as one of the first planned cities in the world. There are evidences that show the European travelers compared the neatness and sanitation system of the city to that of London and its symmetry to that of the Kremlin. The other novel architectural attractions are the citys palaces and havelis of regal splendour and the giant stone sundial open-air observatory built in 1718, before the city was built. The name pink city was added when Prince of
3 4

Directorate of Tourism. Art and Culture, Government of Rajasthan ; Rajiv Gandhi Mission on Tourism 2001: ibid. 2

Wales visited in 1876: the city was washed with pink colour that was the symbol of welcome. The exact rose pink shade was decided after a long trial and error process to minimize the reflection of the intense glare of the sun on the city. In fact, majority of the buildings, especially in the old city, are rose pink, created with white lime and powdered with under-burnt terracotta. Outside the old city is the modern Jaipur that grows fast but has not lost the link with the traditional culture of the old. The major places of attraction both for the architecture and splandour, are City Palace, that occupies a major area of the old city. The palace is partly converted into Museum, symbolises the finest blend of Rajputana and Mughal architecture; the Jantar Mantar (observatory): Hawa Mahal, the palace of winds that presents an unique faade with latticed screen, that facilitated women to watch the city without being visible, Amber Fort, the capital of the state before Jaipur was founded, stands amidst the wooded hills overlooking the Delhi- Jaipur Road with its splendid ramparts reflected in the still waters of Maota lake below and creates a serene beauty typical in Rajputana; the Jal Mahal, a summer palace in the midst of the Mansagar Lake and well known for its architectural beauty; among others, there are a number of forts and palaces located within the vicinity of the old city and outside which are fine specimen of architecture that is intricate and sublime in its beauty and speak of the aesthetic sense of the royal clans and the highly sophisticated skills of the citizens of Jaipur. The equally attractive part of tourism in Jaipur is artistic skills of the people in weaving out beautiful products out of the locally available raw materials. The old city is the major location of such activities and 60 per cent of the arts and craft skills are inherited. The gems and exquisite hand made jewelry with gold and enameled with precious stones designed in unique in styles known as meenakari and Kundan, have elevated Jaipur to a tourist paradise. The blue potteries are internationally known for the shape,size and glaze; the carvings of wood, ivory and marble statues and miniature paintings are adored by tourists of all times; colourful textiles, tie and die fabrics and block prints and the colourful costumes worn by men and women that meet the eyes on all sides in Jaipur. The variety of ethnic performing art of the common people in terms of vocal and instrumental music, folk dances and puppet shows are major attractions of connoisseur tourists all over the world. However, nothing surpasses the show casing the typical features of traditional life style of some sections of the people that retain much of the old world charm and create an environment of Arabian nights. Rajasthan is the one of the few states in India and Jaipur is a good example of it that has capitalized the traditional culture in its urban tourism programmes. The most attractive part of the tourism culture is that it has created a romantic feeling in a common man of being a Maharaja, with the grand ambience of Havelis, often converted into hotels, serviced by the common local people in their authentic style and dress. 4. Tourism Vision No city specific strategic vision of the tourism potentials is available, as the policy visions in India are developed on the state basis and broadly followed in the districts and cities. Recognizing the vast potential of tourist markets in terms of built heritage, the rugged scenic beauty of both mountain ranges and the desert, the heritage skills of the people, the architectural novelty and the romantic life style of the nomads and the commercial attractions of costly gems and varieties of marbles and fabrics and value added through human skills, the Tourism Policy of Rajasthan 2001, states the major tourism objectives of the State as optimum utilization of the tourist resources as a major growth factor for the state. Along with it, the other important objectives such as employment generation opportunities in this sector for the unemployed youth, especially in the rural areas and upliftment of the artisans for larger socio-economic development, provide the tourism a peoples

industry status that envisages to reach a share of the tourism earnings to the level of villagers living below the poverty line5. The larger vision is thus to create rural urban continuum that would benefit the people not yet exposed to this sectors potential. These visions are also adapted for the tourism in the city. The Policy statement sees the augmentation of the share of employment through tourism to 6.6 per cent of the total employment generated by 2010. The direct and indirect job coefficient of every hotel room occupancy at present in the state is estimated to be 3 direct employment and 8 indirect employment. There are some unofficial rule of thumb estimate of the share of the poor in the total income generated from the tourists expenditure in Rajasthan. It is estimated that every rupee spent by a tourist changes hands 13 times and the share of common man is around 35-40 per cent. It is hoped that with the introduction of poverty alleviation and employment generation objectives in the Policy, the share of the poor in the tourism earnings of the state would increase. A number of Programmes have been conceived in this context. 5. Challenges in Translating Tourism Vision The major challenges in the implementation of tourism visions are not yet visible as the initiatives in the direction of employment generation and poverty reduction, the new areas of policy thrusts, are not many and focused at the moment. An advantage that Jaipur enjoys as the capital city of Rajasthan is the presence of the State Secretariat and the Tourism Development Corporation that help guiding the city authorities. However, one may foresee the roadblocks in implementation of the vision in the context of the present management environment in the city. The first among them is the critical information gaps on vital issues such as backward and forward linkages of employment and income at every stage and type of tourism activity. No realistic estimate of the present size of the tourism industry is possible without them, leave alone planning for future. Second, assuming that the poor including artisans have to be integrated in the process of tourism, it needs to have a good data base on the employable aged poor and artisans in the city and their characteristics for developing a Plan of Action and assigning their roles. The information on the size of the poor community and especially, the employable qualities or lack of them is non-existent, or at best fragmented. Few other roadblocks may be foreseen in the development process of tourism potential in Jaipur .In the context of globalised environment and advanced information technology, the new policy thrust on employment intensive tourism activities, would require availability of trained manpower having expertise in inducting the new issues into the existing ones and designing new ones as per the new thrust at all levels in the tourism sector for survival. While a number of tourism promotional briefs prepared by the private and public sector are available and disseminated through RTDC outlets, the ground level management of the tourism that starts from the entry points to the city lack proficiency and coordination among different actors. The predominant presence of touts at all levels of tourism is a typical example of non-coordination among authorities. An imaginative approach is needed on the part of the city authorities to provide new thrusts to tourism scenario in a city that is already entrenched in tourism and well marked in the tourist map of India and the world. Special capacity building among the senior level functionaries of the city authorities is required and is absent at present. A proposal for initiating capacity building programmes of the public and private sector tourism personnel through the Travel and Tourism Management Institute of Government of India in Jaipur is under active consideration. . Add hoc and

add on approach are still the rule of the day. To a large extent the present situation is due to lack of a clear-cut role assigned to the city authorities in tackling the tourism related activities and a top down approach of the Policy. The next section deals with the challenges faced in this respect at the city level. The most important challenge that is faced by the city stakeholders in tourism development is in respect of up-scaling the tourism activity to provide more space to the poor in terms of more employment generation and income upgrading. The tourist products of Jaipur are basically pleasure and leisure tourism. An up-scaling of the activities in this sector, as the recent Tourism Policy envisages, would require diversification in other areas of tourism. In the context of the commercial importance of Jaipur and its strategic location, the prospects of business tourism should be fully explored first. Apart from traditional measures, a city Fact Sheet indicating a few crucial aspects such as banking facilities in the commercial areas, transport facilities and tariff rates from the airport and railway station to the city centers, availability of moderate priced and hygienic hotel accommodation, crime situation and safety measures, locations of cyber caf, phone booths and tariff would enhance the tourist flow in the city. The City lacks all these information at present. SDS has developed a city investment destination module, which would build up investors confidence in investing in the city and this may be modified for the purpose of promoting commercial tourism in Jaipur. The fact is that some of Jaipur products, especially gems and traditional costumes, attract considerable commercial traffic from across countries and these should provide the base for dovetailing the pro-poor commercial and investment programme linked to tourism also. 6. Organisational Structure and Tourism Development. The tourism business is carried out at the State level through three levels of organizations, namely. The Department of Tourism, Art and Culture, the Tourist Reception Centres at administrative zonal level and the Rajasthan Tourist Development Corporation (RTDC). The Department is the highest body at the state level and is responsible for policy guidelines and formulation of policy milestones. Since tourism is a multi sector activity, important departments are always consulted before major decisions are taken. The tourism is facilitated at the local levels through Tourism Reception Centres, spread over the State and these centers also act as monitors of the progress in tourism. It also acts as the information providing center. Some local level activities are also initiated at this level. The RTDC, an autonomous body under the State Government, looks after the tourism infrastructure all over the state and the commercial activities related to it. A major activity of it is to provide comprehensive hotel facilities and management of hotel affairs including the private sector. It also looks after transport in a limited manner and show casing local festivals. But it has no official linkage with other city level authorities and organizations that have a role in the promotion of tourism in the city. As such, lack of coordination or absence of an apex body providing directions act as a major stumbling block in the development of tourism in the city. The Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC), which is traditionally entrusted with the upkeep of city environment, does not provide specific attention to the tourism important activities within its work agenda, due to the absence of direct mandate in the tourism programme. The contribution of tourism related revenue in the city domestic product (CDP) is also not separated in the accounting system at the city level and as such, it has no means to surmise the impact of its services on the tourism and hence JMC has no incentive. The informal interactions with the RTDC in city authorities meetings do not seem to have yielded result.

The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA),the principal institution responsible for the planning, coordinating and supervising the overall development of Jaipur city and certain contiguous areas, takes tourism as a part of city development activities, which are land acquiring and construction oriented mainly. It takes up development programmes that may have direct tourism implications, but they are not conceived to enhance the tourism prospects for outsiders and not in collaboration with RTDC. The resource mobilization is a great constraint. At the district level, the thrust of tourism activities are decided at the district Collectorate, within the main frame of the state policy and the size of the allocated budget. The approach to tourism activities thus depends largely on the interest and commitments of the officials at the district level. 7. Tourism as a Tool of Poverty Reduction The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA), responsible for the planning, coordinating and supervising the overall development of Jaipur and certain contiguous areas, acknowledges the vast potential of tourism as a major economic force in its Master Plan document.6 As a part of the programme to fill up the vacuum in recreational facilities in the city, it has concentrated its attention to the built up environment of tourism by creating recreational facilities adjacent to the tourist spots. One such project is hydrological restoration of a historical lake, known as Mansagar Lake, that was artificially created between two hills some 200 years ago by the King of Jaipur towards the north east side of the city. The lake nestles a palace Jal Mahal which was a pleasure spot fore the royal family at one time. The lake had become virtually the sewage water pond for the city. The Project is planning to develop100 acre land adjacent to the restored lake as tourist complex with recreational facilities. It would also include a craft Bazar envisaged as an integrated complex for the artisans in Jaipur and around, who would be able to avail of all kinds of facilities related to production and sales outlets and design workshops in this complex and would be provided residential facilities in nearby places. The Project would thus benefit the traditional poor and the informal sector workers. The major activators of the recreational programmes such as elephant ride, boat rides, setting up of stalls for suvenir and local food would be managed by the local people in the informal sector The Project would be developed with JDC, the Ministry of Environment of the Government of India and private sector on a BOT basis. The complex would be maintained by the JMC. The project has completed the formalities for acquisition of land. A similar development approach has been adopted by it for the Mahuds(elephant drivers) near Amer fort who traversed long distances every day, adding congestion to city traffic and hardship to them. Now they are resettled in a village adjacent to Amer Palace. The village Known as Hatigaon (Village of elephants) has now become a tourist spot. From the traffic management point of view it provided significant relief. However it is too early to comment with certainty on the pro-poor stand of tourism development. The policy mile stones such as establishing rural arts, crafts and cuisine centers, promoting traditional rural theatre, folk arts and performers and motivating rural decentralized government to actively promote tourism, organizing fair and festivals and human resource development at every stage of tourism management are indicators of pro people stands. The author is associated with a major district poverty alleviation in Alwar city in Rajasthan, 125 km. away from Jaipur. The main objective of this programme is to protect the sliding down of heritage skills into the unskilled labour force due to acute poverty status of this group. The District collector was a major stakeholder in the Programme as poverty reduction is considered as one of the important development indicators. During the operation of the Programme, it provided good opportunity to observe the commitment and dynamism of the District Collector through the

Jaipur Development Aiuthority (1998): Master Development Plan-2001, Jaipur Region. Part -1 6

partnership that he developed with private sector on one side and with an international organisation on the other, to give shape to the poverty reduction at the ground level on a sustainable basis. The approach was to set up a marketing outlet on permanent basis as he firmly believed that this is the only way to mainstream the artisans on their own. In the first stage, as apart of the tourism promotion, a n exhibition of artisan products was organized with the partnership of the organized private sector and the artisans. The land was provided by the district administration, the organizational logistic and publicity expenditure were entirely borne by the private sector. The artists show cased their products and in turn became aware of the competition potential and price differences. The seed of an Artisan Council was laid at that time.. Products from a SDS poverty reduction action project, in collaboration with Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG, a UK NGO) and supported by DFID, were displayed and sold by the artisans, mainly women. The exposure had a tremendous impact on building the selfconfidence of the poor and their effective empowerment. The customers at the SDS outlet included the State Tourism Minister, State Director of Tourism, the District Collector, among others. The most important fall out effect of this event was a wide range of artisan products, the concepts of which were mooted with the exposure to the products of others. These products fetched good response from the local market. The second stage of this programme was to provide facilities that would reduce poverty on a sustainable basis .A marketing complex was to be developed. Apart from show casing the products and creating opportunities for interactions among artisans in the district and outside, a network was to be establish with a view to get the marketing intelligence, the outlets for the products, and production technology. At the same time, it was envisaged to provide work facilities with machines that are outside the individual affordability range of the artisans and provide skill training and design development. To a large extent, these programmes are designed with cost apportioning basis. The strategy was to manage the activities with the help of the private sector in the initial phase and till the time the artisans themselves are able to manage the complex activities. 8. Lessons Learnt and Future Road Map The data base on tourism, especially the backward and forward linkages of the tourism activities and their multiplier effects is identified as one of the major road blocks in the development of propoor tourism of Jaipur. There is no employment and income coefficients available for the tourism activities. These need to be worked out for all levels of activities, if poor has to be integrated in the Programme. Equally essential is the availability of poverty mapping for engaging the poor in the activities. As a part of tourism promotion, regular assessment of the market demand of the local artisan products, who are also mostly poor should be done. It would require show casing, not only of the existing products in the markets, but also those non- marketed. This practice can reduce poverty and improve the tourism potential in one go. At present tourism activities in Jaipur rely on a major way on the local peoples participation, even though it is not consciously planned. It is a good example of poverty reduction through tourism. However, to take a pro-poor stand of making tourism sector an important vehicle of poverty reduction (PR), it is required that PR programmes are converged with the other conventional tourism programmes. Also a short listing of the income sources from tourism and those products that generate relatively high income and have a high share of the poor, especially women, have to be put in the priority areas for induction in the tourism programmes. An important lesson that would of interest to most of the other countries in the south, is the low share of the informal sector activities in the total earnings from these activities in Jaipur. A recent

study of SDS shows7 the original producers receive only 12 per cent of the final value when marketed from well-recognized outlets. This is due to the intervention of a technology component at the last stage of production which is generally outside the reach of ordinary producers. While it is true that connoisseur tourists would love to have the non- intervened products of the local people, the commercial tourism would require value addition to them. Infusion of brand building in the total process of production of goods and services through quality products would provide boost to these activities. SDS has recently introduced a brand name in the pottery products of the poor after getting the quality controlled. The name is Sanjha-Dhani, that stands for conglomeration of diverse groups. Information of heritage products, both as apart of tourism promotion and PR should form an integral part of the tourism literature, printed and electronic. This is a major hindrance to the development of ethnic products in Jaipur. The basic deficiency that emerges from the case study of Jaipur in this context is the lack of convergence and coordination among the stakeholders in tourism. As non-government sector players have a crucial role in tourism in Jaipur, government should take initiative in the convergence efforts. But mere convergence may not specifically address the poverty objectives. It needs to be seen that in each activity that have connection with the poor, the share of them is safeguarded. Further, from the promotional point of view of the causes of the poor, it is equally important to highlight their role to the tourists, especially from foreign countries and highend sections of the society (many of them are champions of these products) as an increasing recognition of the products coming from the poor is visible worldwide. As such, the poor require outlets for the sensitized tourists. Colourful pamphlets could be produced to show how the earnings from the sales of these products are utilized for the poor: may be for the education of girl children, medical intervention or nutrition for the poor mothers or disabled. The approach has to explore the sentiments of the tourists and at the same time make them feel proud in owning the programme through their contribution. The roadside or squatting outlets that provide low price products and services, need to be given credit facilities and hygienic facilities to start with. The existing credit facilities that are available under the PRprogrammes can be merged with this component. The issue of illegal squatting or city cleaning and planning drives should have a constructive approach towards these outlets. As mentioned earlier, SDS has been a partner in a pro-poor endeavour in a city in the same state .The process has included provision of skills to the heritage artisans to develop high value products that have a ready market and networking with major sales outlets. In this process, SDS has converged its programme with the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts and is in the process of converging with Export Promotion Council For Handicrafts The most important lesson that is learnt from the experience of Jaipur, is that a complete HRD programme at all levels is a must to implement the pro-poor approach to tourism. This should be designed with two pronged objectives. One is to change the mindset of the manpower engaged in tourism administration, and the second is to provide knowledge and skills to induct pro-poor components in the Programme. A pro-active attitude towards the cause of the poor is the order of this approach. So far, the tourism programmes had one point agenda Bring More Tourists. It should now be replaced by two point agenda, Bring More Tourists and Promote Tourism with Poverty Reduction.

Stuti Lall ( 2001): A study of Factors for Income Earning Loss of the Artisans ( mimeo) 8