Tourist Circuit: A tourist circuit can be defined as a route which has at least three major destinations located on it such that none of them exist in the same town, city or village. These destinations should not be separated by a long distance and should have well defined entry and exit points.  A tourist will cover all the destinations of the particular circuit during his/her tour. 

It helps to increase the number of visits to all these destinations as well as the length of stay of the tourists. The tourists can visit all the destinations located on the circuit which benefits them as well as the destinations they are visiting.

It brings to attention such areas or experiences or activities which are new and fascinating or of a special interest to the tourists. Thus, offering a mixed bag of scenic beauty, historical sites, cultural diversity etc.

You may be interested to know Tourist Circuits of India Part-I

You may be interested to know Tourist Circuit of India Part-II

Thus, the main features of a tourist circuit are: 

  1. It should have at least three major destinations: This is the foremost requirement of a tourist circuit. It needs to have at least three major destinations to form a proper circuit. 
  2. None of them should exist in the same town, city or village: None of the major destinations of the circuit should be located in the same town, city or village of the destination. 
  3. It should not be separated by a long distance: The distance between each of the destinations should be long to form a circuit. These should not be located too close. 
  4. It should have well defined entry and exit points: The circuit should a proper entry point from where the tourists can enter as well as an exit point from where the tourists can exit. 

Types of Tourist Circuits

Tourist circuits can either be developed within a state or across two or more states. These can be classified according to different types. Common types of tourist circuits are: 

Also read History of Travel and Tourism

1. Heritage Tourist Circuits:

With a civilization as old as 500 years or more, modern India is an ideal destination for heritage tourism. Be it monuments, museums or historical buildings, India has an abundance of tangible resources. Heritage means the traditions, languages or buildings that were created in the past and still have historical importance.

Thus, heritage tourism is oriented towards cultural heritage of a destination.  It can include monuments, historical buildings, artefacts, performing arts, festivals, traditions etc.  Heritage tourist circuits help to preserve culture and identity as well as help to build harmony and understanding among people. There are 35 World Heritage Sites in India. 

A heritage tourist circuit is one which includes destinations of historical/heritage value. The main emphasis of such heritage circuits is to preserve our rich heritage and revive old customs and traditions. The overall purpose is to gain an appreciation of the past. It can also include marketing of a destination to members of a diaspora who have distant family roots. 

 Example of Heritage Circuit:  Varanasi-Khajuraho-Agra. 

Varanasi is the oldest city in India and is famous for its temples and Ghats. Khajoraho is famous for its erotic temples while Agra is famous for the world renowned Taj Mahal. 

2. Wildlife Tourist Circuits:

Wildlife includes the native fauna and flora of a region. Wildlife tourism involves watching wild animals in their natural habitat. Non consumptive interactions with wildlife such as such as photographing animals are also an important feature of this type of tourism.

Wildlife tourism is popular in African and South American countries, Australia, Canada, India, Maldives, Indonesia, Sri Lanka etc. It includes offering tour packages and safaris to tourists so that they have a closer view of wildlife.  It has a touch of adventure to it and supports values of eco tourism and nature conservation programs.

 A wildlife tourist circuit is one which includes destinations with wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. The main emphasis of such circuits is to preserve wildlife in their natural form. 

Example of Wildlife Tourist Circuit: Corbett-Ranthambore- Bharatpur- Bandhavgarh- Kanha. 

This circuit is famous for mostly famous for tigers and jungle safaris. 

3. Religious Tourist Circuits:

India is home to a varied set of religions and faiths. Each religion has its own sacred destinations which are a must visit in one’s lifetime. Be it churches, temples, monasteries or mosques, India is the perfect destination for religious tourism.

Read more on Spiritual Tourism

Although Hinduism is in majority in the country, religions like Islam, Christianity and Buddhism also have a sizeable portion of the population along with niche religions like Sikhism, Jainism, and Vaishnavism, Jewish etc. religious tourist circuit is one which includes destinations for pilgrimage, missionary or leisure purposes. The main emphasis of such circuits is to visit holy cities/destinations connected to a particular religion. 

Example of Religious Tourist Circuit: Lucknow- Sravasti- Kushinagar- Gorakhpur- Varanasi- Bodhgaya- Rajgir Nalanda- Patna

These are main destinations of Buddhist Circuit tour. 

4. Tribal Tourist Circuit:

According to Terry Ward, journalist and travel writer, “Tribal Tourism is a new form of travel in which tourists visit tribal villages in order to be exposed to a culture completely different from their own.”. From the heavenly North East to the blissful Odisha, from Chhattisgarh to Jharkhand, India has eight percent of the total tribal population.

The tribals are known for their age old traditions, culture, traditions, festivals, craftsmanship etc. The main emphasis of such a tribal tourist circuit is to preserve their culture, traditions, and rituals and    make tourists aware about the same. 

Example of Tribal Circuit: Sibsagar- Mon- Majuli- Ziro- Daporijo- Basar- Dibrugarh

These are tribal destinations of the north eastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. 

5. Rural Tourist Circuit:

Rural tourism is a form of tourism which involves seeing rural life, art, culture and heritage in rural areas where local communities are benefitted economically and socially. This enables interaction between the tourists and locals and leads to an enriching experience. 

Also read Tourism Destination Development

It involves actively participating in a rural lifestyle. It is a variant of eco tourism and can be agricultural tourism, experiences and experiential tourism, community eco tourism, ethno tourism etc. The main emphasis of such a circuit is to give the tourists a feel of village lifestyle and to enable some interaction between the tourists and the locals.  rural tourist circuit is one which has rural destinations located on it. 

Example of Rural Tourist Ciruit: Wayanad-Attapadi-Thrikkaipetta-Wayanad-Kochi

 These are villages in Kerala. 

6. Desert Tourist Circuit:

Desert Tourism involves travelling to desert destinations with beautiful landscapes and adventure activities. India is known for its rich bio diversity and deserts remain an interesting region for a lot of people. Sand dunes, camel rides, bonfires and cultural dance all add up to make a complete tour. Desserts are spread out in Thar Rajasthan, Ladakh, Hiachal Pradesh and Rann of Kutch.  desert tourist circuit is one which includes deserts destinations. 

Example of Desert Tourist Circuit: Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Bikaner 

These are the desert destinations of Rajasthan.

7. Coastal Tourist Circuit:

Coastal tourism is based on the concept of resource combination of land and sea environments-: sun, water, beaches, scenic views, biological diversity (birds, whales, and corals), sea food etc. India has a long coastline with beautiful beaches.

Coastal tourism is based on a combination of land and sea environment. It is spread out in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha etc. costal tourist circuit is one which has coastal destinations in it. 

Example of Coastal Tourist Circuit: Port Blair- Havelock- Neil Island- Port Blair

These are the coastal destinations of Andamans. 

8. Eco Tourist Circuit:

Eco tourism is travelling to destinations which are ecologically fragile, pristine and protected. The aim of this type of tourism is to minimize the impact of tourism and keep it small scale. Eco circuits are spread in areas of the Himalays, North East states, Western Ghats, Jharkhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.  An eco tourist circuit is one which includes travel to ecologically fragile destinations.

 Example of Eco Tourist Circuit: Guwahati-Kaziranga-Manas-Guwahati

Besides the above mentioned circuits, the Ministry of Tourism has also recently started Ramayana circuit,Krishna circuit,Sufi circuit, Sikh circuit, Christian circuit, Jain circuit, Parsi circuit etc under its Swadesh Darshan plan. 

Importance of Tourist Circuits in Destination Development: 

As seen from above points, it is clear that tourist circuits connect important destinations on a route which are of tourist value. They play a vital role in the development of a destination. Hence, importance of Tourist Circuits in Destination Development can be stated as: 

  • Circuits can be developed around a particular theme to attract visitors and to increase the length of their stay at the destination. 
  • These can be used to diversify the range of tourism products and experiences which are provided at the destination
  • Tourist circuits can help to spread benefits to small businesses and rural communities while reducing pressure on most frequently visited areas such as World Heritage Sites. 
  • These can also be used to bring together a network of stakeholders- government, associations, local communities, private sectors etc. All these stakeholders work together and cooperate effectively in order to market and conserve the destination.   

Know about Indian Railway

You can understand the importance of tourist circuit in destination development with the help of a caselet, let’s take the case of the famous Golden Triangle. It includes main destinations of Delhi-Agra and Jaipur with detours at Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri. 

  • Now Golden triangle circuit has helped in increasing footfalls to all the destinations (Delhi,Agra, jaipur, Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri) which are located on this route. 
  • The circuit has helped in economic development of these destinations by attracting tourists to even the remote and rural areas like Fatehpur Sikri and Sikandra. 
  • Tourism has got a boost in these destinations and when this has happened, heritage of these places is also preserved simultaneously be it Taj Mahal of Agra or Red fort of Delhi or Amber Fort Of Jaipur. 
  • All monuments and heritage sites of Golden Triangle circuit have been maintained properly and at regular intervals. 
  • Development of this circuit has also led to infrastructure development in the destinations like interpretation facilities, souvenir shops, eateries, ATMs etc. 
  • Local art and craft has also got promoted as villages and small businesses are visited by tourists on the route. 
  • Connectivity to these destinations has automatically improved as tourist influx has grown. Be it airport, railway stations, better quality roads etc 
  • This has leads to skill development of local communities in these destinations. A lot of local tourist guides are skilled in foreign languages at many monuments like the Taj Mahal. 
  • Local communities have got employed and revenue has been earned by local people-be it small stall vendors, local eateries etc. 
Tourist Circuit