Friday, December 11, 2009

Vendors as a community representative

Vendors are the community ambassadors and the best option of showcasing all that the community has to offer. They are the gateway for interaction between the community and the visitors. They can market the handicrafts, the art and the culture of the area effectively and promote other services related to tourism; this would lead to more livelihood opportunities.

Their presence so close to the heritage site is a great potential of possibilities and need to be investigated to make the maximum impact and contribute to a to a healthy interaction between the visitors and the community. As mentioned above the traffic at the main entrance is chaotic and in the midst of that there are 70 odd vendors trying to sell their products to the visitors, needless to say the ambiance is not suited for any sort of interaction and shopping; and adversely affect the safety and the trade in the area. There is a need for better arrangements where the local economy can flourish and this is the responsibility of the elected officials to provide opportunities for growth rather than eliminating the current prospects. In the past, there have been attempts to remove vendors from the scene to reduce congestion but that is not an acceptable solution; such practices reflect badly upon the intention of the government. It sends a wrong signal to society and this affects the growth of tourism. A vendor can be the face of the area, a little glimpse of all that is hidden in these villages and that is only possible if community is directly connected to tourism and not afraid to invest in it for the fear of being driven away.

Nalanda has a lot of potential to sustain vendors and local shopkeepers as they meet the needs of the tourists and the long term solution lies in conducive environment for the trade and promote local economy by providing more business and employment opportunities.

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