Ever since the liberalization of the Indian economy, major changes have occurred in the Kerala landscape. The Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) have been given significant funds under their disposal for under taking various developmental works. Thus, the travel expenditure of these servants of the people has gone up manifold. In Kerala packages specifically adhering to the tight schedules of the public servants are put in place and meticulously planned by the prominent tour operators.
The prominent MPs and MLAs now participate in all types of events and seminars. Not only that, traveling for political campaigns and other related functions is on the rise. Today almost all the top political brass is present in a major family function of their colleague. This form of travel also envisages participation in special events or big national celebrations and the consequential festival type atmosphere generated by such functions. Typical examples are the wedding of the British Prince of Wales or coronation of the Queen. Economic and political conferences or commemorations of anniversaries of celebrities also attract larger number of tourists. An interesting example is the rush to Elba during the commemoration of Napoleonâ??s 200th birthday in 1969. Affiliation to different ideologies may also prove a magnet for travel.
In this connection, another form of travel, which though not strictly tourist in nature and that has attracted wide attention is government related travel. According to one estimate, nearly 6.8 percent of total travel in 1981 worldwide was accounted for by government officials. In reality, this form of travel also consumes goods and services for tourists and as such. It should be treated as a form of political tourism.
In classifying the above forms of tourism, the intention is to explain the basic purpose of travel for guidance but it may be noted that there is, as such, no official sanction behind this classification. On entering a country, where immigration cards are used, the purpose of the visit is generally indicated as business or business-cum-tourism or tourism or returning resident, but for a public servant diplomatic visa is issued.
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