Issue No. 354, January 2019
Managing tourism in Auroville
The community has no policy regarding how to handle tourism. Recently, visiting students studied the situation and made some recommendations. The number of foreign and domestic tourists in India is steadily increasing. Accor-ding to a recent report in The Hindu, in 2017 Tamil Nadu was the most popular state for domestic tourism, and the second most popular destination for foreign tourists. In all, it received over eight million visitors that year. Sometimes, it feels as if most of them are coming here. In 2016, the Auroville Visitors Center logged 637, 961 visitors, and this rose to 714,000 in 2017. Most of these were day-tourists, intent upon seeing the ‘golden globe’. And, indeed, the Matrimandir remains the magnet for the vast majority of casual visitors. But visitors also include longer-stay guests as well as volunteers, many of whom contribute valuable energy and ideas to the community. Aurovilians’ attitudes to visitors, particularly the day visitor...