Developing sustainable tourism destinations offering authentic folk experiences

Bhattacharya, Ananya (2011) Developing sustainable tourism destinations offering authentic folk experiences. In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

In 2004 banglanatak dot com initiated an experimental “Art for Livelihood” project, targeting 3200 folk artists (Patachitra - singing stories painted on scrolls, Baul Fakiri – Sufi music of Bengal, Jhumur – tribal lifestyle music and dance, Chau – tribal masked dance with martial art imbibed, Gambhira and Domni – folk theatre forms) in six economically backward districts of West Bengal. The project primarily aims at enhancing the livelihood basis of the artists while providing a new positive identity to their localities as creative hub, rather than that of impoverished rural villages. The emergence of such new rural creative hubs is in turn gradually leading to the development of new tourism destinations to bring additional income opportunities to the so-far economically marginalized areas. The paper presents innovative strategies for developing villages as heritage tourism destinations. Village of Pingla with 52 Patachitra painter families is attracting regular visitors. Yet, the village is deprived of any major historical sites of interest. Santhal communities in Tunta, not only present folk songs, dance and craft, but also take the visitors to neighbouring 6th century terracotta temples. Result is safeguarding of heritage by community themselves. Much of existing heritage tourism is largely centered on the promotion of historical monuments and sites or static imaginaries commoditizing local cultural traditions. Such tourism models have not necessarily brought expected benefit to the local population. Heritage tourism initiatives have often failed to invest in the capacity building of local human components, especially the poor segment of society. This has led to classical situation where local heritage resources are being exploited by outside business ventures leaving local communities as mere low-end tourism sector ‘labour’. The paper shares successful approaches for placing traditional artistic skill of local population as prime mover of income generation and development of sustainable community led tourism.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Bhattacharya, Ananya
Languages: English
Keywords: intangible heritage; tourism; cultural tourism; economic aspects; social aspects; local communities; world heritage; sustainable tourism; data base; internet; inventories; crafts; craftsmanship; network; culture centres; tourism facilities; dance; folk arts; india
Subjects: H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 17. Intangible cultural heritage
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 04. Sustainable tourism
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 05. Tourism impact
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 02. Economic impact of heritage
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 03. Performing arts
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 04. Social practices, rituals and festive events
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 05. Traditional craftsmanship
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 04. Asia and Pacific islands
Name of monument, town, site, museum:
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: intern icomos
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2012 10:47
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2012 10:47

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