Cultural Heritage Tourism In India Tourism Essay

Heritage is property of the world. It has important evidences of past incidents and changes and it is the necessity to conserve without political involvement and racial discrimination (UNESCO, 2004). So far Graham et al. (2000, p40) suggested Heritage is tremendously concerned in the construction and legitimating of collective constructs of uniqueness, such as group, gender, religion, civilization and nationalism.

When we talk about the relation of heritage into tourism industry, at first, holy cities such as Rome are acknowledged as a highly multifunctional and even ‘multi heritage’ place, as a result, the heritage attractions positively become the feature of Italy for tourist. To manifest the implication of heritage is consequently the key point of managing a heritage sites.

As cultural heritage tourism is mostly dependant on the history, the events of the past has abundant evidence that how the past travels had been changing the entire pages of each century and affected our past life. Much of it is also passed on form age to age occasionally in the form in which it actually happened but more often as “myth or fable”. In whichever form it is of prime importance to a tourism professional, particularly in the circumstances such as the one obtaining in India with wealthy cultural heritage having continuity from the ancient (IGNOU, 2002). The process of finding will continue into the future because nobody can predict the number of real stories that have been buried in the earth and still not found. But somehow scholars have been able to find the real incidents of past with the help of evidences of literature which are still present all over the world as well as the role of scientists and researchers. Archaeology department of each country is encouraging the researchers to find out about our past. These particular reasons have encouraged in selection of the dissertation topic, so at first this will focus on past history and development of Ajanta and Ellora caves and then it will look at the past record of tourist information and the with the help of available secondary data from Books, Journal articles, news papers past surveys and the information available on the internet, respective governments intergovernmental organization and non government agencies such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, IUCN, GHF, etc.


Cultural heritage conservation is always a centre of discussion in the form of developing economy of various nations. Cultural heritage tourism product is becoming a prime source for developed and developing countries though it is a subsidized product of tourism. The reason of subsidizing may be underpinning of heritage tourism is attractions. Huge number of examples currently in practice throughout the world of natural and cultural heritage sites that are of internationally approved and many more thousands of local notoriety. All of these play an important role in the supply of tourism although they may draw different market segment e.g. international tourist and local recreational users.

The present expansion of the Asia’s tourism market has many challenges, one of the main difficulties lie in understanding how cultural and religious heritage of Asians could be linked to the overall development of tourism. Asian countries which consider their religious, artistic, and general resources of heritage have unique features that has been attracting tourist around the world. The challenges of cultural and heritage base tourism created would require different choices about strategy, policies that are simultaneously both learning and teaching opportunities (United Nation, 2004).

Countries like India where every tourist gets glimpses of diverse culture in his/her entire journey. India is primarily a cultural destination in international tourism. These are the features of ‘India’ marketed as tourism product in international as well as domestic circuit. Domestic tourism competition already has begun in India from past decades as every state government has been developing their strategies with the help of international organization to improve the tourism. In result, due to sudden changes the competition can be seen among service providers as from hawkers to large scale stakeholders. In scenario market everyone’s mind has been diverting towards the heritage sites in India, thus it is creating trafficking of tourists as well as service providers. So it is affecting the quality of services and facilities. This shows a different picture of hospitality and tourism industry in India.

Tourism industries are solely dependent on the visitors/ tourists who are the main drivers of this industry. Different demands and requirement of individuals is affecting on tourism industry. Also the issues and understanding of heritage tourism by different group of people as it may be visitors/tourists or local communities are different.

To overcome from various aspects and issues which are related to heritage tourism require a better management system. Many cultural and natural heritage sites around the world are putting more focuses on issues regarding to visitors, maintenance and management of heritage site, analysis of monuments, flora and fauna, environment and lastly the sustainability.

The tourist typology is boosting overall development of touristic market. The most important part of tourism is a cultural as well as natural heritage property. So it always remains prime attraction to most of the people to come and enjoy their holidays. This dissertation will focus on every aspect of cultural heritage tourism industry such as supply, demand, conservation and heritage visitor’s management, interpretation, authenticity and politics of cultural heritage site.

The primary data can be retrieved with the help of some questionnaires to understand the real nature and find out what can be done more to achieve the overall development at Ajanta and Ellora Caves at Aurangabad.

To understand the World cultural heritage site here the UNESCO has mentioned that “it as a monuments, architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science; groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of exceptional universal importance from the point of view of history, art or science; sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and man, and areas including archaeological sites which has excellent universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view” (UNESCO, 2011).

Here, In the Krakow Charter (2000), a monument is defined as “a clearly determined entity, the bearer of values, which represent a support to memory. In it, memory recognises the aspects that are relevant to human performance and feelings, associated with the historic time-line” (Vecco, M 2010).

Apart from this many scholars considers that World Heritage Sites should not only be exemplary situations for the pursuit of research but also be closely identified with the creation and maintenance of different kinds of knowledge (Darvill, T., 2007). Tourists are always willing to learn new things as well as eager to exchange knowledge between each other. It is the fact to become aware about surroundings and changing of trends and practices in the world.

Literature Review:


This chapter will investigate the perception of cultural heritage tourism and visitor management as well as development of tourism at site by reviewing several concerned literatures. The review will start with the overview of cultural heritage tourism including the concept of Culture, heritage, cultural heritage tourism and cave architecture from different World Heritage Sites to understand the their current scenario of cultural heritage tourism management. The review will be followed by the discussion on visitor impacts, their experience and management. Also it will focus on the intermediaries of cultural heritage tourism.


Kalman, (2010) has given a simple definition of culture that, “it is the way we live, it is the clothes which we wear, the food which we eat, the language which we speak, the stories which we tell and the ways we celebrate or express to each other”; also it is a way we show our imagination by tradition which we have learnt from our ancestors. It includes arts, music, and literature. According to Pedersen, (2002) the culture has originated from group psychology behaviour, and the effect of surrounding environment, here is the example: since beginning all human being love to live in group it include people as well as animal, the effect of surroundings, interacting with other culture and regular exposure to outside groups incorporated new practices in to their way they live. Thus people have been moving away from their daily routine work and travel at various places to gain experience or exchange culture with each other. But currently it can see that influence of external culture is damaging the traditional way of life. For example in the social cultural context women working outside the traditional family system can weaken interest in cultural traditions such as storytelling (Pedersen, 2002).

Further from tourism point of view Singh (2004 in Imbal, 2010) explained that “culture is creative artistic activities, goods and services produced by it, and the preservation of human heritage”. According to this definition Imbal (2010) put a lime light as this it has brought attention not only indigenous or original culture of destinations to create value but also the impact on the economy and productive activities originate from or contributing to particular culture sector results in further value creating activities (Imbal, 2010).

Cultural tourism:

Cultural Tourism is the subset of tourism that is defined as travels concentrating toward experience the traditional and contemporary culture, arts, and special character of a place. This includes the performing, visual and literary arts, language, museums, heritage, crafts, architecture, design, film and broadcasting. The primary benefit of cultural tourism is economic impact. There are plenty of statistics that talk about the fact that travellers who participate in cultural activities spend more money and stay longer than leisure travellers. A good strategic planning of cultural heritage tourism shapes and defines a community’s image, in domestic as well as international tourism.

According to McKercher and Du Cros, (2002) cultural tourism and cultural heritage management work as equivalent activities in most places with really little conversation between the two, also it shows common interest between the cultural and cultural heritage is such as the management, conservation, and preservation of the cultural and heritage properties. So the results of this many lost opportunities to provide value to visitor experiences even though managing rare and weak resources in a social context, environmentally and ethically responsible and in sustainable manner. They stated that occasionally this loss results in some unprincipled tourism operator who exploring the local culture and heritage assets for their own personal gains (McKercher and Du Cros, 2002).

Hall and Zeppel (1990a:87 in Timothy and Boyd, 2003) stated that relation between cultural and heritage tourism is:

Cultural heritage is experiential tourism based on being involved in and stimulated by the performing arts and festivals. Heritage tourism, whether in the form of visiting preferred landscapes, historic sites, buildings or monuments is also experiential tourism in the sense of seeking an encounter with nature or feeling part of the history of a place.

Most researchers believe that heritage is linked to the past which symbolizes some sort of gift to be passed down to current as well as future generations, both in terms of cultural traditions and physical objects (Hardy, 1988 cited in Timothy and Boyd 2003). But in contrast many authors have pointed out that what elements of past a society need to maintain (Fladmark 1998; Graham et al., 2000; Hall and McArthur 1998 in Timothy and Boyd 2003). As there are many incidents all cannot link to the cultural aspects. This makes selective sort of heritage it assumes some aspect of value, that which is of personal value is labelled as personal or family heritage, whereas those values dictated by nations or communities become ‘our’ heritage (Hall and McArthur 1998 cited in Timothy and Boyd 2003). Hall and Zappel (1990) observed differently that the connections between cultural and heritage tourism, stating that Cultural tourism is experiential tourism based on being involved in and stimulated by the performing arts, visual arts and festivals. Heritage tourism whether in the form of visiting preferred landscapes, historic sites, building or monuments, is also experiential tourism in the sense of seeking an encounter with nature or feeling part of the history of a place.

However the most internationally accepted definition of heritage was defined by UNESCO that “Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to the future generations” (UNESCO 2008a, p.5).

Timothy and Boyd (2003) define that heritage tourism as ‘an immersion in the natural history human heritage, arts, philosophy and institutions of another region or country’. According to them heritage can be divided into tangible immovable resources (e.g. national park, sanctuaries, monuments, buildings), tangible movable resources (e.g. objects in museums) and intangible resources including values, customs, ceremonies, lifestyles and experiences such as cultural events. The concept of intangible heritage; according to (Schmitt, 2008) safeguarding intangible heritage resource has derived from “Government of Bolivia to protect the intellectual property rights of popular culture 1973”; then in 1989, UNESCO put limelight on the safeguarding rights on traditional culture and Folklore. However this project started to collect CD about the culture and 90 objects were proclaimed as such masterpieces in three proclamations between 2001 and 2005. For example of the new UNESCO category of intangible heritage is the “Kutiyattam Sanskrit” Theatre in the southern Indian province of Kerala (Schmitt, 2008).

Cultural heritage tourism a different market segment:

To recognize in minutiae cultural heritage tourism market segment which is associated with visits to historical sites, monuments, and artistic scientific or heritage attraction? WTO has mentioned two definition of cultural heritage tourism in narrow sense it include “movement of person for essentially cultural motivations such as study tours, performing art, and pilgrimages”. In broader manner it is defined as “all movements of persons, because of satisfy the human need for diversity, tending to raise the cultural level of the individual and giving rise to new knowledge experience and encounters”. Since cultural is prejudiced definition of cultural tends to the extensive as well as narrow, depending on the practical uses in the field (Pedersen, 2002).

The importance of Heritage

The importance of heritage is highly depending on their value and attitude as type of heritage resources which significant to different communities, groups and individuals. Hall and McArthur (1993) have explained the importance of heritage tourism divided in to four as social, economical, scientifically and political (Hall and McArthur 1993a).

In social significance, heritage refers to personal and collective identity people and society have which can lead to create a sense of belonging. The sense of belonging and social conscience is a driver to consider preservation in the first place.

Social science such as anthropology and cultural studies involve artefact of heritage or cultural heritage as presenting folkloric traditions or dance. Apart from this historical monuments and natural heritage are creating more opportunities to the scientist and researchers to find out the method and types of material they used in making of sites. The archaeological department of each country try to preserve the wall paintings and sculpture at various world heritage sites (Hall and McArthur 1993a) according to them sites can provide the history lesson for not only students and visitor who related or have interest in the history but also local communities to know the importance of sites sometime lack of initiatives and interest shown by local people which affect on conservation of heritage properties.

Under the social context Baig, A., (2011 in Times of India, 2011) points out that the importance of health and education only in local communities can helps to achieve possible sustainability of cultural heritage tourism. She has given example how the impact of massive tourism affects as Taj Mahal, India’s most iconic site, which is situated in Agra, but it is one of the most dismal destinations in the world. One side of the industry is ensure that the Taj Mahal is protected but another side shows the current status of city economy is in decline, and its people have paid an unwanted high price. Further Baig and Morgan, 2011 in Times of India, 2011, emphasis on the empowerment of local communities can help to achieve inclusive development of heritage sites throughout the world (Times of India, 2011).

In terms of economic importance, heritage is preserved because of its value for tourism and recreation. As being a large scale business, heritage tourism can generate incomes for the sites either from visitor spending or sponsorship from various stakeholders (Hall and McArthur 1993a). According to an article which was released in Times of India (2011) Sethi (2011) has mentioned that Heritage can become a serious economic driver for developing countries, if the country is able to get its act together. The global heritage fund organizations 2010 report says that developing countries like India can tap a $ 100 billion a year opportunity by 2025, if they make sincere attempt to preserve and responsibly develop their heritage sites.

Further scientifically and educational importance of heritage attractions where both natural and cultural heritage sites such as national parks may have rare habitat and endangered species which will be useful for scientific researches. As research may consists of ecosystem dynamics, comparative ecology, surveys of fauna and flora, and the association of base ecological data, environment change and human impacts on the ecosystem of cultural and natural world heritage sites (Hall and McArthur 1993).

In terms of political importance, Hall and McArthur (1993a, p. 9) state that “the meaning and symbolism of heritage may serve political ends”. As the conservation and understanding of certain heritage attractions may serve to emphasize on a particular version of history or to promote existing political values. Furthermore, the ownership of heritage and the institutional arrangement also have political implication as the rights and ‘wishes of private owners may place conflict with government or public interests’ (Hall and McArthur 1993a; Timothy and Boyd 2003).

Then, there is the question about political will. Jain, 2011 in Times of India, 2011 stated that culture is often considered a soft subject and that shows in the bundling of the portfolio with other ministries like youth or sports affairs. “The government’s schemes are often well-intentioned, but there is rarely any follow-through. For instance, under the public-private partnership adopt-a monument project a good idea for corporate to do their bit for conservation, but it fell through, because of red tape” (Times of India, 2011).

To understand the nature of the scheme Archaeological department of Scotland Adopt-a-Monument project based on providing volunteer groups with all the practical guidance and training they want to play a leading role in caring for their local archaeology. For example Scotland adopt-a monument scheme putting more focus on helping volunteers which includes children and young people to improve sites which they are really passionate about it. This practice will equip the volunteers with new skill in archaeological fieldwork and conservation and can get chance to access educational literature resources about the heritage. Which help to create awareness among local area and it effect to promote of heritage site, this way the respective government try to keep them active which helps to enjoy teamwork with practical result (Archaeology Scotland, 2011).

Current tourist demand:

According to (Pavlic, 2009) up gradation in the standard of living is become a main cause of rises in fluctuation of tourists spending, for example: the income generating from the modern tourism commodities. Modern tourist’s behaviour is the main factor in current tourism industry. As currently many of travel operations that could be from demand side or supply side are in boom because ease of accessing Information through internet and infrastructure developments. So the importance of information technology in the current industry is the main factor while considering the supply and demand of tourism industry it can be assumed that the personal needs of the modern tourism have more influence compare to old masses of tourism. The current tourism mostly depended on economic mass and production to consume mass, standardized and rigidly packaged holidays. The current tourists from a modern age are following the pace and direction of industry changes (Poon, 1993 in Pavlic, 2009).

To find out the main factors and consequences of cultural heritage tourism demand changes. So firstly, need to identify types of tourist come under this category around the world.

Religious heritage and pilgrimage:

“Sacred travel is commonly regarded as the oldest form of non economic travel” (Jackowski and Smith, 1992 in Timothy and Boyd, 2003).The common travel trend has been travel from western to eastern Mediterranean region was religiously motivated before and during the Roman Empire era. This trend currently exists and in future as well within the devotees of world’s major religions (Timothy and Boyd, 2003).

Further, Timothy and Boyd, 2003 explained that “the historic sites associated with the development of a religion, and various points along spiritual routes and the pathways”.

Further, Shackley (2001 in Timothy and Boyd, 2003) made two basic groups according to their purpose of visits. As whose primary purpose is to gain religious experience and another one is who come to visit in large number and their prime motto is to visit an elements of the worlds religious cultural heritage so called “secular tourist”. This shows variation between the tourists motivation who visits heritage sites. Many tourist visit heritage sites with curiosity about historic sites not of their own faiths, for example non -tourists visiting Buddhist religious cultural heritage sites around the Asia may fit in to the secondary group of heritage tourist.

To understand the concept behind this motivation of these cultural tourist many scholars fails to find out the differences between pilgrims and tourists but Smith (1992) proposed typology of the relationships and differences between the tourist and pilgrims.

The Pilgrim- tourist continuum

Source: Smith (1992 in Timothy and Boyd)

From the figure______ she Smith explained that “on one end of a spectrum are devout pilgrim, while at the other end are secular tourist, with some variations between the two located somewhere in the middle” (Timothy and Boyd, 2003). From the heritage tourism viewpoint, pilgrimage is a type of tourism under the huge headline of religious tourism.

Source: McKercher, B and Du Cros, H (2002)

According to above figure _____ it is clear that there are mainly five kinds of tourists who come under the cultural and heritage tourism these are:

Purposeful cultural tourist: who has purpose to visit to cultural tourist site and these are eager to learn about a destination’s culture and heritage as well as who has high sense of history, education, religious and the culture from around the world.

Sightseeing cultural tourist: cultural tourism is a key motive for visiting a specific destination however the experience is less deep.

Serendipitous cultural tourist: the tourist who does not travel for specific cultural motives, but ultimately does have a deep cultural tourism experience.

Casual cultural tourist: cultural tourism is a weak travel motivation and the resulting cultural experience is shallow.

Incidental cultural tourist: who however visits cultural attraction with very little experience or by an incident and these cultural tourist who also not motivated to travel for cultural reason but due to unexpected visit to the cultural heritage site they get the deep experience about the cultural and heritage sites (McKercher et al., 2002).

Further from supply point of view the requirement of different services and facilities provide by the stakeholders necessitate a different marketing approach to motivate cultural and heritage tourist. In general, supply means the tourism resources services of a region. Supply, has categorized as primary, secondary and tertiary elements (Jobson-Verbeke and Lievois, 1999 in Timothy and Boyd 2003). The primary elements involve the attractions such as cultural, sport and amusements facilities and their leisure setting ensuring physical characteristics and sociocultural features. After this secondary elements focuses on the service aspects which provide to the tourist as accommodation, food shopping and market. Further tertiary or additional elements are those which are relating to infrastructure development to connect the tourist’s sites and attractions. Currently, 21st century tourist’s behaviour is the most important factor which influencing the cultural heritage tourism market throughout the world (Pavlic, 2009) such as transportation, providing information to the tourist form offices and information kiosks at sites as well as parking facilities at sites (Timothy and Boyd, 2003).

Cultural heritage market:

The Criteria for Selection

“According to UNESCO site must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which has explained below the convention table. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the Wold Heritage concept itself”.

“Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, only one set of ten criteria exists” (UNESCO, 2011)

Source: UNESCO

Selection criteria:

To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;

To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

To be a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;

To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;

To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;

To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);

To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;

To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;

To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;

To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.

Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as cultural landscapes (UNESCO, 2011).

Heritage visitor attraction’s classification:

“The classification of heritage attractions considers the commonly accepted definition or agreed typology included the three different perspectives were ‘outside’ commentator or ‘observer’ of the heritage product; the ‘outside’ or ‘inside protagonist’ of the tourism product, and the ‘inside exponent’ of conservation” (Leask and Yeoman, 1999) but in fact these typology were not supported to the manager to recognized the tools for an operations. Therefore Prentice (1993 in Leask and Yeoman 1999) considered the enormous variety of heritage visitor attractions is highlighted. “The heterogeneity of present day heritage is mirrored in the heterogeneity of heritage attractions, as site, themes and areas promoted heritage as a product and utilization by tourist or visitor from home” though it has broad sense as site, theme and area but he considers that attractions may not itself be attractive, and cites as example of field of sport and genocide monuments; so this could be used for an analysis of supply and demand patterns, the typology is of partial value in heritage visitor attraction management on the ground. Further Swarbrook (1995 in Leask and Yeoman) explained the difference between destination and attraction that

“Attractions are generally single units, individual sites or very small, easily delimited geographical areas based on a single key feature. Destinations are larger areas that include a number of individual attractions together with the support services required by tourist”.

Cultural heritage visitor’s attraction management:

The cultural heritage tourism requires a careful understanding. Because of the quality issues which lie in the cultural heritage tourism. Managers should maintain a balance between a demand and supply. Typology of tourist has significant value in the management because every tourist is unique in nature. As mentioned above quality management has vital role to create an experience lasting value. Visitor’s perceptions about the quality is solely depend diverse range of factors, from site interest and the quality of services provided to the visitor experience (Vitterso et al., 2000) as what happens in his/ her entire visits rather than gaining a knowledge about the culture, getting facilities and services which normally available. Therefore Rouse (1998 in Leask and Yeomen, 1999) emphasis on the treatments by the service providers has a signific

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