Indigenous cultural tourism in Chitwan, Nepal: Obtaining sustainability in Tharu culture and tourism
Cultural heritage is one of the most important elements of tourism. We can see remarkable efforts of concerned people and agencies to develop tourism potential and to discover new cultural sites in a number of places. Even the cultures of remote and less-discovered cultural sites are growing attraction to tourists. On one hand, people are trying to develop tourism on bases of cultural heritage but, on the other, they are worried about the loss of their prehistoric cultures. For many people, tourism and preservation of culture and tourism cannot go together. For instance: like others, a number of indigenous communities around the world are interested in exposing their culture to tourists but, also are more worried about saving their culture. However, their interest in tourism and worry about the loss, in a combined form, has resulted in developing indigenous cultural tourism and conservation of culture, both. Obviously, potential of tourism has brought challenges in preservation of culture. But there must be some ways in which both of them can be developed in a balanced way. So this thesis discusses on how tourism can be developed in indigenous cultural destinations without causing the local culture to decline or even revitalizing destination cultural assets and aspects. Local culture, of course, gets influenced by tourist cultures. But, tourism has the potential to encourage people to keep their culture conserved. For this reason, this thesis works on finding the practical ways to save and promote cultural values and practices WITH TOURISM, not avoiding tourism. Focusing on a destination Sauraha: centre for Tharu culture, the interviews taken at Sauraha and other data have been analyzed in the light of three theories: sustainability, authenticity and indigenous identity. Mainly, it observes the social changes at Sauraha Tharu community: a highly touristic area in Chitwan, Nepal; sorts out the causes of changes and finally discusses on promoting cultural heritage.
ForlagUiT The Arctic University of Norway
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
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