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Definition of cultural tourism

According to National Trust for Historic Preservation of America, cultural tourism is “visiting to
see and experience the locations and activities that genuinely represent the stories and societies
of the present and the past. It includes cultural, historic and natural resources.”
Tourism can be very helpful for economic development. It creates jobs, provides novel business
opportunities and supports the local economies too. If cultural tourism can be developed in right
way, it will help to protect a nation‟s natural and cultural values while improving the life quality
of its residents and visitors. When tourism is linked with heritage and culture, it can be more
advantageous for local economies than promoting them separately, which is the core idea in
cultural tourism. A region that improves its potential for cultural tourism creates new chances for
tourists to get an understanding of a new place and people. The arrival of tourists in turn create
new opportunities for conservation. Well-maintained sites will teach the visitors their
importance, and in addition, the importance of protecting such sites in other places.
But not every community can enjoy benefits of cultural tourism. Countries or communities that
have lost their inheritance, or not protected their cultural potential might not have the cultural,
historic and natural resources, which it takes to develop cultural tourism to attract cultural
heritage tourists.
When a community‟s heritage is the element of what it offers to tourists, protecting that heritage
is also important. Therefore a major challenge in cultural tourism is to make sure that developing
tourism would not destroy the very assets that attract tourists in the first place. Another problem
is it put demands on infrastructure of a country; on roads, water supply, airports, train lines and
public services etc. When travellers increase in number and adding stress to infrastructure and
heritage sites can create problems with time.
“Getting Started: How to Succeed in Heritage Tourism” (National Trust for Historic Preservation in the
United States)

Current cultural tourism trends in Kerala includes home stays for tourists in local houses,
pilgrimage tourism, tourism on heritage places, ecotourism, coastal tourism, backwaters,
traditional dances and martial arts, cultural monuments and museums on Kerala‟s culture and
history.

 Home stays
Nowadays home stays has become one of the main cultural tourism attractions among the
visitors who come to Kerala. Apart from its natural beauty, Kerala is well known for its delicious
cuisine and hospitality. Homestays started in Kerala around seven years ago. Now, according to
records, there are more than 400 homestays in Kerala. It has become more popular since it helps

Traditional home made Kerala dishes have become the one of the main attraction of Homestays of Kerala. The most famous pilgrim place in Wayanad is Thirunelly temple. The services of the guides are also required. gold and diamond houses. It needs the service of skilled people. Most of the pilgrim places in Kerala are distinctive with their „prasadams‟. It is again the path for a side trip to Guruvayoor. The manufacture of such prasadams creates employment opportunities. Tourists from all over the world are coming to stay in homestays to live the lifestyle of Kerala. Home stays of the Kerala area are categorized into three types. One of the significant pilgrim places in north Kerala is the Parassinikkadavu Sri Muthappan temple. where the entry restricted to females. located 14 km away from Kannur town. Sale of such items also has created employment opportunities. Thousands of people come to see this boat race. It is a one day walk from Thekkady through beautiful forests. the famous Sri Krishna temple in India. where the tourists need to be taught about the customs and conditions prevails in various temples. which draws a large number of tourists each year. Every year thousands of people visit Shabarimala for different kinds of purposes. All these places need accommodation and transportation facilities for tourists. Aranmula Parthasarathy temple holds a grand show of snake boat races on Pamba river in August or September.tourists to experience the real cultural traditions of the area. This is famous for „Pithritharpanam‟.  Pilgrimage tourism One of the famous pilgrim places in Kerala is Sabarimala of Lord Ayyappa. The Attukal Devi temple in Thiruvananthapuram is known for Ponkala Mholsavam. Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple in the Fort area of Trivandrum attracts the tourists with wonderful specimens of Dravidian architecture. The Pooram festival in May at Vadakkunathan temple with eye catching display of caparisoned elephants in line and silken umbrellas is what known as the city “Thrissur” is a must in cultural tourism in Kerala. . Homestays are provided at competitive prices and they also help to bridge the gap for quality accommodation in Kerala area and returning the benefits of tourism directly to the general people. which is a pilgrim place of Hindus. silver. Another famous pilgrim place in Kerala is Sri Narayana Religious Complex in Varkala. Also certain items are necessary to bring to each temple. Also the guests can join with various household activities of the family and interact with people of a different culture. But there the entry is restricted to Hindus.

the great scrolls of old testaments and the delicate Chinese hand printed tiles are among the antiquities of interest. the harvest festival which is held from August to September. Guruvayoor etc. temples. The tourism calendar of each year in Kerala begins with Onam festival. All these temples are continuing their own unique traditions over centuries of years. Vallathol Narayana Menon had rare poetic thoughts. the man-made island Wellingdon and the Gundu islands are also attracted by tourists. mosques and Chinese fishing nets. which is one of the most important places of cultural tourism. is an area with full of canals. The copper plates where the grants of privileges made by the rulers of Cochin were written. Bhagwati in Kodungalloor. The main temples are Kottakal. and also a gallery of portraits belonged to Cochin Rajas which was made in the 17th century. Cochin has a nice combination of Jewish Synagogue. All tiles are unique in design and no two are similar and they are over 200 years old. Also there are five gold and silver crowns which were given as presents to the synagogue by various supporters. Napier Museum. They all represent different cultures and histories. Mohini Attom. There is also a famous snake temple with at least 4000 snake idols made of granite. and Zoo in Thiruvananthapuram. Natural History Museum. which is another form of Kerala‟s native art can also be seen there. Also there are many important temples in Kerala with religious importance. which is 60km from Cochin. . Museum Art Gallery. Kerala Kalamandalam is an academy which revive Kerala‟s temple and theatrical arts. Thrivikramangalam. Dutch architecture. The Kerala state government now celebrates it as a tourism week. Kathakali. Also different fairs and festivals attract lot of tourists from all over the world. During Onam festival Kerala state celebrates Nrithotsavam which is over six months long from October. Apart from that there are other tourist attractions too. Vallathol founded the Kerala Kalamandalam in Cheruthuruthi. Tourism department organizes dance programmes. which is the political capital of Kerala. Science and Technology Museum. Mattacncherry Palace was constructed in 1555 AD by Portuguese and handed over to the Cochin Raja. There are many rooms with paintings of Ramayana. The great poet of Kerala. temples and waterways. In 1663 it was repaired by the Dutch. Padmanabhaswami in Trivandrum. The Bolghatty Island where a Dutch made palace is located. which is the Kerala‟s own dance system is taught there. Alleppy. such as Sri Chithra Art Gallery. Its history also is an important factor which has given its importance. There are more than ten cave temples in the area. Kaviyoor. The Jewish Synagogue was built in 1568AD in Mattanchery. Heritage tourism The temple of Sri Padmanabha Swamy which was renovated by Raja Marthandavarma in 1733 AD with gopuram of seven stories was an idol of the area.

Dolphins are also can be occasionally seen there. The legends around its historic background and traditions create a mystic spell on this beach. and these types of industries require a less amount of capital. is a lake good for boating. Achankoil and Aryan Kavu from Thenmala. This is the Kerala‟s only drive in beach where one can drive down the entire length of 4km. Thenmala Ecotourism included three components. It is one of the finest beaches in the whole world. It provides employment opportunities for life guards in beeches where there is tourism take place. Cherai beach is a lovely beach bordering Vypeen island which is best for swimming. The sea lying at the foot of rocky peninsula is like a calm pond during the season where anyone can bath safety. Also the government recently has decided to promote ecotourism in Paithal mala of Kannur district. near the Trivandrum. There is also a deer rehabilitation Centre. a beach resort. Since accommodation near to the beach with the ability to see sunrise and sunset are more . Muzhappilangad beach is protected by black rocks and makes it swimmer‟s paradise. Facilities for available for boating in the wildlife sanctuary.  Coastal tourism With a coastline of about 575km. An eco-pilgrimage circuit is also offered connecting three Ayyappa temples at Kualthupuzha. It is a rural area where visitors can take a good look at Kerala life in a natural setting. It can use the locally available resources like parts of coconut tree. Accommodation facilities are also necessary for the tourists which create job opportunities. Eco-friendly general tourism. The Papanasini beach in Varkala is famous for its springs and rocky cliffs. Kappad beach in Kozhikode is a place where Vasco de Gama had landed in 1698AD. Bekal fort in Kasaragod is a classical beautiful palm beach. Ecotourism. Also the museums and art galleries need the services of many professionally qualified people. The National Adventure Foundation has soft hiking programmes and night camps from one to three days in Thenmala. is situated in Trivandrum district. etc. The payyambalam beach in Kannur is also a place which attracts many tourists. The ecotourism in Kerala began with the formation of Thenmala Ecotourism.The heritage tourism provides employment opportunities to musicians and artists which are seasonal in every year. Kovalam. The sea has facilitated connections with many western countries for Kerala since early ages. the sea has played an important role in turning the history of Kerala. which is a place good for adventure tourism. The manufacture and sale of handy crafts are other areas of employment related to tourism. the different parts of ecological phenomena are always interrelated.  Ecotourism Since Kerala is a small area bounded by high land area in the east and Arabian Sea on the west. the India‟s first arranged ecotourism destination. and Pilgrimage tourism. Veli.

That includes the infrastructure development (roads. It brings a big contribution to the country‟s economy. For example they tend to make noises at sacred places. Another issue is some tourists do not want respect the places they go. sometimes only seasonal market for some goods or employment can be problems also. guidance. try to take photographs of cultural assets which may be prohibited to take photos of them. Also more attractions are built in such a region which might be often beneficial for local people also. Sometimes without knowing the traditions or rules of a particular area tourists can create lot of problems. security. diversion of infrastructure development only to tourist attraction areas. railways etc) related to tourism industry also. . airports. As mentioned earlier also. sale of goods. There are many pros as well as cons which can be identified of cultural tourism. It includes accommodation. maintenance etc. Furthermore it will beneficial to the country in terms of which its cultural and historical important places and traditions will also be conserved with care for the future. Not only that. Similar to the many pros there are many cons also of cultural tourism. Moreover if an economy of a country relies too much from tourism that also can become an issue one day. One of the main problem would be it will be an invasion of privacy for local people of the tourist attracted areas. around any tourist attraction various kinds of job opportunities are created to provide goods and services to them. it provides employment opportunities to many people in the coastal area.popular among the tourists. Outside people will learn the culture and life style of the tourist attracted region and the people of that area have the chance to meet people from various places and learn new things. environmental destruction due to construction of facilities or provision of services in tourist attraction areas. helps to promote the area or country to investors of outside world.