CAN Cultural Festivals Create Sustainable Tourism ? A Study Based on Festivals in North EAST India

Friday, July 18, 2014: 11:18 AM
Room: 423
Aparajeeta BORKAKOTY , Commerce, GAUHATI UNIVERSITY, Guwahati, India
Sumadhur ROY , Business Management, GAUHATI COMMERCE COLLEGE, GUWAHATI, India
Festivals are integral to culture .Culture  formats festivals, reflecting traditions ,belief and faith of the communities in its celebration. Festivals brand communities, display culture in all forms, preserve ethnicity and identity  that create potential  for tourism markets .Tourism is gaining momentum across the globe owing to growing  subsets of tourism. Festivals, events and cultural tourism is a marketing mix and economic phenomenon, that creates innovative tourist avenues for  developing nations. In India, Assam tourism policy banks upon the festivals and cultural heritage of the state as  tourism product promotion. The deviation is from simple celebration to commercialization. In this context ,the study is a research on festivals that showcase culture in art, dance forms, traditional handlooms and handicrafts, jewellery, etc  that is hypothesized to impact on creation of tourism  .

Method: The centre of the study is the touristic and commercial hub of Guwahati city, a major destination for all North East States in India and gateway to South East Asian countries that  forms India’s Look East Policy. Guwahati   holds several cultural festivals that attracts tourists.  Therefore the primary databased study have selected tourists to understand their perception of  sustainability and  the issues that interest them  to visit a particular cultural festival  at repeated intervals and those that fail to create such an interest.  Convenience sampling is used to distribute the structured questionnaire to the respondents. The questionnaire comprising of both open and close ended questions is  developed specifically to gather information regarding knowledge of sites, accessibility, location, transportation, traditions, gastronomy, publicity, expectations and motivations of such visits. The study is expected to reveal inspiring  factors  and deterrents of tourist attendance .The research   will create value addition that is expected to innovate in products, processes  and marketing  associated with festivals that can raise intellectual capital of community members.