Cultural Tourism Entrepreneurship in India

Cultural Tourism Entrepreneurship in India

Vandita Hajra (Amity Institute of Travel and Tourism, Amity University, Kolkata, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2603-3.ch012
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Cultural entrepreneurs are rightly called the heartbeat of the global economy as they are the ones who step in where governments fail to tread. Cultural entrepreneurs can instigate safeguarding of the timeless heritage of people with a pro-poor mission of generating collective awareness and encouraging community skill development. Cultural entrepreneurship is a significant requirement for the sustainability of the tourism sector of a country like India, as the ‘culture' component has been the game changer in the Indian tourism scenario and has truly endowed the industry with its unique brand identity. The following chapter draws important examples from the industry and analyzes the business prospects based on heritage and pilgrimage tourism, thematic routes, events and festivals, as well as creative tourism for the budding entrepreneurs to present India in a never experienced before avatar as the challenges that are an irreplaceable part of such a sensitive endeavour.
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Culture, which represents a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices and which manifests itself in almost all economic, social and other activities is the predominant factor behind India’s meteoric rise in the tourism segment in recent years. Cultural tourism is one of the significant branches of tourism. The United Nations World Tourism Organization suggests that more than 40 percent of all international tourists are “cultural tourists” (Isaac, 2008). Cultural tourism has been defined as 'the movement of persons to cultural attractions away from their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs' .The “Incredible India” campaign with its philosophy – “Atithi Devo Bhavah” (meaning: Guest is God) launched by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India leveraged heavily on the cultural aspects of India to attract tourists from all over the world. However, in most of the states there is a need to package these offerings in a way so that they create a more accessibility-laden appeal to the prospective tourist. The need of the hour is accentuating the tangible components of a local culture, recentering and packaging cultural products, reimagining social roles and motivating new behaviours therefore reaching the widest possible audience. And this is where the cultural entrepreneur could help bridging the gap between the readymade offerings and tourists' dormant motivations.

With rapidly changing and evolving demands and expectations of consumers, constant innovation by hospitality, leisure, sports and tourism businesses are definitely the need of the hour and therein lies the critical role of entrepreneurship. Cultural entrepreneurship calls for proper understanding of a region's culture and to harness it to drive trade and corporate activities through innovation, risk taking and maximizing opportunities. It is not only an economic activity but also a socio-cultural activity aimed towards community skill development at the very basic level and thereby fostering pro-poor growth. Cultural Entrepreneurs are cultural change agents and resourceful visionaries who organize cultural, financial, social and human capital, to generate revenue from a cultural activity. Their innovative solutions result in economically sustainable cultural enterprises that enhance livelihoods and create cultural value and wealth for both creative producers and consumers of cultural services and products.

Objectives of the Study

  • 1.

    To explore the prospects of cultural entrepreneurship in the tourism sector of India

  • 2.

    To identify the social problems associated with packaging culture and selling it as a product by cultural entrepreneurs

Research Methodology

Qualitative research method was followed in this study, including content analysis of secondary data collected from books, research papers, articles and websites. The following paper is exploratory in nature.

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