Essay on a Cultural Tourism Product. Siolim as a New Cultural Tourism Destination in Goa, India

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Essay on a Cultural Tourism Product

Siolim as a New Cultural Tourism in

Goa, India

Goa is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in India. It is known as a beach lover's paradise, and its affluent history and culture. It􀂶􀁖 also well known for its wildlife parks, the forts and monuments of Aguada Beach, heritage hotels, fishing, rivers, boating, canoeing and water surfing at the various beachside destinations of Goa. However development in infrastructures has made it more easily accessible. The distance can be travelled by approximately 45 minutes or one hour from Mumbai city and all the metro cities () The product is a cultural package tour to Siolim village in Goa. It mainly highlights the indigenous tourism and the community indulgence to promote tourism. Siolim village is situated in the interiors of Goa. It is a small village with a population of almost 10000 people and lives under poverty. The language spoken is Konkani. Siolim is very pleasant during the winters and the monsoon time. It is very famous for its culture, traditions, sea food, historical monuments, handicrafts, traditional food, churches, beaches and wine which are prepared by extracting coconut water. The village gives an exotic feel of living in a remote place away from the modern amenities. The revenue generated by this village is through a wine factory which is the only source of income at present. So the local government with the consent of local people decided to develop this village as a tourist destination.

By promoting this product as a tourist package will indirectly help in uplifting the economic condition of the village. It will be a new product and has a great potential of gaining authentic experience for the tourist market.

There are various definitions of cultural tourism. The simple meaning of culture is a way of life people live and behave in their own habitat. Craik (1995b) says that Cultural tourism is a tailor made tour to visit other cultures and places to learn and gain knowledge about those people, lifestyle, heritage and arts in an informed way that authentically represents those cultures and their historical insights (Cited in Craik, 2001). Some of the observations from Smith (2009) brought him to the conclusion that culture combines both the upper and lower classes which were segregated earlier.

As Stebbins (1996, 1997) has commented, cultural tourism is a form of  (cited in Enevoldsen, 2003, p.15). Cultural tourism gives an opportunity for the host community to show their culture to the world. It also helps in maintaining their identity. However it has been argued by Turner and Ash (1975, p.129) Modern tourism is a form of cultural imperialism, an unending pursuit of fun, sun and sex by the golden hordes of pleasure seekers who are damaging local cultures and polluting the world in their quest.... Tourism is an invasion outwards from the highly developed metropolitan centres into the 􀂵uncivilised􀂶 peripheries. It destroys uncomprehendingly and unintentionally, since one cannot impute malice to millions of people or even to thousands of businessmen and entrepreneurs. (cited in Burns, 1999, p.77)

Introducing tourism in Siolim village will be like transforming a living and personalized culture into a tourist attraction. It will be funded by the local government. Tourism in this village will indirectly lead to economic development.

Indigenous tourism location is usually in inaccessible area with poor infrastructure amenities and limited access of tourism market. According to Smith (1996b, p.287) habitat, heritage, history of the place and the handicrafts describes indigenous tourism as a cultural based visitor experience. This type of tourism is basically well known for its high culture, heritage, handicrafts, value and tradition􀂶. (cited in Zeppel, 2001, p.235). It is usually controlled and functioned within the groups. Hinch and Butler (1996, p.9) defines which indigenous people are directly involved either through control and/or by having their culture serve as the essence (cited in Smith, 2002). One of the types of indigenous tourism would be community based tourism where the community is involved directly or indirectly. According a mutually supportive, geographically specific, social unit such as a village or tribe where people identify themselves as community members and where there is usually some form of communal decision making

Since the community hospitality is very essential for visitor satisfaction, involvement of the locals is very important. A study was conducted amongst Cretan community groups like the local residents, the business people for their perceptions, views and preferences on tourism development.

However the study shows that the community supports the tourism development when they find that it is beneficial for them. It highlighted their preferences on the types of tourists who visited. They rather preferred better quality and higher spending tourists. They were against mass tourism which was disrupting their island. It showed their interest in different types of tourism with eco friendly amenities. While some argued saying that the island was over developed and it may over exceed the carrying capacity. This study also brought up some opinions for development like improvement in the infrastructure, water and power supply, accommodation facilities, public services etc. (Andriotis, 2005). All these factors prove that a tourist destination can be successful only with the support of the local communities. Hence they play a very imperative role in the tourism industry. Tourism in Siolim village will commence taking into considerations all the above factors. Cultural tourism will help the community to generate foreign revenue and gain employment opportunities. This added income will be utilised for the welfare of the community. But more emphasis will be given to maintain their cultural identity as a host community. Hence value and customs originality is given an utmost importance. This product will be open for the tourist market twice every month to retain its traditional value as means of sustaining self image, recognition, its unique identity and status of the host community (Cave, et al., 2007) and also taking into considerations the capacity of the visitors (mass) which might harm the fragile resources of the village. Here the tourists will not only gaze the culture of the village but also will be participating in day to day routines of the locals. return enriched with knowledge of other places and other people even if this involves gazing at, or collecting in some way, the commoditized essence of othernes􀁖􀂴 (cited in Richard, 2007, p.4). It would be a perfect example of authencity. However there are different perceptions of a cultural tourist.

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Some of the cultural tourists are those who genuinely want to experience culture. Some take it as a religious or pilgrimage experience, some of them want to experience culture which is different from their culture and the other type would be cultural tourists who are researchers and students. (Kolb, 2006) Siolim is primarily targeted for the culturally motivated tourists having thorough knowledge of culture and who are in constant search of experiencing cultural sites or attractions. They are the people who genuinely want to know about a destination and want to know the behavioural concept of the local residents. They ...

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