International Journal of Economics and Business Administration
Articles Information
International Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Vol.2, No.6, Nov. 2016, Pub. Date: Nov. 12, 2016
Impacts of Tourism Development in Cultural and Heritage Sites: An Empirical Investigation
Pages: 68-78 Views: 712 Downloads: 824
Authors
[01] W. K. Athula Gnanapala, Dept. of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, Sri Lanka.
[02] J. A. R. C. Sandaruwani, Dept. of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, Sri Lanka.
Abstract
Tourism has become an important industry in the Sri Lankan economy and placed the fourth largest source of foreign exchange earner of the national economy in 2015. As a developing country, Sri Lanka takes much effort to develop tourism as an economic development strategy and it is targeted to attract 2.5 million of tourists by 2016. In this scenario, the cultural and heritage attractions are considered as an important area for future tourism developments. Sri Lanka is rich with 6 cultural world heritage sites, declared by UNESCO, and other important cultural treasures and attractions. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to discuss the impacts of tourism development in cultural and heritage sites in Sri Lanka and their implications for heritage management and sustainability of the industry. The study is carried out in the cultural world heritage sites in Sri Lanka and has adopted a range of data collection methods including semi-structured interviews, focused group discussions, document analysis, and participant observation and also gathered secondary data from online media. The findings revealed that even though tourism has brought many economic and socio-cultural advantages, there are several issues and problems that need to be addressed comprehensively such as over concentration on tourism, the conflicts of interests, unauthorized constructions and modifications, misinterpretations through guiding and poor site management etc. These factors have created dissatisfaction among the tourists and finally the negative publicity about the destination. It has concluded that the relevant and responsible authorities have to take necessary actions to answer the said problems and issues before further degradation of tourism occurs in heritage and cultural sites; otherwise the country has to endure further negative consequences.
Keywords
Cultural Tourism, Impacts, Industry Sustainability, Tourism Development, World Heritage Sites
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