Talking about the factors influencing tourists to visit heritage sites, a report prepared by PHD and ORG India states that to analyse the motivations of tourists, the main referential framework is the push–pull model. The push–pull model is the one that is most widely used in the classification to address the motivations of the tourists.
While the push factors are those that inﬂuence the decision to visit a destination or heritage site, the pull factors inﬂuence the choice of a speciﬁc destination to visit. As a result, the push factors are considered more than pull factors.
PHD and its knowledge partner – ORG India jointly released a Knowledge Report titled ‘Harnessing Power of Heritage Tourism with Focus on Sustainability’. The report gives a holistic view on heritage tourism across the world and in the country and provides ample scope and opportunities towards preservation of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
ORG India interviewed the target stakeholders associated with the tourism industry and conducted interviews with certain numbers of domestic as well as foreign tourists at heritage sites like Agra Fort, Great Himalayan National Park, Jaipur, Red Fort. They also conducted discussions with travel companies and tour operators to know their views on heritage tourism and sustainability and what are the factors that play a role in heritage tourism along with how heritage tourism can be revived.
Around 74 per cent tourists said that they came majorly for visiting the heritage sites, whereas 24 per cent got attracted to visit the sites. When asked what were the major reasons that led them to visit the heritage sites or destination, most of them said it was either for a business or religious visit.
In a SWOT analysis, the stakeholders pointed out what they thought were the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Indian tourism.
According to the report, there are various factors which contribute in heritage tourism such as price competitiveness, geographical diversity, and promotion of activities as well as multiple marketing. “India as a country has been gifted with all tourism ingredients which address the diversified tourists throughout the year. The managers of the tourism industry should make best use of diversified culture so that the Indian tourism industry can stand tall in the highly competitive market,” the reports states.
Role of stakeholders
Talking about the involvement of the industry, the report highlights the role that stakeholders play in planning and executing the policy framework. With their support, the policies are designed to provide heritage and tourism managers with a theoretical framework and practical guidelines to help guide cultural tourism development and management in and around World Heritage sites.
“It is wonderful to have an empowered nodal body comprising government, online travel agencies, airlines, hotels, and other industry representatives with the objective of promoting discovery ability, ease of booking and fulfillment of our cultural, natural and heritage sites,” the report states.
Industry players also felt that the government should investigate one of the sector’s long pending-demand on infrastructure status to the hotel and other sectors of the industry.
“The focus is always on tourism, central or state governments to spend money on heritage conservation, the industry experts say. It is important to realise the need to preserve our heritage so that we can pass it on to the future generations in the best possible condition. More corporates must collaborate to work towards development, maintenance and preservation of heritage as per leading corporates of India,” the report points out.