Culture Display – Community Social Memory and Tourism Identities by Dr Sachin Bansal

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PUBLISHED June 01, 2021 | updated June 01, 2021 04:56

Heritage is there in neighbourhoods, towns, cities, and everyday life and by integrating ‘story living®’ experiences the impact is channelled through tourism opportunities. A meaningful and authentic tourist experience contributes to India's socio-economic growth. Culture by means of digital engagement brings infrastructural development, job creation, and skill development, amongst others. India, with diverse cultural heritage and unique traditional values, has multiple regional identities for display and discovery. With diversity, the meaning and importance of culture is varied in different regions, but it is intrinsic to family values and historic past when promoting stories to the touristic audience.

India is probably one of the most diverse countries in the world, a multi-cultural and an interfaith nation. As India moves towards globalization, technological innovation era, the virtual engagement mediums provide an ecosystem to showcase Indian culture with a more personalised touch to the viewer. The culture promoters strengthen backward linkage with community living, by planning and promoting local assets. In the fast-changing environment cultural exhibits provide insights into people's lives and with combined efforts for private and public partnership that helps in fostering inclusive growth.

Cultural heritage opportunities are immense if ‘culture insider®’ focuses on uncovering and experiencing the past in the present day. Digitization is gradually transcending borders and arising opportunities for knowledge dissemination which is turning out to be manifold and significant. To maximise the understanding of the bygone era, meaningful dialogues should take place supported by developing sustainable cultural heritage delivery models. In the near future, technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), amongst others will enable ‘heritage heroes™’ to deliver sustainable tourism experiences and add value to tourism sector and to the overall experience of the audience.

Culture and heritage both need attention, and resources have to be engaged to obtain substantial output through destination management integrated approach. The people involved should receive benefits together while safeguarding the economic interest and heritage of local communities. There are several opportunities for locals to showcase diverse regional identities related to heritage values and curate an India experience for the world. The social memories of the past both oral and documented in their original form could boost the visitor economy. The 'India Living Legacies™' and 'India Legacy™' empower new business opportunities for the public when they are designed to show the authentic past with tangible outcomes. In the long run, the implementation framework by custodians should be designed in such a way that it keeps community wellbeing, cultural richness, physical space integrity, and local prosperity as key components of niche delivery. 

While a lot many adaptations would be required, when crafting tourism products from social memories into a tangible form (exhibition, handicraft, souvenir, etc.), an optimistic attitude will have to be balanced with conservative assessments. The access to capacity building, varied markets, and fair trade practices are a must for 'travel artisan™' who moves from one place to another and form ‘culture glue™’. The socio-economic inequalities have to be mitigated through an entrepreneurial approach that manages the rural aspirations with equitable and sustainable vision for growth. In India, every few meters the opportunities for ‘cultural display™’ are immense enabling locals to showcase their land and share stories. Similarly, 'Regenerative Travel' opportunities are immense for residents to revive their cultural heritage and curate experiences keeping physical, intellectual, and emotional terms of ‘culture routes’. 

The diverse and deep interactions on preservation management practices of India’s culture, brings a sense of pride for locals. Similarly, for the stakeholders in the public and private sectors, it helps in showcasing ancestral territories. Culture assimilation has to become a trend within communities and government agencies should benefit from tourism by promoting authentic experience of places. Simultaneously, it becomes anindispensable act to introduce experiential programs for sustainable consumption strategy. 

The traveller looks for interaction, a life altering experience and gets eventually empowered when comes face to face with people of the community, their memoirs, unpublished stories, generational anecdotes filtered through the social memories. 

A demonstration by the ‘culture insider®’ becomes a game-changer for the traveller seeking slow and enhanced experience. The talks amplified by the evidence make research data strong and keeps the core values intact of the booked meet-up.  ‘Soul branding®’ of the place and research perspectives in form of promotions of activity, art, craft, recipes ensure steady growth of ‘conscious traveller’ inflows. The visitor handling capacity has to be commensurable with skilling workshops for hosts organized through policy mechanisms. The cultivation of a favourable business environment for communities is a must to understand formal tourism models while stakeholders can create an understanding for capitalizing on creation, ownership, and narration within responsible tourism services.  It is in this myriad of sustainable experiences that 'culture display™' is depicted best by 'cultural actors' who codify the intriguing performances with surprise elements facilitated through tours and experiential activities.

In the absolute spread of tourism marketing to promote history & traditions for India indulgence is incomplete without immersive encounters with locals to understand their day-to-day life. It is here that the actual culture is understood while walking the city/towns in the known and lesser known spaces of discovery appropriated with stories. It is not an exaggeration to say that authentic explorations and familiarization of ‘India resources’ provide a return on investment to the traveller and ignites the historical curiosity, motivating to travel within India further more. The method of knowledge dissemination through public discourse by ‘travelling artisans™’ and legacy keeper interactions through festivals, events, etc. enhances cultural heritage prominence in society. These initiatives also enable ticketed formats to participate in the discussions and workshops, contributing to tourism economies, and further benefitting hosts. The intent of ‘culture insider®’ is to bring  economic prosperity through ‘culture display™’ and carry on documentation and research as they will be the important factors to implement marketing activities and drive sales. The unique propositions in form of experiential tourism products have to be aligned keeping 'place sense™' narratives to understand variety of destination  culture, and the nuances of a locality. The systematic management of sustainable, responsible practices brings the culture resilience through data collection, analytics for knowledge management applications.

Travellers crave authenticity and significant opportunities are generated by forming community engagement models to facilitate the visitors with exclusive tours and activities. The respect for cultural values, diversity, and heritage should take into consideration while curating or delivering tourist experiences. The feedbacks captured during guided visits, when shared on digital mediums, result in demand creation. For inclusive regional tourism growth, one of the key success parameters would be the role of the ‘kathakar®’ (storyteller). The training imparted to storytelleras part of learning alliance could form a ready team of 'storytellers of India' with an objective to honour their ‘shared heritage’. The visual staging done by 'kathakar®' gives life to the stories and makes social identities look exquisite, further creating a connection between people, place, and heritage. The energetic performances and narrative wisdom of locals never fails to create a lasting memory for the traveller. The multi-layered tourism opportunities can be created for locals who can make them self- reliant in form of ‘cultural managers’.

There is a growing appreciation for the role of public private partnership model to help improve culturally rich communities and imparting cultural discourses to travellers. The opportunities of tourism economy mixed with ‘interactive city discovery™’ authenticate the travelling experience into athematic, experiential and interest-based prepared for different profiles of travellers. 

The tourism products having modern identity but authentic narratives make tour guiding resources intellectually stimulating with the integration of sensory experiences. The stories of heritage making, and social life creates transformation for tourist facilitators to become 'heritage enthusiasts®' and showcase their regions as responsible citizens bringing mutual understanding, peace, and security for travellers.

In one of the facets of tourism, a 'purist®' who can trace one’s bloodline to ancestors can claim more premium and prestige in tours and activity business. Similarly, consumption pattern of encountering culture first-hand requires respect for locals and acceptance of their relationships with the regional assets. It is must for stakeholders to take feedback from local communities and promote the transformative power of ‘slow journeys’ allowing visitors to know and explore places and contribute to destination prosperity. The exploration model 'slow experiences & tales®' brings personalized and diversified offerings for ‘conscious travel’ delivered through localizing bespoke content on cuisine, art, textile, lifestyle, environment, family history etc. The strategic promotion can lead to ticketed transactions which will empower locals to become entrepreneurs and bring destination competitiveness.

‘India with locals™’ position regional identities into experiential themes to generate unique content for stakeholders. The digital platforms to drive recreational engagements using imagery to further bring economic rationalism. It is beneficial for ‘tourism facilitator’, ‘culture insider®’, ‘heritage enthusiast®’, ‘heritage heroes™’ to create virtual accessibility and package 'social memory to deliver impactful experiences claiming destination identity all over the world. As quoted by Robbie Robertson “You don't stumble upon your heritage. It's there, just waiting to be explored and shared”. 

About the Author

Dr. Sachin Bansal, is the Founder and Chief Explorer® of ‘City Explorers® a Private Limited in India’ and he has multiple flagships functional in the tourism industry. As a destination branding specialist, he has coined the conceptual acronyms and led the co-creation through ‘Experiential Delivery in Tourism (EDiT)™’ and ‘Resonating Experiential Delivery Outcome (REDO)®’. You can reach Dr. Sachin Bansal on

About the Organisation

‘City Explorers® (pvt. ltd.) 'CEPL®' is a transformative tourism company established in India and with several award-winning flagships design and operate experiential services in South Asia. The team has been a part of many heritage  projects and support clients to nurture their treasured possessions alongside involving local communities. The team deploys business program VEDIKA (Visually Exchanging Destination Information Knowledge Action™) to support multiple touch-points and deliver services on the basis of built, operate, transfer model. ‘Culture Display’ and other words in (‘ ‘) are intellectual property of CEPL® and are formed to bring forward interpretations of contexts in unique manner to get the best from heritage.


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