Artisan Entrepreneurship & Community-Based Tourism Nexus - Indian Art & Craft Renaissance

Jaisingh, Yashu
Bremner, Hamish
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Master of International Tourism Management
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Auckland University of Technology

The objective of this research was to explore the linkages between the artisan economy and tourism in India. The focus was to help stimulate community-based tourism in India for the revival of the traditional art and craft sector. Economic improvement and sustainability for the traditional art and craft in India is at the crossroads of three crucial factors – tourism development, community engagement, and artisan entrepreneurship. The study galvanises all three aspects to safeguard the endangered art and craft in India. Thus, the study defines the engagement of various stakeholders in the tourism sector to support the cultural heritage of the traditional art and craft of India. Data were collected through focus group discussions with artisan families in Rajasthan, India, semi-structured interviews with mid and senior level tour agents in New Delhi, India, and an online exploratory survey of foreign tourists who had already travelled to India. The findings highlight the importance of an authentic shopping experience as well as the cultural heritage of India from a tourists’ perspective. The research discovered a lack of strategic collaboration between the artisans and other stakeholders in the tourism industry and the findings suggest a need to revitalise the artisan businesses with responsible supply chain arrangements so the artisan economy can thrive from tourism. The study presents artisan entrepreneurship as a dynamic concept for deeper comprehension of the sustainable practises in the tourism sector that can pave the way for artisan community economic development. By conceptualising artisan entrepreneurship within community tourism development, this research addresses community-centric form of social empowerment for the marginalised artisan economy. This research defines the art and craft sector as an important cultural infrastructure of India. It is an attempt to augment ideas to restore and regenerate endangered art and craft through tourism development, but also, to uncover the over-commercialisation of tourism and build a sustainable mechanism for the co-existence between traditional handicrafts and tourism development. This study also demonstrates the importance of art and craft in cultivating an authentic experience - an experience pivotal for tourist satisfaction. The contribution and co-operation of various stakeholders in the tourism industry is quintessential for the reinstatement of the reciprocal support and cohesion between the artisan community and tourism development. More specifically, the research builds on the active participation of the artisan community through tourism development. The results of the study will be useful for further research aimed at to extrapolating the interlinkages between the artisan economy and tourism development.

Artisan , Entrepreneurship , Regional Tourism Development , Community-Engagement
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