Cultural Tourism Sites As Cultural Identity Makers: A Case Study Of District Swat
Author: Farhad Nazir

Swat a place recognized as heritage heaven, attracts purposeful and casual cultural tourists either national or international. This activity of cultural tourism brings tourists and host community in a double mirror scenario, exposing their cultures to each other. Having such cultural sentiments involved, particularly of the host community in the form of cultural identity, it requires comprehensive study which at the time of writing has been overlooked by the academic centres. This study has been conducted to describe this said relationship and qualitative strategy is adopted to have detailed perspectives from the local populace. Three sub-locales including Ancient Bazira of Barikot, Ghaznavid Mosque of Odegram and Swat Museum have been selected to emphasize that how local make and ascribe their cultural identity with these three cultural tourism sites. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions have been conducted from the local population including the civil society members and heritage managers as well. These in-depth interviews and focus group discussions have enabled the community members to express their perspective about their cultural identity and sites in a more elaborated passion. The recorded interviews and focus group discussions have been transcribed and thematic analysis has been done to make themes from the recorded data. Findings of this study reveal that there is significant role of cultural tourism sites in Swat in shaping the cultural identity of local community. The locals have ample understanding about the tangible and intangible elements of sites and its association with their existing cultural identity. They have highlighted numberless commonalities between the sites and their contemporary cultural practices in vogue. However, having some inbuilt limitations, the under-discussion issue requires further studies from other lenses, which may open some novice avenues. Such studies over this relationship can bring awareness and recommendations particularly for the policy stakeholders of cultural tourism. Supervisor:- Dr. Zulfiqar Ali

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Keywords : Cultural Identity, Cultural Tourism, Local Community, Museums
Supervisor: Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro

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