Women Empowerment through Cultural Tourism A Case Study in North Central Province of Sri Lanka

H. A. N. Hettiarachchi


Cultural tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism niche markets in recentyears. It has received much attention in developing countries and economicallyimpoverished regions around the world, where it is being promoted and widely adoptedas a regional development strategy to contribute to the socioeconomic development ofthe lagging areas. At the same time, cultural tourism generates income, economic andsocial benefits for host communities living in rural and remote areas ensuring thewomen empowerment which is one of the dominated discussions at local and globalscales.

The main objective of the paper is to analyse the contribution of cultural tourismfor women empowerment with particular reference to the North Central Province of SriLanka. Further, attention is given to analysis of women‟s involvement in culturaltourism activities.

A representative sample of both cultural sites and rural villages with culturaltourism attractions and activities were selected for the detailed study. A 30 percentsample of host communities that are living within 02 km of surrounding areas fromselected research sites (villages and towns), were selected from each village usingrandom sample technique.

Given the exploratory nature of the research, various research techniques like,field surveys, questionnaires, interviews, observations, group discussions, have beenemployed. Quantitative as well as qualitative analysis were used for data analysis.

The overall findings of this study are that cultural tourism has contributed toentail optimal women representation in cultural tourism, women domestic improvement,entrepreneurial development, saving improvements, women representation in businesssector, women‟s right of decision making and the like. The findings of this investigationcan assist rural developers in the implementation of community development strategiesbased on women‟s empowerment.

Key words: Cultural and rural tourism, Women empowerment

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