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What is cultural tourism?

Cultural tourism embraces activities of tourists visiting distant lands with a view to appreciating and absorbing an alien culture. In a way it is a one- way traffic in the sense that the tourist is left enchanted by his cultural exposure offered by the guest nation. Next, it is the turn of the guest to do his bit.

However, cultural tourism must never be taken as a mark of formal gesture, a counter response rounding up the cultural quest completing the circuit. Neither are the exchanges in the field of art nor the intercultural swaps timed to a regular and rhythmic pattern. It all operates at random as soon as the tourist sees an opportunity he sets out on a venture abroad.

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Driven by a fiery passion, he puts in his heart and soul in an effort to explore the cultural wealth an alien nation has on offer. Culture pertaining to a nation has a wide connotation. In fact, culture boils down to a specific trademark by which a nation is identified.

The literary contribution and priceless work of art and artifacts, the fables, epics, dramas, music and dances, specific schools of sculpting and architecture are all manifestations of art and culture of a nation. It truly represents the philosophy inherent in the way of life of its people and keeps the visiting tourist engrossed seeking for more.

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Cultural tourism expands mental horizon and enables the tourist for healthy cultural exchange. The tourist is literally charmed when he wakes up to the existence of a fascinating alien culture just across his nation’s border he never knew. Richer the cultural platform of a country more would be its tourist appeal. It is that sustaining engine that keeps the pulse of the tourism industry ticking pulling tourists in waves with an insatiable appetite for cross cultural exposure.

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Cultural tourism takes care of trips to cities and metropolis. Focus is centered on the historic or large cities and their cultural milestones like monuments, museums, concert halls and opera houses. A slight departure with an exciting twist would be to explore the local ruins. These stand as reminiscences of a rich and ancient civilization often put under the supervision of ministry of culture and declared heritage sites. It includes trips to a rustic locale as well displaying legendary rituals and festivals having their roots in antique myths, fables and folklores.

That money flowing from cultural tourism outmatches other forms of tourism is a ground reality backed by verified data. The part the cultural tourist shares in promoting a region’s growth cannot be overlooked. A cultural tourist is largely a consolidation of one’s own cultural uniqueness. By absorbing every crumb of ‘out of the ordinary’ ethnicity from an alien society, he plays a major role being a promotional tool for cultural tourism.

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The mind blowing monuments, towers, amphitheatres, art galleries and museums of Europe have a terrific impact on the visiting tourists. The experience and knowledge of the tour guides keep the tourist mesmerized. They practically stand open mouthed absorbing every bit of detail. The feat is astounding, the inlays enthralling and sculptures throb with life!

Legentary paintings on a wide range of subjects are a lucid revelation of the master’s depth in the subject! Magic strokes of his brush and the choice and assortment of pigment conjures up sheer delight. Cameras go on in an incessant assault of flickers! The atmosphere turns vibrant with fragments of conversation bordering on amazing achievements and cultural exhibits leaving the tourist happy that his vacation dollars were well spent.

The erotic art temples of Khajuraho and Konarak in India speak volumes of the rich cultural heritage. It clearly depicts not only the mastery of the sculptors on his trade. It is a wonderful testimony to his knowledge and an in- depth feel for the subject! On similar lines, the incredible Buddhist pagodas of South East Asia and the Egyptian and Mayan pyramids catch the interest of the tourist with a powerful and hypnotic charm.

In a nutshell, cultural tourism is more than just touring a country for the pleasure of the trip. It is a brilliant sojourn into the territory of a foreign culture. It expands the finer side of human mind endowing it with intellectual wealth!

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