Culture plays a pivotal role when it comes to tourism because it sort of draws or better still lures the tourists to its realm. To simply clarify this matter, culture can be defined as the arts, customs and habits that characterize a particular society or nation. Tourists are now governed by the ACE which stands for Adventure, Culture and Ecotourism showing clearly that culture as the middle component makes the tourism product a topical issue to reckon with. Ostensibly, tourism in general thrives on culture which integrates the history, religion and heritage aspects as well. Today we are going to bring to light the components that are fueling this typology of tourism. At the same time, highlighting how this has brought change to the tourism circles for it is garnering more visits to the selected destinations in this article.
The desire to learn more about a certain people has led to a lot of cultural tourism. Cultural destinations have become tourism hot spots and a lot of tourism operations have improved at an alarming rate. Good examples of traveling for educational purposes is seen through archaeology which improves history records. In simpler terms it is the study of the past by excavation and analysis of the remains, which are put in archives for tourist to indulge themselves. In Zimbabwe we have a lot of caves that have gone through a lot of research because of their rock paintings, which includes the drawings of people herding cattle or hunting with bows and arrows. Accordingly, the paintings are said to have been done by blood and fat of the hunted animals thus the mystery behind all this is that they are still vivid up to now despite the harsh weather conditions they have gone through the centuries. Archaeology have since deduced that this was the hunter gatherer era by how the people lived in the early years as bones/ carcasses and utensils like clay pots etcetera have been excavated, making this type of cultural tourism more credible compared to others. Taking a look at the infamous pyramids Egypt holds a lot of history on the culture of their people that is the gold for Kings like Imhotep were buried with their wealth or earthly belongings. It is noteworthy to say when it comes to cultural tourism Egypt has a lot to offer. Most school trips are dedicated to this inventiveness and universities have since opened archaeological centers that thrive on cultural expeditions so as to share and preserve this knowledge for future generations.
A lot of cultural tourism depends on spiritual rebirth and as tourists desire to go back to that time when everything was realistic. This is why most tourists from the Christian community travel to Jerusalem to get baptized and to experience the real product. Spirituality stands for everything that has to do with God, a place of worship or something that is sacred to say the least. To spice it up, tourism has and is still able to take you back to your roots through inspiring destinations. Talk of re-acquainting or rather touching that spiritual base has led religious tourists going to Israel, Judea so as to relive the life of Jesus Christ as the tour guides shows and explains exactly what happened and also motivates whilst urging you on how to up your spiritual birth. Moving on to another religion cultural tourism has led to tourists knowing more about the Muslim culture which is all about prayer. Apart from believing in Allah and pouring over the Koran these people are very prayerful, in other words they are very serious about their religion. It is patriarchal as the men are center stage, the temples are built the same way wherever they are in the world, and their dressing is well known especially the head gear for the women that has become more of an attraction in this Covid-19 era. Rebirth is depicted by the fixed times of prayer as a reciter rings that bell and sort of calls for attention for every believer to take note of the importance of prayers especially on Friday. Dear readers spiritual rebirth has made cultural tourism to grow in leaps and bounds as everyone is now able to appreciate and understand what distinguishes one cultural belief from another.
The aging population
Cultural tourism has paved way for more interested tourists as these modern times has left a lot of us paying a blind eye to our culture. In contrast, the aging population are still holding to our cultural beliefs. There is definitely a gap between the young and the aging population that has to be filled so the tourism industry is managing this through cultural tourism. The two extremes have disposable incomes that is pensioners and the double income earners who need a break from the concrete jungle thus they are curious of their roots. As a result the Venda people in Limpopo will be a great destination to experience culture at its best.
Dear readers, this tribe is caught between the Shona from Zimbabwe and the Venda in South Africa thus increasing regional tourism. Their dialect has some Shona in it in addition to the fact that they have a strong cultural background when it comes to their dances, dressing attire which differentiates a girl from a married woman. Interestingly, they still have ruling chieftaincies and custodians of history who can relate every aspect of their culture more by reciting the clan praises. All in all, I stand corrected at this juncture as this tribe has been well marketed by the programs currently broadcasted on the television like Imvelogy and Isiko promoting the cultural package likewise.
Desire for sustainability
Sustainability is all about configuring civilization and human activity so that society, its members and its economy are able to meet the needs and express their greatest potential in the present while preserving biodiversity and the natural ecosystems planning and acting for the ability to maintain these ideals for the future generations. Sustainability is seen by the fact that there is need to know all the cultural aspects of people that is their customs so as to uphold the tradition. A desire for sustainability can be seen by the Murehwa Mashonaland East district of Zimbabwe, this tribe of the Shona speaking people has brought about the Jenaguru festival which is now popular country wide. In the early days the dances were a form of entertainment during the night after a hard day in the fields especially the harvesting season. Ladies and gentleman it is now a tourism package as tourists travel to see the traditional dances namely the Jerusalema or Mbakumba and Jeketera dances among others. Allow me to say that I have knowledge of these dances since they are inculcated in all schools in Zimbabwe and I am saying this because I was once a traditional dancer in grade school.
To be candid, these dances have been preserved because everyone is invited in the village, they brew beer and dance the rich traditional dance leading to tourism students doing research projects on this culture. Thanks to the internet apart from the Murehwa Jenaguru festivals Zimbabwe has more than seventeen languages on its sleeves showing a cultural fusion.
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Memory Phiri is a Travel and recreation consultant who has vast experience in the tourism industry. She also is a free-lance writer in addition to being a sustainable activist. You can get in touch with her on email@example.com.