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Buddhist Votive Tablets as Cultural Heritage in Tourism: a Challenge and Opportunity in Creative Tourism of Thailand
28.Nov.2013
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Abstract

          Cultural tourism, particularly creative tourism has grown rapidly. It has been considered as an important tool to share knowledge and to dialogue between different cultures. Richards and Raymond (2000) have defined that “tourism which offers visitors the opportunities to develop their creative potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences which are characteristic of the holiday destination where they are undertaken.”

          Creative tourism is a new direction which conforms to the new generation of tourists as they are looking for new experiences. Their interests have shifted from tangible heritage to intangible cultural heritage. They desire participations in activities involving art and craft works of the local community in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the cultural characteristics of the place and people they have visited.

          The paper has examined the meaning of Buddha images in the form of terracotta votive tablet in the context of tourism in Nakornchum district, Kamphang Phet province. Nationally, Nakornchum is well known for their particular models of ancient votive tablets. Apparently, these tablet models have been involved in creative tourism. This can be seen as a challenge of which the value of votive tablets has shifted from cultural heritage to souvenir. This paper has explored the meaning of ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ of the cultural heritage in the context of creative tourism as to how the community has adapted to the current socio-cultural situation.   

Keywords: Cultural Tourism, Creative Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Sacred and profane, Votive tablet.

 

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