chapter  4
17 Pages

Role of ethnic cultural events to build an authentic destination image

A case of ‘Pohela Boishakh’ in Bangladesh
WithSaadia Shabnam, Haywantee Ramkissoon, Afreen Choudhury

Local festivals are becoming increasingly important tourist attractions for the sophisticated tourist in quest of new authentic experiences (Ramkissoon and Uysal, 2014; Ramkissoon, 2015, 2016). The extent to which local festivals can grow as a point of attraction for international tourists while ful?lling their social and cultural roles at the national level is an issue of immense importance to social and cultural policymakers and destination marketers. This chapter explores the local festival of ‘Pohela Boishakh’, which is the celebration of the Bengali New Year. It is recognised by UNESCO as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ and identified as the largest national event of Bangladesh, a developing economy with crucial geo-political importance in the South Asian region, with substantial economic promises for the local population (UNESCO, 2016). This chapter draws on Getz et al. (2006)’s framework to explore festival stakeholder relationships, especially resource dependency issues, with a view to advancing the application of stakeholder theory to festival tourism, festival management and marketing in an integrated manner. Implications for tourism and event management along with theoretical advances are discussed with suggestions for future research in the field.