EXPLORING TOURIST PERCEPTIONS ON BUDDHIST TEMPLE STAY PROGRAMS IN SRI LANKA
A. R. N. T. Jayasinghe
Assistant Lecturer, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management
Temple stay program is a newly formed but comparably mature religious and cultural tourism product in Sri Lanka that accommodates and caters to tourists in Buddhist temples and allows them to experience Theravada Buddhist traditions and culture. Through, temple stay program turns out to be a distinctive phenomenon which successfully establishes a unique identity of Buddhist culture and tourism, as well as expand the influence of Theravada Buddhism. However, the respective authorities have paid a little attention to religious and cultural purposes when visiting Sri Lanka by tourist. As a result, the main issue for this study stems from this scenario. Sri Lanka is researching and trying to launch new products, including Buddhist temple stay program, for the Sri Lankan tourism industry to attract more tourists who will benefit to tourism development. Education of Buddhist philosophy, spiritual development, develop self confidence, develop psychological strength and culture of Sri Lanka are main areas covered by temple stay program in Sri Lanka. This study is aim to gain and understanding on the current tourist perception on temple stay program in Sri Lanka. The main objectives of this study are: a) to identify the current behavioral pattern of tourist who engaged with temple stay programs in Sri Lanka; 2) to examine tourist perception on Buddhist temple stay programs in Sri Lanka as a concept of tourism development; 3) to identify the challenges facing by tourist while engage with Buddhist temple stay programs in Sri Lanka. This study conducted using structured questionnaire to collect primary data with 80 local and foreign tourist who engaged with temple stay programs in Kandy, Gampaha and Badulla district in Sri Lanka. The major source for information was the qualitative tool of in-depth interviews with tourists. Secondary data sources such as previous studies were the most significant used in this study; books, journals, reports, magazines and online data sources. The simple statistical analyses like demographic details and other patterns can be performed using the MS Excel software. The results of this study indicate that there is a positive tourist perception about temple stay programs in Sri Lanka. The respective authorities need to be identify the lacking areas and in order to develop strategies to maintain standards and improve temple stay programs in Sri Lanka.
Keywords: Temple stay program,Buddhist tourism, Spiritual tourism ,Tourism industry
Journal Name :
EPRA International Journal of Economics, Business and Management Studies (EBMS)
Published on : 2021-07-29