Heritage complexity and tourism: The case of Lumbini, Nepal

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Differences in values, interests, expectations and priorities among stakeholders, a major source of dissonance, may create conflict in heritage and can be a challenge for its preservation and management. This study uses Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, to examine heritage complexity and tourism. Lumbini, one of the most important Buddhist sites for the world's 500 million Buddhists, is surrounded by a population of different faiths, mainly Hindus and Muslims. Locals, who are predominantly non-Buddhist, see the local patrimony more as an economic resource than spiritual one, whereas the government uses the site for building national pride, garnering international support and promoting tourism. Furthermore, despite its potential for attracting Western, regional and domestic tourists and a growing trend in arrivals, the community and the region have not benefited well from tourism. Although Lumbini is currently experiencing “latent dissonance,” this can be reduced through communication, cooperation and collaboration among various stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Buddhism
  • Conflict
  • Dissonance
  • Heritage proximity
  • Pilgrimage
  • Stakeholders

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