S28-6

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra and the Way Forward for Resilience

Jitu Saikia1 & Pranjal Protim Buragohain2

1Gurucharan College, India

2Department of Economics, Dibrugarh University, India

Cultural tourism basically involves visits to historical sites, art galleries, museums, etc., providing access and exposure to different cultures and communities. Many countries in the world are emphasizing the tourism industry as a method of economic growth, where creative and cultural activities are also seen as avenues for foreign exchange earnings, employment, and income generation. Local museums of a particular region represent the cultural heritage of local communities and provide a platform for local and regional tourism development. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) have developed a roadmap, mainly emphasizing a local development agenda. Local development strategies focus on issues that ensure a sustainable future by mobilizing the transformative power of museum and culture. In India, museums have been promoting cultural identity, and encouraging the active participation of visitors through their different activities. However, museums and heritage organizations are facing challenges to prove their value to society. Consequently, local museums, which are commonly small and often almost unknown to the broader community are being operated with limited financial and human resource capacity. They fetch little investment from the government and other private agencies, which creates a vicious circle, hampering sustainable operation over the long term. This paper draws these broader museum and heritage frameworks and explores the operation and resource utilization of local museums in Assam – a North-Eastern state of India following the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on the role local museums play as an attraction for cultural tourism destinations in the region. The study aims to aid in achieving the long-term goals needed for sustainable management of local museums and cultural tourism in Assam.