Scanning the Dynamics of Participatory Research (PRIT) in Heritage Tourism Management: The Case of Chitharal in Tamil Nadu, India
Chitharal, located at Kanyakumari District in Tamil Nadu, South India is quite an amazing and enamouring heritage destination preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. Tourism being a multi-disciplinary area must be open to innovative yet impactful research methods. The researcher in this work conceptualizes and adopts the Participatory Research in Tourism (PRIT) approach devised over the years, in consonance with the fabric of tourism, which is a people-centric and activities based academic subject. This study attempts to map the experiential dynamics of a chosen group of tourists who possess extraordinary interests and affinity for heritage manifestations. The various parameters to be analysed, coded, and inferred are pre-determined by the researchers by way of a preliminary visit and empirical observations, collection of tourist literature, compilation of expert opinion and review of literature and travel blogs. They are recorded for every individual member of the group on a real-time basis by the accompanying researchers. Many an aspect is researched on the spot. The present study is the first work in this direction which can be shaped and nourished to form a productive method of research in tourism. In the present paper the behavioral aspects of tourists are also recorded at Chitharal - an unsung tourism haven and Jain heritage destination.