Dissertation Title:

Role of Community in Managing Heritage and Tourism in Historical Quarters of Delhi


Prof. Jan Schnellenbach


New Delhi, the capital of India, has seven layers of history. As a result, history and modernity exist side by side in the city, making it an ideal tourist destination. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 174 monuments of national importance and thousands of unlisted monuments. These sites exist not in isolation, but are living heritage where communities not only live around the structures, but have made the structures part and parcel of their daily lives. Unsustainable tourism growth, however, threatens this equilibrium that has existed for centuries, thus exerting pressure on not only the physical structures, but also the community.

Ekta’s research aims at examining local communities’ perception of tourism in their respective area and explore the possibilities of improving community engagement in tourism and heritage management in New Delhi. It has four main objectives: (1) to understand the community’s view of and interest in tourism, (2) to review the level of community participation in tourism management, (3) to examine the role of the government in managing tourism and (4) to suggest ways of enhancing community participation in sustainable management of tourism and heritage. The research would be carried out through three case studies in Delhi: Hauz Khas Village, Nizamuddin Basti and Shahjahanabad. These three areas are historically important and are the top tourist destinations for the city. The local condition of tourism development and community involvement, however, vary widely among them, making them ideal for the study.

Short Bio:

Ekta holds a BA in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and a Masters in Public Policy from National Law School of India University. Her research interests include historic urban landscapes, community management and development, tourism management, heritage revitalisation and urban planning. Prior to her Doctorate at BTU, she has worked in tourism consultancy and media.  She also runs an independent oral history archival project in her native village in Delhi, India in collaboration with the Citizens’ Archive of India.