Tourist Expectation and Perception of World Heritage Site Sigiriya: Policy and Institutional Implications for Sri Lanka

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D.A. Sharmini Perera
VGR Chandran
D.A.C. Surang Silva
K. Chinna


This study assesses the expectations and perceptions of tourists visiting the “Sigiriya†heritage site given the importance of tourism in Sri Lanka in the post LTTE era with the end of the 30 year old civil war. Data from 400 tourists was collected using the questionnaire method and the difference between the mean values of perception and expectation was used to indicate satisfaction gap. The results confrmed that tourist perceptions on seven variables fell short of their expectations. However, the mean difference of tourist expectations on heritage sites and natural attractions did not show a mismatch. Site attributes and site staff assistance were found to have the largest satisfaction gaps. Therefore, to further improve the heritage tourism sustainability in Sri Lanka, it is essential to reduce the gap between expectation and perception in some of the dimensions identified in this study. This study also discusses policy and institutional implications and provides lessons and insights for countries promoting heritage tourism


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