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Victoria University of Wellington

1. Joshi, Jharna. Landscape aesthetics, tourism, and change: Case studies in Nepal.

Degree: 2019, Victoria University of Wellington

This research explores how residents and tourists perceive landscape aesthetics in tourism-based landscapes that are continuously changing. Three case study sites in Nepal are examined. Landscapes are dynamic, multifunctional and an amalgamation of natural and human-made components that are constantly evolving, both naturally and due to human activities. Landscape aesthetics, related to experiences within and with multiple dimensions of landscape that engage all human senses, are perceived differently by different groups of people and have implications for their preservation and modification. Tourism, an integral part of contemporary society, reflects and influences changes in society and the landscape. The interrelationships amongst landscapes, change, perceptions and tourism are complex with paradoxical tensions that arise from their interconnections and interdependence. Researchers have studied and interpreted the interrelationship between landscape and tourism from different perspectives that are sometimes contradictory. The literature is fragmented with similar aspects of the landscape-tourism relationship described and conceptualized using different terminologies (landscapes, cultural landscapes, environment, place, space, nature) and with an absence of an integrated approach and a holistic concept of landscape. This research addresses this fragmentation and multiple interpretations to build an integrated approach of landscape taken as a holistic entity, where the natural, cultural, social and economic dimensions, including tourism, interact, integrate and overlap. This study adds a new perspective by looking closely at landscape aesthetics and its relation to change and tourism incorporating the perspectives of both residents and tourists. This research adopts a qualitative methodology using case studies in three geographically, culturally and contextually different locations in Nepal (Ghandruk, Bandipur and Sauraha). A multi-layered approach is used to explore the dynamic nature of landscape and nonlinear drivers of change that add layers and dimensions to landscape aesthetics and how it is perceived by different residents and tourists, both domestic and international. This research applies an interpretivist paradigm using in-depth interviews with photo-elicitation (incorporating past and repeat photographs with in-situ interviews), field observations and visual data analysis. Different themes emerged when the data were analysed but the overarching one was the often-antagonistic relationship between conservation and development. Participatory conservation and local development were key in Ghandruk, while the emphasis was on built heritage and expansion in Bandipur with the national park and indigenous Tharu traditions clashing with current landscape use in Sauraha. Key findings also indicate that the residents perceive landscape aesthetics holistically incorporating multiple dimensions that include traditions, culture, food, occupation and historical associations as well as contemporary societal changes… Advisors/Committee Members: Smith, Karen, Weaver, Adam, Park, Eerang.

Subjects/Keywords: Landscape; Landscape aesthetics; Change; Nepal

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APA (6th Edition):

Joshi, J. (2019). Landscape aesthetics, tourism, and change: Case studies in Nepal. (Doctoral Dissertation). Victoria University of Wellington. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Joshi, Jharna. “Landscape aesthetics, tourism, and change: Case studies in Nepal.” 2019. Doctoral Dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington. Accessed March 20, 2019.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Joshi, Jharna. “Landscape aesthetics, tourism, and change: Case studies in Nepal.” 2019. Web. 20 Mar 2019.


Joshi J. Landscape aesthetics, tourism, and change: Case studies in Nepal. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Victoria University of Wellington; 2019. [cited 2019 Mar 20]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Joshi J. Landscape aesthetics, tourism, and change: Case studies in Nepal. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Victoria University of Wellington; 2019. Available from: