This book seeks to provide the reader or tourist with insights on how the two worlds, tourism and cultural heritage management intersect, but also how they conflict in that they represent opposite sides of cultural tourism itself.
The book outlines for the reader that while tourism professionals evaluate the potential for profit, cultural management professionals evaluate the same assets for their value. Tourism represents the consumption of experiences and products. Cultural tourists want to consume a variety of cultural experiences and assets must be converted into something that tourists can utilize and enjoy, which is important to developing a successful and sustainable management of the cultural tourism product itself.
This book attempts to highlight the problems associated with the merging of both as well as offer suggestions or ways that the two can work together effectively and efficiently without causing damage to the asset itself due to environmental factors that tourism brings.
Tourism has extensive sociological, economic and political aspects to it everywhere in the world. Greater attention is now being given to tourisms overall social impact, which depending on the circumstances can be positive or negative depending on how tourism is both planned and/or managed. Education and knowledge are tantamount to the approach in attempting to avoid the problems associated with the negative impacts of tourism. A long-term commitment to the planning and management of heritage assets should anticipate the adverse impacts of tourism and develops guidelines that minimize problems that can affect the host communities or can be offensive to the culture. Not all tourists are alike.
Some seek very specific indulgences as it is not always about touring the local landmarks, or visiting attractions like theme parks. Some seek, sun, partying, relaxation or a combination of those activities. Depending on what the country or city offers in terms of enjoyment, to encourage tourism they must have the accommodations, amenities, transportation, knowledge based workers and effective cultural management that also preserves the ecological environments because without that, some of the world’s most ancient and precious relics, artwork, artifacts that are at risk and face possible extinction thus, robbing future generations of civilizations treasures.
The challenges that tangible materials referred to in the book face should welcome the study by another generation which can offer new ways to present and preserve it without causing further damage.
Respect for cultural heritages by tourists, are vitally important to the experience for other generations to come. The book lists five guidelines that the tourism products must provide for it to be successful:
1,A story must be told or associated with that product; 2.It must be able to be brought to life for the visitor; 3.Allow the visitor to participate in some way; 4.Relevant to the tourist; and 5.The product must be of quality and authentic. Overall, the book represents in a comprehensive way that tourism is a double-edged sword. Cultural tourism is the fastest growing segment of the industry and as more travelers can afford to visit global locales and seek to immerse themselves in many different cultures, the more problems it can bring.
The tourism industry also attempts to foster increased awareness of other cultural differences by promoting greater understanding and cooperation amongst all cultures. Tourism can also act as a bridge for largely neglected developing countries to generate employment opportunities for the poor, growth and a more viable economy on terms that do not run counter to its long-term interests.
The book illustrates the mutual dependence that exists between tourism and cultural heritage that has become more apparent. While cultural heritage creates a foundation for the growth of tourism, tourism itself has the power to generate funds that make the conservation efforts possible. Cultural heritage loses its meaning without an audience and a society participating in and benefitting from it. Ultimately, the success of how well the tourism and cultural heritage management work together is what will bring success to achieve the common goal of fostering better understanding and sustainable growth and the book has attempted to break down some barriers that have previously repressed partnership information.
The authors note in the Epilogue that their hope is that by fostering a better understanding of the legitimate interests of cultural heritage management within the tourism industry and of the legitimate interests of tourism within the cultural management sector, more professionals from both sectors will begin to appreciate the benefits of partnership.