At Solimar, we appreciate tourism because it helps towns worldwide grow economically and socially. One of our top goals is to protect cultural heritage, which is also a fundamental development goal for all of our initiatives. Building a thriving tourism industry is an excellent method for locals in any area to preserve their own cultural history and give tourists worthwhile educational experiences when done correctly. Travelers of today seek authenticity that comes from immersing themselves in a foreign culture above and beyond picturesque scenery and elegant dining experiences. Learn more about how tourism can preserve cultural heritage, from small towns in Armenia to World Heritage Sites in Portugal.

Building Communities and Empowering People

Empowering the community is one of the most effective ways that tourism can preserve cultural heritage. This happens when visitors are made aware of the customs and history of the surrounding area, which strengthens the community’s feeling of identity and pride in its cultural heritage. Furthermore, culturally-based tourism promotes the perpetuation of long-standing customs and practices among the community. Teaching other community members about these age-old practices fosters a sense of historical oneness. When visitors go somewhere especially to experience the culture, they feel more like allies in the community.

A town should be proud when individuals from all over the world recognize the value of its history and cultural heritage; as this pride rises, so will the community’s embrace of its past. Visitors are welcome to visit the local markets for arts and crafts on the small island of Atauro in Timor-Leste. Locals are encouraged to keep manufacturing and producing things that represent their culture by the markets’ growing popularity. When visitors enjoy themselves at local markets like these, the community feels proud and is able to carry on with its culturally valuable activity. To make this happen, local governments and destination management organizations (DMOs) need to make sure that community stakeholders are active in and present at the tourist development.

Using Travel to Teach Cultural Subjects

It is possible to view tourism as a teaching instrument in addition to a means of protecting and educating about cultural assets. Traveling can be seen as a process in which money is traded, a visitor engages with the local population throughout their stay, and they depart with sentimental and memory bank full of the place. However, the takeaways, or “post-visit behaviors,” are probably going to be more substantial when the tourist is involved in an itinerary that emphasizes heritage tourism. This is mostly due to two factors: 1) A traveler who actively seeks out cultural heritage tourism is more likely to be driven to acquire new knowledge while there. 2) Because of the nature of cultural heritage tourism, a destination’s hidden side might be revealed (see out this fantastic study from Indonesia University of Education to find out more about what their study showed).

Let’s take the scenario where a traveler goes to a beach to witness the sunset at a specific location. They leave with an appreciation for the area’s beauty. What if cultural legacy was used to frame it? The visitor is treated to a traditional feast that honors the island and everything it has to offer, along with a local folktale on the significance of sunsets to the local way of life, all while enjoying the sunset. Now, for the traveler whose interests lay in learning, that sunset experience holds greater meaning. Engaging in cultural heritage tourism enables a visitor to broaden their horizons and establish a deeper connection with the locals and the place. Intentions play a significant role in tourism behavior.

World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Resource Kit by UNESCO

The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is an international treaty that served as the basis for the universal recognition and classification of world heritage sites, which were adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1972. Regardless of geographical boundaries, their goal is to promote the identification, defense, and preservation of the world’s most significant natural and cultural heritage places for humankind.

The UNESCO provides a toolkit with comprehensive guidelines for managing heritage sites in destinations to assist site managers, national/local authorities, the local/international tourism industry, or even visitors and residents in fully understanding the essence of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and sustainable tourism. The website offers step-by-step instructions covering everything from comprehension to strategic planning, governance, and stakeholder involvement, along with actual case studies.

Expanding upon these efforts, Solimar has introduced World Heritage Journeys of the Silk Road, a 10-week online training course designed for Central Asian tourism and cultural heritage officials. The sustainable tourism planning and management capacity building workshop, which brought together tourism stakeholders from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, produced results that are built upon in this program. Participants in the course learned about the instruments required to preserve the natural and cultural assets of Outstanding Universal Value, as well as UNESCO’s World assets and Sustainable Tourism Program. In order to improve sustainable tourism management, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and get ready for tourism to resume, this Virtual Training program will bring together World Heritage and tourism authorities from the participating nations. Additionally, it will develop a series of cross-border itineraries that will be featured on the UNESCO sustainable tourism platform, World Heritage Journeys.

Our goal is to constantly make sure that sustainability is at the core of all we do as a sustainable tourism consulting and marketing company. In order to ensure destinations are successful in the long run, we must endeavor to conserve cultural and natural resources during the development process. Fostering a sustainable tourism ecosystem, enabling local communities, and protecting cultural assets and values all contribute to improving communication and cooperation amongst stakeholders from various industries. By collaborating with local people, we can make more places aware of the positive effects tourism may have on cultural heritage preservation and the preservation of our common past.

By linh

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