Published on August 12, 2010
What is Cultural Tourism? : What is Cultural Tourism? Educational Perspectives and a Conceptual Framework. What is Cultural Tourism? : What is Cultural Tourism? In its broadest definition it is travel directed toward experiencing the arts, heritage, and special character of unique places. It includes arts (galleries, studios, performing and visual arts), cultural activities (festivals, celebrations, rituals, events), and physical heritage (buildings and environments). ICOMOS (the UN's International Council on Monuments and Sites), in its International Cultural Tourism Charter states that: "At the broadest level, the natural and cultural heritage belongs to all people. We each have a right and responsibility to understand, appreciate and conserve its universal values". Resource Based Cultural Tourism : Resource Based Cultural Tourism a) archaeological sites , monuments, routes, and museums b) architecture (ruins, famous buildings, whole towns) c) art, sculpture, crafts, galleries, festivals, events d) music and dance (classical, folk, contemporary) e) drama (theatre, films, dramatists) f) language and literature study, tours, events g) religious festivals, pilgrimages h) complete (folk or primitive) cultures and sub-cultures. i) Theme Parks j) Cultural-historic events Travel Professional Perspective: The Cultural Tourist Defined. : Travel Professional Perspective: The Cultural Tourist Defined. Research indicates that international travelers feel that having some types of cultural experiences are an important part of a travel experience in a new country. International and domestic cultural visitors are defined as visitors who … • Attend the theatre, concerts or performing arts programs • Visit performing arts centers — Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Concert Hall • Go to art or craft galleries/workshops or studios • Attend festivals or fairs or cultural events • Visit Indigenous art/craft and cultural displays • Visit heritage buildings, sites of monuments Reasons for the Growth of Cultural Tourism : Reasons for the Growth of Cultural Tourism Discussions about the growth of cultural tourism have ranged from the highly theoretical to extremely practical approaches. First I want to outline one of the most important theoretical issues, namely the development of culture and tourism in (post)modern societies. In theoretical terms, the relationship between tourism and culture illustrates that the current cultural tourism market represents the latest phase in a long standing process of convergence between culture and tourism. In the past, culture and tourism were seen as being separate spheres of social practice, undertaken by distinct social groups at specific times. As John Urry (1995) has noted, however, the barriers between culture and tourism are disappearing as a result of two parallel processes… Culture & Tourism Emerge : Culture & Tourism Emerge 1) The culturisation of society: Everyday life is being increasingly characterized by our distinct social spheres and cultural rituals. The lives of people have become increasingly mobile, and boundaries between previously distinct cultures are increasingly being eliminated. 2) The culturisation of tourist practices: Tourism has attained a greater cultural content, most obviously through the growth of cultural tourism, but also through the increasing significance of signs in the production of tourist sites. Not only do tourists consume a wide range of signs during their holidays, but the signs attached to travel are increasingly produced and circulated by the cultural industries. The Market for Cultural Tourism : The Market for Cultural Tourism It's a growing market! Many of these visitors plan ahead …getting information before they come. Generally speaking, while about thirty percent have their itinerary planned (or are on tours), about one-quarter have a fair bit of their trip planned, but still have some flexibility about where they go; another twenty percent have some of their trip planned but are very flexible, and about fifteen percent are totally free and independent travelers. Cultural Tourism & Heritage : Cultural Tourism & Heritage Another major cultural trend that has been important in the growth of the heritage industry has been the growth of nostalgia. The increasing pace of life and the feeling of disorientation and loss associated with modernity has ensured that the preservation of the past has become big business. Membership of organizations dedicated to heritage preservation has grown considerably in recent decades. The growth of nostalgia is also related to the aging population in Europe and elsewhere. Many commentators have argued that as people get older, their feelings of nostalgia increase, and they are more likely to visit heritage attractions related to their own past. Economics of Cultural Tourism : Economics of Cultural Tourism Policy makers, tourist boards and cultural attraction managers around the world continue to view cultural tourism as an important potential source of tourism growth. There is a general perception that cultural tourism is ’good’ tourism that attracts high spending visitors and does little damage to the environment or local culture while contributing a great deal to the economy and support of culture. Other commentators, however, have suggested that cultural tourism may do more harm than good, allowing the cultural tourist to penetrate sensitive cultural environments as the advance guard of the mass tourist. Conclusion : Conclusion Cultural Tourism is a niche concept that is growing in popularity within the travel industry. Travel Professionals that embrace this concept can benefit from the vast potential by capturing the interests of potential clientele with targeted communications using traditional distribution channels.