LOCAL IDENTITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT ON WORLD HERITAGE SITES - TRENDS AND CHALLENGES
The second half of the twentieth century began a time of change for society in general and each individual in particular.
Although the concept of development is not globally understood as the same phenomenon, concepts such as sustainability and sustainable development, heritage and culture, tourism and ethics, uniqueness and authenticity, materiality and intangibility, among others, have entered the lexicon of scientific research, political speeches, strategic and development plans, and non-governmental organizations.
The assumption that the human being is the most relevant heritage is decisive for respecting the other and valuing the differences between us. This approach might help creating a common sphere where everyone and every place plays a crucial role. It is in this context that culture/heritage, as a differentiating element, undertakes a progressive and continuously relevant meaning, a core part in global society.
Are many and diverse responsible for this construction. Whether the individual point of view or the collective. The creation of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in November 1945 is a fundamental stepping-stone in this context. The concern to protect the still visible course of the history of Humankind, independent from the dimension or geographical location is the example of a global concern which should involve all of us.
Many of these sites listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, are also, for this same reason, touristic sites, and thus subject to different uses, almost always different from their initial purpose. These uses should not imply destruction, loss of genuineness, or massification. They should instead preserve or re-establish the authenticity that identifies these sites, making them unique.
In this perspective there is the need to understand the motivations of the tourist and the profiles of the visitors, connected with multi-attraction and multi-motivation demand. It is important to encompass an understanding of what is being visited, the quest for experience and emotion, the committed participation mediated by ethics and sustainable behaviours; to create the conditions for a new, ontological tourism to grow inside each one of us, in every journey, in each place.
The increasing interest and desire for the historical and cultural heritage sites, material or immaterial, allows us to (re)discover the singularity, the authenticity, notoriety and, at the same time, the originality of World Heritage Sites, causing its tourism management to be carried out in such a way that the physical, social, cultural and economic sustainability becomes a permanent and dynamic concern, open and complex.
This Conference will enrich the knowledge of tourism, through the debate between different participants and case studies. The objective is to improve the capacities to build on each World Heritage Site an identity able to generate processes that enhance the quality of life of local residents, a marketing strategy designed to offer cultural/heritage reference products, and an informed research, committed and motivated to use (somewhere between entertainment and development) improve the offer on World Heritage Sites.