Issues in Cultural Tourism Studies

Issues in Cultural Tourism Studies

Issues in Cultural Tourism Studies

Issues in Cultural Tourism Studies

Synopsis

Combining a rigorous and academic theoretical framework with practical case studies and real-life examples, initiatives and projects from both the developed and developing world, this wide-ranging yet detailed book examines the phenomenon of cultural tourism in its broadest sense. It explores many issues including, amongst others:- the development of cultural tourism and its impacts- sustainable cultural tourism policies- the role of cultural tourism in urban regeneration- the organizational framework of European cultural tourism.In addition, individual chapters make reference to the problems of exclusion and discrimination.Drawing on post-modern perspectives, this informative text emphasizes the importance of popular cultural tourism, alternative or ethnic tourism, and that of working class heritage and culture. It focuses on the role cultural tourism plays in the globalization process and the impacts of global development on culture, traditions and identity, especially for regional, ethnic and minority groups. It argues that the future development and management of cultural tourism relies on a greater degree of mutual understanding between the sectors involved in its development, and on further communication, if it is to be sustainable, integrative and democratic.

Excerpt

It would not be difficult to say what prompted the writing of this book, since much of the inspiration and motivation has been derived from years spent as an almost insatiable cultural tourist. This includes the various childhood day trips to castles, palaces and historic towns in the UK; numerous inter-rails 'doing' one European cultural destination a day on one crust of bread; the train-spotter-style ticking off of World Heritage Sites while backpacking around India and Southeast Asia; and the more recent long weekends in the culturally regenerated cities of Northern England. Not all exotic locations perhaps, but they aptly demonstrate the increasing diversity of the cultural tourism product and the activities that can be said to fall within its scope. Both tourism and culture have always been great passions of mine; hence it is fortuitous to have the opportunity to work within a field that allows me to indulge my passions, and to write about the interrelationship between the two phenomena. And, who knows, the royalties from this book might even pay for my next cultural trip!

On a more academic note, the rationale for writing this book is fairly clear. Five years ago, we developed an MA in Cultural Tourism Management at the University of Greenwich. At that time it was the first course of its kind in the UK, and perhaps even in Europe. Since that time, we have also infused our BA Tourism Management course with a cultural tourism flavour. This largely reflects staff research interests, but it is also in line with recent developments in the tourism and cultural industries.

The book aims to be contemporary in its focus, reflecting recent developments in the tourism and cultural industries, both in the UK and internationally. In recent years there have been many interesting examples of cultural tourism initiatives in the UK. For example, the British Tourist Authority has established a Cultural Tourism Group, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Tourist Boards have developed cultural tourism strategies, and many regional tourist boards are working closely with regional Arts Boards to promote arts and cultural tourism. It is gradually being accepted that audience development and the creation of revenue through tourism could help to ease funding crises within the arts, especially in regional or rural areas. Similarly, the development of cultural tourism can help to subsidise the expensive process of conserving heritage sites. Heritage management forms an integral part of sustainable tourism development, one of the areas which has been given priority by DCMS (the Department for Culture, Media and Sport). This is also clearly an international issue. Growing concerns for the environment and recognition of the need for integrated conservation strategies for global heritage have started to necessitate collaboration between tourism and heritage organisations at all levels, especially in the context of World Heritage Sites.

Cultural tourism has also been recognised as a growth area outside the UK. On a European scale, organisations such as ATLAS (the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research), ECTARC (the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures), the Council of Europe and the European Commission have been carrying out

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