World heritage and tourism:
Managing for the global and the local
The ruins of Ephesus in Turkey, a world heritage endangered by the pressures of tourism.
Academics, researchers and managers from around the world participated, from 2 to 4 June, at the first International Symposium on World Heritage sites and tourism in Quebec, Canada, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the declaration, by the UNESCO, the Canadian city as a World Heritage Site.
The main presentations of the opening day of the symposium were taxed María Gravari-Barbas, director of the Institute for Research and Higher Education in Tourism (IREST), University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and Network Coordinator UNESCO / UNITWIN Culture, Tourism and Development, who addressed the theme "World Heritage Sites: synergies, conflicts, perspectives", and Mike Robinson, director of the Center for Studies on Tourism and Cultural Change, University of Leeds, England, who spoke on "The World Heritage Tourism future construction."
In a context of globalization, the tourist attraction that awaken the World Heritage sites are promising and, while, worryingly, by the amount of threat posed by indiscriminate tourism pressure, overloading, poor planning and failure management, to name a few. Their potential and their future deserve analyzed, at least, from different perspectives. In a context of globalization, the tourist attraction that awaken the World Heritage sites are promising and, while, worryingly, by the amount of threat posed by indiscriminate tourism pressure, overloading, poor planning and failure management, to name a few. Their potential and their future deserve analyzed, at least, from different perspectives.
The objectives of the symposium, therefore, aimed to identify factors of conflict management skills essential and the need for cooperation between managers and researchers associated with the sites of World Heritage.
The International Colloquium included scientific and professional presentations (in english and french) on the meeting of tourism and heritage and its fullest expression: cultural tourism; on the challenges of managing over 900 sites declared by UNESCO; on global and local aspects of these sites, about her relationship with sustainable development, among other issues. There was also addressed meetings and exchanges between participants from different countries and a study visit to the historic Vieux-Québec.
Different views, some very new, were developed over the three days of meetings.
Yoel Mansfeld and Tally Korman, University of Haifa, Israel, for example, spoke about the threats to heritage in border areas of conflict such as the Jordanian-isarelí, and the paradox that, for many tourists, this situation becomes interesting destinations.
Sharon Oliver and Alan Brown, Institute for Conservation of Historic Buildings, Ireland, agreed that there is a tourist circuit milestones around terrorism and, in countries like Ireland, there is a big debate about it, as well as on demolition of buildings damaged by the attacks and violence, which for some involves the danger of standardization and the disappearance of traces that make the memory of a country and its identity, positive or negative.
Different panels addressed issues such as global and local management of sites, communication and marketing of heritage; impacts of tourism and sustainable tourism, nature, preservation and interpretation, development and planning of sites; process indicative listing of World Heritage , decision making, building circuits and site access, among other topics.
Alfredo Conti, director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable Tourism Heritage and the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Tourism in Buenos Aires, spoke about "The impact of tourism on historic towns and World Heritage in Latin America" and stopped especially in two emblematic cities: Colonia del Sacramento and Cartagena de Indias. He highlighted the impact that entry has on the number of visitors to the sites, the threats posed to the lifestyle of local communities, but also the development opportunities it offers.
The Colloquium was organized by the Network Culture-Tourism-Development of UNESCO, the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Laval, the Cultural Heritage Institute at the University of Laval, the University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne and the Centre Tourism Studies and Cultural Exchange at Leeds Metropolitain University (England).
Tourist overload threatens the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey, but were not declared World Heritage by UNESCO, have a universal value worth preserving for future generations.