Relationship Between Culture and Tourism is Increasing

 Tourism and culture were viewed as largely separate aspects  earlier. Cultural resources were seen as part of the cultural heritage of destinations, related to the education of the local population and the underpinning of local or national cultural identities. Tourism, on the other hand, was largely viewed as a leisure-related activity separate from everyday life and the culture of the local population. This gradually changed towards the end of the century, as the role of cultural attractions in motivating tourists and distinguishing destinations from one another become more obvious. The growing articulation between culture and tourism was stimulated by a number of factors.

Increased interest in culture, particularly as a source of identity and differentiation in the face of globalization worked as a motivation. Growing levels of cultural capital, stimulated by rising education levels also helped the process. Aging populations in developed regions having enough wealth and time also increased the demand.  A desire for direct forms of experience (“life seeing” rather than sightseeing) was developed in later years of 20th century also augmented cultural tourism.   Increased mobility in our times creating easier access to other cultures increased tourism.

 Cultural tourism was seen as a growth market and “quality” tourism and an increasing supply of culture as a result of regional development helped the tourism industry. Growing accessibility of information on culture and tourism through new technologies further increased the demand. The emergence of new nations and regions eager to establish a distinct identity e.g. the impact of newly-independent states in Central and Eastern Europe created new curiosities.

Culture has been increasingly employed as an aspect of the tourism product and destination imaging strategies, and tourism has been integrated into cultural development strategies as a means of supporting cultural heritage and cultural production. This synergy between tourism and culture is seen as one of the most important reasons for encouraging a more direct relationship between these two elements. This relationship is even more significant, given the growing importance of both tourism and culture for economies around the globe. According to OECD , international tourism accounts for approximately 30% of global service exports in 2006 (OECD 2008). Culture and creativity are increasingly being recognised as important economic drivers. An OECD study on the economic importance of culture indicated that in several major economies, the value of the cultural industries was between 3% and 6% of the total economy .

The widespread cultural, economic and social benefits lead to at policies promoting linking culture and tourism or the narrower development of “cultural tourism”  worldwide at continental, national and regional levels. In Europe,  the European Commission promotes cultural tourism as a means of underpinning the “unity in diversity” of the EU population. Travelling to experience the culture of others allows tourists and hosts to appreciate cultural difference as well as underlying cultural ties. In Australia and Canada, culture and tourism have been linked to the development of economic opportunities for indigenous peoples. In Africa , Latin America and Asia, cultural tourism is often seen as a means of supporting heritage conservation as well as raising local incomes (Richards, 2007). The widespread cultural, economic and social benefits mean that policies promoting linking culture and tourism or the narrower development of “cultural tourism” have become evident worldwide at continental, national and regional levels. In Europe, for example, the European Commission promotes cultural tourism as a means of underpinning the “unity in diversity” of the EU population. Travelling to experience the culture of others allows tourists and hosts to appreciate cultural difference as well as underlying cultural ties. In Australia and Canada, culture and tourism have been linked to the development of economic opportunities for indigenous peoples. In Africa, Latin America and Asia, cultural tourism is often seen as a means of supporting heritage conservation as well as raising local incomes.

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About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in Class Notes, earth, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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