Sonntag, 19.05.2019 17:34 Uhr

Third cultural tourism conference in Turkey

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 07.12.2018, 10:10 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 5046x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The third cultural tourism conference (3-5 December) organized jointly between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has taken place in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants recognized their support for cultural tourism as a driver for protection of living heritage, catalyzing creativity in cities, and spreading tourism’s socioeconomic

advantages. The 3rd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture will produce a declaration, to be made available soon, delineating the cross-sector commitment of all participants to emphasizing the tourism and culture partnership as an enabler for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations. The next edition of the conference is scheduled to take place in Kyoto, Japan in 2019. “Culture is one of the drivers of tourism growth, so protecting cultural heritage and promoting tourism for sustainable development are part of the same equation.

That 30-plus ministers from around the world are gathered here proves the place of culture in tourism,” affirmed UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili opening the event. President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta addressed the conference at its opening, reinforcing that: “In today’s world, tourism diplomacy is becoming more important to foster understanding, and culture is key to achieving this”. The necessity for a clear and strong link between tourism, culture and local community stakeholders has been a key conclusion from the conference.

Cultural tourism policies and strategies must be concerned about the perspectives and interests of local communities, who can also assist governance bodies in balancing tourism development with heritage conservation and safeguarding. Channelling tourism revenues into cultural preservation and community development has been pinpointed as a key governance challenge. UNESCO Deputy Director-General Xing Qu affirmed tourism's essential role, declaring: “Tourism provides a tremendous opportunity to support local economic development, while breaking down barriers between people. Harnessing creativity and technological innovation, as well as safeguarding heritage is essential for promoting responsible and sustainable tourism to

communities for years to come.” Turkey’s culture and tourism minister Mehmet Ersoy said “The culture and tourism partnership provides a framework for public-private cooperation, education, investments and sustainability”. Tourism and culture are indivisible and must work together so that tourism does not suffocate cultural heritage and its benefits for visitors and locals. However, the main challenge is to spread cultural tourism’s attractiveness beyond conventional sites at the same time as managing large visitor numbers.

The first session of the conference focused on cultural tourism’s potential to help cities transform into more sustainable and creative environments and destinations. It ended in agreement that the creative and cultural sectors can boost and provide innovation in cultural tourism, forging links that turn tourism into a tool to safeguard tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The second day of the event was given over to the twin influence of responsible tourism and technological advances in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. Innovation should be strengthened for better management, promotion and preservation of heritage, as well as to make cultural tourism accessible to all.

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