L05: Cultural Tourism Issues and the Role of Local Community

Sunday, July 16, 2017 - 10:00 to 10:45

Tourism and culture are recognized as two strong drivers of growth all around the world primarily through economic development and employment. They also have a crucial role in fostering understanding and preserving of richness and diversity of regional cultures and enviroments, achieving the valuation of a common heritage and upgrading the quality of living of resident popluation, as well as enableing the cultural exchange. However, tourism development demands for bringing along the issues of sustainability with a general goal of enabling the prosperity of the whole region and labeling economical and social disparities. Both culture and tourism are important components of development of the Danube Region. While there is clearly a role for culture and tourism to be part of development in an economic sense, their roles extend beyond this as integral parts of human development whereby social well being and basic human freedoms and rights are exemplified and enriched by travel and cultural exchange. Moreover, it is important to recognise that any discussion of the inter-relationships between tourism, culture and development is confronted by several layers of complexity, as the very natures of culture and tourism, entails that they are not static, but rather evolving and changing in time. They are also profundelly inter-connected with all aspects of daily life of both, residents and tourists. The fast growing tourism development has made sustainability a major concern, as the balance among resource conservation, tourism development and local community well-being becomes a big challenge in the economically oriented world. As numerous declarations and policies ever since (Berilin Declaration in 1997) made strong normative suggesting that tourism should be developed in a way so that it benefits the local communities, strengthens the local economy, employs the local workforce, and wherever ecologically sustainable, uses local materials, local agricultural products and traditional skills. Mechanisms, including policies and legislation, should be introduced to ensure the flow of benefits to local communities (Choi and Sirakaya, 2005; Terzić et all, 2015). Cultural tourism is the coordinated and mutually supportive application of cultural, heritage and tourist resources for the improvement of the overall quality of community life” (Partners for livable communities, 2014). Experts believe that communities are most successful in developing cultural heritage attractions as a way to improve their quality of life when they do so in a way that strengthens the community at the same time. The inter-relationships between culture, tourism and development are universal, affecting both developed and developing nations, considering that great disparities exsists. Such disparities are evident in the Danube Region as well. However, how these issues are dealt with in policy and management terms vary considerably. In line with the sustainable development agenda, the issues outlined are critical in the context of lesser developed and developing countries, presenting what and how they adapt to and apply agendas of poverty alleviation, human rights, social and political stability, democracy, cultural and environmental degradation in practice.

Scientific area: 
Cultural Studies, Tourism Management, Sustainable Development