Archive for May 2018

Tensions in Cultural Heritage Tourism

What is the relationship between cultural heritage tourism, the community and heritage places in any given locality? Which comes first, and which is more important than the other? In this article, I argue that above all, communities must be protected from an inundation of tourism so as not to alienate that community from its own heritage assets and secondly, I argue that the buildings themselves must be protected from loss of fabric and loss of meaning especially when tourist products are turned into corporate brands and locals are treated completely incidentally to the tourist experience.
Speno (2010) argues completely in favour of the tourists’ experience as the highest priority in the mix. She says that tourism, the world’s largest industry, is essential to a community’s economic vitality, sustainability, and profitability. The historic and cultural resources associated with people, events, or aspects of a community’s past give that community its sense of identity and help tell its story.

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Taxing tourism to pay for cultural built heritage

The World Bank (2010) writes that a good investment climate for tourism, underpinned by a sound tax regime, can play a central role in a government’s growth and development strategy. Yet in many countries, tax systems for the tourism sector are characterized by exemption schemes and instruments that generate little revenue and burden business. The three main issues facing policymakers dealing with tourism taxation are: fiscal incentives, sector-specific levies, and value-added tax (VAT). Such policy options are designed to encourage tourism investments while ensuring sustainable revenue collection. A good business environment for tourism is essential to support the industry’s central role in many countries’ development strategies. Investments in the sector, which has significant growth potential and can have important positive spillovers for the economy. Tourism is a complex industry of numerous subsectors. It is challenging to define exactly what constitutes a tourism product and how to tax it; tourism is not a single commodity, but rather a collection of many different goods and services provided by a wide range of suppliers.

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Cultural Built Heritage in Contemporary Society

There is a multiplicity of questions related to heritage management in society today especially for heritage property consultants and cultural heritage advisors. Based on the concept of the ‘social construction of reality’, there has been a shift from a consideration of heritage as a fixed list to a socially open process. The recognition of heritage as ―that which expresses some indefinable but recognizable element which current societies value and wish to pass on to posterity, gives rise to the interaction of different actors (social sectors) based on different values which are conducted through different disciplinary fields (Shalaginova 2012). In the sociological disciplines, culture is seen as a set of values, beliefs and symbols of expression and in anthropology, it is seen as the way of life of a society. In this regard, the conception of heritage as a social process is based on the revaluation by each generation and a conservation methodology to suit the production of future heritage.

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The theory of cultural built heritage

How do we define cultural built heritage? What is culture and what is heritage? Where does the idea of conservation come from and how is it practically applied to current heritage management systems? Heritage studies is yet to have a debate about its theorisation at the global level. Many of the core ideas that shape the field are rooted in the contexts of Europe and the USA and geographically rolled out in normative ways. We need to embark on pluralising how heritage is studied and theoretically framed, in ways that better address the heterogeneous nature of heritage for both the West and the non-West. The themes of modernity, cities and international cultural policy provide evidence of why we need to better position the academic study of heritage in relation to the rapid geo-political and geo-cultural shifts now taking place (Winter, 2014). Tracing the historical roots, or origins of what we understand today as heritage and the associated field of conservation is fraught with problems.

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Contesting Change in Heritage Environments

As communities throughout the world have come to recognise the importance of their cultural heritage, a number of unexpected results has arisen which demand our close analysis. These include the emergence of new heritage categories, a growing convergence of intangible and tangible heritage and an increasing demand for traditional conservation specialists to share our decision-making authority with those individuals and groups that have strong links to a particular heritage site.

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