Inventory and analysis of the main tools currently available to cultural sites and authorities with regard to sustainable cultural tourism on a transnational level (EU / Council of Europe / UN)
In September 2017 the Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) of the European Commission asked the European Expert Network on Culture and Audiovisual (EENCA) to prepare a study focusing on an inventory and analysis of the main tools currently available at a transnational level (EU / Council of Europe / UN) to cultural sites and authorities with the aim of achieving sustainable cultural tourism. In 2015, the European parliament recognised cultural tourism as the factor playing a major role in preserving and realising the value of cultural heritage. However, when not appropriately managed the rapport between cultural heritage and tourism may involve several risks threatening cultural heritage preservation and its sustainability, or may fail to fully realise the mutual benefits. In 2017, the UNWTO highlighted sustainability concerns as one of the three key priorities for the further tourism development. The report deals with the underlying principles of sustainable cultural tourism focussing on its comprehensive definition, the relationship between cultural heritage management and tourism development, the evolution of institutional agenda in this field, objectives and principles for integrating cultural management and sustainable tourism, and cultural tourism audience from the sustainability perspective. Further, it addresses diverse tools for the sustainable management of cultural tourism adopting predominantly a top-down approach on a transnational level. Identified institutional tools are divided into three major groups: Providing assistance to local actors (guidelines, charters, toolkits, checklists, policy frameworks, codes, etc.); Raising awareness of tourism sustainability issues (education, encouraging responsible tourism); and Building partnership platforms (horizontal and vertical cooperation in destination management, networking).
The report was written by Mária Tajtáková, with the assistence of Martin Clarke and Paul Vroonhof.