From Fashion To ‘tangible-intangible’ Action: Local Communities ‘culturizing’ New Tourism Development
Free (open access)
489 - 500
Within the last two decades it has become fashionable to apply the buzz phrases ‘local participation’ and ‘local communities’ in sustainable tourism development, which promotes, among other things, a ‘bottom-up’ rather than a ‘top-down’ approach to development. This approach has, however, remained largely idealistic and marginal action has complemented the literature surrounding people-centred development. The research therefore seeks to contribute to the imminent transformation of the role of communities in tourism, focusing on the growing socio-economic force of cultural heritage tourism. A salient factor that is not sufficiently contemplated in the literature is that cultural heritage - embracing both tangible and intangible assets - has positioned local communities as powerful stakeholders in tourism. Drawing on cases from Asia and the Caribbean we are reminded that a significant number of our culture bearers and heritage sites originate in local enclaves, which are a growing attraction among cultural tourists. This paper explores key participatory typologies and management frameworks, which are propelling the involvement of local communities in ‘new’ tourism development. It concludes that cultural heritage can advance the participation of local communities in tourism while facilitating their socio-cultural and economic empowerment. Keywords: local communities, cultural heritage, tangible-intangible assets, new tourism, participation.
local communities, cultural heritage, tangible-intangible assets, new tourism, participation