WIT Press

Integrated Management Of Urban Cultural Tourism In European Small And Mid-sized Cities: A Governance Approach


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K. Paskaleva-Shapira & E. Besson


Developing urban strategies towards sustainable cultural tourism that preserve local heritage and quality of life requires an effective integration between the urban activities and the actors concerned. Coordinating the efforts, however, poses a major challenge to urban managers and decision-makers, particularly in smaller cities and towns which generally lack the capacities or strategic means to implement ‘good urban governance’ for sustainable cultural tourism. Understanding the needs and requirements of integrated cultural tourism by the urban authorities and the stakeholders appears necessary. This paper asserts that the complex nature of urban cultural destinations requires an ‘integrated management approach’ and an ‘urban governance framework’ of cultural tourism. The notion is based on a critical review of existing state-of-the-art research and policy approaches and the results of a recently conducted pan-European city tourism study. Keywords: cultural tourism, urban governance, integrated management, partnerships, policy. 1 Introduction As a local response to global economic change and shift from industry to service-based economies, many small cities have shown interest in developing urban cultural tourism as a tool of economic development and job creation in their localities (Meethan [1]). Decentralization has significantly favoured the process but such objectives cannot be achieved by mere sectoral marketing or planning strategies; in a context of increased competition between small


cultural tourism, urban governance, integrated management, partnerships, policy.