The UN-World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) has defined sustainable tourism as an enterprise that achieves an effective balance among the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development in order to guarantee long-term benefits to recipient communities. According to UN-WTO, it should: Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance. Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Culture – Cultural heritage
The UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development report Our Creative Diversity looks at culture as “ways of living together”. With this as a point of departure, the World Bank defines culture as the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or social group. It includes not only arts and letters, but also modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions, and beliefs For tourists, the desire to travel is the desire, to varying degrees, to experience something unfamiliar; foreign cultures and their manifestations thus serve as important attractions. Cultural tourism in particular is a search for and a celebration of that which is unique and beautiful, representing our most valued inheritance. Culture and cultural heritage are crucial to people’s identity, self-respect, and dignity. This applies to both affluent and poor societies. Tangible heritage may be an avenue through which the conscious tourist starts to grasp a basic understanding of the past and/or living culture, which has adapted to and influenced the environment the visitor is trying to make intelligible. Provided these basic facts are understood and serve as guidelines for presentation and communication between tourists and the local population, cultural turism has great potential to improve understanding and respect among different cultures, and in a long term perspective may be regarded as a tool for creating and preserving peace (NWHO, 1999) The word “heritage” has a clear and relatively simple relationship with the concept of inheritance – indeed the French word heritage is still use exclusively to mean “legacy”. One dictionary gives two definitions of the English word: “That which has been, or may be, inherited’ raises the interesting area of heritage that is not yet owned, but may come in to ownership at a later date; the other definition, circumstance or benefits passed down from previous generation, keeps the close contact with the concept of inheritance, but opens it beyond immediate ownership to include group heritage and heritage with may not physical form. It may not be a “thing” but may, for example, be an inherited title. Indeed the word is now frequently used in a biological sense to refer to our genes. The other feature here is the “benefits”. Although all “circumstances” are accept as heritage, disbenefits are not given the same weight as benefits. Heritage can be regarded as anything that someone wishes to conserve or to collect, and to pass on to future generations (J.M. Fladmark). Cultural heritage ("national heritage" or just "heritage") is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. Cultural heritage includes tangible culture (such as buildings, monuments,...
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