Culture and Its Preservation
This section briefly identifies some of the major views of culture and its physical manifestations related to tourism, as well as the means that have been used to protect heritage environments.
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.
The above reflects the separation of culture and cultural heritage into both movable and immovable forms. This report focuses primarily on culture’s immovable forms, recognizing that the “cultural landscape” includes expressions of traditions and lifestyles that must be taken into consideration when looking at effective ways of safeguarding a community’s cultural heritage. Culture and cultural heritage are prominent resources in any society. Tangible heritage may be considered a material manifestation or symbol of cultural expression, either traditions of living society or those of past societies occupying the same area. Therefore, material heritage is pivotal for anyone wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the society. This applies to the local inhabitants as well as the visitor to a new or foreign society or environment. A great deal of the activity within cultural heritage preservation has been concerned with maintaining single buildings of architectural significance and connected with important events and people. Various actors have been involved in this process, including non-governmental organizations, all levels of government, and developers. Concerns with the limitations of identifying and protecting single buildings have led to laws and regulations