Heritage and Cultural Tourism is one of the part of tourism which is aligned towards cultural heritage of the location where tourist is developing. It can also be described as travelling to know and understand places, artifacts and activities that tell the stories and people of past and all the culture, historic and natural resources are included in heritage tourism (Ciaffi, 2013). Here in this report we have discussed importance, growth and development of heritage industry. We have also shown that how organizations play an important role in this tourism and how they are responsible for this industry.
Natural Heritage is combination of fauna and flora, geology, landscapes and landforms and other natural resources.Cultural Heritage includes legacy of artifacts and intangible attributes that are manmade and are in herited from past generations, maintained in the present and preserved for the benefit of future generations. Developing cultural heritage tourism is a regular process (George, 2010). Tourism is a very powerful tool, it creates job, provides new business opportunities and strengthens local community. When the development is done right then it helps to protect nations natural and all the cultural treasures and it improves the quality of the life of local residents. Over the past few years the popularity of this industry has grown significantly with travelers and by developing new tourism attractions. Tourism is one of the biggest businesses and it has employed millions of people. One of the most advantageous part of cultural tourism is that, it can be used a tool for economic development and regeneration. From the past time, cultural industry has been given a great importance because it provide foundations to re-develop the cities, recreate existing city fascilities, etc. Relationship between cultural and tourism is also mutually beneficial as it creates extra revenues for both and it also enhances the cultural resources (Ingram, 2003).
If we see the global level then we will find that UK has enjoyed a great dominant position in heritage and cultural tourism. Heritage sector in UK is always described as its one of the major strength for international visitors and it has contributed about 28% of total UK tourism. Famous buildings and monuments, castles and stately homes and churches are very well regarded and we can see the results in terms of number of visitors. Britain has not only been a destination with world class historical offering but it has also proved as an exciting destination, with the great power to surprise and involved visitors on a high emotional level.British Tourist Authority has always used Cultural tourism to attract the off-peak tourists in “Britain for All Seasons” marketing Campaign. This industry has made its tremendous economic impact on UK by creating new businesses, jobs, higher property values, payoffs, etc (Marcotte and Bourdeau, 2012). Their well planed cultural heritage has always created opportunities for tourists to gain knowledge of unfamiliar place, people or time.
In present times increase in heritage and cultural tourism has increased due to various reasons like Availability of transportation which was not available. There has been a great development in the local transportation, road system aircrafts, etc and it has boosted the arrival of tourists from the different parts of the world. Media has also played a great role by showing various documentaries, newspapers articles, etc and after watching and reading about these beautiful places tourist’s could not stop themselves from coming to these places. Also due to various technological advancements people can now easily enjoy these places (Masip, 2006). The local communities are also providing trained staffs and people who enhance the experiences of tourists by their hospitality and knowledge about place.
Conservation means a willful act of keeping the heritage from the present to and for the future is called conservation. It means proper allocation of resources by preventing from injury, decay, waste of both natural and cultural heritage. In the past conservation was termed as preservation but in the recent times it means proper use. Conservation recognizes that heritage provides opportunities for economic, ecological, educational, social benefits based on proper use. There are various conflicts and threats in preservation of these resources (Moulin, 2000).
Lack of proper and good presentation of the heritage place to the tourist can lead to lack of understating and appreciation of the particular heritage place and this will prevent the tourist from coming and will also hamper the development of local community and government funding to conserve the place.
Tourism development has adverse effect on a place if it does not include social and cultural dimensions, natural and cultural landscapes and broader visuals of the heritage place (Shipley and Kovacs, 2008).
There are various benefits to increase the tourism in the country and Britain know that very well so they adopt various strategies to attract people from all around the globe to visit their country (Zan and Lusiani, 2011). There are various purposes of cultural and heritage attractions in the travel and tourism sector in UK are-
This is one of the most important reason why people go to historical places in UK. It helps them to learn about different cultures and increase their knowledge about the country and their people. UK has always been a great host for knowledge and there are various educational universities which are considered to be very precious. People mostly come as visitors here but after witnessing the knowledge environment here they again come to join various universities. It has many towns like Segovia which is very old town and provides authentic knowledge about history of the country (Ashworth and Larkham, 2013).
Many people visit UK for their research purposes as there are various opportunities in this field. There are various cathedrals, churches, castles which are always the hot topic for researchers in UK.There are also various libraries like Bodleian Library which is situated in Oxford, UK, is among the most preferred knowledgeable place.
Another reason why people come to is Entertainment because Britain government organizes various programs which attract people from different countries. These programs not only provide great entertainment but they also increase the knowledge of people side by side. Blackpool is among the most famous cities of UK which not only attracts tourism but also contributes a lot in UK economy (Chhabra, 2010). The local community has arranged amazing programs for tourist, which not only tells all the historical details of the country but also give them a sense of holiday feeling.
All this cultural and heritage places attracts lots of tourists every year in Britain and this industry has always been a great source of income generation for the country. It has helped UK in developing many of its cities and places and also in increasing the level of education in the country. There are various theme parks, churches, etc. which attracts many people. Local community is also getting developed as they sell various traditional merchandises to tourists and earn a respectable amount of money.
Heritage and Cultural attractions has increased enormous amount of tourism in the UK which has resulted in the economic development, community development, and also a source of great income generation and these things have benefited the stakeholders in a useful way. This tourism has also helped to increase the personal income of the people and it has increased their standard of living (Dahles, 2013). To the government, it has been a good source of revenue generation for suppliers and creditors.
Basically there are three types of ownership that works in the field of cultural and heritage tourism.
Organizations which are owned and controlled by the government of the nation are called Public ownership organizations. The main aim of public organization is the development of the nation, so they make many strategies to increase the number of tourists in the country which helps to increase the foreign exchange earnings. They try their best to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the nation so that more and more tourists could come and visit these places. They take every step to encourage the tourists in the nation (Hoffman, 2006). They organize many programs throughout nation and also provide funds for the development of places in to increase the tourist attractions. One of the great initiatives of UK government is Heritage Lottery Fund, which provides funds to various projects in the country from large scale to small. UK government also encourages people towards the employment in this industry and for this they organize many educational programs to encourage people to join and work.For the people in this profession, they organize various training and development programs to increase the knowledge of the people so that they can provide better services to the tourists and make them happy. Efforts of the government help in increasing the living standard of the people and also help in income generation (Kratky, 2011). They have made various rules and regulations to preserve the natural and cultural resources and each and everyone has to follow them.
The organizations which are controlled and run by the private individuals are called private ownership organizations. Their main aim is to provide unforgettable experiences to the tourist and also their profitability and market share by creating Brand awareness about the organization. There are many private organizations in UK in this field and that’s why there is a great competition among them. Each organization wants to provide best holiday to tourist and increase their customer base. For this they select only capable candidates for the job and also provide them full training to make them more productive and efficient (Lyon and Wells, 2012).Private ownerships provide large amount of revenue for the government in terms of taxes which helps the nation to grow and it also helps the government to organize many programs for these organizations to give them briefing about new projects and plans. These organizations not only bring more foreign exchange but also put efforts to bring more people in the country.
Independent Charitable Ownerships
These are different charitable trusts, which are funded by both individuals and government. They also have a major role to play in the heritage tourism of the nation. They are normally situated near the heritage or cultural sites and they take care of full site by protecting it, cleaning it and developing it. They also attract large number of tourists in the country. Their main purposes are promotion of the knowledge among individuals, removal of poverty, benefits to local community and follow all the rules of government. They help the government to increase the economic growth and also provide employment to many individuals.
There are different types of organizations which are operating under the cultural and heritage industries, some of them are as follows-
UNESCO- “It is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. It is very special organization, and its purpose is to make contribution in the field of peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science and culture in order to bring universal respect for justice, law and human rights. It has 195 member states and 9 associate members. There are various projects sponsored by UNESCO like literacy, technical and teacher training program, promotion of independent media, etc. It promotes international cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage and also to preserve human rights.
Museums- This is the institution, which is responsible for the collection and care of artifacts and materials related to artistic, scientific and cultural significance. It makes all these things available to public and scholars through various programs, exhibits. They also have huge collection of scholar material which helps various students and scholars all over the globe. There are three types of museums (Mckercher and Cros, 2012).
Standard- In UK there are various standard museums and among them British and Victoria Albert Museum are highly acclaimed and attracts lots of tourists. Their main motto is to gather and interpret all the important artifacts, scholar material, cultural material, etc. and to make them available for education and learning purpose. These are considered among the biggest museums so they have important rules and responsibility
Open Museum- These types of museums are completely related to arts, artists, paintings, etc. They are non-profit museums and they display the arts of various fine artists (Nyaupane and Timothy, 2009). Their main aim is to promote art and culture among people so they gather various artists, paintings, etc and organize an exhibit for them. These museums are open for every kind of people and they also organize various knowledgeable games for kids and people.
Living Museum- These museums are involved in creating the same historical environment which was there in the previous time and provides tourists an unimaginable experience as well as great knowledge. Their main aim is to provide learning by simulating the environment which creates excitement as well as learning environment for the public (Richards, 2001).
English Heritage- This is non-departmental body of British government and it is sponsored by department of media, sports and culture. They are responsible for protecting some of the important natural monuments and environment. They have direct control and authorization over some sites and their rules have to be followed by every tourist.
Visit Britain- It is developed under the department of tourist act in 1969 and it is the tourist board of UK.Their main aim is to promote UK and attract people by various programs so that they can come and visit the country. It is one of the best boards in the world and has won many international prizes (Timothy, 2011).
WWF- It is international non-government world wide fund for nature. It works on the issues related to the research, preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Their main aim is to stop the exploitation of the natural resources and planet so that our future generations can also enjoy the gift of nature.
Interpretation plays a very important role in making tourist understand the actual and the correct story about the historical place. It helps to create the interest of the tourist. All the world heritage sites have one or the other stories like how they were built or how they were destroyed, the people who used to live there, various happenings, etc. In presenting and interpreting the historical story of heritage site it is very much necessary to be selective in telling the parts which will most interest the tourist and he will amuse or enjoy listening that. By communicating the meaning of the heritage site, interpretator creates understanding among the general public. It also helps to create the public awareness about the importance and culture of that particular place. Among the various forms of interpretation, the explanation by tourist guide influences the experience of tourist most. By giving good interpretation tourist love to come again and it increases the profitability and market share of the various private companies and it also helps the government in bringing foreign exchange.Interpretation helps to assist in various improvements in cultural and heritage destinations and also increases the reputation of the nation.
Interpretation by Media- There are different mediums in media which can be used to provide great experience and satisfaction to the customer so that it can help in increasing the market share and profitability. The media used to interpret the story should be chosen according to the people so that easily understand the actual meaning of the particular heritage. Media used for interpretation can include clear notes, proper lighting, guide books in various languages, models, portable players, mics, etc.
There are three periods where the media can be used-
Before Arrival- Tourists can be shown various clips, movies, pictures, etc of the heritage site so that there interest can be awakened. There are various social media network like Facebook, twitter, etc to show and attract the tourist about the country.
During the visit- During the visit various shows can be organized and also various copies of guide books can be distributed to the tourists so that they can understand the place in a much better way. Tourist can be allowed to take pictures of the place so that they remember and can show others to motivate them to come to this place.
After their Visit- Various mementos and artifacts of the place can be given to the tourists so that they can remember the place after going at their home country. Various market surveys can also be conducted to know the loopholes in the services provided, so that organizations can improve themselves and can become more efficient.
From the above report we can conclude that historical and cultural tourism is very important for each nation. They play a great role in uplifting the economy and improving the standards of people living in that country. Private and public organizations are doing hard by attracting the tourists from various countries and side by side they are also improving their way making the experience of tourist memorable. Various media and other things are used in this 21st century to make the holiday of a tourist his best holiday.
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