Cultural Tourism

It is a well-known fact that tourism can be a deadly foe as much as a firm friend in the matter of development. Considering the economic might of the tourist industry—now regarded as the biggest in the world ahead of automobiles and chemicals—careful attention should be paid to this many-sided phenomenon with its global repercussions. The impact of tourism is such that progressive strategies are vitally needed in order to prepare the ground for genuinely progressive international, regional and local strategies.

It is UNESCO’s intention to assist the 191 Member States in preparing their policies while reconsidering the relationship between tourism and cultural diversity, tourism and intercultural dialogue, and tourism and development. In this way, the Organization proposes to contribute to the fight against poverty, protection of the environment and mutual appreciation of cultures.

Pilot projects in the world:


Documents Tourism, Culture and Development in West Africa
Documents Innovative and interdisciplinary approaches in the Aral Sea Basin
Contributing to poverty eradication through sustainable income generation in an ecological disaster area. 

Documents First Meeting of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network “Culture, Tourism and Development”
Paris, 18 March, 2005 


Documents Revised Plan of Action for International Co-operation on Tourism management in Heritage Cities

2nd International Seminar on "Tourism Management in Heritage Cities", held in Nazareth, Israel 3-5 February 2000

Documents Second Meeting of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network « Culture, Tourism and Development »
Documents Innovative Policies for Heritage Safeguarding and Cultural Tourism Development
Proceedings of the International Conference 
Documents The Sahara of cultures and people: towards a strategy for the sustainable development of tourism in the Sahara, in the context of combating poverty
Documents WTO global code of ethics on tourism
Documents World Summit on Eco-Tourism held in Quebec
Canada, 19-22 May 2002
Documents Workshop on Sustainable Tourism Development in World Heritage Sites: Planning for Hue
Between 3-6 May 1995, 57 experts, participants and observers met in Hue,Viet Nam, to take part in a workshop entitled: “Sustainable Tourism Development in World Heritage Sites - Planning for Hue”. The purpose of the workshop was to consider how to plan for an integrated, multi-sectoral approach for sustainable tourism development within the context of the preservation of the World Heritage Site of Hue.

Documents UNESCO Vision and Activities on "Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development"

UNESCO is resolutely engaged, alongside its Member States, the private sector and civil society, and in cooperation with the relevant agencies of the United Nations, in promoting the sustainability of development in tourism, which, as we

Documents Tourism, culture and development in the Arab region: supporting culture to develop tourism, developing tourism to support culture
This study has been carried out as part of the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997).
Documents The Sahara of cultures and men
Documents Strategy for sustainable tourism development in the Sahara
This is a study produced by Ezzedine Hosni at the behest of UNESCO pursuant to the suggested amendment to the Programme and Budget for 1998-1999, submitted by Tunisia and adopted at the 29th session of the Organization’s General Conference in November 1997.  
Documents Plan of action of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

Documents L'etica del turismo cultural (The Ethics of Cultural Tourism)
Compilation of international charters texts published by the European University Center for the Cultural Goods 
Documents International Cultural Tourism Charter
8TH Draft, for Adoption by ICOMOS at the 12th General Assembly.
Documents The Globalization of Tourism

The world’s leading category of international trade, tourism is increasingly offering a range of cultural products, from visiting monuments to discovering unique ways of life.

This growing trend fuelled by a quest for cultural enrichment can encourage the revival of traditions and the restoration of sites and monuments. But unbridled tourism can have the opposite effect. Here there is a real dilemma. Is there not a risk that the boom in cultural monuments to the discovery of unique ways of life. Tourism, by the sheer weight of numbers involved, may harbour the seeds of its own destruction by eroding the very cultures and sites that are its stock in trade? Our introductory section explores this dilemma along with the origins and growth of cultural tourism. Part 1 presents case studies showing what indigenous communities are doing to control tourism in their lands. In Part 2 we examine the world of site management, where the track record is at best mixed. In conclusion, two prominent personalities in the tourist business defend mass tourism,while its advocates and other key players enter the final stages of drawing up a global code of ethics for tourism.

Documents Making Tourism Sustainable
Since the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, the concept of sustainable tourism has been steadily gaining momentum. It is the realisation that tourism flows must be properly planned and managed if the world’s cultures and ecologically fragile areas, including parks and world heritage sites, are to remain intact. 
  • Making Tourism Sustainable, by Ann-Louise Martin
  • Nazareth, on the way to Tiberias, by Ann-Louise Martin with Flore de Preneuf in Nazareth
  • Keeping the sand and the tourists on the beaches, by Gillian Cambers (University of Puerto Rico)
  • The Sahara do it the right way, by Sue Williams

  • Documents Towards an ethics of tourism
    Documents Tourism and Culture: Rethinking the Mix

    Tourism has long been assumed to promote cultural understanding and peace, but in fact it often chips away at cultures and leads to conflict. 
  • Is Cultural Tourism on the Right Track?, by Mike Robinson
  • The Pioneers, by Roy Malkin
  • The Globalization of Tourism, by Roy Malkin

  • Documents Case study on the effects of tourism on culture and the environment: Nepal
    Documents Case study on the effects of tourism on culture and the environment: Cambodia


    Ms Katerina STENOU Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue
    Director of Division More

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