Unit 19 Heritage and Cultural Tourism Management Sample Assignment
Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Unit 19 Heritage and Cultural Tourism Management
Tourism is the single biggest industry in the world after Food and Beverage (F&B), in terms of the number of employment it generates, the revenues (earnings) from it and the number of people undertaking it. It can be considered as the single largest activity undertaken by the mankind since their evolution. Humans have undertaken travel since time immemorial for various reasons such as, from seasonal migration, food gathering, search of favourable lands, conquering nations, work related, migration, in search of something and finally for leisure. Except for leisure and pleasure activities or experiencing something, all other kinds of travel cannot be considered as Tourism. Tourism nowadays is distinctly considered as the travel undertaken by humans for business, recreational, leisure, pleasure, experience and health etc. purposes for a specific time period. Among all these, the leisure and recreational part has many aspects to it, such as ways of recreation, entertainment factors and place of experience etc. Culture and Heritage are some of the factors for leisure tourism. Culture and Heritage Tourism are the types of Tourism undertaken for visiting and experiencing different place, historical monuments and heritage sites. Tourists visit these places for experiencing the culture, living style and history of those places (Haulot, 1981).
2.1 Assess the purpose of heritage and cultural attractions in meeting the needs of different customers?
Heritage and Cultural tourism as discussed earlier serves various aspects related with overall tourism, from letting the customers feel and experience the historical importance of the monuments and sites, experiencing the cultural aspects such as the lifestyle of the people, experiential heritage of the attraction (literature etc.) and finally the modern cultural aspects such as culinary, music, arts and theatre. This is quite visible through the efforts of the department of the culture, media and sports of ministry of tourism in UK also, as it promotes these aspects as the three pillars of the cultural and heritage tourism (Apostolakis, 2003). The detailed analysis on the various purposes heritage and cultural attractions meet in the needs of different customers is as follows –
- Experiencing the local history – This can be attributed as the history associated with a heritage tourist destination. Tourists visiting these sites mainly like to know about the history of the monument or the site, its historical importance, artefacts related with that sites, lifestyle of the community living around the monument, living conditions in the past, information pertaining to the site and its application in practical terms.
- Experiencing the culture – This can be ascertained as the experiences related with the culture of any specific tourist destination such as, the history associated with that place, personalities and lives of famous people from that place, literature and other important cultural aspects famous from that place, digging out information about the past and understanding its relevance and existence in present day scenario etc.
- Reliving the culture – It is associated with existing lifestyle of the people of any great tourist importance. How the people of that area dwell, architecture, living conditions, day to day activities, culinary & cuisine aspects of the society, their music, art and present theatrical activities, linking all these aspects and dating their evolution from past etc. are some of activities what tourist generally try and feel while visiting these places, such as the city of London in UK.
- Education purpose – These are the tour purposes for the students, academicians while undergoing some kind of educational course, where they try and experience first-hand practically, while visiting any tourist destination of cultural and historical importance, as the great city of Bath Spa in UK. During these tourist activities, tourists try and learn to understand the theoretical aspects more closely by knowing various aspects mentioned above from experiencing the local culture to understanding its historical importance (Chang, 1997).
- Research purposes – These are the purposes of again the students, academicians, researchers, scholars, historians, architects, archaeologists etc. to understand and feel the experiences first-hand which have been there in theories. They also try and find out more information about any particular tourist attraction, which was not very well known in the past and continues to provide data and information of historical and cultural importance, such as the great Pyramids of Egypt, Sphinx and Macchu Picchu islands of Peru etc.
- Leisure activities – These are the normal tourist purpose of enjoying, relaxing and entertaining themselves while visiting any destination. Clubbing this purpose with a tourist destination of cultural and historical purpose serves the objectives mentioned above in the backdrop of experiencing a new realm of exposure with the vibrancy and comfort of modern day amenities. One such example can be of Bath Spa city of UK, with others such as Paris, London and Rome etc. (Nasser, 2003)
3.1 Evaluate the impact of different types of ownership on the management of heritage and cultural sites?
As discussed earlier, management of cultural and heritage sites are the responsibility of the local area, regional or national level governments. UNESCO also plays an important role in conservation and maintenance of some of the historically most importance tourist and heritage sites, such as Taj Mahal in India, Abbey Bath in Bath Spa city, Tower of London by providing it a special status of World Heritage site. Though traditionally it has been seen that some of the heritage monuments of pasts and with long history have gone over transfer of their ownership many times. This can be due to their long historical existence, in which the original founder or the builder of the monument dies or it is taken over by some other rival, leading to the transference of ownership from one owner to the other. This is pretty much visible in the cases of Great Castles of UK and Europe, Cathedrals, & Churches, ports & other city structures like Windsor Castle etc. In the modern times, if the ownership of the existing monument or the remnants of the older existing structure is not proved legally or it is not occupied (contemporary) or not being in use, the government steps in and take over the property for conservation and adds the site into the public property. This helps in maintaining the structure, conservation and developing it as tourist destination. There have been many issues involved in many heritage and cultural sites with their ownership and management for conservation and tourist spot development (Du Cros, 2001). The changing hands in the past and the final takeover by the government have always been marred with issues. Some of them are as follows –
- Changes in ownership lead to alterations in the original structure – This is one phenomenon, which has been associated with almost every monument of heritage importance in the past. After the initial ownership of the structure changes from its founder or builder, due to many reasons such as death of the initial owner, takeover bid through a war, migration of the initial owners, destruction and finally abandoning of the initial structure by the first owners etc., it has been seen categorically that the subsequent owners have always made alterations to the initial structure and has deleted or added some changes to it as per their convenience and usage of that structure, it could be very well seen in the Windsor Castles’ case during its 1000 year old history, it has changed hands for at least 15 – 20 times and all the owners have changed the initial structure by adding or removing some of the older constructions, following the changes in the usage of the structure as per their convenience. These alterations lead to permanent changes in the original structure and may sometime conceal the information about its initial or real purpose and usage in the very first place.
- Degradation to the original structure – This is related with the fact that during every single ownership change and subsequent alteration made to the original structure led to some kind of degradation in the preceding monumental outline. Also related is the fact during the continuous use of these monuments over a period of history, there comes many controllable and uncontrollable events which led to destruction and degradation of the initial structural outline, like fire, earthquakes, rains, floods etc. These destructions led to permanent changes and damages to the original structure and the information related to it.
- Restoration activities hamper during the change of ownership – This is very well understood again in the case of Windsor Castle, as whenever the ownership of the Castle changed, the restoration or reconstruction activities which were started and undertaken by the preceding owners were generally over looked and stopped. In many cases, it was changed drastically to incorporate the new requirements of the changed owners leading to further damages to the original structure. It has been pretty much evident when the government overtakes any monument from its past owners and tries to intervene with restoration activities, in many cases it helps in the overall storage of the old monument with its past glory or prevents the further degradation, like in the case of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, with intervention of Italian government, the further inclination process and the danger of snapping up of the tower was stopped by introduction of various measures such as support from Lead Ingots etc. (Hampton, 2005).
- Development of the heritage structure as a tourist destination – This is a big struggle for all those monuments which are still occupied by its owners or in use. The government typically faces the challenge of restoring it due to the cultural and heritage importance of the building seen from the point of view of tourism, but the owners or the occupants of the structure at that present moment of time do not cooperate with them, citing examples of intrusion in their lives or changes in their structural usage or reclaiming the whole restoration exercise at the end and not allowing or letting it develop as a tourist destination. The cohesive re-development of the monuments with the existing users and making it a tourist attractive destination and enabling cultural & heritage tourism take place with the continued usage of its occupants is a very big task and challenge (Aas, 2005).
3.2 Analyse roles and responsibilities of organizations in the heritage and cultural industry?
As already discussed above, many organizations under a central authority is responsible for the management of any heritage and cultural tourist destination under the cultural and heritage tourism industry. If we take the case of UK, the central authority comes under the central government of Great Britain, primarily known as Ministry of Tourism. Under this central ministry, various departments cohesively play different roles and responsibilities to overall manage the heritage and cultural tourism industry in the whole of UK. One such department is Department of Culture, Media and Sports. There are also various agencies which come in direct or indirect supervision of these departments such as “Visit England” and “Visit Britain” which play a huge role in overall development, sustainability and management of the heritage and cultural tourism industry in UK. Some of the roles and responsibilities of organizations in the overall heritage and cultural industry can be very well understood from the following aspects, such as –
- Central government of UK – The main responsibility of any nations’ central government is to understand the importance of tourism industry in the overall economic structure. The role they assess that this industry will play in future in terms of its economic activities is of prime importance for the development and sustainability of the overall tourism industry in that country. Similarly, in UK, the central government understands and treats tourism as the single largest industry in terms of economic contribution such as revenues added to the GDP (120 billion pounds in 2013) and the number of jobs provided (almost 3 million in 2013). All these emphasis lay down by the central government, leads to formulate strategies and policies for the overall tourism management by deciding up with regulatory agencies, departments, maintenance of the heritage and cultural tourist destinations, development of overall tourism industry and increasing the attractiveness of UK as a tourist destination worldwide.
- Ministry of Tourism – The central ministry specializing in the realm of tourism industry and its overall management in UK is the Ministry of Tourism under the central government of UK. The main roles and responsibilities of this ministry is proving to be a vehicle of implementation for all the central government policies and regulations. It actually performs all the duties envisaged by the central government at the strategic level for the overall tourism industry and its management. The further emphasis on the cultural and heritage tourism industry is undertaken by formulating and designing other delivery vehicles under this body.
- Department of Culture, Media and Sports – This is the special vehicle meant above, which is under the Ministry of Tourism and performs the specific activities related with management of cultural and heritage tourism under the over tourism industry. As already discussed, it maintains the built and natural heritages, develops the local community and the tourism industry stakeholders in the local environment, develops infrastructure facilitating tourism activities, promotes culture and its enticing factors as a tourist destination etc.
- Special PR agencies such as “Visit England” and “Visit Britain” – As already discussed, the main roles and responsibilities of such kind of agencies is to primarily market the Great Britain and England as a tourist destination and specially cultural and heritage tourist destination, among the international tourists community and internal tourist spheres respectively. The overall revenue generation and jobs added to this industry to the existing numbers is one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of these agencies.
- Local government – These are grass-root level local agencies acting as the vehicle for implementing all the national level policies, regulations and infrastructure decisions, framed by all the above mentioned national agencies. These agencies actually undertake all the works envisaged by the agencies at centre by actually undertaking restoration works, building infrastructure and managing local hotspots.
- Local Community – These are the actual stakeholders at the grass-root levels who are involved in day to day activities undertaken by the tourists and related alliances in the overall cultural and heritage tourism activities. These are also the most impacted ones also, as the tourists primarily come and experience their lifestyle and day to day chores in cultural and heritage tourism and intervene in their living up to a great extent. The proper training and cohesive development of local communities in line with understanding the cultural and heritage tourism importance of that area and facilitating smoother transactions and interactions between them and the tourists is the most essential aspect (Bryan, 2000).
- Allied agencies – These are the agencies such as Transport and Infrastructure ministry and department, industrial agencies, health and safety agencies and financial agencies’ network which are allied to Tourism and Cultural and Heritage industry. These allied agencies provide the necessary support in developing and implementing a grander vision of a hugely attractive tourist destination among the tourists worldwide. The cohesive working of these agencies with the cultural and heritage tourism agencies makes a country successful in bringing large numbers of tourists and become the most popular among their contemporaries, this can be completely visualized by the UK’s cohesive working of various agencies and developing it as a great tourist destination overall and also in terms of cultural and heritage tourism (Jamal, 2009).
Heritage and Cultural tourism among the overall tourism industry is considered to be the most important and inseparable aspect. UK is famous for its cultural and heritage tourist destinations and accounts for world’s single largest cultural and heritage tourism market, with its historic buildings, monuments, sites, cultural values, modern day cultural transactions such as cuisines, music, art and theatre. British government realizes the importance and role of this industry in the overall segment and importance towards the economic contribution. With this understanding they have developed a world class infrastructure cohesively with existing outline with the help of a multi-pronged agency approach. Britain’s USP for great cultural and heritage tourism industry infrastructure apart from its historical assets and vibrant modern day culture is the integration of one of the world’s best Interpretation techniques, providing a never to forget experiences for their tourist consumers and make them a sure shot revisit tourist destination.
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