A Guide to Cultural Tourism
Cultural Cultural tourism, tourism, or or culture culture tourism tourism as asitisit sometimes is sometimes called, called, is is a typeatypeof of niche niche tourism tourism that that attempts attempts to to represent represent the the stories stories and and lifestyles lifestyles of of the the people people from from the the past past and and in in the the present present authentically. authentic ally. As As such, such, it it places places particular particular focus focus on on art, art, architecture, architecture, religion, religion, food, food, clothing clothing and and anything anything else else that that may may have have contributed contributed to to shaping shaping a groupagroupof of people’ s people’ s way way of of
life, life, writes writesY von ne Y von ne N hut aN hut a of of Get Smarter. Get Smarter.
This This kind kind of of tourism tourism normally normally occurs occurs in urban in urban areas areas with with particular particular historical historical significance significance or or cultural cultural facilities, facilities, such such as as museums museums and and theatres. theatres. Cultural Cultural tourism tourism also also highlights highlights the the various various traditions traditions of of indigenous indigenous communities communities through through observing observing their their rituals, rituals, customs customs as as well well as as their their values values and and lifestyle. lifestyle. Tourism Tourism therefore therefore serves serves as asthethe carrier carrier of of culture culture and and cultural cultural tourism tourism has has become become the the platform platform for for cultural cultural consumption. consumption. As As a powerful a powerful tool tool for for economic economic development, development, tourism tourism is responsible is responsible for for jobs, jobs, providing providing new new business business opportunities opportunities and and strengthening strengthening local local economies. economies. When When cultural cultural tourism tourism is done is done effectively effectively it can it can aid aid in securing in securing an an area’ s area’ s natural natural and and cultural cultural resources, resources, while while improving improving the the quality quality of of life life for for residents residents and and visitors. visitors. One One of of the the main main ideas ideas behind behind this this kind kind of of niche niche tourism tourism is that is that people people should should be beableableto to save save their their heritage heritage and and culture culture while while sharing sharing it with it with visitors visitors and and reaping reaping the the economic economic benefits benefits of of tourism. tourism.
Ideally,Ideally,mostmostregionsregionsengagingengagingin culturalinculturaltourismtourismcancanbenefitbenefitgreatlygreatly fromfromit. it.NewNewbusinesses,businesses,moremorejobsjobsandandhigherhigherpropertypropertyvaluesvaluesareare justjustsomesomeof ofthetheadvantagesadvantagesof ofinvestinginvestingin culturalinculturaltourism.tourism.GettingGetting a handleahandleon onthisthistypetypeof oftourismtourismwillwillrequirerequireinitiallyinitiallycontemplatingcontemplating thetheavailabilityavailabilityof ofresourcesresourcessuchsuchas asartsartsorganisations,organisations,festivalfestival organisersorganisersandandartsartsvenuesvenueswhichwhichcancanbe beusedusedin attractinginattractingvisitors.visitors. SomeSomeof ofthethethingsthingsyouyouwillwillneedneedto toconsiderconsiderincludeincludeyouryourlocation,location, timing,timing,thethepotentialpotentialvisitorvisitorprofile,profile,whatwhatthethetouriststouristswantwantto seetoseeandand exactlyexactlywhatwhatyouyouwantwantto toachieve.achieve. OnceOnceyouyouhavehavepooledpooledtogethertogetherall allyouryourresources,resources,youyoucancanestablishestablish whatwhatsortssortsof ofattractionsattractionsyouryourareaareais preparedispreparedto toofferofferpotentialpotential tourists.tourists.ThisThiscancanrangerangefromfromartartfestivalsfestivalsto tomuseummuseumshowcasesshowcases dependingdependingon onhowhowwidewideandandhowhowsolidsolidyouryourarea’sarea’sresourcesresourcesare.are. Then,Then,youyouneedneedto toensureensurethatthatyouyouhavehaveadvertisedadvertisedthetheeventeventor orsite,site, leavingleavingenoughenoughtimetimeforforpotentialpotentialtouriststouriststo toplanplantheirtheirvisits.visits.PeakPeak timestimesincludeincludemajormajorseasonalseasonalholidaysholidaysandandperiodsperiodsthatthatcoincidecoincidewithwith otherothernationalnationalevents.events.
As Asthethenumbernumberof ofpeoplepeoplecomingcomingandandgoinggoingoutoutof ofthetheregionregionwillwill increase,increase,theretherewillwillbe beincreasedincreaseddemandsdemandson onthetheinfrastructure.infrastructure. Consequently,Consequently,beforebeforeattractingattractingvisitors,visitors,thetheroads,roads,airports,airports,waterwater suppliessuppliesandandotherotherpublicpublicservicesserviceslikelikepolicepoliceandandfirefiredepartmentsdepartments willwillneedneedto tobe bereadyreadyforforthis.this.AnotherAnotherthingthingto tobearbearin inmindmindis is whatwhatyouryourvisitorsvisitorsareareexpectingexpectingas astheytheymakemaketheirtheirwaywayto toyouryour regionregionor orcomecomeandandseeseeyouryourcommunity.community.It’s It’snecessarynecessaryto toensureensure thatthatyouyouarearegenuinelygenuinelyableableto toprovideprovidethethetouriststouristswithwithwhatwhatyouyou havehavepromisedpromisedin anyinanymarketingmarketingschemes.schemes.FailureFailureto todo doso socancanresultresult in inmajormajorlosseslossesin inbusinessbusinessas asyouyoumaymayfindfindit difficultitdifficultto tomeetmeetthethe visitors’ visitors’ expectations expectations of of quality quality roductsproducts products and and and services. services. Before Before attempting attempting to to market market or or advertise advertise anything, anything, it is it important is important to to know know exactly exactly what what kind kind of of tourist tourist you you are are aiming aiming toto attract. attract. This This entails en tails creating creating a a visitor visitor profile, profile, starting starting by by learning learning as as much much as asyouyou can can about about the the people people in in and and around around your your area. ea. area. Once Once you you know know the the demographics demographics of of your your region on region and and and the the the surrounding surrounding areas, areas, you you can can compare compare this this to to the the typetype type of of of peoplepeople people your your event event or or venue venue will will most most likely likely attract. attract.
Essentially, Essentially, cultural cultural tourism tourism works works to to satisfy satisfy the the needthe need need to todiscover.discover.It could It could be be anew a new wine wine region region or or ancientancient ancient artefacts, arte facts, but but cultural cultural tourists tourists travel travel because because ey they they feel feel feel the the need need to to explore explore something something that that is is completely mpletely completely unknown unknown to to them. them. Because Because they they are are travelling travelling for for thefor the the sheer sheer experience experience and and not not merely merely because because they they happenhappen happen to to have have vacation vacation time, time, these these tourists tourists are are usually usually willingwilling willing to tospendspendmoremoremoneymoneyandandtraveltravelmoremoreoften.often.Inen. In In addition addition to tothisthisas as people people work work together together to to create ate create aa a functional functional tourism tourism industry industry a senseasenseof of community communitynity pride pride is established. is established. This This occurs occurs as as tourists tourists get get toto to see see and and explore explore various various destinations destinations in in genuine ne genuine and and authentic authentic ways. ways. Nowadays, Nowadays, people people do do research research before before they ey they plan plan and and book book a tripatripor or holiday. holiday. Therefore, Therefore, itt is is it is important important to to have have a functional a functional method method that that people ople people
can tap into to find out more about what you have to offer. Being online is a great way to make sure people have a point of reference. Ensuring that you are easy to find and that your chosen method of advertising is easy to navigate, will create a good initial impression of whatever it is you are offering to your potential visitors. AnA online presence can increase the chances of your event or locationloc being seen by a large number of people. Other ways to advertisea include flyers and posters at local hotels, cafes and restaurants.restau
Growing with the area
Local prioritiesprioritie generally differ with every region, which is why circumstancescircums determine what each area can achieve with regards to cultural tourism. The programmes or venues that you mayma choose to offer a group of tourists need to therefore beb realistic in relation to the resources available to you. HowHo a region is marketed will depend on what kind of attractionsat are marketable, the talents of specific people anda whether accommodation is readily available. In today’stoday society, creative industries are being channelled to promoteprom destinations and events while enhancing the competitivenessco and attractiveness of the regions. As a locallo participating in the cultural tourism industry, you willw need to ensure that you give tourists authentic representationsreprese of your histories and traditions.
A significant challenge facing cultural tourism is the task of preserving and protecting the actual culture that serves as a tourist attraction. It is important to protect the buildings, landscape or special places and qualities that can attract visitors. Another reason for this is the fact that local communities that would most likely be struggling economically can find financial support through maintaining and showing off their cultural assets. Locally, the participation of generally marginalised South Africans in the development of the tourist industry will afford them the chance to create businesses that can ensure the generation of income through tourist sales.
Taking on the challenge
One of the most notable setbacks faced by communities venturing into cultural tourism is the potential for exploitation of their area’s cultural assets. Destroying these assets will in fact destroy the very things that attract the visitors in the first place. This is why collaboration plays a major role in cultural tourism. Regional partnerships allow for the development of themes, the pooling of resources and saving of money as the market potential expands. The active participation of political leaders, business leaders, operators of tourist sites, artists and craftspeople can result in very successful cultural tourism, as each sector of the community is given a chance to put its stamp on how their area is represented.
The part-time University of Cape Town Tourism Management short course is presented online throughout South Africa. Contact Nikki on 021 447 7565 or email@example.com for more information. Alternatively, visit www.GetSmarter.co.za