A Guide to Cul­tural Tourism

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL -

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.

Get­tingGet­tingstart­ed­started

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.

Let­tingLet­tin­git beit­be­known­known

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 ni­cole@gets­marter.co.za for more in­for­ma­tion. Al­ter­na­tively, visit www.GetS­marter.co.za

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