The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

What is Cultural Tourism in the Maritime Heritage Context?

Back on March 7, I posted a link to the Ontario Ministry of Tourism's website and it's "Making the Case for Tourism" toolkit. This drew a comment from Matthias Ripp, who suggested that we needed to define terms, such as "cultural tourism," and suggested this link to a European Union project. Below is his definition:

Cultural Tourism is a form of tourism that focuses on the culture, the cultural environment (including the landscapes of the destination), values and lifestyles, local heritage, visual and performing arts, industries, traditions and leisure assets of the host community. It can include attendance to cultural events, visits to museums and heritage places and mixing with the locals. It should not only be regarded as a definable economic niche within the broad range of tourism activities, but rather as encompassing all experiences absorbed by the visitors to a place that is beyond their own living environment for more than one night and less than one year in private or public accommodation in the destination.

What do you think? Does this miss anything with regard to maritime heritage? Is this defintion, coming out of the European experience, applicable to the American context?

(An anonymous comment has been allowed for this post because it has added good ideas to the discussion.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This definition is pretty good, but it does leave a couple of important points out. In Introduction to their book, 'Cultural Tourism: The Partnership Between Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management (THHP, 2002),' Bob McKercher and Hilary du Cros outline several definitions. All are equally valid, but the one I like the most deals with the motivation of the visitor. In cultural tourism... "(i)t is hoped that by experiencing culture the tourist will become educated as well as entertained" (p. 5). I think the desire to gain greater and deeper understanding of the hosts' culture, history, etc. seperates the cultural tourist from those travelling for other primary reasons...

12:37 PM

Blogger Matthias Ripp said...

I know this book and find it pretty useful! Maybe the best definitions of cultural tourism are those working with a variable scheme, gradually increasing: Many forms of tourism are motivated by cultural reasons, but the degree of the motivation and the time really spent perceiving cultural sites, etc. (What is culture, by the way?...) is varying widely! So maybe cultural tourism in general is not existing, but many different forms of it!

8:49 AM


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