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December 25 , 2009

World Heritage, Tourism and Identity

Inscription and Co-production


The remarkable success of the 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage is borne out by the fact that nearly 1,000 properties have now been designated as possessing Outstanding Universal Value and recognition given to the imperative for their protection. However, the remarkable success of the Convention is not without its challenges and a key issue for many Sites relates to the touristic legacies of inscription. For many sites inscription on the World Heritage List acts as a promotional device and the management challenge is one of protection, conservation and dealing with increased numbers of tourists. For other sites, designation has not brought anticipated expansion in tourist numbers and associated investments. What is clear is that tourism is now a central concern to the wide array of stakeholders involved with World Heritage Sites. It is a motivation for regions, states and communities to be put on the World Heritage List and it is certainly an outcome of being on the List.

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This volume, through a diverse range of international cases covering cultural, natural and mixed World Heritage Sites, covering both the developed and the developing world, examines the ways in which sites have been inscribed on the World Heritage List and what this has meant in terms of tourism relating to practical issues of management, carrying capacity and the experiences of tourists and local communities. It also looks at the way ‘being on the list’ shapes, and is shaped by, shifting values and politics at the macro and micro level.

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