Several texts, tools and methodologies applicable to tourism, intangible cultural heritage and relationships between the two are listed and described here in order to provide help or advice to people wishing to safeguard ICH while combining it with tourism. These documents are the result of international policies, of research work, academic work or field studies and are proposed with free access by major institutions around the globe.
Here is a series of documents (mainly accessible online) which helped us to advance our research on the link between tourism and ICH. Some apply to tourism, others to intangible cultural heritage, but all can be applied/translated to the context of ICH or are useful to the prosperity of a respectful ICH tourism.
Tourism in the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)
The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has been created not only to safeguard and respect ICH associated with communities, groups and individuals, but also to raise awareness of the importance of ICH and to promote international cooperation and assistance.
The convention text itself does not mention tourism as such. However, tourism and issues related to the implementation of intangible heritage in tourism activities are addressed in its Operational Directives, and in its Ethical Principles for Safeguarding ICH.
We should emphasise nonetheless the implication of the Convention’s Article 15 on participation of communities, groups and individuals. It states that each State Party to the Convention shall endeavour, within the framework of its safeguarding activities of the intangible cultural heritage, to ensure the widest possible participation of communities, groups and, where appropriate, individuals that create, maintain and transmit such heritage, and to involve them actively in its management. The Convention emphasises here a deep and all-encompassing obligation to ensure the widest possible participation of bearer communities in safeguarding, including in contexts of tourism development.
The 2003 Convention text is available at: https://ich.unesco.org/en/convention
What do the Operational Directives for the implementation of the Convention say about tourism?
Following UNESCO’s 2003 Convention, the Operational Directives give recommendations regarding the implementation of the 2003 Convention and indicate procedures to be followed. The document also covers the safeguarding of ICH in tourism activities. It states that tourism actors should make sure that tourism activities respect ICH safeguarding and the wishes and rights of the communities it concerns.105 UNESCO’s Operational Directives express the importance to balance the interests of tourism actors, public administration as well as cultural practitioners to ensure the viability and sustainability of the meaning and purpose of any ICH concerned.106 It also states that any awareness-raising action should not put at risk ICH via unsustainable tourism forms.107
Chapter IV on “Raising awareness about ICH and use of the emblem of the Convention” states that particular attention should be paid to awareness-raising actions which could endanger any form of ICH and generate unsustainable tourism. It is added that “particular attention should be paid to avoiding commercial misappropriation, to managing tourism in a sustainable way, to finding a proper balance between the interests of the commercial party, the public administration and the cultural practitioners, and to ensuring that the commercial use does not distort the meaning and purpose of the intangible cultural heritage for the community concerned”.
In Chapter VI on “Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development at the national level” includes a subsection that is dedicated to the impact of tourism on safeguarding and vice versa: “State Parties shall endeavour to ensure that any activities related to tourism, whether undertaken by the States or by public or private bodies, demonstrate all due respect to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage present in their territories and to the rights, aspirations and wishes of the communities, groups and individuals concerned therewith. To that end, States Parties are encouraged to:
(a) assess, both in general and in specific terms, the potential of intangible cultural heritage for sustainable tourism and the impact of tourism on the intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development of the communities, groups and individuals concerned, with particular attention to anticipating potential impact before activities are initiated;”.108
The Operational Directives also add that legal, technical, administrative and financial measures should be adopted to:
“i. ensure that communities, groups and individuals concerned are the primary beneficiaries of any tourism associated with their own intangible cultural heritage while promoting their lead role in managing such tourism;
ii. ensure that the viability, social functions and cultural meanings of that heritage are in no way diminished or threatened by such tourism;
iii. guide the intervention of those involved in the tourism industry and the behaviour of those who participate in it as tourists.”109
The Operational Directives are available at: https://ich.unesco.org/en/directives
Tourism in the Ethical Principles for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage
UNESCO’s Ethical Principles aim to give a framework of codes of ethics and tools that can be used when safeguarding ICH.
Although all of the twelve principles are very much linked to ICH in tourism as tourism is indeed seen as a potential threat, the following principles should be fully taken into consideration when developing ICH-based tourism:
- Communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals should have the primary role in safeguarding their own intangible cultural heritage.
- Mutual respect should prevail in interactions between States and between communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals. Mutual respect should be extended to visitors and other sectors building complex tourist networks. In such interactions transparent communication and dialogue should be exercised.
- Access of communities, groups and individuals to the instruments, objects, artefacts, cultural and natural spaces and places of memory whose existence is necessary for expressing the intangible cultural heritage should be ensured. This is extremely important when tourism generated profit stands in front of communities’ needs.
- Each community, group or individual should assess the value of its own intangible cultural heritage and this intangible cultural heritage should not be subject to external judgements of value or worth. If not, ICH practices will be shaped by the tourism market according to its own canons.
- The communities, groups and individuals who create intangible cultural heritage should benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from such heritage, and particularly from its use, research, documentation, promotion or adaptation by members of the communities or others.
- The dynamic and living nature of intangible cultural heritage should be continuously respected. Authenticity and exclusivity should not constitute concerns and obstacles in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.The concept of authenticity is of great interest for the sake of safeguarding ICH in the context of tourism. Here authenticity is defined as “the appearance and experience of what is perceived as being a true or genuine activity, item or setting, based on the cultural understanding of the observer.” Even though authenticity is not a word to be used within the context of the 2003 Convention as it is seen to imply an unchanged nature of heritage, when analysed within the tourist context we learn that maintaining authenticity is related to the threat of commercialization of living culture, “as it may entail the simplification of heritage for the purposes of transmission. A balance must be struck between commodifying ICH tourism products to make them commercially viable, while preventing them from becoming over-commodified.” (UNWTO Study on Tourism and ICH)
- In this regard, Communities, groups, local, national and transnational organizations and individuals should carefully assess the direct and indirect, short-term and long-term, potential and definitive impact of any action that may affect the viability of intangible cultural heritage or the communities who practise it. This assessment should be based on a case-by-case basis.
- Communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals should play a significant role in determining what constitutes threats to their intangible cultural heritage including the decontextualization, commodification and misrepresentation of it and in deciding how to prevent and mitigate such threats.
The Ethical principles for the Safeguarding of ICH are available at: https://ich.unesco.org/en/ethics-and-ich-00866
UNESCO – Safeguarding Intangible Heritage and Sustainable Cultural Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges (2008)
This document explores challenges experienced while safeguarding ICH and displaying it through tourism as they were presented in 2007’s UNESCO meeting in Vietnam. This meeting was organised in order to touch on the advancement of the understanding of the relationship between sustainable tourism and ICH and on the direct application of this understanding at the field level. The document addresses different themes in the context of sustainable tourism such as handicrafts, performing arts and living heritage and mentions several challenges that Intangible Cultural Heritage experienced in the past years through case studies.
It is available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000178732
UN (United Nations) – The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and The Sustainable Development Goals (2015)
The United Nations, founded in 1945, created the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015 by all United Nation Member States. The 17 goals for sustainable development are at the heart of this ambitious but essential project. The Agenda focuses on: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.
The UN goals for sustainable development are becoming more and more present in our everyday life as the project is increasingly implemented in many visible institutions and attains more acknowledgment. Although the achievement of sustainable tourism all around the globe is not clearly stated as one of the goals, it is implied in many of them as it touches on economic, social, cultural and environmental life. Thus, these goals can be applied to sustainable tourism and to the social and cultural practices (such as intangible heritage practices) of communities, groups and individuals it concerns.
You can find more information on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals at:
UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) & UNWTO – Making Tourism More Sustainable, a guide for policy makers (2005)
In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations World Tourism Organization partnered to create a guide. This document helps policy makers and governments make tourism activities more sustainable by advising on the involvement of political bodies in tourism, on the structures and strategies to be implemented, on the different forms that sustainable tourism can take on and the tools and resources available.
It is available to read at: http://www.unep.fr/shared/publications/pdf/dtix0592xpa-tourismpolicyen.pdf
UNESCO & UNWTO – Declarations on Tourism and Culture
The United Nations World Tourism Organization and UNESCO have partnered several times in order to address the many issues brought about by the growth of tourism and its impact on cultural heritage. Together, they organised four world conferences that led to the creation of four declarations on the important subject of tourism and culture. The first one (2015), the Siem Reap Declaration, focused on building a new partnership model for tourism and heritage stakeholders, in 2017 the Muscat Declaration emphasised the need of fostering sustainable development. A year later, in 2018, both organisations reaffirmed their commitment to a better repartition of the benefits of such a collaboration between tourism and culture and in 2019 the Kyoto Declaration provided insights on the need for tourism and culture to invest in future generations.
The four declarations are available to download at: https://www.e-unwto.org/action/doSearch?AllField=declarations+tourism+and+culture&ConceptID=
Read more about the four declarations:
The Siem Reap Declaration on Tourism and Culture: Building a New Partnership Model (2015)
In 2015, UNESCO and UNWTO gathered in Siem Reap (Cambodia) for an international conference, in order to elaborate an official declaration concerning the link between tourism and culture, and the necessity to build a new partnership model with regard to sustainable development. The Declaration on Tourism and Culture considers sustainable tourism as a “considerable force in safeguarding and fostering the appreciation for tangible and intangible heritage as well as encouraging the development of arts, crafts and other creative activities”.110
The Siem Reap Declaration takes ICH into consideration under the term of cultural heritage and states that “culture, reflected in heritage and traditions as much as in contemporary art, languages, cuisine, music, handicrafts, museums and literature, is of immeasurable value to host communities, shapes community identities and fosters respect and tolerance among people, has become a key tourism asset, creating distinctive differences between destination;” and that “cultural tourism can make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development and empowerment of local communities”.111
The Siem Reap Declaration wishes to promote and protect cultural heritage by:
- “Encouraging tourism activities that contribute to increase public awareness and support for the protection and conservation of cultural heritage; in particular, by communicating heritage characteristics and values through the tourism experience chain;
- Considering the aspirations of the host communities in determining and managing the use of the tangible and intangible culture;
- Ensuring that sufficient revenues derived from tourism activities go toward the management and conservation of cultural and natural heritage and promote the engagement of tourists; (…)
- Ensuring that ethnic and indigenous people and their cultures are respected and preserved and that tourism development and promotion is done with full participation and through equitable partnerships”112
This document recognizes that “despite the immense synergies between tourism and culture, the two sectors often operate within government and administrative structures that are disconnected or poorly coordinated, resulting in less-than-optimal outcomes for national and regional development policies, planning and development”. The declaration also mentions that “at a time of unprecedented tourism growth, it is important to emphasise the shared responsibility among culture and tourism stakeholders, especially within government and public administration at all levels, as well as the immense opportunities for both culture and tourism to develop new partnership models”. Both organisations affirm that, in order for tourism to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability, cultural and natural assets must be protected and valued. To reach the objective of a better partnership model between tourism and culture, UNESCO and UNWTO reaffirmed their will to:
- reduce existing barriers and facilitate “effective partnership models and governance structures within government at national, regional and local levels to develop, coordinate and implement tourism and culture policies and practices in a more integrated manner”,
- to encourage and facilitate “effective partnerships between government, private and community organisations in both tourism and cultural heritage sectors”,
- and to develop “cultural tourism policies that recognize, protect and promote the authenticity of culture and cultural heritage and forge effective synergies using a range of appropriate technologies and social media platforms whereby all stakeholders exchange more information, experience and best practice in this area”.113
The Muscat Declaration on Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development (2017)
Two years after the Siem Reap Declaration, UNESCO and UNWTO cooperated again to write the Muscat Declaration, which reaffirmed the will to “strengthen the synergies between tourism and culture and advance the contribution of cultural tourism to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs [sustainable development goals]”. They did so by:
- proposing the development of “cultural tourism policies that advance the contribution of culture and tourism to sustainable development and that are aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda”,
- “stimulating the engagement of both the private sector and local communities in tourism and the development of cultural tourism as well as in the preservation of cultural heritage”,
- and “promoting a culture of respect among tourists and local communities, their identities, ways of living, and beliefs when visiting sites and destinations for purposes of sustainable cultural tourism”. 114
The Muscat Declaration also aims to “promote responsible and sustainable tourism management of cultural heritage by:
- Protecting cultural heritage and safeguarding intangible heritage, which is essential to maintain the attractiveness of tourism destinations; (…)
- Ensuring the engagement of local communities in managing tourism at heritage sites in a sustainable, responsible and inclusive manner and meeting the aspirations of communities on safeguarding and transmitting their tangible and intangible culture heritage values; (…)
- Ensuring the necessary financing for preserving cultural heritage sites and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage through investments and self-financing models”. 115
The document encourages the creation of new approaches for sustainable development via cultural tourism, using innovation and new technologies. This renewal would allow for the development of both tangible and intangible awareness-raising actions and for the promotion of cultural tourism experiences which consider cultural diversity into its making.116
The Istanbul Declaration on Tourism and Culture: For the Benefit of All (2018)
In 2018, a third declaration was established where UNESCO and UNWTO’s reaffirmed again their commitment to contribute to UN 2030’s Agenda. The Istanbul Declaration recalled the precedent declarations of Siem Reap and Muscat and promoted the creation of “governance structures that link tourism and culture and bring a wide range of benefits to destinations, businesses, visitors and local populations, while maintaining a healthy balance between tourism development and heritage conservation and safeguarding” concerning sustainable tourism and sustainable development.
The Istanbul Declaration also aims to develop the important role responsible tourism can have in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage by:
- “Raising awareness and ensuring mutual appreciation at the local, national and international levels of the importance of intangible cultural heritage
- Strengthening the decision-making powers of local communities, including the bearers and custodians of intangible cultural heritage, as well as indigenous peoples, women and youth, with regards to tourism development and the best ways to improve their livelihoods
- Establishing collaborative platforms between communities, tourism authorities and other stakeholders, with a view to ensuring the relevance of the intangible cultural heritage in promoting cultural diversity and human creativity.”117
The Kyoto Declaration on Tourism and Culture: Investing in Future Generations (2019)
The latest UNESCO and UNWTO declaration to date, the Kyoto Declaration, recalls all of the precedent declarations and the UN 2030’s Agenda when adding that measures need to be strengthened to “safeguard tangible and intangible cultural heritage and promote and protect the diversity of cultural expression and intrinsic values therein”.
It also aims to consolidate sustainable development capacities for cultural tourism and a better understanding of shared values by:
- “Developing human talent and encouraging talent retention given its crucial contribution to sustainability, entrepreneurship, skills matching and overall cultural tourism competitiveness; (…)
- Investing in human capacities and the sustainable development of less visited areas, by providing training on cultural and thematic routes and contributing to intercultural dialogue, international cooperation and peace; and
- Utilising cultural facilities such as museums to further engage both visitors and residents in local cultures and traditions.”118
The will to “redefine tourism management to advance local community empowerment and responsible tourism” was reaffirmed in the Kyoto Declaration by “involving the whole destination in urban planning and destination management through the participation of local communities and the private/public sectors”.
The purpose of this document is also to promote “the ‘Kyoto model’ with regards to managing the relationship between tourism, culture and local community”, which calls for the good balance of benefits coming from tourism with the needs of local communities, considering that if those needs are ignored, the city will change and won’t have a unique culture anymore, impacting the tourism industry at the same time.119
UNESCO and UNWTO also engage in a new mission: the enrichment of tourism via cultural transmission and a mutual understanding. To do so, the Kyoto Declaration urges to:
- celebrate “cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, in particular through festivals, education, awareness raising and cultural or spiritual centres”,
- address “research gaps on how continuing tourism growth, increasing urbanization and migration are impacting the transmission of cultures”
- create “community-centred initiatives that gather practitioners and the bearers of traditional knowledge to strengthen systems for transmitting cultures through tourism for future generations”.120
UNESCO-EIIHCAP – Regional Meeting: Safeguarding Intangible Heritage and Sustainable Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges
This document is the result of a regional meeting held in December of 2007 in Vietnam, jointly organised by the Bangkok bureau of UNESCO and the Establishment Initiative for the Intangible Heritage Center for Asia-Pacific (EIIHCAP). It addresses the themes of Intangible cultural heritage, cultural tourism, ecotourism, sustainable development and cultural property preservation through the prism of the Vietnamese situation, but these general principles and concepts are also approached with a broader view, and are applicable more widely. It contains interesting information, resulting from discussions about ICH and sustainable tourism.
Available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000178732
UNWTO – EU Sustainable Tourism for Development Guidebook. Enhancing capacities for Sustainable Tourism for development in developing countries (2013)
The EU Sustainable Tourism for Development Guidebook offers a comprehensive approach to tourism and talks about its impacts, its development and its management. The document provides guidance for the development of sustainable tourism projects, and to better include sustainable tourism within the EU’s programmes.
It is available to read and download in many languages at: https://doi.org/10.18111/9789284415496. There is also information about this Guidebook at: https://www.unwto.org/fr/EU-guidebook-on-sustainable-tourism-for-development
UNWTO – Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations. A Guidebook (2004)
In 2004 the UNWTO published a first Guidebook dealing with indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations. In its framework, sustainability is addressed via the three aforementioned pillars of (1) optimal use of environmental resources, (2) respect of socio-cultural authenticity of host communities and (3) economic benefits for all stakeholders. The Guidebook has been influential as a whole, as well as for furthering the understanding of the relationships between ICH and tourism, and of the position of the host community within the tourism sector. The monitoring methodology depends heavily on participatory processes, and the indicators for assessing the impact(s) of tourism on local communities as well as on visitors is a way to work on and rethink the processes behind different tourism initiatives relating to ICH.
It is available at: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/epdf/10.18111/9789284407262
UNWTO – Global Code of Ethics for Tourism
The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET), created in 1999 by the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, gives simple principles to tourism actors such as governments, travel businesses, communities or tourists themselves. It aims to help create benefits in the tourism sector while lessening the negative impacts tourism can have on the environment, cultural heritage and local populations around the world.
It is available to read and download in many languages at: https://www.unwto.org/global-code-of-ethics-for-tourism
UNWTO – Recommendations on Sustainable Development of Indigenous Tourism (2019)
Following the Larrakia Declaration and WINTA’s work, UNWTO created a set of recommendations “to encourage tourism entreprises to develop their operations in a responsible and sustainable manner, while enabling those indigenous communities that wish to open up to tourism to take full grasp of opportunities that come along, following a thorough consultation process. The recommendations also target tourists that visit indigenous communities, and whose numbers are steadily increasing given the growth of tourism motivated by the interest to experience indigenous cultures and traditional lifestyles”.121 This document compiles recommendations for tour operators and travel agencies, for tour guides, for indigenous communities and for tourists.
It is available to read and download at: https://doi.org/10.18111/9789284421299
UNWTO – Tips for a responsible traveller
The United Nations World Tourism Organization also published a document, Tips for a responsible traveller, which provides useful advice on how to behave while travelling not only to enjoy a trip but also to respect the local people, their way of life and their environment. It acknowledges many aspects of respectful travel: culture, environment, economy, information and respect.
It is available at: https://webunwto.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2020-03/tips-for-responsible-traveller-EN.pdf
UNWTO – Tourism and Intangible Cultural Heritage (2012)
UNWTO’s Ethics and Social Dimensions of Tourism Programme commissioned a study in 2012 on tourism and intangible cultural heritage. It was based on research by tourism scholars and involved NGOs, academics, research, technical and community development experts. This study, Tourism and Intangible Cultural Heritage, touches upon concepts, definitions and challenges of tourism development related to intangible cultural heritage. It also provides case studies and good practice examples and offers recommendations to foster sustainable tourism development through safeguarding and promoting ICH.
It is available to download at: https://doi.org/10.18111/9789284414796
UNWTO Inclusive Recovery Guide – Sociocultural impacts of COVID-19, ISSUE II: Cultural Tourism
In February 2021, UNWTO launched the UNWTO Inclusive Recovery Guide – Sociocultural Impacts of COVID-19, Issue II: Cultural Tourism. UNWTO invited UNESCO to contribute to this second set of guidelines relating to the sociocultural impacts of COVID-19.
It is available at: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284422579
UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics (2020)
In 2015, the World Committee on Tourism Ethics submitted to the General Assembly of the UNWTO a proposal to convert the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, UNWTO’s main policy document, into an international convention in order to reinforce its effectiveness. The Framework Convention was officially adopted in 2020.
The Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics has been built around the nine core principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The Preamble of the text is inspired by that of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, although updated to the current international context and purpose of the proposed Convention. Part I of the Convention includes the General Provisions which contextualise the text by outlining the key terminology, the aim and scope of the provisions of the Convention as well as the means of implementation. Part II is dedicated to the Ethical Principles in Tourism, which constitutes the backbone of the Convention. Cultural heritage is addressed in article 4, 6 and 7.
It is available at: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284421671
World Conference on Sustainable Tourism – Charter for Sustainable Tourism (1995)
In 1995, a world conference was held in Spain by international institutions such as UNESCO, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), amongst others. In this international meeting the participants recognized that the tourism industry can have positive and negative economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts. To prevent these negative impacts, the conference recognized the need of a global methodology respectful of the diversity of cultures and lifestyles that tourism encompasses.
The Charter for Sustainable Tourism was defined and submitted to the UN in 1995. It presents the 18 principles of sustainable tourism and urges “ governments, other public authorities, decision makers and professionals in the field of tourism, public and private associations and institutions whose activities are related to tourism, and tourists themselves, to adopt the principles and objectives of the Declaration”.
Directly related to intangible heritage, the third principle states that “tourism must consider its effects on the cultural heritage and traditional elements, activities and dynamics of each local community. Recognition of these local factors and support for the identity, culture and interests of the local community must at all times play a central role in the formulation of tourism strategies”.123 The charter also mentions in its fourth principle that “the active contribution of tourism to sustainable development necessarily presupposes the solidarity, mutual respect and participation of all the actors, both public and private, implicated in the process, and must be based on efficient cooperation mechanisms at all levels: local, national, regional and international”.124 The eighth principle states that “all options for tourism development must serve effectively to improve the quality of life of all people and must influence the socio-cultural enrichment of each destination”.125
It is available at: http://www.institutoturismoresponsable.com/events/sustainabletourismcharter2015/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/CharterForSustainableTourism.pdf
World conference on sustainable tourism – The World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20 (2015)
Twenty years after the submission of the Charter for Sustainable Tourism, another conference, the World Summit on Sustainable Tourism was held in 2015 to adopt and proclaim the new World Charter for Sustainable Tourism +20. This document is a renewed version of the twenty years old charter and includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. In 2015, the question isn’t to know if sustainable tourism is a viable solution anymore, but to reflect on how far can sustainable tourism go to benefit local communities, safeguard cultural and natural heritage, protect the environment and support economies.
It is available to download at: http://www.institutoturismoresponsable.com/events/sustainabletourismcharter2015/the-world-charter-for-sustainable-tourism/index.html
ICOMOS – International Cultural Tourism Charter
The International Council on Monuments and Sites, known as ICOMOS, is an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the conservation and the protection of cultural heritage sites. Since its creation in 1964, ICOMOS’s mission has been to: “promote the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, buildings complexes and sites”.126
The ICOMOS international cultural tourism charter, written in 1976, was adjusted in 1999 in response to the growing impulse of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and other types of heritage in the second half of the 20th century. This revision concerned not only a broader definition of heritage, but also included content on intangible cultural heritage management regarding touristic activities and on partnerships with tourism stakeholders. It mentions that intangible heritage is an important part of heritage and defines ICH as “past and continuing cultural practices, knowledge and living experiences”. This inclusion of ICH in the charter recognizes the place of intangible heritage in tourism activities and the necessity to safeguard not only tangible heritage but also intangible heritage within tourism actions.
In line with the values of sustainable tourism, the charter states that “tourism should bring benefits to host communities and provide an important means and motivation for them to care for and maintain their heritage and cultural practices. The involvement and cooperation of local and/or indigenous community representatives, conservationists, tourism operators, property owners, policy makers, those preparing national development plans and site managers is necessary to achieve a sustainable tourism industry and enhance the protection of heritage resources for future generations”.127
This charter is available on ICOMOS’ website at:
ICOMOS – The Nara document on authenticity (1994)
The Nara document on authenticity was created by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the conservation and the protection of cultural heritage sites) in 1994 to answer the necessity to clarify the notion of authenticity regarding cultural heritage. This document takes the position that cultural diversity and cultural heritage are major components when evaluating the ‘value’ and ‘authenticity’ of cultural property.
It is available at: https://www.icomos.org/charters/nara-e.pdf
PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association), UNWTO & WINTA (World Indigenous Tourism Alliance) – The Larrakia Declaration (2012)
In 2012, the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA) adopted in Darwin, Australia, the Larrakia Declaration, which aims to protect indigenous populations from tourism’s negative impact.
The Larrakia Declaration was initiated by PATA and promulgated during the Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference in Australia, on Larrakia territory. 16 countries were represented at this conference, including tourism stakeholders, indigenous communities, government agencies and supporting bodies, and 6 principles were adopted to guide the development of indigenous tourism. The World Indigenous Tourism Alliance was created following the conference and UNWTO later recognized and supported the principles too.
The Declaration includes six principles:
- “Respect for customary law and lore, land and water, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, cultural heritage that will underpin all tourism decisions.
- Indigenous culture and the land and waters it is based, will be protected and promoted through well-managed tourism practices and appropriate interpretation.
- Indigenous people will determine the extent and nature and organisational arrangements for their participation in tourism and that governments and multilateral agencies will support the empowerment of Indigenous people.
- That governments have a duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples before undertaking decisions on public policy and programs designed to foster the development of Indigenous tourism.
- The tourism industry will respect Indigenous intellectual property rights, cultures and traditional practices, the need for sustainable and equitable business partnerships and the proper care of the environment and communities that support them.
- That equitable partnerships between the tourism industry and Indigenous people will include the sharing of cultural awareness and skills development which support the well-being of communities and enable enhancement of individual livelihoods.”128
It is available at: https://www.ecotourism.org.au/assets/Resources-Hub-Indigenous-Tourism/International-Indigenous-Tourism-Human-Rights-Review-Analysis-Checklists.pdf