Prof. Zeynep Enlil
Yıldız Technical University, Turkey
Title: Cultural Heritage and Challenges of Tourism
In spite of the political unrest and threat of terrorist attacks, tourism is still reported to be a growing industry. Although choices of destination have been affected and shifts are observed towards places perceived to be more secure. In a world beset with insecurities, culture and cultural exchange is seen as an important way to foster peaceful coexistence, respect and tolerance among people making culture a key asset for tourism. In this context, United Nations designated 2017 as the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.” And, ICOMOS has chosen “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism” as the theme in 2017 for the International Day for Monuments and Sites, celebrated every year on 18 April. While tourism can be a vehicle for the conservation of heritage as well as for local economic development, unplanned or mismanaged tourism can be economically, socially and culturally disruptive. Culture and heritage can be commodified, instrumentalized and used to justify boosterist regeneration projects.
This session aims to critically discuss various dimensions of the ambivalent relationship between heritage and tourism, the tension and conflicts arising from tourism development; the threat of tourismification, commercial and residential gentrification that heritage sites are faced with and policy alternatives towards a more sustainable and equitable tourism development respectful of heritage and local cultures.