On Cultural Tourism, by Maria Antonia Barnes Vigill

Dear visitor:

this time, our student Maria Antonia Barnes talks about the relationship between tourism and cultural, the so-called cultural tourism. What is particularly interesting of this podcast is that she has transcribed it too, so that you can read the text while you listen to it. As usual, you are more than welcome to post your comments below, we are looking forward to new discussions and reflections, both on the use of the English language and on the world of Tourism.


About cultural tourism
The link between culture and tourism has resulted in so-called cultural tourism, where knowledge of monuments and historical sites is combined with immersion in natural and cultural history and with knowledge of the arts, philosophy and culture.
Cultural tourism plays a very important role in publicizing, preserving and enjoying the cultural and tourist heritage of each country. Three elements - heritage, tourism and culture - are interrelated and, sometimes, they are difficult to balance. Tourism has historically been considered a predominantly economic activity and heritage cannot be considered a classic product of consumption.
It is said that one of the difficulties presented by cultural tourism is that of its negative impact on heritage. It is evident that the visit to certain archaeological sites, caves with cave paintings or emblematic buildings, has an impact on their conservation. This aspect is in continuous debate because it does not consist in eliminating visits, but in guaranteeing their sustainability. And this is a very complicated task.
Of course, the overexploitation of cultural tourism can lead to the degradation of the visited heritage and, in addition, in some cases it may offer a vision of cultural tourism as a negative thing for the residents if it causes traffic jams, agglomerations or robberies.
The concept of what is meant by cultural tourism has changed over the years. If previously it was exclusively related to the historical artistic heritage, today the concept of cultural resource is much broader and encompasses both material and immaterial elements, including for example, traditional dances, handicrafts, local gastronomy or textile or agricultural techniques.
Nowadays, a new cultural offer is more related to contemporary culture (design, architecture, gastronomy or cultural diversity) than to the historical artistic heritage. In recent years, many cities have built large, attractive, and expensive cultural venues and facilities and, again, architecture is a claim.
But the use of new technologies can radically change the experience of cultural products. Elements such as touch screens, sending messages based on geo positioning, virtual reality, holograms or the use of robots, can transform the way we consume culture and can contribute to the sustainability of the heritage.