Tourism and the Archaeological Heritage: Driver to Development or Destruction?

Comer, Douglas C. and Willems, Willem J. H. (2012) Tourism and the Archaeological Heritage: Driver to Development or Destruction? In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

Some of the most important, aesthetically spectacular, and famous archaeological World Heritage Sites have seen a dramatic increase in numbers of visitors over recent decades. This paper will address how this flood of visitors has affected the historical and scientific values that inhere in these sites; the economic development of the nations in which they are located; and the social and economic conditions in nearby communities, especially as this has been felt among the chronically disadvantaged, including women, children, and minorities. At many of these sites, the global media has reported significant deterioration of site fabric or social disruptions that have been linked to over-visitation. Further, while much has been made of the economic benefit to countries in which archaeological World Heritage Sites are located, preliminary research by ICAHM has yielded only anecdotal indications of the magnitude of such benefit, and no reliable data regarding the parties to which benefit has accrued. Nonetheless, at each of these sites, investments have been made by international assistance programs, including USAID and JICA, and some host countries have been the recipients of loans from lending institutions such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. We contend that archaeological sites comprise a type of cultural resource that must be managed in special ways in order to preserve scientific and historical values. This paper will present the information that we have examined and explain the reasoning that we have in developing this position.

Parmi les sites archéologiques du Patrimoine mondial les plus importants, les plus visuellement spectaculaires ou les plus célèbres, certains ont connu une augmentation radicale du nombre de leurs visiteurs au cours des dernières décennies. Cette communication étudiera la façon dont ces flots de visiteurs ont affecté les valeurs historiques et scientifiques inhérentes à ces lieux, le développement économique des pays dans lesquels ces sites sont situés, et les conditions sociales et économiques des communautés environnantes, étant donné ce sont surtout les populations les plus défavorisées, dont les femmes, les enfants et les minorités, qui sont les plus sensibles à ces changements. Pour beaucoup d’entre eux, les médias du monde ont pu constater une détérioration significative de l’environnement des sites, ainsi que l’apparition de ruptures du lien social liées à la sur-fréquentation. De plus, alors que les pays dotés de sites archéologiques Patrimoine mondial ont su faire usage des bénéfices liés à de ces sites, des recherches préliminaires de l’ICAHM (Comité scientifique international sur la gestion du patrimoine archéologique) n’ont pu mettre à jour que des indications parcellaires sur l’ampleur desdits bénéfices, et aucune information fiable sur la nature des bénéficiaires. Néanmoins, chacun de ces sites a fait l’objet d’investissements de la part de programmes d’aide internationaux, dont les programmes USAID et JICA, et certains pays hôtes ont bénéficié de prêts d’institutions comme la Banque Mondiale ou la Banque interaméricaine de développement. Nous affirmons que les sites archéologiques renferment des ressources culturelles qui doivent faire l’objet d’une gestion particulière afin de préserver leurs valeurs historiques et scientifiques. L’intervention présentera les informations recueillies ainsi que le raisonnement sur lequel se base notre point de vue.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Comer, Douglas C.
Willems, Willem J. H.
Languages: English
Keywords: Tourism; Archaeological heritage; Development; World heritage sites; World heritage; Archaeological sites; Landscapes; Economic development; historical sites; Deterioration; Cultural resources; Values
Subjects: B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 01. Generalities
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 02. Archaeological site and remains
D. URBANISM > 01. Generalities
G. DETERIORATION > 01. Generalities
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 28. World Heritage
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 01. Generalities
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 02. Tourism management
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 04. Sustainable tourism
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2012 15:39
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2023 10:59
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