Linkages between heritage policy, tourism and business

Suntikul, Wantanee (2011) Linkages between heritage policy, tourism and business. In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

The 1995 listing of the historic city center of Luang Prabang, Laos as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO is seen as a boon to the town’s tourism industry, bringing economic gain through increased tourism and investment. Between 1997 and 2009, the number of tourism-related businesses (tour agents, hotels, guesthouses and restaurants) in Luang Prabang grew from 87 to 363. The tourism industry of Luang Prabang is characterized by small-scale enterprises with a high proportion of local ownership. Many of these businesses are housed within protected “heritage” structures. Heritage has both tangible (buildings, artifacts) and intangible (ways of life and traditions) aspects. The economic and policy measures needed to sustain the preservation of built heritage in poorer countries often conflict with the preservation of a locality’s traditional space usage and livelihood, while introducing new usages and livelihoods. This paper reports on the findings of a study on the impacts of heritage preservation policy and practice on businesses in the UNESCO listed town centre of Luang Prabang. The research targets three categories of businesses: 1) tourism businesses owned by Laotians, 2) tourism businesses owned by foreigners and 3) non-tourism businesses owned by Laotians. Based on interviews and surveys conducted with property owners and business owners in this heritage zone, the research investigates the relation between these enterprises and the heritage environment they occupy. Issues include the perceived benefits and constraints brought to businesses by preservation policies and practices, as well as changes in property usage brought about by socio-economic spinoff effects of UNESCO listing, such as booming tourism and increasing regulation of the use and preservation of properties.

L'inscription en 1995 du centre-ville historique de Luang Prabang (Laos), à la liste des sites du patrimoine mondial par l'UNESCO est considérée comme une aubaine pour l'industrie touristique de la ville, apportant un gain économique par le tourisme et l'investissement. Entre 1997 et 2009, le nombre d'entreprises liées au tourisme (agents de voyages, hôtels, pensions et restaurants) à Luang Prabang est passé de 87 à 363. Le patrimoine répertorié est à la fois matériel (bâtiments, objets) et immatériels (modes de vie et traditions). Le contexte économique et les mesures politiques nécessaires pour soutenir la préservation du patrimoine bâti dans les pays pauvres provoque souvent un conflit entre la préservation des conditions de vie et des usages traditionnels locaux et en introduire de nouveaux. Cet article rapporte les résultats d'une étude sur les impacts de la politique de préservation du patrimoine et de la pratique sur les entreprises dans ce centre ville classé. La recherche vise trois catégories d'entreprises: 1) le tourisme et les entreprises appartenant à des Laotiens, 2) les entreprises touristiques appartenant à des étrangers et 3) non touristiques, des entreprises appartenant à des Laotiens. Basée sur des entretiens et des enquêtes menées auprès des propriétaires d'entreprises et de ce patrimoine, l'étude examine la relation entre ces entreprises et le contexte du patrimoine qu'ils occupent. Les questions comprennent les avantages et les contraintes apportées aux entreprises par les politiques et les pratiques de conservation, ainsi que les changements dans l'utilisation des biens apportés par les effets socio-économiques dérivés de l'inscription UNESCO.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Suntikul, Wantanee
Languages: English
Keywords: temples; tourism; historic towns; protection of sites; protection of cultural heritage; built heritage; urban landscapes; intangible heritage; restoration; traditional techniques; local development; renovation; lao pdr
Subjects: H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 12. Historic towns and villages
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 17. Intangible cultural heritage
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 28. World Heritage
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 01. Generalities
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 02. Economic impact of heritage
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 04. Asia and Pacific islands
UNESCO WHC Number: Town of Luang Prabang, Lao People's Democratic Republic (WHC 4779)
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: intern icomos
Date Deposited: 03 May 2013 08:45
Last Modified: 03 May 2013 08:45
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