Saturday, December 04, 2004

Promoting Sustainalble Cultural Tourism

Promoting Sustainalbe Cultural Tourism:

"The Great Wall of China... Persepolis... Samarkand... Taj Mahal... Angkor... Agra Fort... These names evoke splendour, mystery and wonder in the imagination of everyone. Asia and the Pacific is the home to a great many of our world's most important cultural and natural treasures. Through the steady growth in global tourism, these sites have been opened up for appreciation by local, regional and international tourists. Indeed, these attractions and the resulting personal and commercial transactions they generate, are perhaps the best ambassador of intercultural exchange. Alongside the benefits, however, the pressures of tourism can also create a host of potentially destructive side effects which must be carefully dealt with."

"The Office of the UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific works closely with heritage site managers, non-governmental organizations specializing in heritage conservation, tourism operators, local governments and indigenous communities on programmes that ensure the continued survival of the region's diverse heritage. Ultimately, tourism, if it is to be a sustainable industry, must invest in heritage conservation so as to ensure the survival of the cultural and natural resources on which the tourism industry is based. While encouraging the establishment of locally-owned and operated cultural tourism industries, UNESCO's principal focus is on ensuring that tourism becomes a major force for sustainable cultural and natural resource conservation and development."

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