Presentation on theme: "HERITAGE TOURISM AS A TOOL FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT Fana Jiyane, CEO: Freedom Park."— Presentation transcript:
HERITAGE TOURISM AS A TOOL FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT Fana Jiyane, CEO: Freedom Park
Background Linking Heritage (the natural environment and the local culture) and Tourism for socioeconomic advancement. Heritage is the legacy from the past that is passed on to the future generations. It can be anything such as original cultural and natural material, the built environment, the archaeological resource, the intangible heritage, or the natural heritage, that is perceived by our multicultural society as having a quality or significance that makes it worth preserving for its own sake and for the appreciation of current and future generations. Tourism on the other hand is an important industry, and a powerful economic development tool based on local heritage resources (i.e., any place or object of cultural significance, both intangible and tangible deemed to be of cultural significance). Heritage is a good motivator for tourism.
Heritage Tourism Heritage tourism (also known as cultural heritage tourism) is a branch of tourism that involves visiting historical or industrial sites and which is oriented towards the cultural heritage of the location where tourism is occurring. It refers to cultural aspects which are of interest to the visitor and can be marked as such, including older buildings, the customs and traditions of people, their heritage, history and way of life (White Paper on the Development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa, 1996).
Understanding Heritage Tourism Because heritage is a good motivator for tourism, heritage tourism often involves “travelling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present.” It also involves marketing of a location to members of a diaspora who have distant family roots there for purposes of gaining an appreciation of the past. An area that develops its potential for cultural heritage tourism creates new opportunities for tourists to gain an understanding of an unfamiliar place, people or time. As visitors arrive in an area, new opportunities for preservation are introduced. Well-interpreted sites teach visitors their importance, and by extension, the importance of preserving other such sites elsewhere.
Positive Impacts of Heritage Tourism Cultural heritage tourism is important for its positive economic and social impact. Economically, heritage tourism can be a source of revenue that is capable of creating jobs, providing new business opportunities and strengthening local economies, increase property values and opportunities for diversified economies. Socially, heritage tourism can establish and reinforce identity; it can also help preserve the cultural heritage. With culture as an instrument, it can facilitate harmony and understanding among people, by supporting culture and by helping renew tourism (Richards, 1996). Heritage Tourism can also promote community pride, which grows as people work together to develop a thriving tourist industry.
Negative Impacts When not well managed, tourism can damage heritage through: Commodification and cheapening of culture and tradfitions Alienation and loss of cultural identity Undermining of local traditions and ways of life Displacement of traditional residents Increased division between those who do and do not benefit from tourism Conflict over (and at times) loss of land rights and access to resources (including the attractions themselves); Damage to attractions and facilities Loss of authenticity and historical accuracy in interpretation; and selectivity in which heritage attractions are developed
Argument The main argument is that heritage can be used as a resource not only for social cohesion but as a tool for sustainable tourism and local economic development. If well implemented and managed, heritage tourism should impact positively on local economies and improve socioeconomic conditions in general. My views are based on the conceptualization of new growth path as demonstrated by Mzansi’s Golden Economy, which states that heritage, as well as culture and arts should go beyond social cohesion and nourishing the soul of the nation, and should begin to play a pivotal role in the economic empowerment and skills development of a people. This is in recognition of the fact that in recent years, tourism based on local heritage resources has been pursued as an alternative to more traditional economies that have failed, such as the agrarian land reform. To arrest this unsustainable situation, heritage tourism has been rediscovered as important marketing tool to attract tourists who seek not only adventure, but who want to experience the culture, history, and arts of the receiving community.
The Problem There is a perception that heritage in South Africa does not contribute optimally to appeal tourists and to improve socioeconomic conditions of local communities. This perception is primarily based on two factors: the first which is informed by the National Tourism Sector Strategy (2010), makes specific reference to the values of respect of culture and heritage, especially in the context of developing and growing domestic tourism. This factor is in response to the general underrepresentation of heritage and cultural tourism products within the tourism market due to the traditional practice for the tourism industry in South Africa to focus largely on nature-based-attractions – ie natural environment, wildlife and wilderness, and have paid little attention on cultural products and heritage resources.
One of the consequences of this oversight is to position South Africa as a tourist destination that is largely focused around safari-type experiences and scenic natural environments, rather than around cultural landscapes endowed with a diverse wealth of exuberant heritage and cultural products in the form of the arts, crafts, festivals, oral history, storytelling and folklore, heritage sites, places of historical and cultural significance, archeological remains, paleontological evidence and geological formations. This is contrary to the needs of tourists who according to a gap analysis study conducted by South African Tourism (SAT), seem to desire to experience cultural and historical heritage rather than wildlife viewing.
Problem Cont. The second factor which is informed by the White Paper on the Development and Promotion of Tourism in South Africa (1996), makes specific reference to previously neglected areas of tourism development in struggle-related monuments and attractions. This factor relates to the failure by many heritage sites and legacy projects such as Freedom Park, the Cradle of Humankind, Apartheid Museum, and the Nelson Mandela museum, to transform memory into cultural products. Although these monuments have since 1994, been portraying significant parts of the liberation heritage in a manner that projects the historical past, they have not transformed culture, history, IKS, and spirituality in a manner that contributes meaningfully to addressing the socioeconomic challenges that face the country such as poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. This state of affairs within the tourism industry has been detrimental on the value of heritage and cultural tourism, which to date has not been fully realised and measured in terms of its impact on the economy, development and empowerment of local communities.
Over the past decade the trends in heritage and cultural tourism are increasingly showing that travellers are seeking authentic and memorable experiences through meaningful interaction with local people and cultures. Cultural tourism therefore, should provide a unique opportunity for the participation of both tourists and local communities in tourism activities and initiatives. Recognition of appreciable initiatives that have already been embarked on in this regard. In 2011, the central theme for the World Tourism Day celebration (27th September 2011) was ‘Tourism linking Cultures’, as clearly defined in the statement: Experiencing different ways of life, discovering new food and customs and visiting cultural sites. This idea has become a leading motivation for travel, and as a result, a crucial source of revenue and job creation, particularly for developing countries.
Even though heritage and cultural products are highly desired by tourists, it is clear that this cultural diversity is underrepresented and under-performing within the tourism market. In order to counteract this situation, there is a need to increase interest for cultural tourism with a particular focus on the local histories, cultures, traditions and a broad range of heritage resources both tangible and intangible heritage.
Case Studies Reflections on the findings of the socio-economic impact assessment study and household survey that was conducted in 2010 in two heritage sites: the Craddle of Human kind and Dinokeng. The intention is to demonstrate that a sustainable tourist product can contribute to the preservation of heritage (the natural environment and local culture), as well as the development of sustainable economies, without necessarily commercialising the souls of local communities that dwell therein. Brief background of the sites prior to the implementation of the Projects. The baseline socioeconomic survey data of the area, The tourism business impact report and lastly, The household survey report. It is hoped that from these reports, pertinent challenges posed by the development of heritage tourism in these two areas will be highlighted and important lessons for other related heritage sites will be drawn.
The socioeconomic baseline results The socioeconomic baseline report of 2010 indicates that Dinokeng comprise approximately ( for COH) households or individuals in 2009 ( for COH). Black Africans constituted about two-thirds of the households and 75% of the population. The report summarises the socioeconomic conditions in the two areas as follows: Comprise a highly mobile population with relatively few children, suggesting a significant influx of people into the study area from elsewhere in search of work. HIV prevalence is 2.9%, lower than anywhere else in Gauteng Province The vast majority (more than 80 % of persons have at least some secondary schooling. This is in contrast with the large number of unemployed persons (especially in poorer communities), but is consistent with the general trend in SA where the supply of school leavers greatly exceeds the number of available jobs. Unemployment rate is strongly gender based, being significantly higher for women than men
Cont. In terms of services and infrastructure, most households have electricity and water (although many households in informal or semi- formal settlements complain about poor reliability and quality of water services). Sanitation services tend to be deficient especially in in informal or semi-formal settlements. Poor roads constitute an almost universal complaint. Approximately 24% of the population lives below the poverty line (i.e in households with a monthly income below R380 per person). This implies an estimated people in Dinokeng ( in COH), the majority of which are Black live in poverty. Skills, employment and livelihoods: This data was gathered through quantitative and qualitative primary data, as well as relevant secondary data. It was interpreted through the ‘lens’ of the “Sustainable Livelihoods Framework”, that depicts the main variables related to poverty, as well as the relationship between them (See Table).
The Tourism Business Impact Baseline Assessment The Tourism Business Impact Baseline Assessment used accommodation data to estimate the total expenditure on accommodation in the area which places the overall tourism expenditure at R388.2 in 2009 prices (R842.4 million for COH) and the overall tourism expenditure of R1,8 at 2009 prices (R3,9 billion for COH). In the economic impact modeling, data from the tourism business impact baseline was used to estimate the direct and indirect contribution in the areas to local economy. The total impact of the Tourism activities in Dinokeng on the GDP of Gauteng was estimated at R1.4 billion of the GDP (R3,18 billion or 0.55% for COH). It was estimated that direct employment opportunities for Dikoneng were created ( for COH) and the wider economy, in addition to 108 indirect employment opportunities ( for CoH). Sectors that would experience the biggest impact are accommodation, handcrafts, and curios, transport and trade.
Cont. The Tourism Benefit outlook Analysis estimated that foreign visitors seeking accommodation in Dinokeng would increase from in 2009 to in 2025 ( in 2009 to in 2025 for COH). The number of domestic tourists staying in Dinokeng was expected to increase from in 2009 to in 2025 ( in 2009 to in 2025 in COH). The total number of visitors was expected to increase from in 2009 to in 2025 ( in 2009 to in 2025 for COH). Potential income from accommodation was expected to increase from R million in 2009 to R463 million in 2025 (R532 million in 2009 to R1.004 billion in 2025 for COH). The total economic impact (contribution to GDP) was expected to increase from R1.44 billion in 2009 to R2,76 billion in 2025 (R3.18 billion in 2009 to R5.99 billion in 2025 for COH). Direct employment was expected to increase from in 2009 to in 2025 ( in 2009 to in 2025 in COH), while total employment was expected to increase from to ( to in COH).
Contribution of Projects to socioeconomic development A logframe methodology was used to assess whether the two projects have contributed to improving the lives of poor communities. Careful attention was paid to distinguish between impacts of the project and other concurrent processes and activities in the area. The outcome of the impact and performance evaluation in both sites shows the link between project inputs, outputs Infrastructure, documents, plans, training programmes, etc), short term results (the immediate effects), intermediate results (resulting from immediate impacts) and long term results (why the project was implemented in the first place). Although the findings indicate that there were no areas where the Projects had a demonstrable positive impact in terms of outputs or results, positive change mostly related to expansion of the area’s tourism offering, growth in tourist numbers, and the effect of these on job creation and the local economy was observed. Overall, variables that showed the least positive impact were mostly related to reduction of historical imbalances and increased social equity. In addition, the data made it clear that there had been limited impact on the tourism industry in the areas, even though what impact there was could not be reliably quantified.
Sustainability of the two Projects: Is it a matter of commercializing the souls? Sustainable tourism involves tourism which is developed and maintained in an area (community, environment), in such a manner and at such a scale, that it remains viable over an indefinite period of time The following quotes support the argument that: linking tourism with heritage and culture can do more for local economies than promoting them separately: “Every time you enjoy a historic place, you are not only helping to preserve it - you are helping to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike." “Save your heritage and your culture, share it with visitors, and reap the economic benefits of tourism.” These quotes illustrate the core idea of a sustainable tourist product and how it can contribute to the preservation of the natural environment and the local culture, as well as the development of local communities
Principles of Sustainability The question that remains to be answered is: how can a single attraction or other destination best assure its future? The continued motivation of tourism by both natural and cultural heritage assets depends upon their being protected from the possible negative impacts of visitors. It is important to follow certain principles in order to ensure sustainable tourism as follows: The relationship between tourism and the environment must be managed so that it is sustainable in the long term. Tourism must not be allowed to damage the resource, prejudice its future enjoyment or bring unacceptable impact. To ensure sustainability, attention should be paid not just on attracting visitor streams, but also on sustaining the product itself. In any location, harmony must be sought between the needs of the visitor, the place and the host community. Regeneration: ‘heritage’ should not be considered in isolation, but in the larger social and economic context.
Cont. Conservation: This involves protection of the resource against degradation, deterioration and damage. While it is recognised that EU programs have not taken into account tourism’s impact on the environment and host societies, this failure may jeopardise long term development, both in terms of the benefits to host communities and in terms of the visitor experience. For tourism efforts to be sustainable, it is important to inventory the resources, educate the community about their value, and take measures to ensure the resources are preserved and protected. Product renewal and enhancement, in the case of many heritage based attractions, to ensure that (at a minimum) they remain attractive and accessible, and preferably that access (of all kinds) improves over time. The concept applies not only to single attractions, but also to wider destinations such as country parks and town centres. Income streams are needed to cover the continuing costs of conservation and renewal to assure the long-term future of the resource.
Multiple uses of a heritage resource and/or its associated facilities help both to bind the resource into a support network and to generate additional income streams. Repeat visits – encouraged by multiple uses and strong product renewal – are vital to many heritage destinations. Even destinations that reach maximum capacity on many days can benefit from additional repeat visits at non-peak times; there are comparatively few destinations for which this is not the case. The above principles conceptualise sustainability in tourism in terms of balance between tourism and the natural environment, harmony between resident and guest. Such principles are valuable, but destination managers need a more strategically and commercially focused approach to the question of sustainability.
Lessons learnt: Strategies for sustainability and preservation from heritage tourism: To ensure sustainability of heritage tourism, emphasis should be placed on the importance of partnerships, competiveness, public participation, skills development and beneficiation by local communities as crucial elements for careful development, preservation and management of heritage resources. Partnerships: Partnerships are key in heritage tourism projects. The projects might involve – directly – the organisation that owns or cares for the heritage asset, local government, a regional museums service, a regional development agency, the Church, a tourist board, private sector organisations, voluntary organisations, public authorities and civil society. Indirectly, European and international organisations might also be involved. Even small projects usually involve several organisations and benefit from an explicit partnership-building approach which may offer further longer- term benefits.
The establishment of partnerships with stakeholders should allow for the achievement of shared responsibility and cooperation amongst stakeholders. However, achieving cooperation, coordination and partnership across these groups can be challenging. Such partnerships should not only promote the setting but also promote the achievement of strategic objectives through utilization of varied skills made by each actor. For example, government clearly has an important role, but the private sector and NGOs offer skills, contacts, flexibility and political independence that government agencies may lack. Existing tourism businesses, and related associations or consultancies, can play particularly important roles in terms of product evaluation, product development, and marketing.
Private sector involvement in tourism is significant and likely to expand given current forces of increased globalization, privatization, and commercialization. However, the public sector needs to shape the environment in which the industry can develop by taking responsibility for security, health, basic infrastructure, and ownership and/or management of the natural and cultural heritage that serves as tourism attractions. Communities play important roles as receivers of tourists, as well as the positive and negative impacts that they generate. NGOs have the vital ability to “forge partnerships between stakeholders, to interface with local communities, and to ‘put it all together’ by providing an overview.”
Multiple agendas are an inevitable issue in partnerships because no two organisations involved in a project will have precisely the same objectives. Catalysis issues also apply in multiple contexts. There are local, regional, national, European and international policy and planning contexts; there is the heritage and conservation context; there is the tourism and visitor attraction context; and so on. To be effective, there is a need to scan heritage and cultural tourism landscape to inform planning and implementation. In addition, there should be clear institutional arrangements and policy to support implementation of strategy across the three spheres of government. this can be achieved by establishing cooperative governance through formal institutional arrangements, as well as alignment and compliance with relevant policies.
Competitiveness Compertitiveness is in some ways an aspect of sustainability, but it is diverse and important enough to be a key issue in itself. Important aspects include the following: Quality of the overall visitor experience (i.e. not just the individual attraction but the wider destination and the whole bundle of products and services that go to make up a visit). Standards and benchmarking which enable attractions, destinations and local or regional authorities to assess their performance on visitor satisfaction and a wide range of other measures which can feed into management and marketing to improve quality and strengthen competitiveness.
Effective marketing includes, but is much more than merely, advertising and promotion. It has become essential to competitiveness in the modern visitor market, where heritage destinations face an ever wider range of competitors for the leisure pound. Management in this context includes not merely the smooth running of the operation, but requires the continual development of the organisation’s human resources, processes and internal systems. Last but not least comes visitor satisfaction. In today’s tourism market, the product is experience itself.
Like catalysis, competitiveness exists in multiple contexts. Each tourist destination competes with other destinations in the vicinity; with similar destinations further afield; and with other uses of people’s leisure time and money. Likewise, each region or country is competing with others. And, of course, every project competes with other projects for funding. At the same time, however, competitiveness must usually be built on cooperation. Destinations may be competing with each other in one context and cooperating in another. When tourists go to Freedom Park, for instance, there are several museums competing for their visits such as Voortrekker Monument and Apartheid museum, but the same museums should cooperate with each other and with other organisations to market Freedom Park. So, museums may compete with each other to attract visitors while cooperating in a benchmarking programme.
Marketing and Infrastructure Development Given a stream of visitors, Cultural Heritage Tourism need to undertake marketing and infrastructure development to promote sustainability. Through marketing, especially national-level mass-marketing, may diminish somewhat as a target, infrastructure is likely to remain an important target of development cooperation. The marketing challenge in CHT should be how to increase visitors to a site or community, how to increase their length of stay, how to increase their spending per day, and how to ensure that they come back (and/or pass along good recommendations to others). There has been some agreement within cultural heritage tourism, regarding targeted marketing, through which a destination attracts particularly desirable tourists, usually defined as “big spenders.” If successful, such a strategy could greatly contribute to sustainability insofar as benefits (revenues and jobs) could be increased without increasing numbers. However, to attract such a segment, and to be able to charge commensurably high prices, a destination needs to offer attractions and/or service of a quality level sufficiently high to differentiate themselves from competitors
Public Participation and Community Involvement It should be borne in mind that the public and local communities in particular are the key custodians of culture and heritage resources. Principles 4 and 5 of the ICOMOS Cultural Tourism Charter (reproduced in Appendix 1), stress the importance of local involvement in, and benefit from, tourism development. The growing support that local residents should be able to control tourism in their community could be seen as radical in the eyes of many, and governmental and industry support (or at least acceptance) will be required if it is to be achieved. Others may perceive this as a necessary condition for achieving sustainable tourism development. Sufficient mechanisms must therefore be adopted to ensure that local communities do participate in decision making and be involved in the process of safeguarding intangible heritage resources. at its heart sustainable cultural tourism recognizes the value of cultural diversity, and needs to provide local cultures with a forum in which they can participate in decisions that affect the future of their culture. In other words, host cultures should be empowered to say no or yes to tourism, and in the latter case, to set guidelines for tourism if they so wish.
Community beneficiation A key principle of sustainable tourism is the provision of benefits, especially economic opportunities, to local residents. These benefits can be achieved through resident participation in tourism or ancillary industries (e.g., farmers selling food to restaurants). The challenge, here is to facilitate the integration of residents and local firms into the tourism economy, to increase the local economic linkages within tourism, which conversely reduces the leakages. Communities should increasingly become involved in tourism through the following ways: Employment by residents in tourism businesses run by outsiders, or sale of local products to such businesses. Ownership of tourism businesses by residents. Collective ownership and/or management of a tourism business. Joint venture between communities and outside operators. Consultation by, or participation in, tourism planning body.It is therefore crucial to ensure public participation and community involvement in the implementation of the strategy.
Skills Development and Training One of the challenges of CHM is the wide range of activities and professions that are represented in the overall activity. These activities include building/artefact conservation; research, documentation, recording; inventory and evaluation; planning; interpretation and story-telling; curatorial; management; marketing; finance; events and festivals planning/management; landscape preservation; archaeology; and design/architecture. Professionals working in CHM and CHT need to have broad training that includes social and communication, as well as technical, skills. The report on the skills audit compiled by the Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage (DAC), indicate a significant deficiency of skills and qualifications in the fraternity of heritage conservation and management in South Africa). To address this challenge, the DAC recently published a call for bursaries for culture and heritage studies.
Identify and seek funding opportunities Funding opportunities and resource mobilization are imperative towards providing resources for the support of heritage and cultural tourism products. Many heritage resources are lost due to physical deterioration brought about by inadequate maintenance or by simple neglect. Often these conditions are the result of a lack of financial resources. A more realistic approach is to view culture as an input to the tourism product, an input for which the industry should pay, just as they pay for petrol/gasoline for tour busses. In other words, the “user pays” principle is adopted, and cultural and natural attractions are “sold” at a price high enough to generate the funding needed to encourage their establishment and maintenance. It should be kept in mind that developing a strong cultural heritage program will require an investment and a commitment - an investment of financial resources and a commitment of human resources including strong leadership
Conclusion As long as there are heritage destinations there will be tourists, and lots of them. But as the number of ways for people to spend their free time increases daily, competition to cultural heritage sites, potentially threatening their economic well-being. Heritage attractions are no different from other tourist destinations in that they must plan carefully for all aspects of their operation, leaving as little as possible to chance. No one can predict the future, but equally anyone can take measures to reduce uncertainty.