INTO Dundee 2022
October 13, 2022
Heritage tourism is an important cultural and economic activity for virtually all INTO member organisations. Visitors provide an opportunity for education around the cultural values of the sites. As well as an important source of employment in the communities where INTO’s members work.
Heritage travel is increasing. Which we might think is a good thing. But it also poses environmental and social challenges. Which are now coupled with the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel and the economy.
We will use our INTO conference in 2021 to provide lessons from our members and others in proposing pathways toward sustainable tourism in the new normal.
Our project seeks to provide information for the heritage conservation community — along with its collaborators and stakeholders. This data will help them make evidence-based, informed decisions for the historic sites and communities they steward. Our key strategies are:
We are working with David Brown of Bearden Brown LLC to deliver this project, with the support of American Express. BBLLC has been gathering information from a variety of online and published sources about the impacts of COVID-19 on tourism. And the longer-term issues of over-tourism on fragile heritage sites.
The first of two surveys of the INTO membership was launched late in June. As of 14 July, we have heard from 30% of the INTO membership, representing 26 organizations. Here are some of the top-line findings to date:
There is more detail from the responses in the comments. However, a summary of the initial results suggests that we will have rich and useful information on both impact and best practices to share with the larger community through this project.
This segment of the work is in its early stages and will be fleshed out with further research and survey data. BBLLC has begun to collect basic information on potential case study candidates for consideration in the coming weeks. We are also reaching out to key contacts for information, as when Catherine Leonard and David Brown held an informative Zoom call earlier this week to begin study of the impact of COVID and over-tourism in Venice.
Since the project’s launch, BBLLC and Catherine Leonard have had three video conferences with Richard Brown of the American Express Foundation. The purpose of these calls is to update AMEX on the work’s progress to date, gather approvals for certain lines of study, and seek information and contacts that can be helpful as the project progresses.
The most recent video conference, on 8 July 2020, was held two days after David Brown joined the monthly planning call of the INTO Antwerp 2021 planning committee to update them on the project. It is expected that he will continue to sit in on these calls through the rest of 2020 and into 2021.
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