Cultural tourism has long been one of the fastest-growing tourism segments, drawing tourists with its stunning art, fascinating architecture, enduring customs, impeccable hospitality and delectable cuisines that form its core components. No doubt about it: cultural tourism draws an ever-increasing number of tourists each year to heritage sites museums and cultural experiences worldwide.
Culture-focused travel differs from sun and beach holidays by being more immersive in local cultures. From learning about their history and heritage to experiencing their traditions, culture-focused travel provides a way to experience first-hand all that makes a place so special – not to mention getting to know its residents better!
Experiences cultural immersion while traveling are inevitable, yet for some travellers this intentional part of their trip becomes an intentional focus. They seek specialized experiences such as visiting a heritage site museum or attending festivals as a means of deepening their cultural knowledge of their destination.
Traditional cultural tourists typically flock to destinations for its heritage, culture, lifestyle, traditions and arts. Unfortunately, this market has experienced explosive growth over the last several decades resulting in too many tourists visiting culturally significant spots which overcrowd them and reduce authenticity.
Heritage sites and museums must understand what their target audiences expect from cultural experiences and create them accordingly to ensure visitor satisfaction. Studies have revealed that ambience and environment play an integral part in how tourists perceive authenticity and involvement within heritage tourism experiences.
As part of your cultural tourism offerings, it’s essential that you remain mindful of any threats such as COVID-19 that might impede its success. Prepared with measures such as intensified cleaning, socially distanced seating arrangements, hand gel distribution and clearly communicating health and safety information can help create safe experiences for visitors.
Cultural tourism does have some downsides, however. They include exploitation, loss of authenticity, overconsumption and pollution. Critics assert that Westerners exploit developing countries’ natural resources for personal gain and impose their ideas onto local cultures while simultaneously inculcating Western ideals to indigenous populations. Cultural sites may also be threatened by overcrowding, damage from unscrupulous tour operators or uninformed tourists and lack of conservation efforts. But cultural tourism experience still has its advantages; why not give it a go yourself and experience some of the world’s most cultural cities? You may gain a whole new appreciation for them! Have fun!