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Culture / Heritage

Cultural tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing experiences as visitors are increasingly interested in experiencing unique cultures and traditions. Managers of cultural and heritage places are also increasingly expected to use tourism as a source of revenue to maintain heritage properties. Read more
Cultural tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing experiences as visitors are increasingly interested in experiencing unique cultures and traditions. Managers of cultural and heritage places are also increasingly expected to use tourism as a source of revenue to maintain heritage properties. The successful development of cultural and heritage tourism in a destination requires:


  • Providing visitors with access to authentic and tangible evidence of past and existing cultures;
  • Identification of the unique point of difference of cultural attractions in order to provide value for the visitor;
  • Destination Management Tip

    Interpretation is the key to bringing culture and heritage ‘to life’ for the visitor.

  • Research has shown that the use of a thematic framework approach can help to identify linkages between cultural heritage assets in a region around common themes such as the development of the Golden Way Heritage Trail in Victoria, linking historic goldfields and attractions. This can assist in building a critical mass of heritage tourism attractions in order to attract and retain visitors within a community;
  • Development of strong partnerships between tourism operators, heritage managers and the local and indigenous communities as highlighted in the success of indigenous tourism in the Northern Territory’s Tenant Creek and Barkly region and Katherine;
  • Development of clear objectives which are agreed upon by all stakeholders for the development of heritage tourism products and experiences;
  • Involvement of the local community in the development of cultural heritage attractions to ensure that the stories and traditions of past and existing cultures can be effectively communicated;
  • The development of cultural and heritage attractions must balance both conservation and protection of the cultural assets as well as business needs;
  • Clear visitor management guidelines must be established to ensure that the cultural and heritage assets are maintained;
  • Interpretation of cultural heritage, through brochures, guided tours, interactive displays or interpretive information boards is an important part of providing a positive visitor experience as well as an education tool for the conservation of heritage.

The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre has a large body of research into the development of cultural and heritage tourism, summarised in the Culture and Heritage Tourism Snapshot: Understanding the Issues and Success Factors, as well as specific information in the ‘Parks and Culture’ section of the portal. A landmark report in this sector, developed in conjunction with the Australian Heritage Council, provides a guide to the development of successful cultural and heritage tourism facilities and attractions, identifying the key considerations for planning, developing, managing and marketing these tourism products - Successful Tourism at Heritage Places.

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