Importance Of Heritage Tourism

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Tourism is one of the largest global industries with the highest growth rate. Along with economic opportunities such as employment creation and a high potential for growth, it is essential that social, cultural and ecological criteria be taken into account for the medium and long term sustainability of tourism operations and facilities (McNeely, 1998; Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2002; and Mbaiwa, 2003). Tourism is a major force in the global trade; and it plays a vital role in the social, cultural and economic development of most nations. Inevitably, it has the potential to both preserve and destroy the heritage of a country (Holloway, 1999). Heritage tourism is a branch of tourism oriented towards the cultural heritage of the location where tourism is occurring. Heritage tourism as define by the National Trust is “traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past,” and heritage tourism can include cultural, historic and natural resource. While the industry segment is anticipating continued growth, certain historic sites are experiencing a decline in visitation or decrease in revenues. In part this is due to an overall travel industry trend reported by Young Strategies and Randall Travel Marketing in 2008 that “traveler behavior change is forcing the travel industry to reinvent the experience.” travelers want to get away and explore UNIQUE places, but travelers are much

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