Heritage Tourism as a tool for Socio

Fana Jiyane, CEO: Freedom Park
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
• 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
Positive Impacts of Heritage
• 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
Negative Impacts
When not well managed, tourism can damage heritage
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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 .
Pre-Project Overview
The socioeconomic
baseline results
The socioeconomic baseline report of 2010 indicates that Dinokeng comprise
approximately 55 000 (37 000 for COH) households or 220 000 individuals in
2009 (140 000 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
• In terms of services and infrastructure, most households have
electricity and water (although many households in informal or semiformal 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 55 000 people in Dinokeng (35 000 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
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 4 687 direct employment opportunities for Dikoneng
were created (10 484 for COH) and the wider economy, in addition to
108 indirect employment opportunities (11 266 for CoH). Sectors that
would experience the biggest impact are accommodation, handcrafts,
and curios, transport and trade.
• The Tourism Benefit outlook Analysis estimated that foreign visitors
seeking accommodation in Dinokeng would increase from 59 859 in 2009
to 82 888 in 2025 (105 744 in 2009 to 146 426 in 2025 for COH). The
number of domestic tourists staying in Dinokeng was expected to increase
from 314 258 in 2009 to 636 776 in 2025 (480 655 in 2009 to 906 101 in
2025 in COH).
• The total number of visitors was expected to increase from 374 117 in
2009 to 719 664 in 2025 (480 655 in 2009 to 906 101 in 2025 for COH).
Potential income from accommodation was expected to increase from
R245.34 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 4 687 in 2009 to 9 017
in 2025 (10 484 in 2009 to 19 763 in 2025 in COH), while total
employment was expected to increase from 9 795 to 18 842 (21 749 to
41 001 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
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.
• 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 longerterm benefits.
• The establishment of partnerships with stakeholders should allow for
the achievement of shared responsibility and cooperation amongst
• 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.
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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
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.

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