Tourism and Cultural Heritage: Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation

 8 – 9 MARCH 2024, Athens, Greece


Harokopio University (GR), Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (FR), University of The Aegean (GR)

The tourism and heritage sectors have been gravely affected by recent crises (pandemic, conflicts, climate change, energy crisis, etc.): the COVID-19 pandemic has severely reduced international tourism flows, while the recent energy crisis has led to a profound questioning of our modes of daily life, leisure and tourism.

Crises are periods of intense questioning.  It is widely acknowledged that the shocks we have endured will have lasting repercussions on our life models, practices and values. However, even if we emerge transformed, the tendency to continue doing “business as usual” is still strong. A tension is thus currently observed between, on the one hand, the awareness of a general need for new development models and even the willingness of the tourism sector to propose new models and, on the other hand, market pressures for more conventional, even dubious, investments, threatening both the physical and the cultural heritage and environment.

The conference seeks to explore the tension between the “old world” and the need to invent new paradigms on the interface and intersections between tourism and heritage. Why, after several decades of sustainability discourses and practices, are we still struggling to implement new management models? What are the governance models that we can put in place for the sustainable development of tourism, in synergy with heritage and culture? What are the changing models industry needs to adopt in order to achieve a necessary re-invention of tourism? What is the role of destinations in the context of processes of resilience, sustainability or transformation, as instigated by recent and ongoing crises? What is the place of local societies in this process and how can they be empowered? How can citizens be more effectively mobilized and enabled to participate in a positive tourism  development, in connection with their cultures, landscape, and heritage, be they tangible or intangible, cultural or natural?

We invite both senior and junior researchers, NGO actors and industry. This is intended to be both  a high-level scientific conference and a platform for exchange between researchers and tourism/ heritage stakeholders (sites, museums, intangible heritage, natural sites, parks, etc.). The results of the conference will be published in scientific journals and a “white paper” will be published (drafted? issued?) for tourism and heritage stakeholders and civil society.

Read more: https://www.tourismheritage.hua.gr/intocus/

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