Every time I go to a UNESCO World heritage I ask myself the same thing: what came first, the tourist or the designation? For many places the UNESCO branding comes hand in hand with heaps of tourism arrivals, and for people like me who are always analysing tourism impact, I wonder if UNESCO is nourishing the tourism crowding. I had to pursue this issue in our interview with Amilcar, what are the negative sides of the UNESCO designation?
When I was doing fieldwork on my bachelors many communities in Mexico kept saying that their goals was to get the national designation of Pueblos Magicos, if not UNESCO World Heritage. Coming form a Town with both designations this issue always gives me the heebie jeebies.
I have seen the commodification of culture and traditions when they are consumed by tourism, but there must be another side to the story. What are the heritage managers doing to tackle these issues? Read more..