4th Belgrade International Tourism Conference
Heritage Tourism – Concepts, Practices, Developments
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Following three successful international conferences on tourism (BITCO 2012, 2014, 2016), it is a great pleasure to announce that the fourth BITCO entitled Heritage Tourism – Concepts, Practices, Developments will be held in Belgrade (Serbia) on March 23rd and 24th, 2018.
Cultural tourism and, especially, heritage tourism, both tangible and intangible, are one of the most vital segments of contemporary tourism. It is a fact that there is an increased interest in cultural tourism all over the world, along with UNWTO forecasts that cultural tourism market will remain in the leading position. This tourism is important due to its multiple positive socio-economic implications (e.g. revitalizing certain urban areas), as well as the financial support to conservation, heritage promotion, thus enabling financial independence of cultural institutions and organizations and influencing cultural decentralization. In addition, it obviously contributes to growing popularity of cultural attractions with local communities by raising awareness of the value of their property, while the interest in different aspects of local authenticity enhances reactivation of certain indigenous traditions that have become almost obsolete.
Simultaneously, there are issues related to the development of cultural tourism. Certain, primarily iconic, mass tourism attractions (including numerous locations under UNESCO protection) face increasing pressure due to a very high number of visitors so that their sustainability is threatened. It is clear that equal attention must be paid to the use as well as the conservation of cultural goods. Inter alia, modes of presenting and interpreting attractions, as well as efficient visit management are crucial for functioning of these usually fragile tourism resources. However, presentation and promotion of heritage tourism are more often than not totally commercialized and commodified, which jeopardizes its reputation and additionally increases mass visits. Therefore, a debate on exploiting the past and heritage as tourism and leisure resources is fully understandable.
For researchers in the field of tourism, culture and heritage, BITCO 2018 represents an opportunity to consider existing concepts, paradigms and definitions, to sum up experiences to date, to underline the good practice, to point to issues arising, but also to offer possible solutions to the development of this specific type of tourism. In addition to the academic sessions, BITCO 2018 will introduce a novelty – a round table with stakeholders from various cultural institutions and tourism industry.
In the name of the conference organizer, the College of Tourism Belgrade – which marked 60 years of educating future tourism employees in 2017 thus being one of the oldest institutions of its kind in this part of Europe – I have the pleasure and the honour to invite you to participate in BITCO conference on 23rd and 24th March 2018.
Director of College of Tourism, Belgrade
- Abstracts and papers should be sent by
February 15th, 2018