Heritage tourism involves visiting places of historic interest or cultural importance. It has grown into a major industry in many parts of the world and its importance continues to grow. Most countries try to include such tourism destinations in their tourist promotion campaigns as they are lucrative sources of income and help boost the local economy by offering jobs and spurring other economic activities. Here are some reasons why heritage tourism is important for the growth of any region or country’s economy.
Heritages are places that have stories:
Every city, town and village has a story to tell. We hold on to these stories and histories because they’re part of who we are, what we stand for, and how we came to be. They give us a glimpse into our pasts and tell us about our origins. Though most places are made up of both new and old stories, many towns still hold on to traditional heritage elements. The important thing is that all those stories come together to create a community with its own unique identity. That’s why heritage is so important for tourism: it creates an environment that makes people want to visit and experience your destination in person.
Heritages reflect our culture:
A nation’s heritage includes all its intangible aspects, such as languages, traditions, beliefs and practices. The intangible heritage can be even more powerful than famous tourist attractions or monuments; a sense of belonging and national pride can be engendered simply by sharing these aspects with others. UNESCO defines Intangible Cultural Heritage as traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events and knowledge about nature. In short: it’s about how we live together in communities. It also means that tourism based on cultural heritage offers us a great opportunity to share what makes us unique with visitors from other countries – something that will bring them closer to us while they are here.
Heritages tell the story of our forefathers:
Each country has a heritage that it preserves to teach its younger generations about who they are and where they came from. The more you know about your heritage, the more you can understand your roots. An understanding of one’s roots often leads to an appreciation of his or her present place in life. A person who understands where he or she comes from will also be able to see how far he or she has come. For example, many people visit museums because they want to learn more about their history. In fact, some people take pride in visiting museums because doing so helps them feel connected with their past. Others may visit historical sites because doing so gives them a sense of belonging—they realize that even though times have changed, there are still parts of history worth preserving. Whatever your reason for visiting historic sites might be, you’ll likely find yourself feeling closer to home after visiting these places.
|Thailand Buddha Buddhism Asia|
Heritages are connected to religion:
A religious site like a church or mosque which has historical significance can become a tourist attraction. Jerusalem’s Church of Holy Sepulchre is one example that serves both religious and tourism purposes. Heritages are connected to heritage: Many important people were born in specific cities or areas, making those locations an important part of history too. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and he made significant contributions to African-American rights while living there. His home is now a museum open to tourists interested in learning more about his life and legacy. Heritages are connected to culture: Certain cultures have traditions associated with them that tourists may want to learn more about during their travels. In Japan, for example, visitors can see geisha performances at restaurants or take tea ceremonies classes at tea houses throughout Tokyo.
|Jerusalem’s Church of Holy Sepulchre|
Heritages help us preserve culture:
Without historic properties, how do we maintain our cultures? A nation’s cultural heritage is its collection of physical things such as historic landmarks, buildings, monuments, and objects that illustrate a community’s history. These pieces help tell who we are and what values we hold dear. Preserving our heritage preserves our past while offering a great source of entertainment to current residents and tourists alike.
For example, if you visit Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia or Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, you can experience first-hand how people lived in different eras. You can even get a taste of life during colonial times at Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In addition to offering educational experiences for visitors and locals alike, heritages also provide economic benefits by attracting tourism dollars into communities across America.
|Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia|
Heritages are like nodes:
It may sound paradoxical, but many of our experiences are made up of a number of smaller experiences. These small experiences are often influenced by heritages that we carry with us – in our hearts and minds. It’s important to celebrate these heritages so that they can be experienced by more people and give more depth to our daily lives. The process of experiencing these smaller experiences isn’t just pleasant; it leads to a better understanding of ourselves and how we fit into larger systems.
As tourism gains popularity, it becomes even more important to maintain heritage sites as well as create new ones. People who visit these sites will experience them differently than those who live near them because they have different expectations and different knowledge about what makes an experience valuable. By encouraging travelers to visit heritage sites (and other lesser-known places), we get a chance to learn from each other about what brings value to an experience or place.
Sharing knowledge, stories, and experiences from heritages in an interesting way helps people understand more about them:
Everyone has a history, and it’s important to be proud of who you are and where you came from. Sharing stories about your heritage helps people understand more about them. For example, many people visit national parks because they want to learn more about our nation’s past and its struggles in terms of heritage. Our national parks are places that have had historical importance attached to them; learning more about these places helps us get closer to understanding what they mean on a more personal level. It’s also easier to bond with others when you can relate to their experiences and heritages.
This leads me to my next point… People will travel to experience new things: Experiencing new things is something we all enjoy doing—especially if those new things involve food, drinks, entertainment, or culture. Because of globalization and technology, it’s now easier than ever before to experience other cultures through travel. Not only does experiencing another culture help build an appreciation for other heritages around the world but it also helps build an appreciation for your own cultural background as well.