UNESCO World Heritage and Tourism
Objectives of the course are to know the context of tourism at World Heritage Sites (WHS), to be aware of the need of balancing conservation and development, to understand why tourism at WHS can be both an opportunity and a threat and what might be its impact on the sites and on local communities. Several instruments related to UNESCO recognition will be presented, among which the Culture Conventions, the World Heritage Convention and its Operational Guidelines for nomination, implementation and assessing sites, based on their Outstanding Universal Value as well as their Integrity and Authenticity. The perspective of governance and management will also be taken, to investigate how new governance strategies and management approaches can help fostering sustainable tourism and better combining tourism development with conservation needs. The types of tangible and intangible WH and their significance for visitors and local people will be discussed, as well as the methods for their interpretation and communication and the role of Information Technologies. The different issues will be explored using concrete examples of World Heritage, comprising also WHS in danger, in order to learn about actual problems, controversies, success, conflicts and solutions.
Classes will combine lectures with hands-on exercises and group works.
The evaluation complements the course, challenging students in the analysis of WH cases according to the knowledge gained during classes. The final note is calculated considering three activities:
- group works (partially) elaborated in class and presented during the course (10%);
- an individual 3-minutes elevator pitch, where each student has to select a case of tangible or intangible WH, recognize its outstanding universal value and elaborate a story to present it to tourists (40%);
- a written test on the main topics covered in the course (50%).