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Chapter 9 Challenges to sustainability in prospective world heritage sites

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635765-4846

ISBN: 9781911635765

Published: April 2021

Component type: chapter

Published in: Sustainable and Collaborative Tourism in a Digital World

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635765-4477



Heritage cities often build on their cultural assets to develop as destinations. Yet, the assets communicated to visitors usually present only part of the picture. Heritage cities often tend to possess a significant cultural value that is hidden from the prying eyes. This value is not only exhibited as tangible assets, but the accumulation of knowledge and experience in the culture-laden milieu is also central to the notion of heritage (Falser, 2015). Such intangible elements have found their way into international discussions in recent years (Vecco, 2010). Heritage cities, as living spaces, also embrace a cultural heritage inseparable from local communities, and in a broader perspective, from the whole of humanity. This perspective is central to the creation of World Heritage Sites (WHSs) seeking to protect the world’s heritage with Outstanding Universal Value under the umbrella of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (1972). In this process, however, the heritage assets inscribed as WHSs are nominated by national governments which, upon inscription, become the primary entity responsible for safeguarding their integrity. The primary motivation for this research is the centralized governance structure in developing countries and how this affects the potential to achieve sustainability through tourism development. Turkey is an example of such a centralized system in regard to tourism and heritage management (Yüksel et al., 2005) which includes the WHSs. In Turkey, WHSs are not only effective tools to aid foreign policy (Atakuman, 2010) but are also integral to culture-driven tourism strategy (Ozturk & van Niekerk, 2014). Despite inconclusive evidence in the literature on the relationship between proliferation of tourism and WHS status (Jimura, 2011; Poria et al., 2013), Turkey’s proactive relationship with UNESCO may be interpreted as reaffirming the perceived linkage between WHS status and visitation.

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Kuzuoglu & Kladou, 2021

Kuzuoglu, S. & Kladou, S. (2021) "Chapter 9 Challenges to sustainability in prospective world heritage sites" In: Decrop, A., Correia, A., Fyall, A. & Kozak, M. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635765-4846


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