Journal of Heritage Tourism | VOL. ahead-of-print
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Heritage tourism products based on traditional nature-related knowledge: assessment of cultural, social, and environmental factors in cases from rural Austria

Publication Date Jul 19, 2022

Abstract

ABSTRACT We investigate success and sustainability factors for tourism offers based on intangible cultural heritage, such as traditional nature-related knowledge and practices, and propose an assessment framework for communities. Using examples from rural Austria, where such practices serve as tourism attractions in many communities, we demonstrate how ‘packaging’ knowledge and practices into tourism offers can contribute to sustainable tourism development with shared benefits in rural areas away from well-known tourism centres and attractions. Such activities also contribute to safeguarding and revitalisation of intangible cultural heritage and cultural landscapes in a sustainable manner, balancing entertainment, and educational/cultural values. Using a social constructionist frame and ethnographic case study approach, data from interviews with 19 stakeholders from four regions, selected through purposive sampling, were analysed and their experiences and perceptions were complemented by participant observations. Results of the thematic data analysis were categorised into different groups of sustainability and success factors building the assessment framework for tourism potential. We discuss factors such as mechanisms of stakeholder engagement and benefit sharing, and characteristics of good cultural interpretation and tourism experience by analysing good practices and flaws of the four case studies and provide recommendations for using the assessment framework in practice.

Concepts

Tourism Attractions Rural Austria Ethnographic Case Study Approach Intangible Cultural Heritage Framework In Practice Tourism Experience Cultural Tourism Experience Cultural Landscapes Traditional Knowledge Assessment Framework

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