Cultural sustainability: an asset of cultural tourism industry
Authors: Al-Hagla Khalid S. / Anno:
The importance of the tourism development as an economic tool appears when we realize that the forecasts of the World Tourism Organization highlights that the international tourist arrivals will mount from the present 625 million a year to 1.6 billion in 2020. By this date, travelers will spend over US$2 trillion, (against US$445 billion today), making tourism the world’s leading industry. These projections are based on annual growth rates of 4.3% for arrivals and 6.7% for spendings. Already in 1997, tourism receipts accounted for a little over 8% of the world’s exports of goods and almost 34% of global services exports. On the other hand, the sustainability of tourism would then suggest preserving the valuable communities’ assets – the historical sites and buildings, traditions, culture, heritage, attractions and natural beauty- for future generations and for long-term economic and social gain. The economic value in the protection of such assets helps both small and large communities enhance the overall tourism potential. Recent studies have demonstrated that an increasing number of travelers are interested in seeing and doing more and are willing to stay longer and spend more money in areas that sustain the culture and environment.