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Challenging Hit-and-Run Tourism in Cultural Heritage Sites

Cultural Heritage sites facing Hit-and-Run Tourism need to elaborate targeted strategies in order to balance tourism and heritage conservation, to define limits or find solutions in order to protect natural and cultural heritage and to mitigate negative impacts. In a paper by Engelbert Ruoss and Loredana Alfarè of the Global Regions Initiative, nine heritage sites in South East Europe are studied, including typical Hit-and-Run destinations such as Venice (I), Dubrovnik (HR), Hallstatt (A) and Aquileia (I), allowing four different types of Hit-and-Run sites to be distinguished. The sustainable tourism strategies promoted by the United Nations ask for limitations and preventions in order to reduce or to avoid negative impacts and also to create added-value for tourists and local people alike.

The examples analysed show that there are seven basic factors in the planning strategy that facilitates the successful implementation of sustainable tourism destinations:

  1. Clear strategic orientation: include clear targets, limits, and funding.
  2. Attractiveness:  focus on significance, distinctiveness and clustering.
  3. Realistic planning: face the challenges of changes, risks and threats honestly and openly.
  4. Measurable development:  define quantitative goals and indicators; plan, manage and assess tourism and its impact continuously.
  5. Accepted (shared) strategy: create corporate identity of authorities, people and stakeholders.
  6. Fair and transparent benefit distribution: revenues should be spent adequately for the maintenance of heritage and creation of added value at local level.
  7. Efficient promotion: use targeted partnerships, social networks and IT tools for an effective destination marketing.

Achieving a win-win-win situation through conservation of heritage, creating benefit for local people, and guaranteeing a high quality visitor experience can be considered as the uppermost impact of sustainable tourism strategies.

Download the Ruoss-Alfarè paper in the proceedings of the International Conference on Sustainable Cultural Heritage Management, 11/12 October 2013.

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