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Connection between Tourism and Culture

Can there be culture without tourism, and vice versa?

In addition to learning about nature and the environment, tourism also means getting to know people and their culture. Mass tourism has a major impact on both an area and cultural values; on the one hand, it helps to preserve, restore, nurture and maintain them, and on the other hand, too many tourists can cause significant damage.


1. Negative impacts of mass tourism on the cultural component

With numerous visitors in museums, galleries, churches, and other cultural institutions, despite protected areas, individual exhibits are already at risk due to excessive crowding. It often happens that tourists, despite the ban and warnings, touch the exhibited objects or take fragments of valuable testimonies of the past with them as a souvenir (this happens, for example, during a mass visit to ancient monuments in Greece or karst caves). In the midst of the crowds, visitors themselves do not have much to do with the sightseeing of art or natural exhibits. The negative impact of tourism is also reflected in the architecture. Many buildings that are not in keeping with the architectural typology (Alpine, Littoral, Pannonian, rural, etc.) of a given cultural environment can seem foreign in a certain place.


2. How can we prevent the negative impact of mass tourism on cultural heritage?

In order to prevent such and similar negative impacts of tourism on cultural valuables, those responsible should limit visits to cultural monuments and institutions – either only to certain days of the week or hours of the day, or prohibit a visit if the number of visitors reaches a limit that a particular cultural object or institution can bear. With strict regulations, the state also regulates the construction of tourist facilities – investors must respect, for example, the established style of construction, the height of the buildings, the slope of the roof, the location of the building, the shape of the windows, preserve the trees that grow in the area where they are supposed to build, etc.


3. Tourism and cultural heritage – can they exist in harmony?

In some developed tourist countries around the world, there is already a small war going on between the guardians of cultural heritage and those who advocate the development of tourism and the inclusion of cultural values in the tourist offer. The guardians of cultural heritage say that tourism is evil for culture and that uneducated tourists will destroy what little the present generations and ancestors have managed to preserve. Tourism defenders, on the other hand, are of the opinion that many cultural sites would have fallen into ruins long ago if they had not been restored and maintained with the money earned from tourism, and that many of the local crafts, trades, and customs that are still standing have tourism to thank for their survival.


Culture complements the qualities on offer in a tourist destination that will attract tourists to visit and get to know it. It is a set of different factors. A modern tourist is able to visit a lot of tourist spots in a certain environment on a daily basis. Such a tourist also best promotes a tourist place to his circle of friends. Of course, a comprehensive offer is important; for example, for many tourists also sports, recreational or culinary.

4. The positive impacts of mass tourism on the cultural component

An example of the connection between culture and tourism

In Kranjska Gora, which is considered an example of the Alpine tourist offer in Slovenia, it is not only about skiing and the mountains that surround it, but also its pleasant village image with the heritage of farmers, shepherds and workers who lived in it and gave it their own mark and with all the distinctive characteristics that the new times have brought to this place. The more all the components come together, the better the guests feel and prefer to return, and they are also willing to pay more.


The positive cultural role of tourism is therefore multifaceted. It preserves the cultural goods that man has created over the centuries and still creates them (archaeological finds, monasteries, mansions, events, painting and sculpture works, old crafts, customs, etc.) and which today enrich the tourist experience of holidays and travel as an important component of the tourist offer.

Particular elements of the cultural tourism offer, such as certain cultural and social events, are particularly attractive to tourists because they can actively participate in them, co-create them, enjoy them and experience them as an added value.

Culture in tourism, on the one hand enriches the human personality, but on the other hand is important for the preservation, protection and nurturing of cultural heritage and the creation of modernity. The integration of cultural values into tourism is in many ways the only way to help preserve, maintain and revive them. If tourism were not developed in certain areas, too many cultural buildings and monuments would be "lost to the ravages of time", and precious customs, traditions and traditional events would be forgotten.

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