Tuesday, 11 April 2017

UNESCO Status, Tourism Damage Angkor: Paper

The global recognition given to the Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia—and other sites around the world that receive UN world heritage status—does as much damage as it does good to the historical gem, according to a new research paper.

The paper, published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, outlines how recognition from UNESCO is used as a tourism marketing tool, resulting in more visitor traffic to cultural sites, which threatens their short- and long-term sustainability.

“UNESCO status does not necessarily mean that the host [nation] is able to protect the site sufficiently, given the major increase in tourism that results from receiving the status,” said Josephine Caust, an arts consultant and one of the study’s authors.

Angkor “is a major international cultural heritage site—once it is damaged or destroyed, it may not recover,” Ms. Caust said, adding that the world, not just Cambodia, was responsible for its protection.

Apsara Authority spokeswoman Chau Sun Kerya said that the park’s world heritage status had increased tourism and assistance from foreign countries to preserve and develop it but acknowledged that there was a downside to hosting more visitors.

“Tourism is a very good thing for development, but it also has a negative impact,” she said. “We have to be very careful with people touching carvings.”

Full story at Cambodia Daily.

No comments:

Post a Comment