ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC)
As a specialist International Scientific Committee of ICOMOS – the International Council on Monuments and Sites – (www.icomos.org) – ICTC provides a forum for heritage conservation and tourism professionals and academics. Our focus is on collaborative research; and the development and promotion of policy directions and best practice in integrated planning, conservation and cultural heritage management at tourism destinations especially but not exclusively UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Entrance to Pisa UNESCO World Heritage site, Italy, with its famous ‘leaning tower’
1.8 Billion International Tourists by 2030
The 21st century has seen an extraordinary growth in tourism worldwide presenting both threats and opportunities for cultural heritage development. ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee discusses analyses and makes recommendations to advance policy directions in a field that in 2017 coined the idea of ‘overtourism’. Mainstreaming cross-cutting issues places conservation and cultural tourism centre stage in sustainable development agendas.
A vision for integrated inclusive tourism & conservation planning, development and management
Our vision is for an inclusive stakeholder approach to the conservation and protection of cultural heritage. Safe-guarding significant and distinctive places and spaces, local traditions and way of life of diverse communities across the world is recognised as integral to sustainable tourism development. It is one that seeks to engage local communities and visitors as well as tour operators, heritage conservation and tourism planning professionals in championing heritage protection as a dynamic process and springboard for the current and future prosperity and well-being of all stakeholders.
ICTC Statutes – Article 3
The mission of ICTC is to research and develop best practice and high standards in cultural heritage protection and conservation for the sustainable development of cultural tourism. At a strategic level ICTC seeks to cooperate with international and national cultural heritage and tourism organisations in both the public and private sectors to promote effective policy formulation, integrated planning and the responsible management of sustainable tourism activities at cultural heritage destinations, monuments and sites to better protect their heritage values.
At a local level ICTC strives to collaborate with communities to foster the sharing of those values and empower the host community to communicate their significance to visitors and other stakeholders in partnership with the tourism industry. The enlargement of ICTC’s vision to include all stakeholders has a further goal of engaging visitors as active supporters of cultural heritage conservation rather than simply passive recipients of community presentations and cultural heritage product development.
Recognising the important stakeholder role of national, regional and local governments, international and local tour operators, local residents, property owners, site managers and visitors in the successful integration of policy planning and management of conservation, tourism activities and social, cultural, economic and environmental development of the host community, ICTC pursues a number of objectives to fulfil its mission:
- Promote the development of policy directions that support responsible tourism and sustainable management policies and practice at cultural heritage destinations.
- Support the development of a shared understanding amongst host communities and visitors of the multiple facets and diverse interpretations of the significance of heritage places and promulgate the importance of authenticity and integrity in protecting heritage values.
- Encourage host communities, conservation practitioners and the tourism industry to work together to protect and present the world’s cultural heritage, recognising its fragility in the face of uncontrolled tourism activity.
- Co-operate with ICOMOS and the ICOMOS Scientific Council and national and international agencies and organisations to realise the ICTC’s mission.
- Foster multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder research and activities to achieve high standards in policy directions and management of tourism in cultural heritage destinations and at heritage sites.
- Provide a forum for the exchange of experience and expertise in sustainable tourism activities at cultural heritage destinations between universities, governments and the private sector.
- Promote education and informal learning as means of achieving objectives 1-8, especially among young people and those involved in the fields of conservation and tourism.