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World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage To Combat Overtourism

  • by Adrian Eugene Seet
  • 9 Months ago
  • tourism
  • 0
Sunset at Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁), Seoul
Sunset at Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁), Seoul

The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) has been formed to promote ethical practices and better management relating to culture and heritage destinations that are now buckling due to unrestricted visitor growth.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

The United World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has reported that international tourism arrivals hit 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of its previous forecast of 2020. Global economy grew 3.7% last year propelling international tourism arrivals growth to 6% for the year.

Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia
Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

WTACH has launched with 15 specialist advisors from diverse backgrounds relating to the culture and heritage tourism sector. They will work with destinations that need help now or are working on preventing overtourism.

The founder and CEO of WTACH is Chris Flynn, a former director for the Pacific region at the Pacific Asia Travel Association for 15 years.

Areas of Tourism meltdown include Angkor Wat, Phi Phi Island and Mt Everest. Tourism needs to respect host communities and their cultural and heritage assets by adhering to a framework that has the host community at its heart.

“It’s time for the tourism industry to take step back and look at the long term impact of its decision making

Chris Flynn, Founder and CEO of WTACH
Wefie at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, Bali 1G7A4036
Wefie at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, Bali

The desire for ‘authenticity’ in travel is problematic. An AirBnB survey revealed over 80% of millennial travellers (and 93% of Chinese millennials) seek a “unique” experience and want to “live like locals” while on holiday.

WTACH believes that destinations should not make arrival numbers the main objective every year. It is concerned that Turkey has decided to expand tourism arrivals from 40 million in 2018 to 70 million by 2023.

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