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International Symposium on Cultural and Heritage Tourism

HELEXPO, the official organizer of expositions and trade shows in Greece, and the Alexandreion Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki are co-organizing an international conference on cultural and heritage tourism from 16-18 November, 2006. The conference will take place during the international tourism trade show called “PHILOXENIA” giving the opportunity for delegates to participate and benefit from both events.

PHILOXENIA is a major tourism event featuring and gathering hundreds of tourism and travel related exhibitors from all over Greece, south-east Europe and many other countries. The conference is titled International Symposium on Cultural and Heritage Tourism and will take place in the state-of-the-art facilities and installations of HELEXPO.

Participation in the conference is free of charge and there will be no invitations or applications. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the trade show and attend many other parallel events. The city of Thessaloniki represents a major economic and cultural centre in Greece offering numerous opportunities for sight-seeing, shopping and entertainment. During the conference, the Municipality of Thessaloniki will also be organizing several additional cultural events in the context of the DEMITRIA festival, named after St Demitrius, the patron saint of the city. The surrounding area of Thessaloniki is also rich in attractions of every kind, including archaeological sites of the Macedon Dynasty such as Pella, Vergina and Dion, the unique Word Heritage sites of Mt Athos – Agion Oros – the holy State, full of Monasteries, and Mt Olympus, the hosting mountain of the twelve Gods of Ancient Greece.

It is the intention of the organizers to further continue the organization of these international tourism conferences during the next future years of PHILOXENIA in order to establish the trade shows as an international forum of information exchange, networking and knowledge building on best practices in the fields of travel, tourism and leisure. The proceedings, presentations and topics of these conferences will be addressed not only to academics and students interested in tourism as well as other related disciplines, but also to professionals, policy makers and any stakeholder involved in the tourism industry.

This year’s conference focuses on cultural and heritage tourism. It is well known that governments and the tourism industry are trying to reposition the tourism product, diversifying it from the prevailing mass-tourism model. Alternative forms of tourism have been globally adopted as a sustainable development motto and motive for sensitizing both the tourism demand and supply. Cultural tourism consists one of these alternative forms of tourism that is important in many countries, including Greece, whose competitive advantage heavily depends on a unique physical environment, cultural and historical artifacts of unparallel beauty, history and civilization. In fact, all different types of tourism, including mass tourism, have, more or less, a kind of cultural content. For example, gastronomical tourism and pilgrimages of any type — the first addressing the palate and gaster (stomach) and the second seeking mainly an intellectual experience – can both be subsumed under the broad category of cultural and heritage tourism. This year’s conference also adopts this broad view of the content of cultural and heritage tourism. An indicative list of the sub-themes pertaining to the broad spectrum of cultural and heritage tourism that will be analyzed and investigated in this year’s conference is as follows:

  1. Defining cultural tourism. Relation with other forms of tourism (e.g. tourism in the cities, rural tourism, gastronomical tourism etc)

  2. Marketing cultural tourism. Branding and promoting cultural tourism

  3. Sustainability issues in cultural tourism

  4. Preserving the recourse base of cultural tourism: Restoration of cultural tourist attractions. Revival of customs and events

  5. Artifacts and folklore as key elements of the supply for cultural tourism

  6. Case studies of developing cultural heritage attractions (e.g. archaeological sites, museums, thematic parks, themed on culture, national parks, cultural routes etc)

  7. Cross-cultural and cross- border initiatives related to cultural tourism

  8. Managing heritage attractions and destinations at a local, regional and national level

  9. Quality issues: Total Quality Management, Quality Assurance and ISO of heritage tourism supply

  10. The role of government, QUANGOS and NGO’s in the provision, promotion, management and planning of heritage attractions

  11. Interpretation as a key factor for promoting national heritage

  12. Tourism education and training as prerequisites for providing quality cultural tourism products and services

  13. New technologies (e.g. GIS, ICT etc) as instruments for promoting heritage attractions

  14. Special forms of cultural tourism (e.g. religious pilgrimages, festivals, athletic events, cultural foods etc)

  15. Historic evolution and change in cultural tourism

The conference will feature only invited speakers, all of them widely recognized and highly ranked in their respective field of expertise and research. The final list of the invited speakers is as follows:

  1. Gregory Ashworth, University of Groningen, How do tourists consume heritage places?

  2. Theofilos Basgiourakis, Travel writer, Editor of “Hellenic Panorama” magazine, Travelling around Greece: a decade’s experience (in Greek).

  3. Maria Gravari-Barbas, Université d Angers, France, Présenter, valoriser, interpréter le patrimoine culturel : le cas des villes françaises.

  4. Evangelos Christou, University of the Aegean: Heritage tourism and visitor satisfaction: a marketing approach

  5. Max Gschwend, La Suisse culturelle et l’influence du tourisme.

  6. Andrew Holden, Professor, Head of Research, Faculty of Leisure and Tourism, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, World Heritage Sites: Blessing or Curse? Issues of sustainable tourism

  7. Olga Iakovidou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Rural tourism and the preservation of national heritage: the case of Greece(in Greek)

  8. Mirsini Lambraki, Writer / journalist on gastronomy: Writing the first Greek gastronomy- tour guide (in Greek)

  9. Aspasia Louvi, General Director of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation : The network of thematic museums of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (in Greek)

  10. Prof. Dr. Matey Mateev, National Academy of Architecture, Plovdiv, Bulgaria: Rodopi – Architectural heritage and cultural tourism in Bulgaria and Greece

  11. Thomas Mavrodontis, Alexandreion TEI of Thessaloniki: Cultural Tourism: An overview (in Greek)

  12. Nikolaos Mertzos, President of the community of Nymfeon and the Society for Macedonian Studies, A future out of the past: The case of Nymfeon (in Greek)
  13. .

  14. Nikolaos Moutsopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, An attempt to outline the historic evolution of tourism and some thoughts and proposals for its future (in Greek)

  15. Stephen Page, Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley Chair in Tourism, Department of Marketing, University of Sterling, Scotland, U.K., Using urban regeneration as a tool for tourism development

  16. Prof. Dr D. St. Pavlowitch, Beograd, Serbie, Cultural tourism in impossible circumstances

  17. Prof. Dr Emin Riza, Tirana, Albania, Cultural Tourism: the case of Albania

  18. Gabriela Scheiner, Director of the Cultural Triangle of Prespes, Cross Border Tourism through Civil Society: Making Borders a Privilege

  19. Prof. Dr Haluk Sezgin, Universities of Maltepe and Galatasaray, Istanbul, Turkey, Notre heritage est il l l’objet ou sujet du tourisme?

  20. Marianna Sigala, University of the Aegean, Information & Communication Technology (ACT) applications for the development of sustainable cultural tourism.

  21. Dr Georgeta Stoica, Musée Nationale du Village “Dimitrie Gusti”, Le tourisme culturel est-il propice dans les villages traditionnels?

  22. Dallen Timothy, Arizona State University, USA, Pilgrimage Tourism: Religious Roots and Spiritual Routes.

  23. Konstantinos Zachos, Director of the IB Ephorate of Antiquities in Ioannina, Greece, Nicopolis archaeological park: An upgrade proposal for the historical landscape in the context of a fragile ecosystem

The papers will be presented in three languages, English, French and Greek and there will be simultaneous translation.

Participants must take care of and organize their own accommodation and transport. Further details of the venue will be soon available at the websites of the Department of Tourism Management, of the Alexandreion Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki,, and HELEXPO, www.helexpo

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