SYDNEY & WASHINGTON D.C. - Two tourism bodies have signed an agreement to put culture, heritage and communities at the forefront of the post-Covid travel recovery.
The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH), based in Sydney, with offices in Europe, and the Culture Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA), headquartered in Washington D.C., signed an MOU April 27.
The new partnership will see the two organisations work together to boost best practices, deliver education and training and advocate for better conservation, equity and access.
“WTACH and CHEA are experts and global leaders in culture and heritage tourism,” said Chris Flynn, CEO of WTACH. “With CHEA, we aim to help destinations and the tourism sector present the unique aspects of their cultural heritage in a way that celebrates and respects host communities, while delivering more meaningful visitor experiences.”
Stephanie Jones, Founder & CEO of CHEA, added: “In partnership with WTACH, we aim to deliver capacity building and tourism readiness training for local stakeholders, cultural preservation and tourism marketing and development consultancy - in short, a full support program to destinations and industry, big or small, new or old, that want to get culture and heritage tourism right.”
Pre-Covid, culture and heritage tourism was bruised by over-tourism at famous attractions, while financially neglected at the local level, especially in emerging economies.
Evidence by MyTravelResearch.com, a strategic partner of WTACH, shows that culture and heritage tourists [pre-Covid] spent up to 38% more per day and stayed 22% longer compared to other kinds of travellers.
MyTravelResearch.com CEO Carolyn Childs observed that when culture and heritage tourism is done right the advantages are many: social capital, civic pride, economic benefit, cultural stewardship and a clear case for protecting assets.
With the MOU operational, WTACH and CHEA said that they are now ready and eager to work with businesses and institutions around the world which seek to put responsible culture and heritage tourism at the forefront of the revival of travel.
“The aim is to benefit host communities in ways that serve to protect and preserve the uniqueness of place,” said Flynn.
Both WTACH and CHEA are committed to advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.