Cultural heritage TOOLKIT

D Historical and Cultural Heritage Standards

D. 1. History and Culture

D.1.1 Protection and Preservation of Important Historical Sites and Cultural Elements

The organization contributes to the protection and preservation of local historical, archeological, culturally and spiritually important properties and sites, and does not impede access to them by local residents.

Historical and cultural heritage contribute to the uniqueness of a destination. A visit to a local historical or cultural site provides an additional perspective of the destination, and is likely to enhance the traveler’s experience. Protecting the uniqueness of a destination is one of the goals of sustainable tourism practice.

  • Provide information about the history, culture and local attractions to your guests. Click here to see a sample of some information>
  • Discuss with local community leaders on how to promote local historical or cultural attractions, while minimizing negative influences from tourism. See products available at the energy store>
  • To the extent possible, help the local community design promotional materials on local attractions.
  • Identify knowledgeable people on the local history and practices and invite them to give talks to visitors.
  • Ensure your staff are knowledgeable about available local attractions so they can promote these to visitors.
  • Promote the sale of local sustainable souvenirs and handicrafts.
  • The location and design of your property should “blend into” the environment; do not place signs that compete with the landscape or block views.
  • Use elements of local art, architecture or cultural heritage in the design of your properties.
  • Promote resources and efforts in support of conservation and research initiatives involving the region’s history and culture.

D.1.2 Respect for Culture and Religion

The organization explains to guests the importance of appropriate behavior while experiencing local cultures and religion. A documented code of conduct for activities in the local communities has been developed and implemented with the collaboration and consent of the respective community.

The local community will have its unique culture and expressions of culture e.g. ways of dressing and expression of religious faith. A responsible organization ensures that guests are aware of the local codes of conduct and encourages them to be respected by guests. Learning about local cultures enhances the guests’ experience of the destination.

  • Prepare a code of conduct for local and cultural activities which ensures that the rights, values, and customs of indigenous cultures are respected. Click here to see a samples of a code of conduct.
  • Ensure guest are aware of the cultural dress code, provide signs and briefings to inform the guests.
  • Don’t allow guests to take photographs of people without their consent within cultures that are sensitive to this.

D. 2. Historical And Archaeological Artefacts

D.2.1 Protection and Preservation of Important Historical Sites and Archaeological Artifacts

The organization stimulates the discovery and encourages preservation of local historical sites and artifacts. The organization does not support the purchasing or removal of historical and archaeological artifacts from their site of origin.

Historical and archeological artifacts add educational value to a particular destination. Norms, regulations and conventions exist to protect historical and archeological artifacts from international trade exploitation, and tourism businesses can play a critical role in protecting these artifacts while promoting the area’s heritage.

  • Ensure information is available to visitors and staff on law provisions over the removal and/or trade of historical and archeological artifacts from their site of origin.
  • Make a statement indicating your company’s position on the illegal purchasing or selling of historical and archeological artifacts.

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