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Roles of intangible cultural heritage in tourism in natural protected areas

Esfehani, Minoo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7955-4713 and Albrecht, Julia N. (2016) Roles of intangible cultural heritage in tourism in natural protected areas. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 13 (1). pp. 15-29.

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The ‘new paradigm’ for protected areas emphasizes communities and their cultural assets, including intangible cultural heritage, as critical and inseparable parts of these areas. As tourism can be a significant factor in the economic framework of natural protected areas (NPAs), the prominent role of the community can have important implications. This paper reports on one of the first empirical studies on the interaction between intangible cultural heritage and tourism in an NPA with a special focus on the role of intangible cultural heritage. It is based on six months of qualitative ethnographic fieldwork in Qeshm Geopark, in the South of Iran. Local intangible cultural heritage is found to manifest and be used in tourism in three distinct ways: First, as a source of attraction and addition to any tourism offerings; second, as conservation tool, especially where the natural environment has strong cultural meanings for the local community; and third, as a driver for facilitating culturally and naturally sensitive behaviour by visitors. Concluding statements address any conceptual and practical implications.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1743873x.2016.1245735
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/10267

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