Sustainable Tourism and Culture: A Symbiotic Relationship

Reham Kamel El-Khadrawy, Amr Abdalla Attia, Marwa Khalifa, Rowaida Rashed

Cultural Tourism offers a strong motivation to preserve the elements of cultural heritage in tourist destinations. It helps to preserve cultural elements as important tourist attractions. Cultural tourism’s notion is unlimited to visiting monumental attractions only, but it has also become an interactive experience with the social fabric of the community through attending exhibitions, festivals and events, and the purchase of traditional local products. Thus, the human capital factor in tourism is linked to the quality of tourism products. With the growth of international tourism, the importance of sustainable tourism development has emerged to protect natural, cultural, and human resources, in addition to achieving economic development. As non-sustainable tourism development has led to the deterioration of tourism resources. This research paper examines if cultural tourism contributes to decrease tourism seasonality and achieve sustainable tourism development in cultural heritage sites. A case study of Aswan was selected. Aswan has unique and important elements of cultural heritage (Tangible and Intangible), but it still faces many problems like tourism seasonality, besides its tourism is still weak compared with other cities that have the same tourism potential. Based on a literature review and analytical study of global examples that achieved sustainability in cultural heritage sites, a field study of Aswan was conducted to evaluate the current status of cultural tourism, besides illustrating the challenges of achieving sustainability. The major result that has emerged from the study is paying attention to cultural tourism is the possible solution to the challenges that Aswan tourism faces. Finally, the paper concluded that investment in human capital creates opportunities for cultural tourism which in return resolves one of tourism’s major challenges: seasonality.


Cultural Heritage; Cultural Tourism; Sustainable Tourism; Human Capital; Seasonality; Aswan.


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