15.30 Rebalancing Tourism and Heritage: Creative Approaches and New Instruments in De-marketing Strategies
In every era of human history heritage and travel or tourism have an effect on each other. Heritage causes mobility. Travel or tourism seen from an outgoing and incoming perspective change heritage either in a positive or negative sense. One of the most frequently cited examples is the city of Venice, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987: trade activities as well as political affairs produced a travel history that has been well documented since the Middle Ages (e.g. Marco Polo). The mobility of artists that started in the Renaissance has continued until today. The Grand Tour tourism of the eighteenth century changed into modern types of tourism (cultural tourism, cruises, etc.). At all times tourism and travel had effects on heritage. They can even both be regarded as an integral part of it. Venice would not exist without its travel and tourism history.
Every kind of mobility is caused by a shift from a single to a mass phenomenon. This evolution can be explained by the economic aspects of quality and quantity connected to dynamics or stability in the two dimensions of space and time. In general, tangible cultural heritage is spatially fixed and in a moderate way temporally dynamic whereas tourism seems to be expanding boundaries in space and time. As a consequence, heritage cannot develop to the same extent as tourism. “The exceptionally high tourism pressure on the city of Venice has resulted in a partial functional transformation in Venice and the historic centres of the Lagoon […] These factors may in the future have a serious negative impact on the identity and integrity of the property…” (UNESCO, World Heritage List, Venice and its Lagoon, 2015) When residents’ houses or services are constantly replaced by tourism-related infra- or super-structures, one could even think about counter-productive effects of heritage and heritage titles. They become a part within the “vicious circle” in which a heritage title catalyzes unsustainability instead of being an instrument of sustainable heritage management.
In order to find a solution the protagonists of both sides, heritage management and tourism management, should try to reduce quantity and to reroute it into quality. The objectives should be to rebalance offer and demand and to create a new way of sustainability. The urgent need for action calls for answers to different questions: How to (re)position the destination management that should be involved into heritage and tourism planning? What are the major priorities within a management plan and which instruments really affect the development?
In situations of tourism oversaturation, de-marketing as an aspect (and not as an antagonist) of marketing could bring forward measures to reduce the quantity of tourists in a permanent or temporary way and to redistribute them spatially. De-marketing should focus on both aspects of tourism, quantity and quality. Conventional measures to manage tourism flows are alternative products or capacity restrictions (product), high prices (price), and the limitation of distribution channels (place). But the traditional marketing mix to manage the offer (concepts of 4 or 7 Ps), and the customer relationship management as a new outside-in perspective on marketing taking the demand as initial point, offer some other instruments that have been too little explored.
Why did the campaign “Controvenezia/Pervenezia,” created in 1999 by Oliviero Toscani on behalf of the city of Venice, not have the success it should have had? Are there any new creative approaches in communication (promotion) and what are the possibilities of using new technologies and the web 2.0? Do these instruments have measurable impacts on heritage and tourism as well as on their relation to each other?