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Conserving heritage & culture while sustaining livelihoods

Conserving heritage & culture while sustaining livelihoods. Success stories from southern Africa. Francois Viljoen. What is cultural tourism?. Psychological: what people think attitudes, beliefs, ideas and values Physical: what people do

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Conserving heritage & culture while sustaining livelihoods

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  1. Conserving heritage & culture while sustaining livelihoods Success stories from southern Africa Francois Viljoen

  2. What is cultural tourism? • Psychological: • what people think • attitudes, beliefs, ideas and values • Physical: • what people do • ways of life, artworks, artefacts and cultural products

  3. What is cultural tourism? • The physical aspects of culture (i.e., visiting cultural sites and monuments) has dominated the development of cultural tourism • Cultural tourism covers not just he consumption of the cultural products of the past, but also of contemporary culture or the ‘way of life’ of a people or region

  4. Cultural & heritage tourism: the African context • Culture and heritage is a major “pull factor” that influence travel decisions • Also plays an important role in establishing and enforcing unique identities • Cultural tourism in Africa is still in its infancy • Latent comparative advantage - possess unique cultural and nature based attractions • The world is looking at Africa to reconnect with their roots • All human beings descend from one single man who lived in Africa about 60,000 years ago

  5. Cultural & heritage tourism: the African context • Number of tourists visiting local communities and other destinations in Africa will continue to increase in the foreseeable future • Tourism can assist in removing existing stereotypes and misrepresentations of indigenous African cultures • Cultural tourism in Africa should focus on the ‘living culture’ of the African people

  6. Potential positive impacts • Building community pride • Enhancing the sense of identity • Promoting cross-cultural understanding • Encouraging revival or maintenance of traditional craft • Economic benefits

  7. Potential negative impacts • Commodification or cheapening of culture and traditions • Alienation and loss of cultural identity • Undermining of local traditions and way of life • Divisions between those who benefit from tourism and those who don’t • Loss of authenticity

  8. Success factors • Local participation in the design, implementation and management of the tourism projects • Agreement on objectives • Financial planning • Effective marketing strategies based on sound market research • Planning for product differentiation, life cycles and value adding • Quality and authenticity of products and experiences

  9. Pitfalls • Product-based rather than market-based • Developing cultural attractions for tourism does not necessarily mean that tourists will come knocking at the door • Lack of authenticity • Ownership • Turning places, landscapes and people into commodities

  10. Success stories • Amangwe Crafts –KZN • Mtititi Magic Crafters – Limpopo • The Riel Dance – Northern Cape • Kuomboka Ceremony – Western Province, Zambia • Nkapalayo Camp - Zambia

  11. Amangwe Zulu Crafts • Jointly managed by local women • Aim: • to provide opportunities for rural people • to use  traditional craft skills to increase their family income • to maintain and promote the intricate and sophisticated beading tradition of the AmangweTribe • Beadwork and basketry is bought from about 30 women in the Injesuti/Loskop area • Since 2006 a growing UK and USA market has seen a vast increase in the number of orders – profits are now being distributed to communities

  12. Amangwe Zulu Crafts • Success Factors: • Local participation in the management of the organisation • Sustained mentorship from experienced women • Direct support to local communities (three times per year profits are ploughed back) • Vision – to promote the social impacts of the products • Strong ethos of cooperation and sharing and supporting each other outside of business • Mentorship from older women (teaching youth)

  13. Amagwe Zulu Crafts • Barbara Borgman (mentor) reflects: “What has kept me going with this project is what attracted me to it in the first place:  its cultural merit,  the sheer beauty of design and challenge of developing new products based on traditional skills and patterns, and the merits of business as mission, providing an income for women heads of households in a time of HIV/AIDS pandemic.” 

  14. Mtititi Magic Crafters • Located in an area where the Tsonga culture is still very much a part of daily life • The villagers’ pride in their heritage is reflected in the textiles and products they produce • Video: Crafters

  15. Mtititi Magic Crafters • Success factors: • Local initiative • Mentorship and guidance • Perseverance • Authentic

  16. The Riel Dance • Has its roots in Khoi and San ceremonial dances • Annual competition promoting local heritage • Dancers from all over the Karoo gather to celebrate their heritage • Promotes heritage among youth • Video: The story of the Riel Dance

  17. The Riel Dance • Success factors: • Authenticity • Origins lie in the rural communities • Receives support from government and other institutions

  18. Kuomboka Ceremony • Annual cultural event on the Zambezi River • Marks the movement of the Lozi king and his court from his dry-season palace, across the plain, to his high-water abode • Ancient traditional event that has been practiced for over 300 years • More recently it receives massive publicity and support in Zambia • Video: Kuomboka Ceremony

  19. Kuomboka Ceremony • Success factors: • Rooted in local tradition • Massive local support and interest • Sponsorship not management

  20. NakapalayoCamp • Authentic cultural village • Offers the opportunity to visit and stay in a traditional Bisavillage • Accommodation is offered in simple traditionally built huts with wooden beds • Located in the community – true African experience • Project donates 25% of its income to community development and conservation projects

  21. Nakapalayo Camp • Success factors: • Based in the local community • Authentic • Local management • Started small and grew organically • Passion and drive of local villagers

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