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Culture, Cultural Tourism and Identity Greg Richards Tilburg University, The Netherlands Paper presented at Conference on Sustainable

Tourism Development in the Wadden Sea Region, Stade, Germany, November 1999. Introduction Cultural tourism has been identified as a major growth area by policy-makers throughout Europe. Interest in Cultural tourism is increasing not only because it is seen as a fruitful market, but also because it dovetails neatly with many of the policy priorities at different administrative levels, including the generation of income and jobs, tackling regional imbalance and cultural development. Cultural tourism has therefore been stimulated by the European Commission and national, regional and local governments all over Europe in recent years (Richards, 1996). On the face of it, cultural tourism has obvious advantages as a tool for regional development. Demand is apparently growing, cultural tourism provides support for local culture and the incorporation of culture into the tourist product provides distinction in an increasingly globalised market. But the development of cultural tourism is not without its problems, however. Using culture to attract tourists also means exposing the cultural fabric of a region to the tourist gaze, sometimes to the detriment of the very cultural attractions that tourists come to see. Although cultural tourists are usually seen as good tourists who travel in small numbers and do little damage, they can arguably act as the Trojan Horse that opens up a region to the less acceptable effects of mass tourism (Butler, 1990). In Europe a further problem seems to have arisen, which can potentially nullify the positive effects of cultural tourism. Cultural tourism is usually positioned as an enrichment and diversification of the tourism product. In fact, a brief scan of the cultural tourism products being churned out on the European tourism market reveals that far from supporting cultural diversity, we seem to be being offered more of the same another heritage centre, another music festival, another cultural route. Rather than developing innovative products, it seems that most regions are seeking the safety of tried and trusted cultural formulas. This lemming-like behaviour will tend to increase rather than diminish the problems of competition in the future. As Max Dublin (1989) has remarked with more and more people and nations setting their sights on the same targets, the future is becoming like the small end of a funnel. The problem facing all regions wishing to develop cultural tourism, therefore, is to decide on a form of development which will protect the basic cultural resource and identity of region while making that culture accessible and attractive for tourists. In this paper I want to examine the development of cultural tourism in Europe to provide some pointers to possible avenues for successful cultural tourism development in future. In particular the issues of cultural tourism development in rural regions and the question of regional identity will be posed.

What is Cultural Tourism? The dramatic increase in attention given to cultural tourism in recent years has not solved one of the basic problems attached to the concept: that of definition. Given the fact that 'culture' was labelled by Raymond Williams (1983) as one of the most complicated words in the English language, it is not surprising that cultural tourism is extremely difficult to define. The scale of the problem is indicated by the fact that the chapters contained in this volume unanimously avoid the issue. This is not a unique problem - policy documents across Europe tend to duck the issue as well, tending to make the assumption that everybody knows what cultural tourism is. This explains the heterogeneous assortment of terms which have arisen in the literature and in policy

statements in recent years. Cultural tourism, heritage tourism, arts tourism, ethnic tourism and a host of other terms seem to be almost interchangeable in their usage, but it is rarely clear whether people are talking about the same thing. In order to try and clarify the meaning of cultural tourism, a conceptual definition was proposed by Richards (1996), based on the way in which tourists (people travelling away from home) consume culture. According to Littrell (1997), culture can be viewed as comprising what people think (attitudes, beliefs, ideas and values), what people do (normative behaviour patterns, or way of life) and what people make (artworks, artefacts, cultural products). Culture is therefore composed of processes (the ideas and way of life of people) and the products of those processes (buildings, artefacts, art, customs, atmosphere). Looking at culture in this way, cultural tourism is not just about visiting sites and monuments, which has tended to be the traditional view of cultural tourism, but it also involves consuming the way of life of the areas visited. Both of these activities involve the collection of new knowledge and experiences. Cultural tourism can therefore be defined as: The movement of persons to cultural attractions away from their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs (Richards, 1996). According to this conceptual definition, cultural tourism covers not just the consumption of the cultural products of the past, but also of contemporary culture or the way of life of a people or region. Cultural tourism can therefore be seen as covering both heritage tourism (related to artefacts of the past) and arts tourism (related to contemporary cultural production). Although in the past most emphasis in the development of cultural tourism was placed on the development of heritage products, arts tourism is now becoming an increasingly important part of the cultural tourism product. This is partly because arts institutions are beginning to recognise the potential of tourism as a source of income, and partly because of the improved communications and distribution channels available through new technology, which is making arts events more accessible to tourists. Europe therefore stands to gain from cultural tourism not only as a means of (re)valorising its rich historic legacy, but also through exploiting the wealth of cultural creativity in the arts field. This explains why cultural tourism has become a policy concern for a wide range of institutions dealing with cultural heritage, the arts, tourism, recreation and leisure. This also points to one of the central problems in cultural tourism development and marketing the concept has become so broad that cultural tourism is beginning to lose its meaning as a category of tourism. If almost all tourism is cultural, then perhaps we should stop using the term. It is against this background of uncertainty about the concept and nature of cultural tourism that the European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) launched its Cultural Tourism Project in 1991. Initially funded by DGXXIII of the European Commission, the project set out to analyse the cultural tourism market in Europe, and to develop a profile of the European cultural tourist. Reports of the initial phase of the research have been published elsewhere (Richards, 1996). A major feature of the research programme was a survey of visitors to cultural sites across Europe. Almost 6,500 visitors to 26 sites in 9 countries were interviewed in 1992, and the survey was repeated with over 8,000 visitors in 10 European countries in 1997 (Richards, 1998). A total of over 70 cultural sites across Europe have been surveyed, allowing a profile of cultural tourists to be constructed. Further research is being conducted in 1999/2000, expanding the scope of the research to cover key marketing variables. In addition, research has been conducted on cultural tourism motivations (van t Riet, 1995), the production of cultural tourism products by those working both in the cultural sector (Goedhart, 1997) and in the tourism industry (Herrijgers, 1998) and the development of cultural tourism policy (Green, 1998). The analysis presented in this paper is largely based on work conducted for the Cultural Tourism Research Project and related initiatives, such as EUROTEX, a European network for textile crafts tourism. The approach taken in the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Research project was to make motivation central to the definition of cultural tourism. Only tourists who are travelling specifically with the intention to consume culture should be considered as cultural. Who are these real cultural

tourists, and how do they consume regional culture? These are among the key questions addressed by the ATLAS research.

Who are the cultural tourists?

The cultural visitors interviewed during the ATLAS research were generally highly educated, with a professional or managerial occupation and a high income level. Tourists accounted for about 70% of all cultural visitors interviewed, with domestic tourists slightly outnumbering foreign visitors. Of the tourists interviewed, 22% classified themselves as being on a cultural holiday. About a third of the cultural tourists were relatively young (under 30), which conflicts somewhat with the traditional image of cultural tourists as being predominantly older. The relatively high proportion of younger tourists can be explained by the fact that most cultural tourism is concentrated in cities, which are also areas with high levels of young visitors. In rural areas the visitors tend to be older, with a slightly lower level or education and lower incomes. Of the 26 sites surveyed by ATLAS in 1992, six could be classified as being located in rural environments. Tourists surveyed at rural sites exhibited a lower frequency of visitation to cultural attractions, but the average was still over 2 cultural attraction visits per respondent. Rural locations were more likely to be characterised by visits to festivals, and less likely to be focussed on museums than in urban areas. Given the lower frequency of cultural consumption, it is not surprising that visitors to rural areas were also less likely to cite cultural attractions as their motive for travel. Even so, over 40% of respondents said that culture was important or very important in their choice of destination. Cultural tourists in rural areas tended to have an even higher level of cultural capital than those in urban areas. Over 26% of rural respondents had a postgraduate education, compared with 22% in urban areas, and 12% of rural respondents had jobs related to the heritage industry. This tends to support the contention by Munt (1994) that rural areas are particularly attractive for the new cultural intermediaries and members of the service class. These mobile consumers live predominantly in major urban centres, but consume rural spaces frequently in the form of short break holidays. The average rural respondent had taken 1.65 short break holidays in the past 12 months. This comparison shows that rural areas have a strong attraction for cultural tourists, in spite of the apparent lack of real cultural capital in the terms of Zukin (1995). Perhaps the greatest attraction for the rural cultural tourist is the living culture which is now beginning to be packaged for tourist consumption in rural areas.

Why do they travel? The ATLAS research has indicated that the search for new experiences and the desire to learn are the prime motivations for cultural tourism. New experiences of course can be found in all types of environments, so the crucial question in this instance is why cultural tourists are attracted to rural environments in place of the classic high culture sites to be found in urban areas. An indication of the reasons why tourists travel to rural areas can be gained from the research conducted for the EUROTEX project, an EU-funded project to develop crafts tourism in peripheral regions of Europe (Richards, 1999). During the project, interviews were carried out with over 1100 visitors to rural areas in Finland, Greece and Portugal. When asked about their reasons for visiting the destination, natural features such as weather (1.69 average score on 1-5 scale, 1high) and landscape (1.84) were rated most highly. Weather was most important for those visiting the warm climate of Crete, whereas those visiting Lapland tended to score the landscape more highly. Hospitality (2.12) was also seen as being important,

as was the quality of accommodation provided (2.13). Cultural attractions (2.57) and local traditions (2.92) scored relatively low, indicating that for many people culture is a secondary motivation for travel. Even among those indicating that they were on a cultural holiday, cultural attractions only had an average score of 2.7. This tends to confirm that the tourists interviewed were predominantly general rather than specific cultural tourists. Cultural attractions and traditions were judged to be more important in Crete than in Lapland, where the landscape was placed much higher. Those respondents who indicated that their usual type of holiday was cultural were the only respondents who placed cultural attractions (2.7) and traditions (2.4) above the weather (2.9) in their choice of destination. Even for this group, however, landscape (2.0) was the most important choice factor, underlining the important links between culture and nature in the minds of many cultural tourists. Even so, a majority of respondents (61%) had visited some form of cultural attraction during their stay, indicating that while culture is not the most important reason for travel, it does form an important part of the activities undertaken in the destination. This underlines the fact that the motivation for cultural tourists to visit rural areas is likely to rest on a combination of factors, rather than a specific search for cultural experiences alone. This is a fact which has been recognised by the EUROTEX project team in their development of crafts tourism products. The cultural routes developed in the different project regions, for example, have all combined crafts products with other aspects of culture and the natural and cultural landscape.

Cultural Tourism as an Option for Rural Development The research conducted by ATLAS does seem to indicate that cultural tourism is an interesting potential market for many rural regions. Tourists are keen to visit areas of unspoilt natural beauty and authentic cultural heritage. Tourism also provides an essential boost to craft industries in peripheral regions, because tourists want to purchase goods and souvenirs which are considered 'typical' cultural products of the region they are visiting. However, many of the goods and services which tourists consume often have to be 'imported' from other regions, causing high economic leakages and loss of employment opportunities in disadvantaged regions. Unless local production can be stimulated, tourism development is often economically and culturally unsustainable. We therefore need to look more carefully at how the rural is consumed by tourists. As van der Duim and Philipsen (1995) point out, the modern production of nature is closely bound up with the growth of a culture of tourism. National parks and nature reserves, specifically demarcated natural areas, only came into being as increasing numbers of people began to appreciate the value of such environments though tourism. The meanings of landscapes draw on the cultural codes of the society for which they were made (Aitcheson, 1996). Specific landscapes are the product of particular cultural practices. For example, the distinctive crofting landscapes in Scotland are based on small scale landholdings and subsistence agriculture, creating a heroic image of the smallholders struggle against the elements. Such images are now the subject of tourism consumption, which the crofters greatfully exploit to supplement their incomes. The coincidence of many crofting tasks with the tourist season, however, makes the combination difficult. Tourism may therefore come to threaten the very cultural practices on which the maintenance of this distinctive landscape is based (Macritchie, 1995). Rural landscapes reflect not only the productive activities associated with agriculture, but also the cultural interpretations of the rural which are associated with different cultures. This cultural formation of landscape has become even more important now that rural areas are an important site of tourism and leisure consumption. As Munt (1994) notes, the growth of rural tourism is a reflection of a middle class taste for authenticity in consumption, related to the search for a lost rural past. This demand has in turn been met by a growth in real country holidays (Swarbrooke, 1996), which are specifically designed to meet the needs of tourists in search of t he authentic, off the beaten track rural landscape.

Bailey (1996) charts the development of the rural environment in the UK through the interaction of economic restructuring and government intervention. In response to EU quotas and government calls to diversify, farmers have developed a wide range of new activities, including new forms of agricultural production, crafts production, leisure activites and tourism. In spite of the divergence of production processes involves, however, farmers were advised to preserve the traditional form of farm buildings, preserving the aura of rural authenticity in spite of the change in function. A more extreme example of this reconstruction of the rural for tourism is provided by the Irish scheme to develop farm tourism. Guidelines from Bord Failte, the Irish Tourist Board, give explicit instructions to farmers on how to create a rural atmosphere and look to their farms, in which the realities of modern production methods intrude on the desires of the tourists as little as possible (Carroll, 1995). Such simulacra abound in the rural environments consumed by tourists. This cultural construction of the countryside determines the consumption even of those who wish to escape from such inauthentic environments. As Rojek (1993) has demonstrated, the countryside is also appropriated for tourism consumption through the creation of literary landscapes, or places in depicted in fiction which are now being created to whet the appetite of readers and television viewers. These landscapes are classified by Rojek as escape areas, or places in which people can avoid the rising tide of meaningless which characterises late modernity, in the same way as theme parks or black spots. Such transformations of the rural environment are part of a general process of commodification, and the associated production of spectacle for tourism consumption. Cloke (1993) links such developments in the UK to processes of privatisation and deregulation, which have provided more scope for the commerical sector to exploit rural areas. In developing the concept of a rural idyll for tourist consumption, such developments consitute an indentity-giving spectacle, in which nature appears only as a theme. In the same way that Zukin identifies a symbolic economy in cities, the dialectic of space and symbols can therefore be found in the countryside. The growing demand for tourism and leisure, particularly in terms of real experiences, leads to the creation of more facilities for rural tourism , including the creation of heritage centres, interpretation centres, gites, holiday centres, visitor farms, theme parks and golf courses. In the same way that central locations in cities vested of large amounts of real cultural capital are desired locations for capital investment, so particular rural locations also become sites of capital investment on the basis of their distinctive value. The Dutch holiday centre company Center Parcs, for example, stipulates the characteristics of the natural environment in which it wants to locate its parks. The surroundings of the parks should be wooded, and afford opportunities for recreation. The tourism and leisure functions of companies such as Center Parcs begin to compete with agricultural production in terms of the return on investment which can be obtained. As more areas of land are set aside from agricultural production, so the demand from farmers to develop alternative sources of income through tourism and leisure development will become still greater. The addition of cultural elements to natural landscapes to increase their attractiveness to tourists is also becoming evident in areas which might be concieved of as wilderness, such as the polar regions of Scandinavia. The theme park industry has developed in Scandinavia the 1990s, even in relatively thinly populated areas of Norway. These theme parks have to rely largely on the streams of tourists that are attracted to rural areas. There is even a complete postmodern Santa Claus industry developing in Finnish Lapland, Sweden, Norway and Greenland (Pretes, 1995). Finnish Lapland has even decided to dub itself Santa Claus Land, laying claim to being the one and only original home of Santa Claus. This competitive advantage is being cemented by the construction of an underground theme park - Santa Claus World. The reason for this post-industrial boom is the fact that the cultural and natural advantages of Lapland were insufficient in attracting tourists in their desired numbers (Pretes, 1995:8). If wild nature is not sufficient, then simulcra must be provided to increase the edutainment value of the original resource.

The interaction between economic restructuring and increasing tourist demand for rural environments is therefore producing a series of new environments or leisurescapes inhabited by tourists and their hosts. The shape of these environments is not determined so much by nature as it is, or was, but by ideas of how nature should be, or should have been. What Walt Disney achieved in his theme parks is now being replicated on a larger scale in rural areas through the staging of authenticity for tourism. The concept of interaction between nature and human agency to produce specific landscape forms is now being more widely recognised by geographers in the concept of cultural landscapes. UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other bodies are recognising the value of agricultural areas as cultural landscapes which reflect centuries of interaction between human agency and nature. In the Netherlands, van Dockum et al. (1997) have analysed the value of different types of cultural landscapes as part of the international cultural heritage. The cultural construction of the landscape is particularly obvious in the Netherlands, where centuries of struggle to win land from the sea have created internationally important lanscapes such as the polders, country house landscapes (buitenplaatsenlandschap) and coastal dunes. Landscape is one of the most frequently cited reason for tourists visiting the Netherlands, and is identified by 25% of incoming tourists as their most important motive for visiting the country.

It seems therefore that rural areas have a number of advantages as locations to develop tourism. There is a mutual interest from the agricultural sector and from tourism suppliers to develop new products which utilise rural spaces. There is also a ready market for these services among the relatively high spending tourists to be found in the new middle classes across Europe. The rural has become a powerful brand image in an increasingly urbanised world. If sensitively developed, rural tourism can make effective use of local resources and provide much needed income and employment. However, tourism development can also present problems for local communities, particularly if the scale of development is not in keeping with local needs and available resources. Over-development may lead to in-migration of labour rather than local employment, lessening of local economic impact through external investment and an erosion of local cultural structures. Each development therefore needs to be carefully assessed in terms of the potential effects, both positive and negative, on the local economy, culture and environment. Can culture be developed for tourism without loss of local identity? An important function of culture is to provide the members of that culture with an identity that binds the group and distinguishes it from others. In a globalising world, however, there are many who fear that local identities will be washed away in the flood of homogenisation. As Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Levis become global symbols of identity, what future is there for local identities? Will local identities be reduced to souvenirs and other commodities that can be sold to tourists? The crux of the matter is that identities in the (post)modern world have come to be increasingly defined by what we consume. The economy has come to be dominated by the consumption of signs and symbols from which we construct our identities I shop, therefore I am. It becomes increasingly important to transform objects, practices and even relationships into commodities that can be exchanged through the market. The process of commodification is unavoidable we all need to consume commodities in order to live. The problem is the extent to which our cultural and social lives become transformed into commodities, and the extent to which our identities therefore become determined by the consumption of others. This is a central issue in tourism development, since the desire to extract economic benefit from tourism dictates that commodities are produced and sold to tourists. This includes not just physical products, such as souvenirs, but also elements of everyday life, as in the case of performing for tourists, or creating displays of traditional culture. Critics of this process fear that by transforming aspects of their culture into commodities local people will sell themselves and their to tourists, whose consumption will erode or exhaust the cultural resources of the community. Ultimately, this process leads to a loss of

identity, since the locals begin to play the roles expected of them by tourists, rather than living their real lives. This underlines the important point that identities are always negotiated the outcome of the local need to form an identity which binds the community insiders and the views of the outsiders created by this process. These negotiated identities underpin a central paradox of cultural tourism: local identity hinges on the creation of a local culture, intelligible to insiders and indecipherable to outsiders. In developing cultural tourism, however, it is that very local identity that the tourists seek, and which must be made understandable to them. It is the process of opening the local culture to the gaze of the outsider that many fear will lead to a loss of local identity. The very act of interpreting a culture may change its meaning, and the meaning attached to a culture by outsiders may eventually become the meaning of the culture itself. In this situation, local cultures cease to be produced for the local, but are reproduced for the consumption of tourists. In order to resolve this apparent paradox a means needs to be found to allow local residents and tourists to agree to differ on the question of identity. In other words, local identities need to be constructed and presented in such a way that they are recognisable for local residents and tourists alike. Identities therefore need to be flexible, capable of interpretation internally and internally without the danger of compromising its basic constituents. In the past, local identities have been explained to tourists through interpretation, which creates a particular story about the region and its people. The problem is, as Ashworth (1992) has pointed out, that tourists do not possess the cultural codes to understand the local culture as insiders. They therefore have to be presented with an interpretation which essentially reflects their own view of the world, their own culture. Traditional interpretations are therefore often unsatisfactory for tourists and local residents alike many tourists sense that they are not being told the full story and the local residents see themselves as being misrepresented to the tourists. A potential solution to this problem lies in giving both local residents and tourists the opportunity to interpret the identity of the local in their own way. In essence a pool of information about local identities, histories and stories needs to be created, from which both local residents and tourists can create their own interpretations. This is an approach that is based on the concept of creative tourism (Richards, 1999b). Whereas cultural tourism tends to involve the passive p resentation of cultural phenomena to tourists, creative tourism involves an active role for the tourists in developing their own interpretative skills and for local producers in developing innovatory and participative forms of tourism. A good example of the ways in which local identities can be used in the development of creative tourism is the Identity Factory Southeast (Identiteitsfabriek Zuid-Oost: IDZO) in Kempenland region of the southern Netherlands. The IDZO concept stands diametrically opposed to that of the traditional museum (Rooijakkers, 1999). In a museum, authorised versions of culture are produced. Visitors can come and look at the displays, but they can only consume the displayed objects within the interpretive frameworks provided by the museum. Those frameworks tend to generate safe stories about culture unauthorised versions are often censored or excluded. In particular, the needs of the visitor, and the interpretations of the visitor are usually ignored. The IDZO project attempts to present culture as a series of cultural biographies: In a cultural biography the life stories of individuals, people of flesh and blood, are sedimented into an accumulated history of families, neighbourhoods and regions. The relationship between people and their life world is central to the concept. (Rooijakkers, 1999b). The role of the IDZO is to collect and present these biographies in such a way that they can be creatively used and interpreted by the visitor. The key to the flexibility of the system is the

presentation of the information via new technology. The visitor will be able to scan through and read and use the biographies in the manner that is best suited to their own vision of the world, and in so doing will create their own interpretation of the local culture. Two narrative techniques are being utilised to increase the creative dimension of this technique. Firstly the use of a shifted perspective, that presents standard regional clichs, such as the copper -peddler, the peasant and the smuggler, but at the same time steps aside to offer alternative views of these stereotypes. By stepping aside from the stereotypical view, the roots of these stereotypes can be investigated, and the way in which they have been appropriated and exploited for different ends can also be seen. In extreme cases one might even imagine that the tourists could be confronted with the origins of their own tourist stereotypes of the locals, and the stereotypes that the locals have of the tourist. Secondly the narratives are based on fragmentary curiosity, which allows the visitor to zap between different elements of the story, instead of having it unfolded for them in a logical pedantic sequence. This allows the visitor to create their own experiences, avoiding standardised narratives and providing interesting interpretations for different groups of visitors (Rooijakkers, 1999a). The importance of allowing visitors to construct their own stories about the region is emphasised by the important role played by authenticity in tourism consumption. Our research indicates that the need for authentic experiences is high among a broad group of tourists, but particularly among cultural tourists. By allowing tourists to work creatively with cultural biographies and to accumulate their own views of local culture, the perceived authenticity of the tourism product can be increased. Tourists who have the feeling that they are being presented with a staged version of local culture will soon become dissatisfied. Tourists who can choose to construct their own versions of local identity become themselves involved in the staging process, which therefore slips into the background. This importance of authenticity in tourism can be demonstrated by the EUROTEX project, which researched tourists decisions to purchase crafts products. Almost 80% of purchasers indicated that authenticity was either very important or important in their decision to buy. Authenticity was significantly more important for older visitors and for those with a professional occupation, and least important for those in lower occupational groups. Authenticity was also more important to those who had already made a previous visit to the survey region. The variables which tended to exert most influence on authenticity criteria were age and education. Older people were significantly more likely to regard authenticity as important, and to judge authenticity according to links to local history and culture, and on the basis of usefulness than other respondents. Those with higher incomes and professional occupations were less likely to be concerned with usefulness or the fact that an object was made by local people, and were more likely to emphasise uniqueness and links to local culture and history.

Table 1: The Importance of Authenticity

Importance Very important Important Neutral Not very important Totally unimportant Dont know

% respondents 33.6 43.9 17.0 4.2 0 1.2

This research shows that the local aspect of a product is of great impor tance to visitors. The products that they are offered should have a clear link with the region, and should preferably have their own story which is attached to the cultural biography of the region. This is a technique which has been used successfully be the EUROTEX project in Lapland. Traditional crafts objects have been presented alongside a story about their origin, which gives a clear indication of the link between the local cultural and landscape. For example, the traditional Puolinukkaraanu rugs produced in Lapland have a fishscale design woven in wool. The design not only refers to the local fishing culture, but is also a practical reflection of the high price of wool in northern Finland, which dictated the use of an open pattern rather than a densely woven wool pile. The rugs are now being sold in local crafts centres together with cards depicting the traditional designs and telling the story behind the rugs themselves. Table 2: Criteria Used to Judge Authenticity of Crafts Products (Ranked on a scale from 1 most important to 10 least important)

Criteria Craftsmanship Made by local people Usefulness Linked with local culture or history Hand made Unique Genuineness

Mean Rank 2.9 3.3 3.8 3.9 4.0 4.2 4.6

Criteria Decorative Made from original materials

Mean Rank 4.6 4.6

The EUROTEX project indicates that one can make effective use of local culture to generate authentic tourist products. However, one also needs to be aware of the needs of different groups of visitors. Specialist textile tourists for example place more emphasis on the authenticity of local textiles than other tourists. The need for authenticity can also vary according to the national culture of the tourists themselves. German tourists appear to be more concerned that the objects are made by local people than Dutch tourists, for example. Table 3: Authenticity criteria rankings by nationality

Criteria Craftsmanship Made by local people Usefulness Linked with local culture Hand made Unique Genuineness Decorative Made from original materials

German 2 1 5 3 4 8 6 9 7

Finnish 1 2 3 5 9 4 7 7 5

French 1 4 2 7 5 8 6 3 9

Dutch 2 8 3 7 3 6 3 1 9

Portuguese 1 2 8 4 2 5 9 6 7

British 2 5 7 1 3 4 9 8 5

Careful thought therefore needs to be given to the relationship between the local culture and cultural identity, the cultural products and processes offered for tourism consumption and the cultural needs of the tourists themselves. Conclusions Our analysis indicates that tourism can be an effective means to cultural and economic development in rural areas. Cultural tourism, and particularly creative tourism can help to strengthen local identity, as long as the local community is empowered to recover its history and develop it in ways that are appropriate for the local cultural context. Alongside this, the needs of the tourist have to be recognised and catered for. This can best be achieved by providing flexible interpretations and narratives, which allow the visitor to construct their own views of local identity.

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