Sunday, 11 May, 8:30

The other face of tourism:
meaningful experiences, discovery and respect

Marjeta Keršič Svetel, Slovenia

Tourism is a major economic activity in modern world - but it is (or it could
and should be!) much more than that. It can provide people with endless
possibilities of discovery, experiental learning, inspiration and personal
growth. The need to understand the world arround us is a profund human need -
just as the need to belong, to be respected and to pass one's values to the
next generation. Heritage interpretation can help fulfill these needs and
connect people to places, monuments, stories, cultural and natural assests in
a profund, personal and meaningful way. It is very important to see tourism in
its multifunctional potential if we are to achieve millenium goals,
sustainability and improve quality of life. Focusing only on the economic
importance of tourism we often pay little attention to other roles of tourism: a tool for all life learning, social cohesion, forming common values and
historical memory, preserving local identity and multicultural tolerance.
Interpretation as a special, strategically planned communication can with
carefully designed experiences and communication interventions make leisure an
outstanding opportunity for personal growth and a more tolerant, sustainable
and knowledgeble society.

Marjeta Keršič Svetel first graduated in history and ethnology at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. During her teenage years she also studied modern dance and attended theatrical perfomance workshops. As she started to work for Slovenian National TV, she finished specialistic course in media communication and film directing. Her second postgraduate study was Nature conservation at the Biotechnology departement of the University of Ljubljana and Birkbeck College, University of London. After leaving her career as a successful documentary filmmaker, she dedicated her work to sustainable development of mountain regions and particularly to sustainable heritage and nature experience tourism in rural areas. She co-authored the curriculum of Tourism Higher education Study Program in Slovenia and is the author of the curriculum of the School of Sustainable Tourism Erudio in Ljublajna, where she teaches heritage interpretation and experience design as a part-time lecturer. From 2008 she is permanently employed by the Slovenian National Institute of Public Health as an expert in strategic communication and experience design in preventive medicine. 


Monday, 12. May, 8:30

History will teach us nothing, or?
On eco-museums, interpretation and sustainability

Darko Babić, Croatia

Contemporary heritage management, where heritage interpretation plays an important role, needs to take into account all relevant factors, be they social or economic besides simply preservation . It must ensure tangible and intangible benefits for local communities, and work towards sustainability and, thus, development of  society in general. Critical heritage studies over the last few years have significantly influenced our perceptions of heritage. Stress on a participative approach became crucial where multi/poli-vocality is, or supposed to be, self-understandable. Surprisingly, this practice could be easily tracked to the early 1970s and the eco-museums movement as significant revealing experience. This paper intends to demonstrate how the    practices of eco-museums could be interlinked  with, and become valuable for, current heritage management and, in addition,the role(s) heritage interpretation, as a profession, could have in all heritage related issues.

Darko Babić holds a PhD in heritage studies and works as a senior researcher and lecturer at the Sub Department of Museology and Heritage Management (University of Zagreb, Croatia). He is active in contributing towards the advancement of the profession by serving as a treasurer of ICOM-ICTOP, a board member of ICOM Croatia, a member of the Supervisory Committee of Interpret Europe and as an external associate of the University of Barcelona. Besides being in charge of two EU-funded heritage related projects, Darko acts as part-time consultant for museum and heritage projects. 


Tuesday, 13. May, 8:30

There’s no such thing as sustainable tourism - but is there tourism interpretation for sustainability?

Gianna Moscardo, Australia

Despite much academic and government discussion about sustainable tourism there is little evidence that such a thing exists or that tourism makes a net positive contribution to sustainability. Where there is evidence, however, that tourism can contribute to sustainability there is always some form of interpretation. This paper will review the reasons why there is no such thing as sustainable tourism and argue for a move towards re-conceptualising tourism as tool for sustainability. It will examine the critical role of interpretation in this new approach to tourism, highlighting issues, challenges and opportunities. It will present some insights from an Australian experience of using tourism interpretation as a strategy for improving the sustainability of a destination community. It will conclude by suggesting some ways to move the relationship between interpretation and tourism forward in an uncertain world.

Dr. Gianna Moscardo is a Professor in the School of Business at James Cook University.  Prior to joining JCU Gianna was the Tourism Research project leader for the CRC Reef Research for eight years with responsibility for research evaluating interpretation as a tourist management strategy.  She has been involved in a number of interpretation design and evaluation projects and a keynote speaker at several conferences including Australian and New Zealand Interpretation conferences.

With the support of the Culture programme of the European Union