The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Tourism for Culture - Culture of Tourism: A Unifying Aspect of Cultures?

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Contributions to:
Email: Ingo Mörth (Linz)

ABSTRACT: In the modern (working) society, in which the need for relaxation is increasingly no longer caused by physical tiredness but by mental exhaustion, recreation in the sense of change of scenery contrasted to relaxation is gaining more and more in importance. In this context precisely the cultural qualities of the vacation area can contribute to the desired variety.
For this reason tourism worldwide is increasingly focusing (also) on culture. People in Bavaria as in the Salzkammergut are seeking out culture, sightseeing opportunities and art treasures as well as folklore and cultural events on Greek coasts and along the Loire; cultural interest is the stimulus for trips to Florence just as to Kyoto, London or Budapest, and the list can be expanded at will.

Culture vacationers are, on the one hand, travelers, for whom culture is the main purpose of their vacation, that is, people who travel for study or educational purposes, those hungry for knowledge, who seek out near and distant lands and cultures (about 10% of travelers). On the other hand, travelers seeking relaxation also enrich their vacation with sightseeing and cultural events. These "also cultural travelers" (approximately 80% of all travelers, according to German travel analysts, have visited at least one sightseeing attraction or have attended a cultural event at the place where they spent their vacation.

Tourism has indisputably grown beyond the specific level of cultural tourism into a contact of cultures, those of the travelers and those of the host countries traveled. Travelers, whether they intend to or not, bring their native culture with them to the vacation regions, and the hosts see themselves confronted with growing demands of scenically designing their own culture for the tourists. This situation raises questions of cultural identity and the loss threatening it as well as questions of how one can harmonize the social and cultural problems of tourism in general.

In tourism various models of this encounter of different cultures have been developed. These address the area between "travel colonialism", on the one hand, and an adopted self-conscious hospitality of the hosts, on the other hand, and have resulted in specific "cultures of travel" (and of being traveled and playing host).

This section will be devoted to the entire spectrum of the problematic outlined here:

Themenkreis 1: Kultur des Reisens
Themenkreis 2: Indigene Kulturen und Tourismus
Themenkreis 3: Kultur und Tourismus - ein problemloses Verhältnis?