Program Category: Advancing Archaeology in Southeast Asia
Type/Category: Workshop / Archaeology
Date/Duration: 5-8 February 2018 (4 days / 3 nights)
Venue: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Collaborator/Partner: APSARA National Authority of Cambodia
Registration Fee: $USD 75 (includes coffee breaks, lunch, workshop pack, transport to/from the APSARA Authority and site visit. Fee does not include accommodation in Siem Reap.)
This knowledge-sharing workshop is targeted at managers of archaeological and heritage sites to help share ideas and best practices on how to introduce and develop sustainable tourism practices in order to protect archaeological and cultural heritage sites. Invited speakers will be asked to present successful and innovative case studies of sustainable tourism / tourism management projects and initiatives the stimulate ideas and discussion; site visits will also showcase on-the-ground tourism management efforts. The workshop will also involve the participation of observers on a fee-paying basis.
Tourism is an important source of revenue in Southeast Asia, and some of the most popular tourist attractions in the region are archaeological sites. Tourism is a double edged sword, however, since while increased numbers of tourists bring additional revenue, it also increases the chances for archaeological sites to be damaged. The risks posed by tourism include, but are not limited to, vandalism, littering, chokepoints and general deceased visitor experience.
A recent survey of news reports from the region highlights various problems faced by archaeological sites with regards to tourists:
- Govt to Only Allow 15 Visitors at a Time at Borobudur Temple http://jakartaglobe.id/news/govt-allow-15-visitors-time-borobudur-temple/
- Hoteliers Left in Limbo in Bagan
- Banteay Chhmar: How Cambodia’s ancient cities are boosting tourism and community development
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Downside of Cultural Tourism
- My Son Sanctuary entrance fee to increase next year
- Angkor Code of Conduct video
- Visitor numbers up at UNESCO site
- Racy temple dancers surrender
- Regency to boost hobbit tourism
This workshop takes as a starting point that once opened, tourism cannot be separated from archaeological sites but measures can be taken to mitigate the long term sustainability of the site. At the same time, the issues faced by archaeological tourism sites across Southeast Asia are similar due to the similarities in tourist behavior, cultures, site types and climates. This workshop provides an opportunity for site managers to learn from each other and understand how tourism-related problems can be mitigated or solved.
Tourism, while an important source of revenue for the country, also poses long-term conservation issues at archaeological sites. Developing best practices towards sustainable tourism will help site managers balance the needs of site conservation with maximizing revenue potential.
- Expose site managers to a range of tourism-related problems and solutions that may be encountered.
- Develop a list of best practices for custodians of archaeological sites for managing tourists.
- Create friendships and networks between site managers to help share expertise.
- Site managers: Participants of the workshop learn best practices, and in turn transmit values to their staff
- Tour operators and Tourism Industry professionals
- Tourists and site visitors
- Archaeological sites