Heritage and community: the opportunities and challenges of cultural tourism

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 19–21 September 2024

Hybrid event: Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana + Zoom

About the symposium

The fifth anniversary Scientific Symposium of ICOMOS Slovenia is dedicated to the role of local and especially heritage communities in facing the challenges involved in cultural heritage tourism.
This year, we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Venice Charter, which, as a fundamental document, has defined the development of the ICOMOS association and the protection of immovable cultural heritage practically worldwide. We are also on the threshold of the 20th anniversary of the Faro Convention, which highlights the multifaceted importance of heritage for society. In these circumstances, this International Symposium will address the topic that is proving to be a significant and often crucial developmental challenge in many local contexts. We will examine what cultural heritage tourism brings to the local environments as a development potential. Inappropriately managed cultural heritage tourism can contribute to the degradation of cultural heritage. Therefore, the tourism-related issues of social, ethical, cultural, environmental, and economic rights must be confronted and addressed holistically. In line with the objectives of the 2022 ICOMOS International Cultural Heritage Tourism Charter, it is essential to place the protection of cultural heritage and community rights in the centre of heritage tourism policies and projects, encourage stakeholder participation and participatory governance in cultural heritage and tourism, and ensure that cultural heritage and tourism management adheres to the sustainable development goals, focused primarily on maintaining the heritage and ensuring the equitable and inclusive development of local communities.

In the context of three thematic sections, the Symposium will address as many challenges faced while implementing the sustainable development policy for cultural heritage sites as possible.

The first thematic section will highlight the role of the protection of cultural heritage and community rights as the foundations for the development of cultural heritage tourism. In practice, the fact that well-preserved heritage is a prerequisite for heritage tourism is far too often neglected. Meanwhile, in local contexts, it is usually the heritage communities that bring together conservation interests and development opportunities through inclusive participation.

The second thematic section will address the issues of the pitfalls of touristification and how to overcome them, as identifying and analysing the challenges faced by local communities and managers is crucial. In this section, we will confront the diverse interests of all those involved in the processes of heritage protection and its development management. Identifying synergies and differences is essential for effective cooperation. Naturally, in this regard, everyone is most welcome to present examples of good practices.

The third thematic section, titled Cultural Heritage Tourism and the Role of Heritage Labeling, reviews the significance of various sorts of heritage and tourism product labeling. Contributions presenting the experience of sites that are part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the European Heritage Label, the European Cultural Routes and others are very welcome, as inclusions on these lists, while recognising the importance of heritage, are also directly associated with their tourism potentials and often considered as tourism products or parts thereof. We will focus on the benefits and challenges that labeling means for sustainable and inclusive future development of local communities.

Introductory speaker
The introductory lecture will be given by Professor Dr Celia Martínez Yáñez, a member of the ICOMOS Board, Vice-President of the ICOMOS International Committee for Cultural Tourism, and coordinator of the latest ICOMOS International Charter on Cultural Heritage Tourism.

Scientific committee:
Dr Sonja Ifko, chair
Dr Iana Biylents
Dr Jasna Fakin Bajec
Dr Tanja Hohnec
Dr Ljubica Knežević Cvelbar
Dr Robert Peskar

Organising committee:
Nataša Gurnick Jurgec, chair
Damjana Pečnik
Marija Režek Kambič
Gaja Žgank

The topics of the Symposium:

I   Protection of cultural heritage and community rights – the foundations of cultural heritage tourism development
II  The pitfalls of touristification – how to overcome them?
III  Cultural heritage tourism and the role of heritage labeling

Submission of abstracts
Extended deadline for submitting abstracts is 10. July 2024.The deadline for the submission of applications with the required contents is 15. June 2024:
– the selected topic (I, II, III)
– title
– abstract in English (maximum 250 words)
– author’s name and surname, organisation
– contact information
E-mail for any further questions: info@icomos.si

Language of the Symposium
The Symposium will be held in English.

Symposium proceedings
Until 30 June 2024, the Scientific Committee will review and select the summaries for presentations. Then, the authors will be given instructions for the presentations at the Symposium.

The abstracts s from the conference will be published in the book of abstracts in electronic and printed form.
The contributions presented at the Symposium will be published in the ICOMOS Slovenia 5 scientific monograph.

Excursion will be organized on 21 September 2024. We will visit three sites:
Podzemlje Pece by mine train
Center of Space Technologies Herman Potočnih Nordung
Former upper monastery of the Žiče Charterhouse, the Mies van der Rohe award finalist for 2024

Registration and abstract submission will be open from 15 April 2024 at this link.

The final registration date is 5 September 2024.

Registration fee
EUR 140 for participants from the EU and the rest of the world / EUR 100 for ICOMOS members
EUR 100 for hybrid participation from the EU and the rest of the world / EUR 80 for ICOMOS members
EUR 80 for participants from the non-EU countries of Southeast Europe / EUR 60 for ICOMOS members
EUR 50 for hybrid participation from the non-EU countries of Southeast Europe / EUR 40 for ICOMOS members
EUR 30 for students / EUR 20 for hybrid participation

Symposium tour fee
EUR 70

Symposium organisers
ICOMOS Slovenija

Symposium co-organisers
Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia
Institute for Sustainable Heritage, University of Ljubljana

In cooperation with
the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana

The event is financially supported by
the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO

Important dates:

First call for summary submission: March 2024
Second call for summary submission: April 2024
Start of registration: 15 April 2024
Extended deadline for submitting abstracts is 10. July 2024. (Summary submission: 15 June 2024)
Notification of accepted submissions: 30 June 2024
End of registration: 5 September 2024
Programme finalisation: 5 September 2024
Symposium: 19–21 September 2024

Contact and information: www.icomos.si

Links to the information about accommodation options in Ljubljana:

Symposium flyer pdf

(Skupno 904 obiskov, današnjih obiskov 1)