Prince Charming or Ugly Toad ? Tourism, Impacts and Representations

Elisabeth Dumont
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Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors and features among the largest key industries of the 21st century. As such it is often perceived as a regeneration and development factor. Tourism development however, brings about different types of impacts, positive but also negative. The paper and presentation will focus on these impacts, their perceptions from different stakeholders and the consequences “reality breaks” between facts and fiction or “availability biases” can have for sustainability. It will start by presenting a matrix of impacts, compiled from an extensive literature review, interviews and questionnaires administered throughout Europe in the context of PICTURE. This project the only EU project to deal with cultural tourism in the sixth framework programme, aims a Pro-active Management of the Impacts of Cultural Tourism upon Urban Resources Economies. The presentation will then move on to the different perceptions of tourism and its impacts according to the type of stakeholder involved and highlight the diversity of perceptions. It will then contrast facts with fiction, expected and perceived impacts of tourism against measured or stated consequences to bring out divergences, before drawing conclusions and summarise the concrete suggestions for sustainability that will be made throughout the presentation.

Keywords: Tourism, Development, Sustainable, Impacts, Representation, Diversity
Stream: Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Corporate Culture of Tourism and Sustainability

Elisabeth Dumont

Researcher, LEMA, University of Liege

Elisabeth Dumont works a researcher at the University of Liege, (Ulg-Lema), coordinating different international projects on cultural tourism, development as well as heritage conservation. One of them, PICTURE, aims to develop a framework for the proactive management and sustainable development of cultural tourism in Europe. She is interested in the links between tourism and development and tourism and well-being. She also knows the other side of the coin as she worked in the private sector related to culture. For instance, she took part in the launch of a start-up selling cultural products over the Internet and worked as a marketing and business development manager for a major publishing company. Besides, she volunteered across the world and still does in a local cultural centre. Education-wise, she holds an honours degree in Germanic Philology from the Universities of Liege and Edinburgh, and a Master of Arts (Literature and Cultural Studies) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ref: S06P0343