International Conference on Religious Heritage and Tourism: Types, Trends and Challenges
UNWTO in collaboration with State Secretariat of Tourism of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain, and the City Hall of Elche organized an International conference on Religious heritage and tourism: types, trends and challenges on 27-28 November 2014, Elche, Spain.
With millions of people travelling across the world each year, never before have so many people been to so many places and been exposed to such a diversity of cultures. Among the many motivations for travelling, experiencing different ways of life and visiting cultural or religious sites rank high on travelers’ lists. Travelers are becoming more and more interested in opportunities to learn about places by experiencing their culture and history, including their religious heritage. Through this journey, interactions between individuals and their host communities, each with their own cultural identities, can make important contributions to building tolerance, respect and mutual understanding—the building blocks of universal values.
Religious heritage sites have an immeasurable value, both inherent and as a source of public education, identity and pride. Their integrity and authenticity must be conserved, so that the values they represent are available to current and future generations.
The aim of the Conference was to raise awareness of the importance of religious heritage in tourism development and to discuss best practices in developing them sustainably for tourism purposes, with a view to fulfilling their enormous potential for local stakeholders and visitors alike.