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The World Heritage Status: Implications for Destination Development: The case of the World Heritage site Curonian Spit, Lithuania
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Tourism Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Cultural Heritage of a destination is very important to determine, particularly when it’s aiming to become a tourist destination. To develop tourism more rapidly many locations are eager to get the nomination of The World Heritage site, and when a destination becomes the World Heritage site status more regulations and limitations will be applied to a site by UNESCO. The main problem is that in some cases are identified a lack of the focus on the systematic long – term management plans for sustainable destination development.

In this study, a particular attention is given to the case of the Curonian Spit – nominated to the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 2000. The study takes into the consideration the lack of guidelines for heritage conservation and heritage tourism. It focuses on the detailed analysis of the processes concerning the Curonian Spit World Heritage management. Furthermore, the main Curonian Spit tourism identities which worldwide are recognized.

The paper aims to identify how the World Heritage status affects tourism destination development in Curonian Spit. The inductive approach helps to identify main managerial patterns and major stakeholders’ knowledge connected to the site’s CP managerial weaknesses and strengths.

The results show that there are several major problems regarding tourism development in Curonian Spit that were identified through semi - structured interviews and content analysis. Hence, current study outlines the status of the current relationship between heritage and tourism, management goals and examines tourism management on the Curonian Spit.

Existing problems are the absence of appropriate national legislation, lack of managerial institutions competence regarding World Heritage and tourism management together and none existing cooperation between managerial institutions and the local stakeholders.

Nowadays, Curonian Spit is more attractive for international tourism market, but it cannot be proven that this is UNESCO title’s outcome. On the topic of Curonian Spit, no managerial changes were identified before and after UNESCO but gathered information provided clear managerial organization’s viewpoint on the Curonian Spit management effectiveness. No long – term goals are made because according to the Lithuania’s National laws report it should include only one-year transportation, infrastructure, and management plans.

 Gathered data approve theoretical assumptions that heritage and tourism can be managed together and provide beneficial outcomes; however managerial competencies and goals are overlapping with each other.

It is recognized that in tourism development the Curonian Spit is not growing from the infrastructure perspective. The municipality interested in further expansion of the tourism activities on the territory of the Curonian Spit and in the expansion of the physical infrastructure. However, the development should proceed in accordance with the needs of local nature and landscape.

Growing visitors’ number leads to an assumption that Curonian Spit as the resort is sustainably managed, however, the main solution that should be considered regarding heritage tourism development in the Curonian Spit is that Lithuania’s governmental municipality’s legal systems should be rewritten with considerations regarding sustainable location development.

All gathered data leaves the room for further investigations, such as providing more specific examples how system law is compatible or incompatible with heritage and tourism development goals. It is possible to investigate a correlation between several factors: such as local business and managerial institutions or eco - tourism development in WHS etc., however, due to the specific goals of the case, results and findings can be generalized just to a certain degree. It is believed that this study and data is valid and can lie down as research gap filler that was mentioned in the literature review, however, gathered data is relevant just for Curonian Spit case.

In conclusion, this thesis identifies that World Heritage status in Curonian Spit case does not affect tourism development, but explains that Lithuanian Governmental laws and stakeholders lack of communication are main difficulties regarding destination development and makes way for future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
coastal tourism, Curonian Spit/ Kuršių Nerija, heritage, heritage protection system
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-15809OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-15809DiVA: diva2:748875
Available from: 2014-09-22 Created: 2014-09-22 Last updated: 2017-09-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
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