“2nd Asian Academy for Heritage Management Conference” hosted at the Institute For Tourism Studies

The gardens in Suzhou, the temples of Kyoto, the mystical streets of Varanasi or the Cobbled walkways of Macao are examples of historic urban areas that have long captivated and charmed travelers. Although the benefits, impacts, implications and consequences of tourism on cultural heritage have been much discussed, there are both persistent and emerging gaps in our knowledge of particular issues involved in achieving meaningful and sustainable approaches to heritage tourism in historic urban areas. To further probe into these issues, the Institute For Tourism Studies (IFT) and the Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM) jointly organised the “2nd Asian Academy for Heritage Management Conference”, themed “Urban Heritage and Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities”. The conference will also examine the relationship between the conservation and management of urban heritage and the development of cultural tourism. This conference is an outcome of a long-standing partnership between IFT and AAHM. The Asian Academy for Heritage Management was established for the purpose improving professional training and enhancing management capacity in fields related to culture heritage by UNESCO and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). IFT was invited to be one of the founding members in 2003. The 1st Asian Academy for Heritage Management Conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2006 with the theme “Asian Approaches to Conservation”. It is the Institute’s honour to have this opportunity to co-host the conference with AAHM, which has not only provided a platform for scholars from around the world to share their findings and encourage academic exchange. With the various case studies done on Macao cultural tourism, valuable suggestions have been presented for the sustainable development of Macao urban heritage conservation and tourism. The opening ceremony was hosted by Dr. Fanny Vong, President of IFT, Dr. Timothy Curtis, Head of Culture Unit of UNESCO Bangkok and Dr. Gamini Wijesuriya, Project Manager (Sites Unit) of the ICCROM. Over 90 delegates from Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Mainland China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR; Participants comes from different background including cultural unit executives, tourism and hospitality professionals, architects and urban planners, executives, researchers, academics and graduate students were invited to attend this conference. As a platform of discussion about urban heritage and tourism, ideas are shared, discussed, and debated in the conference. Papers of both applied and conceptual orientation are presented on the following four sub-themes within the contexts of historic urban areas: - Managing change in historic urban areas in the face of tourism development
- Adaptive re-use of urban heritage resources as hospitality venues
- Heritage interpretation: By whom? For whom?
- Heritage tourism’s contributions to host communities Specialist speakers include︰ - Dr. Richard A. Engelhardt
UNESCO Charge de Mission and Senior Advisor to the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture - Prof. Mike Robinson
Chair of Tourism and Culture of Leeds Metropolitan University, UK - Prof. Christopher Ryan
Professor of University of Waikato, New Zealand

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