Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cultural Tourism

Cultural tourism is for people who are interested in an authentic glimpse into a local population's day-to-day life, their community, history and culture. These types of tours are conducted with sensitivity towards the local people, and with an understanding that tourists come as guests. Guides for these tours are usually part of the indigenous culture, often having prior personal relationships with the people you meet.

Many of the most rewarding cultural tours are inexpensive and informal. They can be as diverse as home-stays with Tongan Islanders, or spending time with the Bedouin tribes in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Community Foundation of South Sinai needs your help with conservation of the Sinai cultural environment and Bedouin heritage.

The challenge of cultural tourism is to foster both economic development and to preserve the local customs and way of life. Economic development in a globalized world often means that tourist dollars are funneled to large tour companies, resorts and hotel chains. Companies that offer cultural tours usually work with small local businesses and individual tour guides. They tend to build personal relationships within the communities to which they send visitors, and try and ensure that the maximum economic benefit from the tours remains within the communities.
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