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2015 Maria Gravari-Barbas, “Conserved by, conserved for tourism: issues on the relationship between heritage and tourism”

At the opening session of the Chair’s 2015 Montreal Round Table, Professor Maria Gravari-Barbas, Director of the UNESCO Chair on Culture, Tourism and Development at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, presented a lecture on the relationship between heritage and tourism. She explored the impact of several recent trends including the break-down of hierarchies, the democratization of heritage, the co-construction of heritage and the mobility of populations that leads to multi-territorial communities. She contended that, contrary to the prevailing image of tourism as a destructive force, tourists can play an important role in conserving historic places. She concluded by proposing a new paradigm for heritage conservation that favours the re-use of space and sustainable management.