Keywords: urban cultural tourism, heritage-based sustainable development, experience economy, creative tourism, cultural heritage, culture, sustainability, heritage tourism, cultural capital, experiential tourism
Urban cultural tourism: creative approaches for heritage-based sustainable development
The paper has a theoretical-methodological approach: its aim is to analyse the nexus between cultural tourism and urban economies, and to foster a heritage-based sustainable development. The paper starts considering the role of heritage tourism in local development by stressing that tourism can bring about a positive response to regional competitiveness, regarding its positive influence on regional employment and income. Then, the paper investigates the specific problematic context of urban cultural tourism, identifying different stakeholders, values and assets or capitals involved. Hence, the dense concepts of 'cultural capital' and of 'experiential tourism' have been stressed, too, because of their importance, especially in the so-called era of 'access economy'. Subsequently, the paper explores the shift from 'traditional' cultural tourism toward creative tourism, meant as an evolution of cultural tourism directed toward an engaged and authentic experience, encompassing communities' lifestyles. Finally, the conditions for a human sustainable development of heritage cities have been deepened.