Heritage Tourism in Africa: Residents’ Perceptions of African-American and White Tourists

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sevil Sonmez, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The growing interest in heritage tourism in Africa is reflected in the Cairo Declaration of 1995, which was adopted under the auspices of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The objective was for African countries to identify, develop, and preserve a number of World Heritage Sites in cooperation with international agencies and special interest groups. Ultimately, it was expected that such development would enhance the promotion of cultural, thus heritage and ethnic tourism as part of the continent’s economic development strategy. A number of forts and castles built by Europeans are currently being restored for heritage tourism in Ghana and the country also has several vital cultural resource sites that are critical components of the “Slave Route Project.” Cape Coast and Elmina are two communities in Ghana currently receiving an increasing number of international visitors, including a significant number of African-Americans to the three World Heritage Sites located in the two towns. The purpose of the article is to examine how residents of Cape Coast and Elmina perceive African-American and White tourists. Data for the study were gathered in Cape Coast and Elmina through interviewer-administered surveys. Results indicate significant differences in residents’ perceptions of Black and White visitors. The study concludes that considerable care must be exercised in the development and utilization of historically sensitive areas and properties for tourism.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
heritage tourism, african americans, diaspora, residents' perceptions, africa, cairo declaration, world heritage sites, tourism

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