Tourism development at World Heritage Site: The case of Loire Valley in France

Jean-René Morice, Yi-De Liu, Chi-Fan Lin

Abstract


In 2000, UNESCO included a linear cultural landscape along a 200 kilometre stretch in the middle reaches of the Loire Valley, between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire. The management of this extensive cultural landscape is exemplary, innovative but also complicated. The aim of this article is to explore the challenges faced and strategies adopted by the Loire Valley as a World Heritage Site in the development of tourism. Quantitative and qualitative data were both used to enhance the depth and breadth of analysis. The work presented refers to three sources of data. The findings reveal that tourism development in the Loire Valley has some challengers, such as short stays of tourists, slow growth in tourist numbers, uneven visitor numbers between castles, and the blurred role of World Heritage status in destination image. However, three different aspects of strategies have been applied by the authorities to enhance tourism development, including governance and marketing, attraction development and activation, as well as synergies of local communities.


Keywords


Tourism development; World Heritage Site; Cultural landscape; Loire Valley; France

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