Finding a Place for Heritage in South-East Asian Cities

Authored by: Joan Henderson

The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Tourism

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415523516
eBook ISBN: 9780203120958
Adobe ISBN: 9781136324789


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There are inherent tensions between the conservation of built heritage and urban development, with both competing for space and financial resources. Tourism is an additional complication in cities popular with visitors and has an uneasy and contested relationship with heritage. Tourists can damage the physical fabric of built heritage together with more intangible aspects because of overuse and excessive commercialisation, but they are also a potentially positive force in support of conservation. The interconnectedness of heritage, urban development and tourism, and the difficulties and dynamics of the relationship are evident in many larger South-East Asian metropolitan centres, which are the focus of this chapter. The region’s urban environments are developing rapidly there in ways that have destroyed much built heritage and threaten the survival of any that remains. Tourist interest is frequently cited in arguments for protecting heritage, but other policy goals appear to take priority and the future is one of some uncertainty.

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