As stated by the European Commission in its presentation of the European Year of Cultural Heritage:
Cultural heritage is the fabric of our lives and societies. It surrounds us in the buildings of our towns and cities and is expressed through natural landscapes and archaeological sites.
It is not only made up of literature, art and objects but also by the crafts we learn, the stories we tell, the food we eat and the films we watch.
Cultural heritage brings communities together and builds shared understandings of the places we live in. The digital world too, is transforming the way we access heritage.
The Forum on International Tourism and the Environment will call on students to:
- Reflect on the ways in which their cultural heritage has an impact on the specific distinctness of their environments (rural and urban, natural environments, historic monuments, archaeological sites, landscapes and seascapes);
- Consider how “cultural heritage” can be capitalized on, for economic and social growth, and how it interacts with touristic activity;
- Consider the paradoxes and tensions that emerge when “cultural heritage” is showcased as a touristic object, commodified or petrified, and how these tensions can be avoided.
The project is multi-layered, aiming to create opportunities for information and global best practices on topics of cultural tourism development through interaction between student communities and academic communities in the tourism, culture and environment fields, through an online information platform (www.myfite.org) that aims to be a hub for those concerned with harnessing tourism for sustainable development;
We also call for individual student engagement in a personal creative project, through a short movie clip competition supported by the IFI, Institutes of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia and the Institute for International Tourism Studies (George Washington University), culminating in an in-person championship in Bali in June 2018, which will take place during the FITE international conference.