Optimizing Slow Heritage Tourismscapes

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 4831

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School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix, 411 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004-0690, USA
Interests: authenticity and authentication of heritage; social and economic viability of different forms of tourism; wellness and wellbeing through alternate healing/preventive therapeutic settings and programs
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Dear Colleagues,

Recent studies have noted that consumers are re-assessing their lifestyles and leaning away from conspicuous consumption practices to activities, such as slow travel, that enhance their overall wellbeing and quality of life. Slow travel champions the desire for soft lifestyles, resistance to speed enslavement, and ethical engagements with host communities (Oh, Asaf & Balaglu 2014; Serdene 2020; Conway & Timms 2010). Although its roots can be traced to the slow food movement in Italy (Lowry & Lee 2016), it can relate to other alternative forms of tourism such as pro-poor tourism, community-based tourism and heritage tourism. In fact, ethnic food tourism is often considered to be a subset of heritage tourism as it relies heavily on traditional ways of cooking, presenting and serving food. Slow movement can also be comprehended in a broad sociocultural context in developed and industrial societies with high cultural demand which has resulted in practices associated with disempowerment, powerlessness and dehumanization (Conway & Timms 2010; Gheorghe & Marin-Pantelescu 2020). According to Heitman, Robinson and Povey, “the primary idea of slow travel is its relationship and connection with culture and the opportunities it offers for visitors to become a part of a local community, often using local services, and travelling slowly enough to enjoy more detailed aspects of the places that they pass through and is seen more purely through their relationship with their host community” (2011, p. 119). Slow tourism promotes authentic experience that has a slow tempo and resonates with best practices of host communities desired for themselves and their guests. It can be planned and cocreated at the host community level, and can promote pro-poor, participatory and ‘bottom-up’ management practices (Caffyn 2012; Lowry & Lee 2016).

Enslaved to fast pace in pre-covid times, people today are left with ample time as they remain engulfed in an era of restricted mobility and social distancing. Staycations and proximate travel/mooring are the new norm. Travelers quest for slow journeys to enjoy moments of quiet, immersion, and connections with host communities and nature. The purpose is to deeply engage and participate in slow activities such as training, education, volunteerism and facilitate host participation. There is a desire for soft authentic experiences to delicately absorb the visited culture, treat local people with respect, and tread softly so that they do not leave any ecological and cultural footprints in the host environment (Oh et al. 2016; Özdemir & Çelebi 2018). In summary, popular slow tourism goals are grounded in physiological benefits and psychological wellness themes such as revitalization, self-enrichment, self-reflection, mindfulness, meaningfulness, and social bonding (Chhabra 2020; Oh et al. 2016). This soft form of tourism is about maximizing optimal state of mind and experiences in harmonious heritage tourismscapes that stimulate overall wellbeing of visited and visiting societies.

The prevailing pandemic has given tourism destinations, across the globe, an opportunity to pause and reset their agenda and priorities to align with long term sustainable goals (G€ossling, Scott & Hall 2020; Ioannides & Gyimóthy 2020). It has taught some harsh lessons and serves as a warning against the pitfalls of overtourism. With the development and approval of vaccines, there is hope that the chaos and devastation caused by the pandemic will be overcome in the near future. In these testing times, the soaring demand for slow experiences complement the sustainability agenda of heritage destinations which are aiming to be economically and culturally viable. Ethical consumption, an important goal of slow tourism, particularly advocates using cultural and natural resources with in ‘our’ limits.

In summary, this emerging and meaningful form of sustainable tourism is opening innovative and localized pathways which call for research based on a variety of themes. This special issue of ‘Heritage’ focuses on optimization of slow heritage tourismscapes, a harmonious assemblage of ethical and multifaceted configurations of tangible and intangible heritage offerings, to promote overall wellbeing of visited and visiting communities. This call is open to innovative, insightful and multidisciplinary research papers that are based on (but not limited to) the following themes:

Caffyn, A. (2012). Advocating and implementing slow tourism. Tourism Recreation Research37(1), 77-80.

Chhabra, D. (2020). A Conceptual Paradigm to Determine Behavior of Slow Spiritual Tourists. HTHIC, 115.

Conway, D., & Timms, B. F. (2010). Re-branding alternative tourism in the Caribbean: The case for ‘slow tourism’. Tourism and Hospitality Research10(4), 329-344.

Gheorghe, G., & Marin-Pantelescu, A. (2020). Slow tourism in the view of the researchers. New Trends in Sustainable Business and Consumption, 1156.

G€ossling, S., Scott, D., & Hall, C. (2020). Pandemics, tourism and global change: A rapid assessment of COVID-19. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 10.1080/09669582.2020.1758708

Heitmann, S., Robinson, P., & Povey, G. (2011). Slow food, slow cities and slow tourism. Research themes for tourism, 114-127.

Ioannides, D. & Gyimóthy, S. (2020): The COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity for escaping the unsustainable global tourism path, Tourism Geographies, DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2020.1763445

Lowry, L. L., & Lee, M. (2016). CittaSlow, slow cities, slow food: Searching for a model for the development of slow tourism.

Oh, H., Assaf, A. G., & Baloglu, S. (2016). Motivations and goals of slow tourism. Journal of Travel Research55(2), 205-219.

Özdemir, G., & Çelebi, D. (2018). Exploring dimensions of slow tourism motivation. Anatolia29(4), 540-552.

Serdane, Z. (2020). Slow philosophy in tourism development in Latvia: the supply side perspective. Tourism Planning & Development17(3), 295-312.

Valls, J. F., Mota, L., Vieira, S. C. F., & Santos, R. (2019). Opportunities for Slow Tourism in Madeira. Sustainability11(17), 4534.

Dr. Deepak Chhabra
Guest Editor

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  • Threshold points of slow travel
  • Slow travel behavior
  • Authenticating process of slow travel
  • Authenticities of slow travel
  • Economic viability of slow travel
  • Experiential consumption of slow heritage travel
  • Branding slow heritage tourism
  • Mindfulness and slow heritage travel
  • Slow travel and heritage justice
  • Slow heritage trails/corridors and their sustainable touch points
  • The optimal slow travel flow and wellbeing of host communities
  • Emotional intelligence and slow travel
  • Slow travel modes
  • TLC (tourism life cycle) stages of slow heritage tourism
  • Soft aspects of slow heritage travel
  • Sustainable marketing of slow heritage tourism
  • Service blueprint for slow heritage travel
  • Immersive paradigms for virtual slow heritage experiences

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 51072 KiB  
Food in Slow Tourism: The Creation of Experiences Based on the Origin of Products Sold at Mercat del Lleó (Girona)
by Francesc Fusté-Forné, Paula Ginés-Ariza and Ester Noguer-Juncà
Heritage 2021, 4(3), 1995-2008; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4030113 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3508
Previous studies have highlighted the role of local food as a source of destination differentiation and tourist motivation, and as part of the understanding of slow food tourism. However, few previous researchers have discussed the proximity degree of products delivered in food tourism [...] Read more.
Previous studies have highlighted the role of local food as a source of destination differentiation and tourist motivation, and as part of the understanding of slow food tourism. However, few previous researchers have discussed the proximity degree of products delivered in food tourism spaces such as markets, and how they contribute to the creation of slow tourism experiences. Based on the analysis of the origin of fruits and vegetables being sold at Mercat del Lleó, the municipal market of Girona (Catalonia, Spain), this paper investigates the value of local supply in an urban food tourism system. Fieldwork included nine interviews with market vendors, and data regarding 301 fruits and vegetables sold at the market were obtained. While results show a wide representation of local and regional produce, fruits and vegetables of national and international origin predominate over proximity products. The article reveals that there is still potential to improve the relationships between local food, identity promotion, and the sustainable experiences that attract slow tourists to urban destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimizing Slow Heritage Tourismscapes)
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