South Africa calling cultural tourists
Although cultural tourism is the most prevalent type of tourism in the world it still remains invisible in South Africa’s tourism landscape. Despite the country’s unique cultural heritage resource base and the fact that cultural diversity is the core feature of South African marketing strategy, absence of culture as a purpose for travel in the South African Tourism international exit survey means that the size of cultural tourism market as well as behaviour characteristics of cultural tourists are not known to both government and industry. For this reason the main tourism stakeholders in the country are unable to make informed strategic and developmental decisions which directly affect the performance of South African cultural heritage tourism products. This paper contributes to South African cultural tourism discourse both theoretically and practically. It presents a theoretical overview of the complex nature of cultural tourism demand, specifically cultural motivation and omnivorousness of cultural consumption. These theoretical concepts are applied on the data from South African annual tourism reports, and European and USA tourism reports and research studies, in order to determine the size and behaviour characteristics of the main international cultural tourism markets in South Africa.
Keywords: Cultural tourism, cultural tourists, cultural heritage, South Africa, European and USA cultural markets.
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