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TTC Special: Cultural tourism is a reopening engine

Photo: Pixabay

By Frank Martin

When the Caribbean wakes up from a nightmare, the pandemic, its tourism industry looks for more options and the cultural one appears as crucial.

The Caribbean is much more than turquoise waters, beaches, gastronomy and adventures.

For centuries the region has been a treasure trove that holds stories of ancient civilizations and their own cultures, which in many cases explain their current status.

A trip to the Caribbean islands can be a revelation when the visitor is willing to study the roots of their stories, enjoy their music and understand their centuries odyssey.

In October 2021, the renowned World Travel Awards analyzed which of the Caribbean islands deserved its annual award, and in a group that also included Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Martinique and Puerto Rico, among others, they awarded  Cuba.

The Cuban cultural personality is one of the most important in the area. The island was recognized as the Best Cultural Destination in the Caribbean this year.

Cuba proved that it is an important tourist place in this part of the world, with its music that has traveled around the world, its national dances and its architecture with influences from around the world. His national history also resonates a long time ago even in the far reaches of the planet.

For all those offers Cuba is a good representative of the Caribbean culture.

Experts describe cultural tourism as the heritage of a country formed by its history, monuments, historical sites and the interpretation they make of the universal arts. The Caribbean Sea is full of examples.

Take national carnivals of the Caribbean. That kind of popular holidays are millennial celebrations that arose in distant regions but to which the populations of this region gave new interpretations.

Tourists are not only witness these festivals but also participants, turning culture into  a good entertainment.

Caribbean ancient indigenous civilizations made fundamental contributions to universal wisdom. How did they do it and what mysteries did they reveal? A tourist in addition to having fun can enrich their human spirit.

Cultural tourism is highly valued today.

This week the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Council of Europe demonstrated that claim, announcing that they will work together to develop the opportunities that tourism offers to local communities.

The project seeks to improve the tourist experience along the Cultural Routes of the European region.

But joint actions will also be aimed at recognizing the added value offered by cultural routes for the development of sustainable tourism, the safeguarding of cultural heritage and intercultural dialogue in the world.

The collaboration could show the potential of the routes to promote social, economic and cultural development, benefiting both Europe and its partner countries such as those of the Caribbean by strengthening cultural and historical ties.

On the subject, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, said that along the Cultural Routes, tourism has the power to generate employment and  other development opportunities for communities. ”

“It is also an opportunity to protect and promote cultural heritage and celebrate creativity. “Pololikashvili added.

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