/ Funmilola Gboteku
Linda Pereira, cultural tourism packaging strategist, has advised professionals in the global tourism industry to always create beautiful stories around cultural heritage sites to attract tourists.
The theme of the conference is “Linking tourism, culture and creative industries: the road to recovery and inclusive development”.
Pereira, during a workshop on the importance of cultural heritage, said that these beautiful stories must be authentic, real, unique, educational, of special interest, experiential, and cultural immersion.
He explained that the stories should cover the past, the present and any tourist should always be made aware of the reason for a tour.
According to her, the characteristics of a cultural heritage site should be conveyed to tourists and the intention of tourists is to stimulate their interest in visiting those sites more.
“It is about bringing our heritage sites to life, you have to tell stories, understanding a particular site is essential.
“Tourists can easily connect with the sites through the quality of the stories conveyed.
“We foresee a 21% growth in cultural tourism since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this is an aspect that must be taken seriously.
“Tourists’ interest in visiting a cultural heritage site can be stimulated in different ways, to eat in some local restaurants, to watch movies in a cinema and more.
“You have to keep in mind that everyone with an inquisitive mind is your target,” he said.
Pereira noted that Africa is well endowed with huge cultural heritage sites that wealth creation should focus on.
He advised that sustainable products should be built around heritage sites that should be constantly improved, modernized and updated.
He said that all cultural heritage sites must be well positioned to create wealth and jobs for people.
“African cultural heritage sites are capable of making Africa the destination of the decade,” he said.
Source Credit: NAN