University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Tourism and immaterial cultural heritage

Project Leader
Muhar Andreas, BOKU Project Leader
NÖ Science Calls - Dissertationen
Type of Research
Applied Research
Project partners
IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria.
Contact person: Maria Katelieva-Platzer;
Function of the Project Partner: Koordinator
Katelieva-Platzer Maria, Project Staff (bis 14.03.2022)
BOKU Research Units
Institute for Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning
Funded by
Tourism development based on the living culture of a region is important for high-lighting the cultural features, which distinguish one region from another. Knowledge and skills of the local people, social practices, rituals, festive events, crafts etc. con-stitute the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of a community (UNESCO, 2003). Knowledge and practices concerning nature are one of the domains of ICH and un-like crafts, rituals and festive events they are not widely utilized in the cultural tour-ism offer. Local knowledge about nature is part of the culture and is related to dif-ferent practices, beliefs, rituals and oral traditions (Vandebroek, Reyes-García, de Albuquerque, Bussmann, & Pieroni, 2011; Berkes, 2017), but these are underesti-mated in the development of tourism offers, as well as in the scientific literature on ICH. The integration of local knowledge in the tourism offer is also a way of cultural transmission, which contributes to safeguarding the ICH (UNESCO, 2003). Since ICH is very vulnerable to negative impacts, like commodification and appropriation and difficult to protect, because it is constantly recreated (Lenzerini, 2011; Conway, 2014; Sotiriadis & Sotiriadis, 2017) the balance between safeguarding and utilization is a big challenge.

The study will focus on this challenge and will try to provide the answers to the fol-lowing questions: (1.) How can ICH be safeguarded if it is constantly recreated? (2.) What is the potential for transmission of local knowledge about nature to visi-tors/tourists, migrants etc.? (3.) What is the significance of local knowledge for the tourism and leisure offer? Can it serve as cultural attraction? Can it enhance social capital?

Case studies will be conducted in different parts of Lower Austria and the knowledge and practices of locals will be documented and analyzed. The status quo of the inte-gration of local knowledge in the tourism offer, as well as pathways for future de-velopment will be the result of the study.
Agricultural sociology; Tourism research; Cultural anthropology; Cultural landscape research; Landscape planning;

* Katelieva, M; Muhar, A (2022): Heritage tourism products based on traditional nature-related knowledge: assessment of cultural, social, and environmental factors in cases from rural Austria.

J HERIT TOUR, 17(6), 631-647; ISSN 1743-873X FullText FullText_BOKU

** Katelieva, M; Muhar, A; Penker, M Nature-related knowledge as intangible cultural heritage: safeguarding and tourism utilisation in Austria.

J TOUR CULT CHANGE. 2020; 18(6): 673-689. WoS FullText FullText_BOKU

© BOKU Wien Imprint