FAQ'S With WTACH President & CEO Chris Flynn
Q1: What are the main objectives of WTACH?
WTACH will work with public and private sector organisations to develop clear Cultural Heritage Tourism (CHT) goals and principles. These will be designed to protect the unique cultures of the world by means of fostering and promoting practical guidelines that guard against exploitation and unethical practices.
With the continued explosion in global tourism arrivals we see disturbing trends that need to be recognised, understood and acted upon if we are to ensure the protection of some of the world’s most fragile communities.
Put simply, the WTACH mission is for tourism to become the global protector of culture and heritage through the pursuit of ethical practices designed to ensure that the richness of our world’s ancestry flourishes for generations to come.
Q2: Are these fields not already covered by other organisations?
There are certainly organisations that recognise the importance and value of CHT. However, such organisations are not necessarily best equipped to focus their efforts entirely upon one key area such as CHT. We believe that it is important to have an organisation dedicated entirely to the protection of Culture and Heritage Tourism. Of course, we look forward to working in tandem with other tourism bodies, sharing knowledge and expertise, and promoting more effective ways of doing business in the CHT sector.
WTACH has established clear Codes of Conduct and Ethical Standards, created in collaboration with academics and specialist tourism strategists. These are designed to establish firm foundations and protections for CHT operators and the communities in which they operate.
Q3: What are the main benefits of WTACH membership?
We are not focusing merely upon the provision of benefits designed specifically for our members (although there is a comprehensive package of membership benefits). WTACH members will be encouraged to not only embrace the principles and objectives of the Association but also play an active role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the CHT sector. By doing so we will build a stronger and more resilient industry focused upon the responsible and sustainable development of tourism practices and policies, as a means of protecting our unique culture and heritage, arts, music and science for the betterment of generations to come.
Q4: Which organisations will be encouraged to join WTACH?
The CHT sector encompasses a very broad range of potential public and private sector operators. Tourism is naturally our primary focus but there are for example global attractions such as museums, art galleries, historic buildings and ancient monuments that play a significant role in CHT and help to generate vital tourism revenues for cities, towns, provinces and local communities.
Q5: Is the WTACH open to individual membership?
We have a range of membership categories and fees, including Individual. It is people that make the difference with their desire, commitment, knowledge and enthusiasm.
Q6: How will you ensure Value for Money?
Value for money comes with the success of achieving our primary objectives. We are witnessing, at an alarming rate, areas of the world that are suffering from ‘over-tourism’. It’s not just well known destinations such as Venice, Angkor Wat or Iceland that are suffering from the consequences of their success. It is often the smaller towns, villages and island communities that lack the knowledge and expertise to control over visitation.
We will be working with members - and the broader CHT community – to ensure that we have tangible and practical mechanisms and methodologies in place to prevent this from happening. That is ‘value for money’ - and an immeasurable return on investment.