This week’s edition of Earth Matters features a presentation by Dr Dan Shilling on viewing Civic Tourism as a Public Good, Valuing It as a Public Responsibility, and Practicing It as a Public Art.
Dan spoke on April 11, 2014 at WNMU at the invitation of Western Institute for Lifelong Learning and the Southwest New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, and was recorded by Earth Matters.
According to Dr. Shilling, “Regions can use the tourism industry to help preserve their distinctive cultural, natural, and built environments, as well as foster economic growth.” But in order to do so, communities need to “reframe” the conversation about tourism and community development. “Rather than see tourism as an economic end in itself,” Shilling says, “citizens should use tourism as a tool for healthy place-making. It’s part of the solution. In addition to providing economic development, tourism can help communities preserve cultures, protect the environment, save historic districts, encourage citizen participation, and foster a healthier quality of life.”
Civic Tourism maintains that the public is a key part of the discussion. According to Shilling, “The goal is to design unique, vibrant and prosperous places for the people who live in them. If this is done well, tourists will visit.”
Shilling is the former director of the Arizona Humanities Council and the author of the book, “Civic Tourism: The Poetry and Politics of Place,” which features many best practices, strategies and tools to implement Civic Tourism.
You can learn more at civictourism.org
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Earth Matters – Dan Shilling on Civic Tourism