The evolution towards a single tourism activity (accommodation, dining, souvenirs, etc.) and the homogenisation of its commercial and economic fabric may be endangering the quality of World Heritage sites and of their inhabitants’ lives.

The 5th seminar of the UNESCO Chair and the UNITWIN-UNESCO Network in "Culture, Tourism, Development" Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne analyses projects and measures designed to protect the link between tourism and both economic and commercial diversification (types of businesses and activities, scale of companies) in World Heritage sites. It recognises that the economic diversification of World Heritage sites encourages site management that will guarantee not only their physical preservation, but also relationships with the local communities inhabiting them. Far from being a separate, isolated activity taking place in ad-hoc spaces, tourism can indeed be a cross-cutting issue fuelling local development in a more general way. It may prove to be a vital partner in maintaining economic, cultural, social, and landscape diversity.

Round table discussions will take place throughout the day with managers of World Heritage Sites in France and other countries.

The seminar, organized by the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne with the support of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, French World Heritage Sites Association and ICOMOS France, is intended for a mixed audience: local stakeholders in World Heritage properties, heritage and tourism technicians and managers, elected officials, researchers and academics, undergraduate and PhD students, journalists, etc.