From Managing World Heritage Sites
Dallen J. Timothy and Stephen W. Boyd
The aims of this case study are to:
Examine the growth and distribution of World Heritage Sites in the Americas
Describe the opportunities for World Heritage Sites in the Americas
Describe the challenges facing World Heritage Sites in the Americas.
Many of the world s most spectacular cultural relics and natural sites are found in the Americas, and most countries of the region are actively involved in promoting the cause of UNESCO and the World Heritage List. Many World Heritage Sites (WHS) in the Americas have gained international acclaim (e.g. Machu Picchu, Peru; Chitzen Itza, Mexico; Grand Canyon, USA) and have been a major focus of media images and national icons utilized in tourism promotional efforts and nation-building (Barnard, 1993; Kluger, 2003).
This case study aims to examine World Heritage Sites in the Americas with a focus on opportunities and challenges. For the purposes of this chapter, the Americas include North, Central and South America, as well as the islands of the Caribbean.
World Heritage Sites in the Americas
Like most parts of the world, the cultural heritage of the Americas can be roughly divided into the pre-colonial and colonial/post-colonial periods. In most of Latin and North America ancient heritage attractions reflect a pre-colonial phase of growth and development among various indigenous peoples (Lumsdon and Swift, 2001). This includes the ancient cities and temple complexes associated with the Aztecs in central Mexico, the Mayans in southern Mexico and Central America, as well...
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