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Analysis of Opportunities for the Use of Cultural Heritage in Rural Tourism in Latvia

Baiba Rivza, Peteris Rivza, and Laura Jeroscenkova
Latvia University of Agriculture, Jelgava, Latvia
Abstract—The preservation of cultural heritage has become an important component of government policies of the EU and, of course, Latvia. Along with the preservation of cultural heritage, the use of it is also important. The paper focuses on the problem of use of cultural heritage in developing rural tourism. Based on their previous research studies and the results of conversation with experts in cultural heritage and tourism as well as representatives of nongovernmental organisations and local governments, the authors have performed a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for the use of cultural heritage in rural tourism. The SWOT analysis was done to comprehensively examine the opportunities for the use of cultural heritage and the kinds of cultural heritage exploited in rural tourism. Taking into consideration foreign experience in the use of cultural heritage, the current situation in Latvia and the expert recommendations, the authors chose the following scenarios (models) for the exploitation of cultural heritage for the development of rural tourism: the use of cultural heritage for the development of rural tourism is based on the initiative by entrepreneurs, public organisations and residents; the use of cultural heritage for the development of rural tourism is implemented by means of a national and local government-funded programme; the use of cultural heritage for the development of rural tourism is implemented by means of EU funds for cultural heritage preservation. The scope of the selected scenarios is exactly the use of cultural heritage for the development of cultural heritage in the entire territory of Latvia. To comprehensively assess the potential scenarios, the research further gives a vision for the implementation of the scenarios and the SWAT analysis results. The paper defined three scenarios for the use of cultural heritage in the development of rural tourism and performed detailed SWOT analyses of each scenario. The decision on the choice of the most appropriate scenario was made based on an expert decision-making method – the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP).

Index Terms —cultural heritage, tourism, AHP

Cite: Baiba Rivza, Peteris Rivza, and Laura Jeroscenkova, "Analysis of Opportunities for the Use of Cultural Heritage in Rural Tourism in Latvia" Journal of Advanced Management Science, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 26-33, March 2018. doi: 10.18178/joams.6.1.26-33
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