via New Sarawak Tribune, 25 December 2019: Second of a three-part series (see part one here) about the potential for Sarawak’s cultural tourism prospects. This article focuses on the dangers caused to heritage sites by tourism, and quotes me a fair bit.
In the words of Thailand-based senior specialist in archaeology Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan, “The best way to protect a site is to not open it to tourists at all.”
He highlighted that crowd control could be a significant issue at historical sites when tourists flocked in droves and they were not managed well.
Most historical sites being dated do not have the infrastructural integrity to support an influx of curious tourists, leading to damage and deterioration.
At the same time, the presence of a jostling horde can also entirely ruin the experience of visiting a heritage site.
According to Tan, overloading a site could endanger the visitors themselves as well.
In addition to overcrowding, the antics of visitors can also deteriorate a site.