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Panel 8. Paper 8.2 Responsible Tourism at a Rural Cultural Landscape: Opportunity or threat?

The main theoretical concepts of cultural landscapes will be connected to the practical management of the rural cultural landscape of Serra de Tramuntana, which was declared a World Heritage site mainly due to the stone structures built for agricultural use and the water channeling systems. This site has a very strict level of protection, however, during the last 40 years it has suffered the decrease of agricultural profitability and many habitants have left their rural activities to work in more attractive, growing sectors such as tourism. The main challenge to tackle is that these landscapes have deeply contributed to the island’s attraction as a tourism destination but mainly benefit the crowded tourist resorts while the land owners have received a very small part of the tourism income. The only way to improve the local economy is related to the local products. The aim is fostering proximity and slow food concepts for both, locals and tourists. At that stage the resilience approach is the key issue. Any profitable model needs to adopt new technologies and harvesting systems but the authenticity is vital for the positioning of the products. Some clear examples will demonstrate how to improve the economic viability of small farms, which in turn will benefit the cultural landscape. Given that the role of local community decision-making has never been seriously considered by authorities and big business organizations, new trends in social participation will be described. Almost all of the population is aware that the island’s income comes predominately from tourism, but there is little forward thinking about the threats from over-tourism. Insights into how to maintain and revive the local traditional economy are extracted from an example of a working agriculture-tourism approach. This example is based on my own experience with owning a 400 years old family company dedicated to the harvest of ancient olive groves with olive oil production using traditional systems and also maintaining old orange orchards. In conclusion, the aim is to demonstrate how a rural-based cultural heritage tourism can be revived.