Archaeological heritage and tourism diversification

Projet en cours

This thesis examines the role and place of the rocky heritage of the French and Italian Alpine high valleys in the logics and policies of tourism transition in these territories. It aims to identify the logics of appropriation of heritage by local players and its inclusion, or otherwise, in tourism policies.

© Yoann Collange
Visite guidée des roches de la réserve archéologique du Mont Bégo (Vallée des Merveilles, Alpes Maritimes) - Août 2021

Today’s Alpine regions are under pressure to make the transition to tourism, supported by growing environmental and economic challenges. Summer outdoor recreational activities are enabling mountain areas to gradually move away from the all-ski approach.

Heritage, on the other hand, is less developed to meet these transitional imperatives, and is sometimes neglected. Among these heritages, rock art, which is very present in several Alpine high valleys, is unevenly developed. Its scientific value is not necessarily matched by its tourist value, for reasons that this thesis aims to explore.

The thesis “Archaeological heritage in the context of tourism diversification and transition in the French and Italian Alpine High Valleys” examines how local players define heritage, and how they see the usefulness of developing it for tourism purposes.

Three valleys are studied to offer three distinct viewpoints and three different territorial, social and political trajectories, where rock art occupies a different place: Haute-Maurienne (Savoie), Vallée des Merveilles (Alpes-Maritimes) and Valcamonica (Italy).

Thesis Italie Maurienne Mercantour Culture and heritage Planning, public policy and governance Tourism and recreational practices