RPD3TM – Heritage and tourist diversification in the mountains

2021 - ...

In mountain areas, there is a growing awareness of the vulnerability of the snow-based tourism development model. In response, territories are seeking to diversify their activities to better manage uncertainty and their ability to adapt. This project focuses on diversification through mountain cultural and natural heritage.

© Mélanie Duval
La Pierre aux Pieds, above Lanslevillard: an experiment highlighting engraved rocks in the Haute-Maurienne - July 2019

The objective of the RPD3TM project - Heritage resources in the dynamics of tourism diversification, a vector of transition for mountain territories - is to analyse how heritage resources are activated (or not) by territorial actors to respond to tourism diversification needs. Two types of resources are studied: cultural heritage with a focus on archaeological sites (Vallée des Merveilles in the Mercantour, rock engravings in the Valcamonica in Italy, etc.), and natural heritage with a focus on wildlife.

Depending on the area, two main diversification strategies can be pursued. The first option, linked to a sporting and recreational vision of the mountains, consists of developing new urban-type recreational practices (waterparks and recreational centres, well-being activites, etc.) or those based on sporting activities (trail, via ferrata, mountain biking, etc.). Although this strategy is preferred by many territorial actors, it does not allow for the spread of tourism over time (year round) and space (outside the boundaries of the ski resort).

Alternatively, diversification can be expressed through the use of specific and unique resources used to differentiate a resort. In this case, the territories stage elements that are "here and not elsewhere" in a sustainable way. This strategy implies going beyond the tourism logic of resorts driven by the product(s), to become part of a territorial approach.

Around these societal and scientific issues, the project formulates the following questions:

  • In a tourism context marked by climatic uncertainties, faced with the evolution of tourism practices and mobility, how do stakeholders perceive the challenges of tourism diversification?
  • What are the roles and contributions of cultural and natural heritage in the diversification of mountain territories?
  • How can we explain the obstacles to their construction as a resource?

Researchers associated with the RPD3TM project:

Laine Chanteloup (IGD/Cirm), Yoann Collange (Edytem), Louis Defraiteur (Edytem), Hugues François ( Lessem ), Christophe Gauchon (Edytem), Marc Langenbach ( Sens /Cirm), Clémence Perrin-Malterre (Edytem), Anne-Sophie Rouanet (Edytem)






Research Bauges Briançonnais Italy Maurienne Mercantour Vercors Planning, public policies and governance Culture and heritage Tourism and recreational practices