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Montagnes à vivre, à voir et à préserver : dynamiques du tourisme et sites européens du patrimoine mondial (Laponia et Pyrénées-Mont Perdu)

Abstract : The establishment of a World Heritage Site based on mixed criteria combines objectives relating both to the preservation and the promotion of natural and cultural systems. They may profoundly transform both the relationships to these places and the places themselves. This thesis addresses these dynamics through the prism of tourism. It is based on a comparative study of tourism in two European UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated in mountainous regions: Laponia (in northern Sweden), part of the ancestral land of the Sami people who practice transhumant reindeer husbandry; and Pyrénées-Mont Perdu (a transboundary area between France and Spain), shaped by ovine and bovine agro-pastoralism. This research is based on a comparative ethnographic approach that focuses on the practices, knowledge, know-how, representations and imaginaries of the diverse users of the sites (local tourism professionals, herders, national park agents, politicians and tourists). The analysis shows that the labelling of these regions by UNESCO took place in the context of a broader dynamic process concerning much more than just the moment of inscription on the World Heritage List, which mobilised local actors around the many diverse stakes raised by and related to the label. Tourism has a specific place in this dynamic as it intersects with all features of local development and is subject to a diversity of projected views of and visions for the region. This thesis demonstrates that, if the development of tourism is a fundamental expectation of the labelling process for some local actors, the sites’ labelling has in fact only an indirect effect on how local people adapt to and develop tourism within their territories. The analysis of this process underscores the determining character of the herders’ formation into a political body: the observed changes on the Sami territory are the result of the Sami’s commitment to involvement in the site’s governance, itself linked to the wider context of their long struggle to get their rights and culture recognised. This dynamic is not found in the Pyrenean case study.
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Florence Revelin. Montagnes à vivre, à voir et à préserver : dynamiques du tourisme et sites européens du patrimoine mondial (Laponia et Pyrénées-Mont Perdu). Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 2013. Français. ⟨tel-02982521⟩

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