Culture is future » Territorial attractiveness and social cohesion

06.22.2011

Always Further - Gorée, opportunities and dangers of a "showcase" island of Senegal

goréeGorée Island is a rock and a sandbank, 18km² planted in the harbour of Dakar, which heaviness of the past is only matched by the contemporary cultural wealth. Memorial site before all, this UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity, is a part of the touristic trips promoted in Senegal by most of the tour operators, and it almost constantly hosts streams of visitors from all the continents.

Caring about the respect of the place, of its history, and of the need to maintain its memory, government have formed guides among the local population in order to tell the Gorée story to those passing people, whether they are simple visitors or pilgrims searching for a “back to roots” feeling. The Island is also a place where lot of artists gather, for whom History, built heritage, the nature and calm of the place are sources of inspiration and reflexion. So, cultural tourism is able to fulfil its educative, memorial, and of heritage and artistic creation conservation aims here. However, due to lack of effective control, lot of false guides and “copying artists”, whose talent is questionable, come to pollute the wealthy artistic and historic heritage of the place. This element deters most of the visitors, who are now searching for more authentic contacts with the foreign cultures and populations, to spend more than a day on the island. Indeed, authenticity is now a crucial factor of attractiveness of a tourist area, especially the architectural heritage, which greatly contributes to the visitors’ scenery.

Goree, as an almost completely preserved "historic village", is part of a truly dynamic development. It is then the government’s responsibility, at both the municipal and State level, to take adequate measures to sustain this economic impulsion.

To go further: 

Xinhuanet, Synthèse du plaidoyer pour la préservation du patrimoine architectural en Afrique, 27 décembre 2010

Fiorella Dallari (resp.), Développement local et hébergement chez l’habitant, Île de Gorée-Sénégal, 4e prix du développement durable touristique, 2004

 

Credits: CC-by-sa ; Manu25

A contribution of ESC Dijon / Jérémie Cauët