Journal of Tourism & Hospitality

Journal of Tourism & Hospitality
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0269


Capacity Building Activities in Sustaining the Intangible Living Culture among Traditional Artisan Trades at George Town World Heritage Site

Anthony Tee MooiKwong

Intangible heritage such as practices, representation, customs and skills handed down from generation to generation were often ignored because its existence and recognition depend mainly on the human will, which is immaterial, and it is transmitted by imitation and living experience. A significant number of age-old traditions and trades are in danger of disappearing irretrievably. Safeguarding the intangible living culture anchors our sense of identity and continuity, which has become integral to the life of all societies. This research was set to investigate the significance of traditional artisan trades which forms the intangible living culture of George Town World Heritage Site (GTWHS). Although the traditional trades have high significance to George Town World Heritage Site, they are facing the pressure of economic development that is affecting sustainability of cultural tourism particularly the living culture of traditional artisan trades in GTWHS. One of the approaches to sustainable tourism development is capacity building which has been acknowledged as an important tool to enhance and sustain the tourism development. The qualitative research undertaken has discovered existing capacity building activities seems to be emphasizing on creating awareness regarding the existence of the traditional artisan trades among the local community as well as tourists. Research findings indicate that the capacity building activities are rather limited with little engagement being done among the stakeholders particularly between the state and the artisan traders. There is a differing view regarding responsibilities in engaging capacity building activities. If the present situation persists, there is a possibility that some of these trades may not exists in the near future. The sustainability of the traditional trades as a form of intangible living culture are critical hence it need some forms of structured and systematic forms of capacity building to enable the traditional artisan trade to sustain.