The intangible heritage as cultural tourism product: attractiveness and (re)construction of the territories – the case of cante alentejano

José Mendonça, Eunice Ramos Lopes

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The use of cultural heritage is closely linked to an effort of conservation and valorisation, for its symbolism and importance in strengthening the sense of identity and collective memory. The recognition of the historical and cultural importance of intangible heritage and its legal protection through the convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of UNESCO
(2003), reinforces its classification and safeguarding. There is long since culture is one of the most important reasons for the visit of tourists to Portugal where the intangible cultural heritage is greatly appreciated, by the approach of “experiencing sensations and emotions” which provides the opportunity for authentic cultural exchange between visitors and the communities.
In this framework, we intend to give as an example the Cante Alentejano (CA), distinguished on the 27th of November 2014 by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (ICH). The activation of the intangible cultural heritage of Cante Alentejano, is part of a Regional Entity’s Strategy of Tourism of Alentejo and Ribatejo (ERTAR)) and the operationalisation of the CA as a tourist product, results from the Diagnostic Study of the Strategic Plan for the Development of
Cultural and Scenic Touring of Alentejo and Ribatejo (DTCPAR). In order to present some measures which enrich the valorization of the Cante Alentejano as a cultural tourism product, the methodology which was used included the direct observation of the phenomenon in different contexts and interviews with several relevant intervenients related with the CA. The results obtained on the CA, point to a favourable recognition to the safeguard of this intangible cultural heritage as a tourist product, improving local sustainable development and enhance the
(re)construction of the territorry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTourism and History World Heritage
Subtitle of host publicationCase Studies of Ibero-American Space
EditorsCláudia Henriques, Maria Cristina Moreira, Pedro César
Place of PublicationBraga
PublisherCentro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais (CICS.NOVA) - Pólo da Universidade do Minho
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-989-99768-0-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cante Alentejano
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Safeguard
  • Attractiveness
  • Tourist Experiences


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