This study assesses how the tourism and cultural sections of the public sector prioritize matters related to the development of urban cultural tourism. From the perspective of tourism planning, urban cultural tourism is a type of tourism that transforms the cultural assets of a city into tourist attractions. The cultural assets and tourism resources of a city may be managed by sectors with different standpoints regarding tourism development. The present study uses the Delphi method, an analytic hierarchy process, and nonparametric tests to explore how the tourism and cultural departments of five Taiwanese city governments rank the priority of related issues. The statistical results suggest that the tourism and cultural departments can reach a consensus regarding these matters because no adequate financial or even legitimizing support is offered by key decision makers at the central and municipal levels. In this light, a comprehensive master plan for urban cultural-tourism development will help the tourism and cultural sections of the public sector to undertake related projects.
The development of cultural tourism in the last decade has benefited the conservation of a variety of tangible and intangible cultural assets. It has also aided the development of activities related to the arts, craftsmanship, and creativity (World Tourism Organization, 2016). Formerly, it was regarded as a form of tourism that targeted individuals with higher levels of education. However, culture has now become a popular tourism theme (du Cros & McKercher, 2015). Cities are physical and spatial representations of human civilization. Therefore, tourism planners can identify cultural assets in a city and transform them into tourist attractions (du Cros & McKercher, 2015; Terzi, Türkoğlu, Bölen, Baran, & Salihoğlu, 2015). Indeed, since the 1980s, many postindustrial Western cities have used cultural entertainment activities to regenerate their urban areas: a phenomenon that is regarded as a form of culture-led tourism development (Pintilii, Merciu, Peptenatu, Cercleux, & Drăghci, 2011). This trend has prompted a growing number of studies on topics related to urban tourism (Williams, 1997). The use of cultural assets for the purpose of tourism development has sparked several academic debates, including on the matter of whether the intangible values of cultural assets – such as those of their aesthetics, education, and history – can appropriately be conveyed while also attracting tourists (Calver & Page, 2013; du Cros & McKercher, 2015; Hughes & Carlsen, 2010; Lee & Anderson, 2013; Pătra;cu, 2013). Moreover, if the cultural assets are located in urban areas, then the public sector must also consider matters concerning urban and cultural tourism (du Cros & McKercher, 2015; Hughes & Carlsen, 2010; Lee & Anderson, 2013; McManus & Carruthers, 2014; Scott, 2010; Terry & Smith, 2015). As a result of related policies enforced by the central government, public sectors have implemented various cultural infrastructures, local community buildings, and creative industries in urban areas since the 1980s. Although the cultural department has avoided mentioning how these changes might influence the development of tourism in Taiwanese cities, both the tourism and cultural sections of the public sector have been required to manage matters related to the development of urban cultural tourism triggered by certain circumstances (Chien, Wu, & Lin, 2014; Hsieh, Huang, & Huang, 2011; Pan, Wang, & Lee, 2014).