International archaeological heritage management in developing countries frequently entails planning for the development of sustainable tourism. A central tenet of sustainable tourism development is the equitable distribution of tourism benefits, a goal reflected in stakeholder consultations and management plan provisions for capacity-building among community members. The lack of longitudinal data demonstrating the meaningful participation of target populations in tourism development dividends, however, calls into question the efficacy of such measures. A review of tourism development outcomes at Machu Picchu, Angkor, Lijiang, Copan, Borobudur and Cape Coast Castle supports the contention that sustainable management planning has not produced equity. The problem lies not in specific planning provisions but in the lack of correspondence between developed country assumptions and developing country reality, which is characterized by structural and systemic power imbalances. The cases inform the creation of a generalizable model of tourism development inequality, the implications of which present philosophical, professional, methodological and conceptual challenges that must be overcome if the heritage management discipline is to deliver on the promise of sustainability.
- Heritage management
- World heritage sites