Towards reviving post-Olympic Athens as a cultural destination
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This paper examines the effects of global change on the status and qualities of the Greek national capital, Athens, focusing on how they affect the development of cultural tourism in the city. Although Athens constituted one of the most significant destinations for Greek tourism in the past, in recent years it started to weaken. Athens is characterised by a series of problems, among them are the degradation of its environment and quality of life and traffic congestion. However, in terms of tourism development, the Olympic Games helped in re-imaging the city and upgrading its infrastructure. This study based on semi-structured interviews with top officials reveals how global change has affected Athens' socio-cultural/economic status, identity and image. Despite the tourism policy/planning responses to global changes, Athens' tourism continues to decline leaving unexplored potential such as its rich cultural heritage, new multicultural identity and the New Acropolis Museum. The paper suggests that cultural elements of capital cities must be multidimensional including a variety of attractions and amenities. The use of cultural heritage assets needs to be in line with global developments in order for cities to effectively leverage heritage for cultural tourism.