Although the term “cultural tourism” was first used in the 1980s – also through European Union support programmes – there is no generally applicable definition, and in recent years it has been extended to include everyday objects and behaviour. In general, the term “cultural tourism” can be differentiated between the supply-oriented (the core of the definition is the supply of attraction), the demand-oriented (the starting point is the behaviour of the tourists) and the value-oriented definitions (cultural tourism as an offer of attractions accompanied by monument preservation and didactic objectives). Detached from this, four basic characteristics of cultural tourism can be identified: the tourist’s interest in culture, the visit of cultural institutions, the attendance of cultural events and the well-founded provision of information. The cultural tourism offer ranges from historical buildings (churches, museums, castles) and contemporary architecture (railway stations, new museum buildings) to historical sites and urban ensembles (battlefields, old towns), cultural events (festivals, folk festivals, carnival customs) and cultural sights (wine landscapes) to typical regional gastronomic offers (food, wine).
Cultural tourism in Germany consisted mainly of city tourism. In order to promote cultural tourism in rural areas, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy launched the project: The destination as a stage: how does cultural tourism make rural regions successful?, from 2015 to 2018. With this project rural regions were specifically supported in marketing their cultural offers. Five model regions were selected for project implementation. One component of the project was the online dialogue platform www.culturcamp.de.
field of action cultural tourism has gained relevance for cultural management
in recent years. In 2018, the Cultural Tourism
Study 2018 was presented by the Institute for Cultural Management of the
Ludwigsburg University of Education with the results of an empirical study of
the practice of cultural and tourism actors (cultural institutions, cultural
administrations and tourism organisations).
 Burzinski, Matthias / Buschmann, Lara / Pröbstle, Yvonne (2018): Kulturtourismusstudie 2018. Empirische Einblicke in die Praxis von Kultur- und Tourismusakteuren. Ein Kooperationsprojekt von projekt 2508 und dem Institut für Kulturmanagement.