HERITAGE TOURISM

• At a time of declining industrial activity and rising unemployment in Western society, heritage tourism has provided an alternative form of enterprise, creating jobs and generating wealth for local economies .

• Areas which have lost their traditional industries, such as coal, steel-making or textiles, have turned to tourism as a substitute and heritage is often the most accessible form of tourist development.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Visitors provide the funds which facilitate the preservation and guardianship roles .

• Heritage as business becomes part of tourism, which is a significant component of many local economies and is often promoted in places where such economic incentives are badly needed.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Surveys of international tourist arrivals show heritage as a primary motive for tourism .

• The genesis of Heritage tourism is in the archaeological sites of the ancient world and the cathedrals and palaces of Europe.

Grand Tour

• Travel to historic sites became an established part of the informal education of the English landed classes (Dent, 1975) .

• From the 16th century the association between historic buildings, travel and education was well established as the 'Grand Tour' - 'a tour of certain cities and places in western Europe undertaken primarily .... for education and pleasure' (Towner, 1985, p. 301).

Grand Tour

• The Grand Tour became an integral part of the education of the English aristocracy .

• It embraced many of the historic buildings and monuments of Europe, culminating in Italy, where these early tourists spent their time studying the legacy of classical civilization.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Its' exponential growth is mainly a phenomenon of the latter part of the twentieth century .

• It is during this period that the heritage industry has flourished and the number of people visiting heritage sites has multiplied significantly.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• The essence of heritage tourism as it has developed in the 1980s in particular is attracting visitors to sites with heritage connections

HERITAGE TOURISM

It has capitalized on the growth phenomena of the latter part of the 20th century:

• The expansion of leisure time,

• The emergence of the age of mass tourism,

• The many and diverse demands for places to visit.

HERITAGE TOURISM

Heritage sites provides for people, as day and weekend visitors or as tourists, a range of places:

• To relax,

• To be informed or even educated, and

• To be entertained.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Heritage sites range from the untouched ruin at one end, meaningful only to those with a great deal of cultural capital and perhaps specific knowledge, to the fabricated theme park at the other, where a recognizable heritage theme may be presented in a place with which it has tenuous links, sometimes no link at all (Mainstreet Disney), and in a manner which is far more imaginative than factual .

• It varies from sites of scholarship to those of pure entertainment.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• The more problematic aspect of heritage tourism arises from the fact that heritage is a sensitive topic. As a word it has many meanings but most relate to its general interpretation as 'that which is inherited from the past'. The sensitivities arise in part because the inherited past is a fragile concept.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• For those committed to preservation as the overriding priority, heritage tourism is a threat .

• Greater access has meant greater pressure of visitor numbers, and the demands of an interested, visiting public have to be reconciled with the custodial responsibilities of those who administer a heritage site.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Controls of some kind are invariably needed and here the legislative responsibility lies squarely with central and local government, whilst that of good management devolves to the site itself.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• The issue of authenticity is another problematic dimension. As heritage tourism has grown, so the notion of the heritage site has changed .

• Dangers arise because it is relatively easy to invert history and to turn heritage into a marketable product without proper regard for rigour, honesty and factual accuracy in the presentation of heritage.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Frans Schouten (1995) argues that authenticity is problematic and few could dispute that assertion. He takes a liberal view of heritage; by his definition it is not history, it is the past processed through mythology, ideology, nationalism, local pride, romantic ideas, or just plain marketing into a commodity.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• I n what ways and to what extent is it permissible to 'build' a story around these stones in order to provide a heritage attraction? If the presentation is more fantasy than fact, do you need the stones at all?

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Some of the more scholarly critiques of heritage tourism, such as Lowenthal's The Past Is a Foreign Country, revolve around this issue of authenticity and the superficiality of much of what is presented as heritage.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Urry (1990) stated that what was needed was a critical culture based on the understanding of history and not a set of heritage fantasies .

• Hewison (1987) argued that marketing has taken over as museums are pushed into the market-place and the imperative of providing a 'pleasurable experience' has taken over.

HERITAGE TOURISM

There many successes in planning for the heritage. This is particularly so for identifiable city centre tourist destinations, where:

• heritage tourism capitalizes on the existing resources of the historic city;

• tourist use of the existing infrastructure and services of the city will incur only marginal costs; and

• a relatively small investment will create employment in urban areas with few alternatives (Ashworth and Tunbridge, 1990).

HERITAGE TOURISM

• Heritage and tourism is one of paradox (Ryan, 1990; Urry, 1990) .

• Crowds conflict with area character and appearance, and with building integrity: some properties are forced to issue timed tickets as building structures cannot cope with the weight of so many visitors, while the wear of feet erodes floors in many historic structures. But crowds also bring prosperity to fund refurbishment.

HERITAGE TOURISM

• It is the extremes of tourism - sudden numbers or sudden wealth - which can do most harm .

• Tourism also conflicts with culture, resulting often in revalued or sanitized history, as purveyed in many 'heritage parks' and city centres (Hewison, 1987; Newby, 1994).

POLITICS of HERITAGE

• Heritage has always been a mechanism which can be used to forge national identity; some forms of nationalism have actively promoted ideas such as common roots, past glories and shared qualities or values.

POLITICS of HERITAGE

• The facts of heritage have been used and manipulated for political purposes ('Modern' Israel; Quebec, Canada) .

• Heritage as a component of culture is one of the great bonding mechanisms which has given a territory and its people a strong sense of identity and belonging.

POLITICS of HERITAGE

• Questions of image and heritage as a basis for national identity raise issues of acceptable and unacceptable heritage.

• War atrocities, crimes against humanity and disasters are all part of heritage, but what is to be preserved and what is not?

• Many of the symbols of Fascist activities have been swept away; it is the victims who keep the museums.

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