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Marketing heritage tourism destinations: community and commercial representations of the past. A collective case study investigation of Yorkshire and Huelva.

Biggins, Rebecca Margaret (2016) Marketing heritage tourism destinations: community and commercial representations of the past. A collective case study investigation of Yorkshire and Huelva. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The cultural practice of heritage is naturally and prominently about people. It is undeniably people who create, select, share, contest and construct heritage each and every day. Yet the hegemonic discourse of heritage currently disengages people from their past and reconstitutes our interactions with this past. The material realities of heritage are now selected, contested and represented for communities, by someone else. The authority of expertise and ancestry defines places for people, rather than defining those places with the people to whom they naturally belong, their communities. As such the topic of community engagement is increasingly important. As such this study identifies a clear and concerning dissonance between commercial and community views and perceptions of heritage in the destinations of Yorkshire and Huelva province. The purpose of this study was to identify any dissonance between the community and commercial voices behind heritage tourism destinations and any possible agency this has. The cross-cultural, qualitative and interpretivist approach to this research identified several consequences of the exclusion of these community voices when marketing and branding heritage tourism destinations. The outcome is a widening ideological gap between these two stakeholder groups. Consequently, the brand identity and destination product suffer as the value present in destination communities is not harnessed. This thesis argues that a greater understanding of the value of the community voice is required, and that heritage communities need to be included in the heritage destination marketing process. The findings of the thesis demonstrate that the dissonance between the community and commercial case study destinations studied here has direct implications upon both the community and commercial stakeholders of the destinations. The commercial implications are found to surround; word of mouth, friends and family, positive interactions and tourist perceptions. For the local community the agency of the dissonance has implications regarding the place attachment, place identity and place dependence. From the findings the model entitled “the key steps for community empowerment and engagement throughout the heritage destination marketing process” (Figure 21) has been developed. This was applied in the destination of Triguerors Andalucía, and is the central recommendation of this study for practitioners to apply and academics to study further.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Heritage, tourism marketing, destination, destination marketing, stakeholder, community, engagement, empowerment, community, destination marketing
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > University of York St. John
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.706003
Depositing User: Dr Rebecca M Biggins
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 12:59
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:54
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16516

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