Heritage and Culture Tourism

Introduction to Heritage and Culture Tourism

Heritage and culture tourism is a form of tourism which is known to target specifically the architecture, art, monuments, history, theatres, religious heritage, museums, food habits, social interaction and the life style of the people in a specific region of geography. This form of tourism has also become one of the key drivers in revitalization of urban as well as the economy of a region. As it is known to be an increasingly significant aspect for destinations engaged in growing their cultural capital for the purpose of drawing more global tourists, it is significant in evaluating how the tourists of heritage and culture can be understood in a better manner and served well through planning, programming and marketing along with the regional and local communities (Devashish, 2011).

This report attempts to understand the industry growth and development of the United Kingdom heritage and culture within the travel and tourism sector and understand the purpose of attractions of culture and tourism within the sector. Further, it also attempts to explain the roles, responsibilities and ownership of organizations’ operations in heritage and cultural industry and the interpretation methods within the industry.

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Growth and Development of Heritage and Cultural Industry in the UK

There has been a significant growth and development of the heritage and cultural industry in the UK and it is explained with the help of a timeline drawn as under wherein all major heritage sites have been mentioned along with their locations and dates of construction. Their briefs of details are also explained later.

There can be a number of potential conflicts with regards to conversation of heritage and cultural resources and this has been explained in reference to the given case study of The Giant’s Causeway. These conflicts are discussed as under:

Access versus Conservation – It is very significant for the local authority to consider whether to give full access to tourists or to restrict it to some extent for Northern Ireland’s The Giant’s Causeway. This decision is crucial for the charm and appeal of the heritage site. There are surely various impacts on the site’s immediate environment because of the visitors and these further influence the way presentations of heritage and culture are given to the visitors. It is also a matter of discussion as to what proportion must be kept between green and brown field sites for attracting more tourists (Timothy, 2011). Thus, conflicts of interests arise here which brings many hindrances for further development of the region. In this way, there are several conversation threats to further growth and development which is affecting the economical aspects and revenue of public authorities involved in tourism attraction of the heritage site.

Potential Role and Impacts of New Technology – There is a great role and impact of the new technology which can be seen only when sound and new technology is adopted to develop the heritage site. There can be both negative as well as positive aspects of adopting technology for growth such as virtual reality as well as interactive software etc. and this can affect the lure of region towards the tourists. Thus, it is crucial for the authorities to make out for decisions regarding implementing technological aspects for development as it can affect in both positive and negative manner (Leslie and Sigala, 2006).

Purpose of Heritage and Culture Attractions

There are many purposes of heritage and cultural attractions and these are required to be fulfilled in order to meet the different needs of the customers. They are required to be identified and understood by the management which is responsible to manage and organize these two Museums (Hooper, Kearins and Green, 2005). Some of the purposes are explained as under:

Education – One of the major purposes of the museums are to impart education to the visitors and especially to the children that visit from schools and colleges. Science Museum is the best example of education for tourists as it enhances knowledge about science and provides further information and insights into the subject (Andrews, 2007).

Research – These two museums are very good sources for research and they are very helpful for those who are looking for sound information for their studies. Science Museum provides the visitors with further insights into the subject that may prove as an extension to the current knowledge of the tourists. This can lead to better hold onto the research study anyone may be conducting on science (Hoffman, 2006).

Recreation – The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is known for the decorative arts and design and it can be a very good source of recreation for the visitors. The museum provides a number of facilities that enhance the grasping power of the visitors. In this way, along with education, it gives leisure to tourists who are visiting the place for recreation (Duhme, 2012).

Entertainment – The Science Museum also offers 3D movies which are known for both education and entertainment for visitors. In this way, along with learning, tourists also get to experience creative entertainment at museums (Hoffman, 2006).

It is required that all the above purposes must be customer-oriented and they have to be aligned with the individual customer needs and preferences in order to have sound impact of culture and heritage over customers while meeting their needs. This can be done in the following manner:

Segmentation – Firstly, segmentation must be done which will provide information regarding a bunch of customers or markets that are having same kind of needs and preferences regarding heritage tourism. These needs must be aligned with specific presentations at the museums and then presented to them to get their positive responses and to satisfy their needs (Howard and Ashworth, 2001).

Target Groups – Once the segmentation is done, target groups are to be formed which must be targeted with customized presentations at the museums. This will ensure that the specific needs of the customers are significantly met and are taken care of properly (Hooper, Kearins and Green, 2005).

Visitors levels and usage rates – This is a sound way of understanding the frequency of visitors and with the help of its record, it can be understood that what amount of visitors arrive at the museums and at what time. Taking average of this will give sound knowledge of preferred timing and quantity of tourists visiting museums (Hernández, 2012).

Positioning of Status of Heritage and Culture – The London authorities should also ensure effective positioning of status of heritage and culture which is represented within the museums. Sound positioning of the status will only drive more footfalls. It must be positioned in terms of leisure activities for tourists and visitors.

The alignment of purposes with customers’ needs and preferences will aid the management in generation of income and in this way, overall revenue can be increased. This will also aid in regenerating urban touch for the region and thereby promoting heritage and cultural tourism effectively (Hooper, Kearins and Green, 2005).

Roles Responsibilities And Ownership Of Organizations In Heritage And Cultural Industry

There are various impacts of different types of ownership on management of heritage and cultural sites and these are explained as under:

Public Ownership – Most of the heritage and cultural sites are publically owned sites and they are a significant representation of the regional and local heritage of a region. The mission and values of publicly owned sites are to promote regional architecture and art of public and thereby provide an opportunity to the community to exhibit their culture and as a result generate their own income from tourists and visitors. In this way, authorities not only attempt to uplift local communities and introduce regional development but also enhance their standards by educating them and providing them with training to enhance their presentation skills and competences to exhibit everything they got in front of the tourists (Ateljevic, 2009).

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Public ownerships have full control over heritage and cultural sites and they are responsible to provide access to tourist and conservation of sites. In this way, public authorities promote tourism in the region. This type of ownership involves authorities like government agencies, national governmental departments etc.

Private Ownership – These consist of private owners that are responsible for managing the heritage and cultural sites which are away from the responsibilities of government and there is least involvement of government in this case. The mission and values are to generate revenue and thereby earn profitability. This aids them in performing their management roles of increasing the wealth of the shareholders and thereby expanding their businesses. Parties involved in private ownerships are some specialist conservation groups which are responsible to manage access and restrictions of these heritage and cultural sites for visitors and tourists (Akoumianakis, 2009). They also generate employment in the region and conduct a number of activities for training and developing employees working in tourism companies. In this way, they create job opportunities for local communities and enhance their standards of living by enhancing skills and competencies.

Charitable Trusts – Charitable trusts are non-governmental bodies which are responsible for working for general public in the region in which they are operating. These are some voluntary bodies that contribute considerable amount of capital and work for the betterment of the society. Their roles and responsibilities involve uplifting local public’s culture and heritage by encouraging them and giving them opportunities through support from all aspects. This aids communities in bringing their art and architecture to the world and in this way they become famous for visitors and tourists (Leask and Rihova, 2010).

In this way, different organizations working with different types of ownerships acquire various roles and responsibilities which impact the management of heritage and cultural sites in several manners. Thus, by prompting these sites by using a number of ownerships, a sound promotion can be ensured and implemented (McRae, 2013).

There are various roles and responsibilities with different organizations in the heritage and cultural industry of the UK. It varies with the difference in missions and values of these organizations operating in the industry. Private organizations hold distinct responsibilities which can be differed from those of roles of public firms and this is where a line of difference lies which is thin because the overall mission of all types of firms is to promote the heritage and culture of the region (Boukas, 2012). It is explained as under:

Funding – Funding is an activity which is done to support various activities to be carried out for a specific purpose. The non-governmental organizations like voluntary bodies that run charitable trusts are responsible for funding heritage and cultural sites within the industry. This task is also done by some governmental bodies with an aim to develop these sites and to promote them for global visitors (Cheng, 2011).

Advisory and Legislative – Advisory and legislative activities are also the responsibilities of governmental bodies and such roles are played by national governmental departments that are responsible to advise the management of heritage and cultural sites regarding conservations and legislations available in region. It helps the management to understand what all restrictions are there and what all benefits they can obtain from the current legislations as explained by the advisory bodies of the areas (Farmaki, 2013).

Role of Change – There are various changes which differ in nature with differences in ownership of organizations. Private firms bring changes within technological aspects and this may lead to building of infrastructures like visitors’ centre etc. They are responsible to develop the region in terms of infrastructure and monuments for the purpose of generations. This also leads to changes in attraction for visitors while introducing a number of businesses around these heritage and cultural sites for more revenue generation and promoting new merchandising (Walker, 2014).

In this way, different organizations play different roles and responsibilities which affect heritage and cultural industry in a number of ways. This can be effective to a great extent in generating more and more revenues by conducting a number of activities with respect to heritage tourism in the region.

Role of Methods of Interpretation

Interpretation of heritage and cultural industry for tourists is important as a visitor’s experience must be positive in terms of travelling to heritage sites and taking part in any cultural events as tourists. This interpretation can be very significant for successful media promotion of a cultural site because it is the perception of individuals that make it easier for the management to conduct various promotional activities among the customers. For example, the Science and V & A Museum can conduct various events based on themes which are appealing for different segments of customers. In this way, the management can take actual benefits from all the segmentation and targeting it has done for effective marketing (Goulding, 2001). Themes could be of space or artistic and the same could be revealed through entertaining 3D movies in order to attract more attention from the visitors. In this way, interpretation of tourist can be established effectively towards the museums (Leask and Rihova, 2010). Further there are a number of tested methods for this purpose which are explained as under:

Media – Media for interpretation can significantly involve published materials in the form of advertisements in newspapers and pamphlets which can be circulated among the customers effectively.

Audio-visual techniques can also be used at places which promote the heritage site at different places and drive the visitors and tourists towards the sites. Interactive technology can also be placed which will interact with the customers as well as influence their interpretations (McRae, 2013). Drama and role play is another technique within media which is an effective approach to establishing public relations and this can generate sound understanding of heritage and cultural attractions in the region.

In this way, using audio and other sensory techniques can be an effective way for managing promotions of heritage and cultural sites and to establish sound interpretations from general public and visitors (Ateljevic, 2009).

Meeting Audience Needs – This is another technique for developing effective interpretation for tourists by establishing the needs of audience for effective understanding as to what appeals to the customers. One example for this can be the thematic 3D movies which generate significant part of revenue as it is targeted effectively towards the interpretation of audience (Akoumianakis, 2009). Management of heritage and cultural sites can also use a combination of interpretative media which can involve both visual and audio aids along with attractive effects for visitors to have appealing experience while interacting with these technological systems.

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Above methods must be used to develop sound interpretation of heritage and cultural industry for visitors effectively (Leask and Rihova, 2010).


The report has explained the growth and development of heritage and cultural industry in the United Kingdom with the emergence in specific needs and preferences of the visitors in terms of education, entertainment, leisure and recreation. These needs have given rise to a number of conflicts within the industry with regards to conversation of heritage and cultural resources in the region. With differences in purposes of these attractions, the needs of the customers have driven various organizations to have a number of missions and values for impacting the visitors and tourists in the best possible manner. Different types of ownership of these organizations have aided the management of heritage and cultural sites in carrying out different activities for media promotions and marketing to generate more revenue and to develop local communities.

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the organizations in heritage and cultural industries has given rise to various methods of developing sound interpretations of audiences and tourists for the industry.


  • Duhme, L., 2012. Cultural Tourism: Case Study Portugal. Diplomica Verlag.
  • Hoffman, T. B., 2006. Art and Cultural Heritage: Law, Policy, and Practice. Cambridge University Press.
  • Howard,P. and Ashworth, J. G., 2001. European Heritage, Planning and Management. Intellect Books.
  • Leslie,D. and Sigala, M., 2006. International Cultural Tourism. Routledge.
  • McLaren, D., 2003. Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel. Kumarian Press.
  • Timothy, J. D., 2011. Cultural Heritage and Tourism. Channel View Publications.
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