Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism

Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism

by Sheela Agarwal, Gareth Shaw


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This book examines the main issues and concepts relating to heritage, screen and literary tourism (HSLT) and provides a comprehensive understanding and evaluation of these three forms of tourism in the context of global tourism development. It analyses the demand and supply of HSLT within the frameworks provided by service-dominant logic and value creation to enable a critical perspective on how HSLT tourist experiences are created, produced and shaped. The volume explores the challenges which relate to the role of the consumer in the co-creation of the tourist experience, and the implications this has for the development, marketing, interpretation, consumption, planning and management of HSLT. It will appeal to researchers and students of heritage tourism, film and literary tourism, media-driven tourism, tourism planning and destination development and management.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845416232
Publisher: Channel View Publications
Publication date: 11/10/2017
Series: ASPECTS OF TOURISM Series , #80
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.03(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Sheela Agarwal is Professor in Tourism Management at the University of Plymouth, UK. Her research interests include socio-economic dynamics of seaside resorts, deprivation and disadvantage, heritage identities and dissonance, persuasion and crime prevention. Gareth Shaw is Professor in Retail and Tourism Management at the University of Exeter, UK. His current research interests include innovation and behaviour change, tourism and wellbeing, and ecosystems.

Read an Excerpt


Heritage Tourism: Exploring the Screen and Literary Nexus


Understanding our past determines actively our ability to understand the present. So, how do we sift the truth from belief? How do we write our own histories, personally or culturally, and thereby define ourselves? How do we penetrate years, centuries of historical distortion, to find original truth? Tonight this will be our quest. (Robert Langdon, Da Vinci Code, 2006)

Symbologist, Robert Langdon, lead character of the novel (2003) and later cinematic production (2006) of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, a detective thriller steeped in history, myth and romance, was referring to the cryptic mystery that lay ahead of him. Accidentally, however, captured by his profane statement, is the essence of the nexus that binds together heritage, literary and screen tourism (HSLT); it contains the existence of a storyline underpinned by the co-creation of memory, history and heritage, conveyed through literary and screen mechanisms, which despite being subject to intense criticism for its inaccurate portrayal of history, has stimulated tourism to Paris and to a range of heritage attractions featured, including the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland (Martin-Jones, 2014). The Da Vinci Code, of course, is not an isolated example of such a nexus; most countries have tapped into such demand and are fully exploiting the selling and retelling of the past, as well as using screen and literary links to attract tourists. For example, tours are offered to the film locations of Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Kefalonia) and The Lord of the Rings (New Zealand). The 'English Riviera' (southwest England), the birthplace and home of Dame Agatha Christie, and various locations around London including Baker Street and the Docklands which provide the setting for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'Sherlock Holmes' mysteries, are marketed to visitors who are keen to discover the many places featured in these two famous crime writers' books and their subsequent film and TV productions.

Not surprisingly, HSLT is of huge economic, social and political significance to many tourist destinations, reflecting the rapid growth of special interest travel since the 1990s. Indeed, during this decade heritage was one of the most significant and fastest growing components of tourism (Aluza et al., 1998; Herbert, 1995), accounting for almost 40% of all international trips undertaken (UNTWO, 2004). More recently, heritage and culture have become closely integrated with other tourism sectors (UNTWO, 2014a) such as screen and literature, reflecting the diverse ways in which tourism is being produced and consumed by tourists (Richards, 2014). Despite this, few books have been published that focus on heritage tourism per se but that also incorporate detailed analysis of its interconnections between two overlapping but distinctive forms of tourism, namely screen and literary tourism. Such an oversight is remarkable given that HSLT has been an important leisure activity and area of scholarly research since the 1990s (Beeton, 2005; Prentice, 2001; Timothy & Boyd, 2003). Moreover, a multidimensional nexus exists between these three forms of tourism based upon a number of commonalities (Figure 1.1). First, they share many characteristics, such as their cultural relevance and association with cultural tourism, their historical and/or contemporary links, their connection with real and/or fictional events, places or people, and their influence on the negotiation of identities.

Secondly, while experiences now lie firmly at the heart of the tourism industry, because HSLT often requires tourists' involvement in the consumption of reconstructions of aspects of the past and present, fictional and real worlds, arguably service-dominant logic (S-DL) is particularly relevant to all three, as the tourist inevitably plays a critical role in the co-creation of the experience. Thirdly, given the role of the tourist in shaping the experience, HSLT commonly exhibit a host of similar management, marketing and development issues including, for example, authenticity and historical distortion, interpretation, and beneficial and adverse visitor impacts. It is the existence of this nexus which situates screen and literary tourism within the broader context of heritage tourism (Martin-Jones, 2014; Sakellari, 2014), and which necessitates detailed examination within a single text.

Thus, this book addresses the relative lack of publications which examine HSLT together, by providing a comprehensive understanding and evaluation of these three forms of tourism in the context of global tourism development. In particular, it aims to:

(a) enhance knowledge of the relationships between HSLT;

(b) analyse the demand and supply of HSLT;

(c) critically review the development, marketing and management of HSLT in global settings;

(d) comprehensively examine the main issues and concepts relating to HSLT; and

(e) ascertain the future implications of the main issues affecting HSLT.

It begins with this introductory chapter which sets the context for the book, detailing and justifying its theoretical underpinning and the major themes that are discussed. The meaning and nature of HSLT will be examined and their associated products detailed. Then the HSLT nexus will be analysed and the relationships between these three distinct but overlapping forms of tourism will be considered. Arising from this nexus are a number of challenges which relate to the role of the consumer in the co-creation of the tourist experience, and the implications this has for the development, marketing, interpretation, consumption and the planning and management of HSLT.

The Meaning and Nature of Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism

Defining concepts is never an easy task and providing individual definitions of HSLT is no exception, primarily because their meaning and nature has been widely debated (Garrod & Fyall, 2001; Hewison, 1987; Nuryanti, 1996; Poria et al., 2001; Prentice, 2001; Timothy & Boyd, 2003), as is evident in the following discussion.

Heritage tourism

Much of the difficulty surrounding the definition of heritage tourism stems from controversy linked to exactly what constitutes heritage, and thus a multitude of definitions have been proposed. For example, according to Ashworth and Tunbridge (1996: 105), heritage is 'the contemporary use of the past ... the interpretation of the past in history'. Meanwhile, heritage may be considered to consist of those aspects of the past which people today value; heritage resources may have intrinsic qualities such as age, but the value placed on them depends on the people who use them (Prentice, 1993; Timothy & Boyd, 2003). While it appears that most researchers accept that heritage is linked to the past and that it represents some sort of inheritance which is passed down to current and future generations, both in terms of cultural traditions and physical artefacts (Nuryanti, 1996; Timothy & Boyd, 2003), since not all heritage is kept, it thereby relates to those elements of the past a society wishes to keep. Such a view infers that heritage is selective, as society does not value all heritage and instead it is filtered through a value system which changes over time and space and across societies (Timothy & Boyd, 2003). This changing value attachment to heritage is illustrated by the example of the American Wilderness. Prior to the 18th century this environment was viewed as a dangerous, reviled place, but since the romanticisation of nature in the 18th century, this and other similar landscapes are now appreciated for their intrinsic beauty (Shaw & Williams, 1994).

However, in addition to heritage being subject to selectivity, different views exist about the meaning of heritage as it has been applied to two different types of phenomenon. According to Timothy and Boyd (2003), the first relates to heritage being classified as tangible immovable resources (e.g. buildings, rivers and natural areas), tangible movable resources (e.g. objects in museums or documents in archives), or intangible resources, such as values, customs, ceremonies and lifestyles, including experiences such as festivals, arts and cultural events. Meanwhile, the second phenomenon, in Timothy and Boyd's (2003) view, is associated with heritage being classified according to the type of attraction. They cite some examples, including natural heritage, which is usually associated with protected areas like national parks, living cultural heritage, built heritage, industrial heritage, personal heritage, aspects of regions that have value and significance to individuals or groups of people, and dark heritage (places of atrocity and symbols of death and pain).

Another reason for disagreement about the meaning of heritage is because erroneous associations are often made between history, heritage and culture; in particular, heritage is often equated with history (Timothy & Boyd, 2003). The latter, however, is the recording of the past as precisely as possible in so far as it can be accurate given present-day limitations of knowledge. In contrast, although heritage is part of the past too, it includes a range of past and present aspects of society such as language, culture, identity and locality. Moreover, history is a scholarly activity which produces knowledge about the past, whereas heritage is a means of consuming that knowledge. Thus, history is what historians regard as worth recording, whereas heritage is what contemporary society chooses to inherit and pass on. In the case of the association between heritage and culture, common misconceptions about their interchangeable use occur because there is an obvious link in that heritage is part of past and present cultural landscapes. The association between culture and heritage is clearly evident in how Tahana and Oppermann (1998: 23) defined cultural attractions as ranging from 'historical monuments to handicrafts or artefacts, from festivals to music and dance presentations, and from the bustling street life of a different culture to the distinct lifestyle of indigenous people'. According to Timothy and Boyd (2003: 5), what has clearly emerged is an expansion of the term 'heritage' to apply not only to historic, natural and built environments, but also to the many dimensions of 'material culture, intellectual inheritances and cultural identities'. In sum, what exists is a heritage spectrum which embraces ancient monuments, the built environment, aspects of the natural environment and many aspects of living culture and the arts (Timothy & Boyd, 2003).

Different views also exist about the meaning and nature of heritage because it is inextricably linked to the context in which it occurs. For instance, according to Timothy and Boyd (2003: 6):

from a northern European perspective, heritage is not heritage unless it involves a visit to urban places, often the historical cores of old cities. In contrast, in North America, heritage is strongly linked to visiting natural places, particularly national parks but also the cultures of First Peoples, attractions such as museums and galleries in urban environments, festivals in both rural and urban settings, and those special celebrations that highlight national identity. While the natural component of places is important to Australians and New Zealanders, heritage is also linked to the uniqueness of the culture, people (Aborigine, Maori, European settlers) and their identity that coexist within natural places and the built environment.

Given the range of meanings attached to heritage, it therefore comes as no surprise that different views also exist about the meaning of heritage tourism (Ashworth & Larkham, 1994; Garrod & Fyall, 2001; Nuryanti, 1996; Richards, 1996). With this in mind, an alternative approach to clarifying heritage tourism has been offered by Poria et al. (2001), who suggest that heritage tourism is a phenomenon based on tourists' motivation and perceptions rather than on specific site attributes. Poria et al. (2001: 1048) thus identify three types of heritage tourists: '(1) those visiting a site they deem to be part of their heritage; (2) those visiting what they consider as a heritage site although it is unconnected with their own; and (3) those visiting a heritage site specifically classified as a heritage place although unaware of this designation'. On this basis, they define heritage tourism as 'a sub-group of tourism, in which the main motivation for visiting a site is based on the place's heritage characteristics according to the tourists' perception of their own heritage' (Poria et al., 2003: 247–248).

Thus, in an attempt to simplify the complexity of aspects that encompass heritage, a diverse range of definitions of heritage tourism have been proposed. Generally, however, these definitions tend to be polarised around two contrasting approaches, which Apostolakis (2003) describes first as descriptive and second as experiential. With regard to the former, this approach focuses on defining the material components of culture and heritage such as attractions, objects of art, artefacts and relics, as well as more intangible forms of culture and heritage such as traditions, languages and folklore. Often there is also recognition of the difference between primary and secondary elements of heritage tourism activity. In terms of the latter, this approach is based on experiences derived from the consumption of heritage resources and focuses on tourists' decisions to visit a particular destination, on the significance of the individual's experiences and perceptions of the destination (Apostolakis, 2003). By contrast, much neater definitions of screen and literary tourism exist.

Screen tourism

Screen tourism is a generic term that is adopted to describe 'a form of tourism that is generated by TV programmes, video, DVD as well as film that involves big and small screen productions (but not TV programmes designed primarily to promote tourist destinations, such as holiday shows)' (Connell & Meyer, 2009: 194). Film and TV scenes and images have the potential to be long-lasting, creating an enduring and alluring destination product or experience (Beeton, 2005, 2015, 2016), and it is in the specific context of historic screen productions that have generated visits to historic sites where perhaps the closest association between this form of tourism and heritage tourism lies. The novelist and film screenwriter George MacDonald Fraser in his popular Hollywood history of the world (1988) argued that film was a powerful medium for shaping tourists' views of history. Moreover, the historian Rosenstone (1995: 72) argued that well-made historical films can be effective in generating 'new ways of visioning the past', and of increasing the viewers' understanding and appreciation of history.

Frost (2006) cites several examples of period films and screen productions that have induced tourism, including visitation to Rome (particularly the Coliseum) arising from Gladiator, visits to battlefield sites stimulated by the film Gettysburg, and visits to castles, historic homes and landscapes encouraged by the films Braveheart and A Knight's Tale and by the film and TV productions of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. With respect to the latter, Lyme Park, a Palladian mansion surrounded by 1300 acres of deer park, is one of the must-see attractions on any TV/film tour of the north of England, location for Pemberley in the BBC's 1995 adaptation starring Colin Firth as Mr Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Miss Elizabeth Bennet. The Pemberley Trail through Lyme Park takes in every scene filmed there for Pride and Prejudice, including the bridge where Elizabeth first glimpses Pemberley, the courtyard and garden, and the pool where Darcy dives in to cool off. In 2005 this film was remade for the big screen and featured several Derbyshire historic homes including Belton House, Burghley House, Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House, which now form part of this film tourism trail (Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, 2014). Additionally, several Chinese destinations that have appeared in popular period films and TV shows are now marketed to domestic and international tourists. For instance, tours are offered around Beijing's Forbidden City where The Last Emperor was filmed, and to Jiuzhaigou National Park (Sichuan Province), the location of some scenes in Hero, a film which tells the story of Jing Ke's assassination attempt on the Emperor of the Qin dynasty in 227 BC (China Highlights, 2015).


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Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables List of Plates Preface and Acknowledgments The Authors 1. Heritage Tourism: Exploring the Screen and Literary Nexus2. Demand and Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism Markets3. The Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism Debate4. Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism Development5. Interpretation for Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism6. Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism Consumption7. The Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism Nexus within Tourism Marketing8. Visitor Management for Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism9. ConclusionReferences

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