INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL TOURISM
Heritage and cultural tourism is a branch of tourism industry. It can be defined as traveling to experience the artifacts, places and activities that show the stories and people of the past authentically. This can involve historic, cultural and natural resources. Heritage includes cultural as well as natural environment. This encompasses historic places, landscapes, bio-diversity, sites and built environment, past and continuing cultural practices. People are highly interested to know about the culture and the past history of different places. They discover unique places and enjoy the activity of traveling (Cultural Heritage Rights: From Ownership and Descent to Justice and Well-being, 2013). The present research report is prepared to understand the development and growth in the heritage and cultural industry within UK. In addition to this, conflicts in conservation of cultural and heritage resources, purpose of attractions in meeting the needs of different customers are discussed. Further, different types of ownership in the management of cultural and heritage sites and the roles and responsibilities of the organization within the industry are
Heritage and culture play an important role in the economy of UK. This sector includes museums, archeology, conservation, heritage landscape etc. This helps the people to know and understand about the different cultures, traditions and customs. Growth and development in heritage and cultural tourism has been recorded in the past decades (International heritage Organization, 2008). It is essential to improve the awareness of people so that they preserve it. Proper maintenance, conservation and protection of heritage and cultural sites are required for growth and development of tourism.
Grand tour in Britain: Grand tour includes the travel writing and works of some Britain's greatest artists, reveling interaction with European culture and intellectual sensibilities.
Stonehenge: It is mystical ancient site where hundreds of revelers gather to watch the run rise and welcome the longest day in the year.
Industrial heritage Leeds: It is the exhibition of equipments used in the 19th century to process wool by knowledgeable local people.
Growth and development
Transportation: This plays a significant role in the growth and development of cultural and heritage industry. The development of road system, local transportation and international aircrafts has increased the growth of heritage and cultural tourism into UK.
Technology: The use of advanced technology also helps to provide best experience to the tourists which increase the growth of this industry in UK. The technological development plays a significant role in the growth of cultural and heritage sector (Grimwade and Carter, 2000).
Media: In the present era, newspaper articles, TV documentaries and social media are used by organizations in cultural and heritage sector which results in the growth and development of the industry.
Higher level of education: The level of education is increasing in the modern era. Students visit other countries for their education and this has increased travel and tourism into the nation (Samuel and Agyei, 2006).
Workforce: Apart from the above components, workforce also plays a significant role in the growth and development of the industry as they are the valuable assets. Organizations provide training to their workforce so that they have sufficient knowledge about culture and heritage of UK. Most of the workforce is involved in pubic charities or trusts while the rest of them are either in private companies or self employed (Harrison, 2006).
In order to preserve cultural and natural sites, there are several steps and measures that are being undertaken by the government. Increase in industrialization along with urbanization created major threats to conservation of heritage and natural resources and these threats can lead to be potential conflicts. There are different conflicts that can takes place in travel and tourism sector like clashes with local authority for building restrictions, with local community for increase in noise pollution and traffic etc (Boniface and Cooper, 2009).
The Central Jordan, where local and institutionalized heritage are developed, aimed to promote domestic and foreign tourism. The United Kingdom is working for heritage tourism on its own as well as with its neighbor countries. Conflict may arise in cultural and tourism industry as other countries may not permit UK to participate in their heritage tourism. Today, Jordan greatly depends on the revenue from the tourism industry and the Ministry of Tourism and Department of Antiques of Kingdom that constantly work to transform the ancient resources of United Kingdom into revenue generators (Timothy, 2011). The local and national heritage is discouraged which affects the tourism of nation. Further, local communities may resist to official narratives if they are not involve into the tourist infrastructure of hospitality management and this can lead to potential conflicts. Dhiban is an earlier excavation at the site that revealed an occupational history of 5000 years spanning the Iron, Bronze, Roman, Islamic and Byzantine ages. It is less wealthy with few economic opportunities. In this context, government of Dhiban has taken steps in development of archaeological sites for tourism. The conflicts may take place for use of conventional ideas of preservation and development. In addition to this, conflict may occur regarding equal participation by all segments of the community in development and public representation of site (Fisher and Ormston, 2013). Moreover conflicts may takes place between stakeholders such as government, community and public regarding development of heritage and cultural tourism into nation.
The Giant Causeway was built 55 years ago in North Antrim Coast of Ireland. This place involves columns and rocks of hexagonal shape that was developed slowly by huge lakes of molten lava with cooling. The potential conflict which may take place at this site is that the continuing popularity is now putting huge pressure. Northern Ireland is struggling to find out ways in order to maximize the tourists to the site without destroying the wonderful sites of Causeway (Weiler, 1999).
A cliff walk at Islandmagee was constructed by the railway in Northern Ireland. It was almost three miles of stopping paths. Bridges and tunnels are also developed along with these cliffs. This site had become famous tourist attraction in 1902, but after the Second World War, it was closed for public. The potential conflict takes place for redevelopment of this site for tourist attraction (Ripp, Eidenschink and Milz, 2011).
Heritage and cultural attractions have different purposes in travel and tourism sector. It helps to increase the learning and knowledge of people regarding their customs and traditions along with their history. In this respect, museums are the finest place where people can find the collection of ancient art, artifacts and heritage. Science Museum in London was founded in 1857 and it is one of the major tourist attractions (Lomine and Edmunds, 2007). Admission to this museum is free of cost and the main visitors for this are students, foreign visitors and research scholars. Families and children's are also visitors of museums as they are highly interested to visit it. It is famous for the collection of 300,000 items and among this, most famous are Stephenson's Rocket and Puffing Billy. The Science Museum comprises of a reconstruction of James Watson's model of DNA as well as items from different fields. The purpose of this Museum is to increase visitor's awareness about technological development in different fields of science, both at local and international level. In addition to this, the museum also helps research scholars to successfully carry out their research (The Science Museum, 2013).
Victoria and Albert Museum was founded in 1852 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They owns collection of arts and design in the world and are considered as one of the largest museum. It consist designs of ceramics, silver, drawings and also involve glass and furniture. The collection encompasses antiques of 5000 years old that belongs to different cultures of North Africa, Europe, North America and Asia. Museum also involves a library which has collection of 750000 books along with photographs, prints and drawings and it is known as National Art Library (Carr, 2004). All types of tourists visit Victoria and Albert Museum be its students, foreigners, local tourists or research scholars. In the present era, people are highly interested to learn about different culture and traditions and the purpose of this museum is to enhance knowledge of people from different nations about customs, culture and traditions of UK. The museum has a National Library which is used by students for education purpose. It also aims to connect people from all over the world to the heritage and culture of this region and hence educate them about culture, art and designs. The museum also aims to entertain people through different antiques items and it essentially boost their knowledge (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2013).
There are three types of ownership that takes place in cultural and heritage tourism of UK and they have different roles and responsibilities. The different ownership and their responsibilities are enumerated below:
Public ownership: These organizations are owned as well as controlled by government of nation and their mission is to enhance foreign visitors so as to increase foreign exchange earnings which results in economic growth of nation. They also have purpose to preserve natural cultural and heritage destinations of UK in order to maintain tourism into nation. Organizations conduct different programs so as to attract visitors and to increase tourism (Barré and Hervé, 2002). In order to give substantial grants to projects across the UK, government has developed Heritage Lottery Fund. Public ownership promote cultural and heritage tourism into nation which also provide employment and rise the living standard of people into country. They also emphasis on preserving different tourist destinations and also invest for renovating these sites in order to enhance tourism and to increase economic growth of country. English Heritage is a non-departmental public body which aims to protect the natural environment (Masip, 2006). It was set up under the clause of National Heritage Act 1983. They have broad remit for management of historic environment of England. Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) was developed under the National Lottery Act 1993 of United Kingdom. This aims to make a lasting difference people, heritage and communities across the UK and also assist in development of resilient heritage economy (Evans and Graeme, 2003).
Private ownership: They aims to provide best experience to their customers and they are owned and controlled by private individuals. The mission of these types of organizations is to increase their growth as well their profitability. In cultural and heritage tourism, these types of ownership put efforts to attract visitors and to generate revenue. The Historic House Association (HHA) involves around 1500 privately owned castles, gardens and houses throughout the UK. They seek to work towards economic, fiscal and political climate which allow owners to preserve and sustain their properties (Cardoso and Ferreira, 2000).
Non-profit ownerships: These types of ownership also have wider impact on cultural and heritage tourism into UK. National Trust in UK is an independent charitable ownership that has responsibility to increase cultural and heritage tourism in nation with a motive to increase economic growth. The purpose of these types of organization is divided into four parts i.e. relief of poverty, promotion of education, follows regulations and benefits to locality. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international independent charitable trust that was founded in April 1961 and it work on issue related with research, conservation and restoration of the environment. National trust is the charity that plays a vital role in protecting and monitoring of fends, beaches, forests, woods, islands, downs, moorland, farmland etc (Organization, 2001).
There are different types of ownership in heritage and cultural tourism that have diverse roles and responsibilities in UK. The major responsibilities of organizations in this industry are preservation, conservation and management activities of heritage and cultural resources. The roles and responsibilities of different ownership are as follows:
English Heritage: It is a public body of British Government and it harmonizes the work of natural England. They aim to protect natural environment into nation. They have responsibility of maintaining ancient monuments in order to protect history and to attract visitors. They best role of English Heritage is the steward of more than 400 important archaeological and historical sites from world's earliest iron bridge (English Heritage, 2013).
WWF: This association works on issues related with research, conservation and restoration of environment. They work in over 100 countries and supports approx 1,300 environmental projects. This foundation has responsibility to stop degradation of planet's natural environment and to develop a future in which people in concord with nature. They are also responsible to protect natural environment and to increase travel and tourism (The Cultural Heritage Blueprint: A Workforce Development Plan for Cultural Heritage in the UK, 2013).
Heritage lottery fund (HLF): They are responsible to raise fund through National Lottery and use it to make lasting difference for communities and people across the UK and to develop a resilient heritage economy. They also invest in different heritage in order to preserve them and to increase tourism into nation. HLF have responsibility to conserve parks, museums and other historic archaeology, cultural traditions and natural environment which helps to attract visitors and to increase heritage and cultural tourism (Collison and Spears, 2010).
Historic House Association (HHA): They stand for 1,500 privately owned historic country houses throughout the UK. There 300 HHA houses are open for day visit of public that attract millions of visitors each year. They are responsible to promote heritage and cultural tourism into nation which leads to economic growth. HHA are responsible for future of these historic houses into UK. They provide specialist and technical advices, conduct seminars and information for its member houses. They have commitment to conserve art, gardens, and parks and highly contribute in heritage and cultural tourism of nation (Page and Connell, 2006).
National Trust: They are dedicated to protect environmental or cultural treasures of specific region. The principle role of organization is to ensure the protection of historically and architecturally essential item of cultural heritage of nation and conservation of natural beauty (Cardoso and Ferreira, 2000).
Interpretation to the experience of visitors plays a significant role in identification of different needs and expectations of people so as to provide best experience to them. Science Museum uses different medias for interpretation of visitors experience which helps them in develop effective policies and increase their profitability. It helps in increasing profitability and market share of organization through visitor's satisfaction. Interpretation within heritage and cultural industry for tourists helps to provide satisfaction to visitors (Organization, 2001). There are different medias that can be used for interpretation within the heritage and culture industry. These are enumerated below:
Before arrival: Under this context, movies and short videos on Victoria and Albert museum can be shown to visitors in order to attract people towards museum. This will be an effective mediafor interpretation of tourists experience and to identify their views about museum before arrival. Social media can also be use in order to gain attention of visitors and in this regard, Facebook, YouTube are the most effective media (Timothy, 2011). In addition to this, interactive technology can be use for interpretation of V&A museum for tourists. This helps to attract people to visit museum.
During the visit: Published material can be use in this regard that involves books and brochure. This can be provided to visitors so that they can gain information about museum. In addition to this, permission can be given to click the pictures that will be as memory for visitors and will help in publicity. Further V&A can conducts events such as roles plays and dramas in order to attract tourists and to provide best experience during their visit (Ripp, Eidenschink and Milz, 2011). This will helps to create better understanding among visitors and provide proper information which encourages them to visit museum again.
After the visit: In this context, memento of V&A museum can be provided to tourists as this will help to create strong image in the mind of visitors of different nation. In addition to this, market survey can be use which will involve written forms so as to identify experience of visitors in the context of museum. Published material can also be used in this context. For this, books or magazines can be offered to all visitors. This will helps to maintain trust and loyalty among tourists and to provide satisfaction to them (Grimwade and Carter, 2000).
Hence, these are different types of medias that can be use interpretation of different groups of visitors. This will helps them to attract visitors and hence boost tourism in nation.
From the above report, it can be articulated that preservation and conservation of heritage and cultural sites are highly essential as it contribute in economic growth of nation. Further ownership is of different types such as public, private and independent charitable associations. They have different roles and responsibilities in tourism industry but their major role is preservation and conservation of heritage sites. There are different methods that can be use for interpretation of visitors experience in cultural and heritage industry. The purpose of heritage and cultural attractions is to attract tourists and increase tourism and hence to enhance economic growth.
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- Boniface, B.C. and Cooper, C.P. 2009. Worldwide destinations. 5th ed. Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Cardoso, C. And Ferreira, L., 2000. The effects of European economic integration on tourism: challenges and opportunities for Portuguese tourism development. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
- Carr, A., 2004. Mountain places, cultural spaces: the interpretation of culturally significant Landscapes. Journal of sustainable tourism.