1 July 2013


Heritage in regards to Tourism

Smith (2006) states that heritage is the naturalisation of the practice of conserving and passing on to future generations as well as promoting a set of Western elite cultural values as being universally applicable.
Heritage Tourism is basically an immersion into the 'natural history, human heritage, arts, philosophy and institutions of another country or region'(Timothy and Boyd, 2003).

Futhermore heritage tourists can be categorised into 3 main types:
I. Tourists that visit heritage regions because they feel it is part of their heritage;
II. Tourists that visit heritage regions because they consider it a heritage site but it is not connected to their own heritage;
III. Tourists that visit heritage regions because it is a heritage site but not clear about its designation (Poria et al. 2001).

The significance of heritage for the 4 main areas of a region or country:
I. Economy of the country: heritage is preserved because of the value it gives to the region in terms of expenditures of visitors to the site.
II. Social: conservation of the personal and collective identity that people and society have with their 'heritage'.
III. Political: symbolism of heritage may serve political ends.
IV. Scientific: many national parks and protected areas may contain gene pools and ecosystems that will be useful for medicine. Habitat for rare species, indigenous people (Hall and McArthur, 1993).

Benefits of being a heritage region:
I. Preservation: retention in largely unchanged form of sites/objects.
II. Conservation: some form of restoration should be undertaken to bring old buildings and sites into suitable modern use without affecting the natural look. 
III. Exploitation: recognises the value of heritage sites, particularly for tourism and recreation especially in regards to interpretation and education (Larkham, 1995).