Cultural and Heritage Tourism in Contemporary Cities

Authored by: Stephen W. Boyd

Routledge Handbook of Tourism Cities

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367199999
eBook ISBN: 9780429244605
Adobe ISBN:


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Cultural and heritage tourism are well recognised as two of the oldest forms of tourism. Scholarly literature has debated how both have been defined, their importance to destinations, the impacts they generate and the challenges they face (du Cros and McKercher, 2015; Timothy and Boyd, 2003; Richards, 2007; Smith and Robinson, 2006). Both are umbrella terms that define a product category involving cultural and/or heritage products that are built, intangible and which in many cases have been modified over time. Combined they represent the most important segments of global tourism; this is not surprising given that all destinations have culture and a heritage that has been passed down. Both types of tourism have a strong experiential dimension attached to them and are popular across all age ranges and destinations. The focus of this chapter is to examine both within the specific context of the city. Cities have played a major role in the shaping of society over time; they are important places because of the heritage and culture they contain. However, the city has not been a setting that has evoked much debate by scholars; the number of major texts on urban tourism has been rather limited over the years (see for example Page, 1995 and Page and Hall, 2003). This is somewhat surprising as cities are places that strongly associate with heritage and culture; however, interest in both by visitors has varied over time.

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