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Heritage Tourism in Cities - Essay Example

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Introduction Turnbridge and Ashworth (1996, p53) define heritage as “an inheritance or legacy that is transmitted from one generation to the next”. Since time immemorial, heritage has been used to mean a legal inheritance that an individual is entitled to from the will of a deceased…
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Heritage Tourism in Cities
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Download file to see previous pages However, every heritage contains real, underlying or symbolic importance that plays a critical role in terming its perception in society. This paper examines dark tourism, focusing on marketing and interpretation of House of Terror Museum in Hungary, a traumatic site as touring sites in the contemporary society. Smith and Robinson (2006, p105) defined heritage tourism as “leisure expeditions with the major objective of touring historic, natural, recreational and scenic sceneries to learn more about the past”. Dark tourism is one component of heritage tourism and it involves “visiting places associated with death, suffering and tragedy” (Cooper, et al 2008, p49). Heritage tourism is founded on the motivations and perceptions of the consumers or tourists rather than the particular characteristics that define the destination. According to Smith and Robinson (2006), the major motivation for touring heritage sites is the uniqueness of the tourism destination in relation to the tourists’ awareness or perception of their own heritage. Heritage tourism to a site with dark history evokes various emotions such as nostalgia, idealism, and a feeling of belonging in the time and space (Foley and Lennon1996). Stone (2006) argues that heritage tourism is both unique and universal, because it presents a heritage for all people at a given time. Although each site has its unique characteristic, dark tourism sites present a universal message to all persons, from the message of pain to suffering and anger among other feelings that characterize human beings. Heritage sites include various inherited localities such as historic buildings, artwork and scenic areas among others. A tourist travels to the heritage site with an objective of seeing the historical artefacts. These artefacts usually form an important connection between the cultural background of tourist and his or her history or past. However, the particular historical site or artefact elicits different emotions and reactions from various people. Holloway (2004) argues that it could elicit emotional encounter and make the individual feel closely connected with ancestors and the historical event, which makes the experience more than just a learning experience. Manino (1997) argues that dark tourism is a mysterious combination of heritage, history and tragedy. It evokes discussions of the past, present and future morals and ethics surrounding death of mankind. Some of the most popular sites for dark tourism include conflict sites and death camps which figuratively or literary embrace the memory of human suffering and violence that took place in a particular historical period (Manino 1997). Disastrous events such as the collapse of the world trade centre continue to elicit attention and curiosity from different people across the world. Similarly, scenes of accidents and large-scale loss of human lives usually become spontaneous attractions, where people gather to pay their respects or just to witness and experience the terrifying aftermath. The uncharacteristic connection between leisure and pleasure in dark tourism has been a matter of moral and ethical discussion in the hospitality industry especially when it comes to marketing and promotion of the sites. Some heritage tourism critics contend that tourism is an immoral and inappropriate practice for presenting disturbing events of human history, such as death and tragedies and other forms of suffering. According to MacCannell (1989: p73), ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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