Session 10

Heritage Geographies of Tourism: prospects and challenges (IGU Commission on Geography of Tourism; Leisure and Global Change)
Chairs: Velvet Nelson (Sam Houston State University) & Jarkko Saarinen (University of Oulu)

Heritage tourism is one of the most prominent and widespread forms of tourism. It is growing rapidly and constantly involving new places and heritage resources to its circle of economy. Heritage tourism can utilize very different types of heritage resources: both cultural and natural, material and immaterial forms of heritage. There are also different types of impacts the tourism industry can create for heritage resources and local communities and economies. In general, tourism development has often been viewed as a positive force not only in terms of its potential to stimulate local and regional economies but also its ability to protect the heritage on which it is based. However, tourism geographers have also raised critical questions about the potential negative impact the industry can create and the nature of the heritage (re)presented to tourists as well as tourists' consumption of this heritage. In particular, the increasing recognition of the negative impacts of tourism due to factors such as uncontrolled growth has raised additional concerns that tourism may be endangering the heritage on which it is based. As such, this session invites contributions that reflect prospects and challenges linked on the production and/or consumption of heritage tourism through topics such as, but not limited, to commodification, interpretation, contested heritage, tourist experiences, community role and participation, overtourism, and sustainable and responsible heritage tourism.

Essential bibliography:
Cohen, E. (1988). Authenticity and commodisation in tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 15:3, 371-386.
McKercher, B. & du Cros, H. (2002). Cultural Tourism: The Partnership between Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management. Binghamton: The Haworth Press.
Smith, M. (2003). Issues in cultural tourism studies. London: Routledge.
Timothy, D. (2011). Cultural heritage tourism. Bristol: Channelview.
Timothy, D. & Boyd, S. (2003). Heritage tourism. Harlow: Pearson Education.