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Heritage Tourism in UK

Table of Contents

LO1 Growth and development for cultural and heritage industry within travel & tourism.. 1

1.1 Analysis of growth and development for heritage and cultural tourism.. 1

1.2 Discuss potential conflicts in the conservation of heritage and cultural resources. 3

LO2 Understand the purpose of heritage and cultural attractions within the travel and tourism sector 4

2.1 Assess the purpose of heritage and cultural attractions in meeting the needs of different customers  5

LO3 Understand roles, responsibilities and ownership of organizations in the heritage and cultural industry. 7

3.1 Evaluate the impact of different types of ownership on the management of heritage and cultural sites. 7

3.2 Analyze roles and responsibilities of organizations in the heritage and cultural industry  8

LO4 Understand the role of methods of interpretation within the heritage and culture industry. 9

4.1 Evaluate methods and media used for interpretation within the heritage and cultural industry for tourists. 10


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Cultural and heritage tourism have shown sign of high growth in special context to UK markets wherein cultural and heritage tourism have got wide popularity from the domestic as well as international tourists. The aim of present paper is to evaluate the status of cultural and heritage tourism in UK. There would be several heritage and cultural case studies which would be referred for accomplishing present task, first task would consider case studies of The Giant’s causeway and Central Jordan. Second task would consider visit to Science and V&A museum. Third task would focus on the different ownership types taking example from cultural and heritage tourism industry. Fourth task for the present assignment would reflect on the trip made to the Science museum and V&A museum in London so as to understand the different methods of media for interpretation in the heritage and cultural tourism industry.

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LO1 Growth and development for cultural and heritage industry within travel & tourism

Heritage signified the things which have been inherited from the past time for example cultural heritage can be understood as the cultural artefacts attributed to a particular group and belonging to past time. Similarly natural heritage would be defined as the things which have been inherited from flora and fauna. Heritage tourism activities are defined as the visit made to the places and people which contain the story and activities resembling with the past time. Visit to such places would be done in order to support such places, people, out of interest into heritage & cultural aspects and to make contribution to society (Regnier et al, 1994). There has been enormous growth in heritage and cultural tourism in recent time specifically in context to tourism industry in UK wherein every year millions of tourist comes to visit the heritage and cultural aspects of UK. In the present context growth & development would be observed for the two tourism destinations i.e. Central Jordan and The Giant’s causeway along with understanding potential conflict which arises in them conservation versus development issue in heritage tourism industry.

1.1  Analysis of growth and development for heritage and cultural tourism

Heritage and cultural tourism has been observed as the fastest emerging industry in UK with more than 10 million trips made by tourists in UK just for the heritage & cultural tourism. There are several reasons for which domestic as well as international tourists come to visit London but in recent time heritage & cultural tourism have been considered as the second most important reasons for visiting London after business purpose. Popularity of heritage tourism in UK can be estimated from the fact that every second visitor in UK come and visit heritage and cultural tourism destinations in country. Though growth of heritage tourism industry in UK just accounts for more than 2.6% but looking into other industries such as manufacturing this growth is quite significant. Further heritage and cultural tourism in UK is considered as the main contributor to economy wherein more than 0.2 million jobs are dependent on heritage tourism directly or indirectly (Ward and Wilkinson, 2006). Another major factor which highlights the contribution made by heritage tourism to the economy of UK is its support to the other industries in the country such as construction, hotel industry, transportation industry, food & beverage industry and promotional media. Looking into the impacts which have been made by heritage and cultural tourism industry for construction industry it can be said that more than 43% of the overall revenue of industry is being contributed through heritage tourism in form of repair, maintenance and development of the tourism sites.

Another factor which highlights the development and growth in heritage & cultural tourism in UK is through the increase in number of people visiting heritage sites in UK and it has been revealed that 33% of the overall tourists in UK visit famous churches, castles and museum. Some of the famous places which can be visited in London as a mark of heritage tourism would include Science museum, V&A museum, Palace of Westminster, York Minister and Tower of London. These places are considered to be big attraction for domestic as well as international tourists coming from different parts of the world.

Cultural and heritage tourism in UK are more than 900 years old wherein Winchester Cathedral is worship place and of high importance from the heritage aspect due to its fine quality architecture and hidden treasure. City museum in Winchester has completed its 100 years and it is known as the most popular Roman tower in history. Wolvesely tower is since year 1554 and it is popular as it is related with the marriage of king and queen. Considering the scope of heritage and cultural tourism activities in UK it can be said that the scope has been extended from the events & festivals to the physical attractions, themes, destinations, destinations with historic significance, destination associated with people and routes & journey etc. Hence present age cultural and heritage tourism activities consider wide range of activities while looking for the cultural and heritage tourism aspects in UK due to availability of all these places, destinations, people and things related to the past time and showing cultural & heritage importance for country.

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1.2 Discuss potential conflicts in the conservation of heritage and cultural resources

In order to discuss the issue of conflict between development and conservation of the heritage and cultural resources two cases studies have been considered in the present task which are The Giant’s causeway and Central Jordan. Conservation versus development issue is of high importance for the various stakeholders of tourism industry in UK. Access to the tourism places against their conservation issue has become the point of debate for consumers in tourism industry (Levy et al, 2001). Access to the tourism destinations is important looking into the benefits which are gained by the surrounding people, economy as whole and other stakeholders of the tourism industry while conservation is the major issue which is faced by the people concerned with environment factors and protection of heritage sites in the country. This ongoing debate is important in order to assign roles and responsibilities for the stakeholders in tourism industry in order to ensure that with development or access to the tourism destination their protection is being ensured. Access to the tourism activities would ensure income for the nation, employment for people, reputation for the country and growth for other dependent industries of tourism.

Issue of conservation would involve factors such as the erosion, impact on the surrounding environment and usage of land. All these issues create problem for the people living in surrounding areas of these tourism destinations. Taking the case of The Giant’s causeway it can be observed that there is conflict between different stakeholders of tourism industry for the conservation versus access issue in the present context as well. Located in Northern Ireland, The Giant’s causeway is considered as the fastest emerging tourism destination in the country. The popularity of The Giant’s Causeway is mainly due to landscapes and geological architecture. With increasing popularity of this destination among the tourists have given rise to interest of so many stakeholders from hotel industry, food industry and tour operator industry to develop this destination in order to get a big income source. Further local people living nearby the present tourism destination are not ready to develop the present destination as this would lead to negative impacts on the tourism destination and for these people income source would stop with the entry of big players and making it a professional tourism place having wide availability of services in The Giant’s causeway.

Similarly looking at the case study of Central Jordan there is also similar debate for the access versus conservation for the tourism destination. The tourism destinations in central Jordan are popular for their heritage and cultural significance. Further there are conflicts between stakeholders for the conservation versus access to the destination as different stakeholders as well as local people are having high dependence on the tourist place for earning their livelihood (Moscardo et al, 2007). Decay of the historic monuments is the major problem faced in Central Jordan due to which stakeholders in favour of protection of tourism destinations with cultural and heritage would not support the idea of high development and access given to other stakeholders in industry for enhancing tourism activities in Central Jordan. Hence the two case studies given in the present context shows that there is debate between the access versus conservation for various heritage and cultural related tourism destinations. It is important for the government to identify destinations which are centre of attraction for tourists and development opportunities which can be accomplished for such destinations. Government should take responsibility in order to develop policies and processes for the conservation versus access issue so that roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders can be set in the tourism industry. This would help in order to develop high income from the tourism destination and at the same time historic monuments would be managed properly without any harm to these places.

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LO2 Understand the purpose of heritage and cultural attractions within the travel and tourism sector

Heritage tourism can be defined as the activities in which visit to the places such as destinations, events and physical attractions is included. There are different purposes with which visitors come and visit a particular place such as the business, leisure, medical and others. In the present task with the help of Science and V&A museum purpose of heritage and cultural attraction within the cultural and tourism industry would be understood.

2.1 Assess the purpose of heritage and cultural attractions in meeting the needs of different customers

Science and V&A museum would be considered in the present task in order to assess the purpose of heritage and cultural attractions in meeting the needs of the different consumer groups in London. Science museum is one of the popular heritage and cultural tourism site in UK and located in city Kensington. There are more than 2 million visitors coming to the Science museum every year and the main purpose for which tourists come to visit Science museum include recreation, research, education and entertainment. Science museum is home for the visitors looking for scientific research and education from the historic invention.

There are more than 0.3 million objects placed in Science museum and all these objects are related with Scientific material and invention which has been done in past. Some of the major attraction items placed in Science museum would include steam engine, 3-D Cinema and first jet engine (Tilden, 2007). These inventions would form the rich study source in order to visit Science museum for different purposes. Based on the theme or objects contained in the Science museum it has been divided into five floors and each floor contains similar items. Fifth floor of the museum contains items which are related to the medicine art and veterinary history. Fourth floor of the Science museum is also having similar items to fifth floor wherein objects related to medical Science have been collected. Third floor of the museum contains scientific instruments which were developed in 18th century. Second floor is the house for mathematics related equipments while first floor of the Science museum contains the Science instruments related with the agriculture.

V&A museum is bigger museum as compared to the Science museum in terms of number of objects placed and tourists coming every year to visit the museum. The historic significance for the V&A museum is quite high due to the objects contained in museums which are since 5000 years old and containing the different civilizations. Entire museum has been divided into different galleries and there are in total 145 galleries in V&A museum which contains approx 4.5 million objects. V&A museum is home for more than 3 million visitors every year and is very important to the cultural and heritage tourism industry in UK. The popular items placed in V&A museum would include drawings, paintings and architecture work. These objects depict the heritage and cultural aspects for the country and this museum becomes the ongoing research topic along with education, research and recreation work.

Segmentation for the tourists coming in the two museums in London is done basis the purpose and consumer profile coming to visit these museums. Further in order to divide the entire tourists segment into smaller divisions income earned, cultural or leisure activity and frequency of visit is considered for the visitors. Basis the various segmentation variables there are basically three segments in which entire tourists coming in the Science and V&A museum would be divided and these segments are individual tourists, group tourists travelling with their friends & family and group tourists visiting out of common interest level. Individual tourists visiting these museums in London would include the people coming in London for research, education or recreation purpose.

Group tourism wherein tourists visit along with their friends & family would be visiting the places for entertainment and to spend the quality time with their family and friends. Hence group tourism along with friends & family would be mainly for the purpose of leisure and entertainment wherein these museums would be central attraction in order to impart cultural or heritage values to their kids by showing the objects placed in these museums (Silberman, 2006). Third segment of the tourism in London would be for group tourism visiting out of common interest wherein people with similar thinking pattern would be visiting along for a particular interest. There can be basically two purposes for which these tourists are visiting along and this would include combining the tour package for economic reasons and secondly would be due to common interest group as their interest level would be matching with each other.

Looking into the consumer profile for these two museums it can be analyzed that tourists coming to these places would be having medium to high level of income range, good qualification background and interest in the cultural and heritage aspects of the country. Further the tourists visiting these places would be having leisure, entertainment, recreation, education and research as their prime motive. Further it has been noticed that tourists coming to London for any purpose let say business or medical tourism purpose would visit to these museum as these are quite popular and contains the heritage aspect for the country.

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LO3 Understand roles, responsibilities and ownership of organizations in the heritage and cultural industry

Ownership deciding is an important activity for the heritage and cultural tourism in UK as from the income generation aspect and management of the site it is important that ownership of the different stakeholders of the tourism industry can be assigned properly so that there are clarity in terms of role and responsibility for each stakeholder. There are different aspects for which roles & responsibility assignment is important for the owners in tourism industry and these would include management of site, income generation, fund raising and objectives of the stakeholders.

3.1 Evaluate the impact of different types of ownership on the management of heritage and cultural sites

Looking into the different ownership patterns in the tourism industry it can be said that there are basically two ownership types which are public private partnership and public ownership. Each of the ownership type adopted for the particular historic site would have impact on the overall management of these sites (Salazar, 2007). The major responsibility for the management of site, income generation and promotion for public private partnership would be dealt by both the parties conjointly. Each party i.e. public and private would be assigned specific role and this role would be played by each of the party. Based on the roles and responsibilities of each party income generation and other benefits would be decided between the two parties involved in the management of tourism site. While in case of the publicly managed sites the entire responsibility for management, protection and promotion would be handled by the government departments.

Present task would include examples of both public private partnership and publicly funded tourism sites and organizations which are managing these sites. Example of public private partnership in context of UK can be considered as Woodland trust which is having partnership from the public authorities as well as private party named Woodland. Nature England and English Heritage are the popular examples of the publicly managed organizations involved in the heritage and cultural tourism aspects. Looking into the factors impacting both publicly managed organizations and public private partnership it can be said that the two structures would mainly differ in type of challenges faced and resolution provided in order to handle these challenges. Public private partnership organizations are mainly facing challenge of short of funds in order to promote and maintain these tourism sites. Further the major benefit of the public private partnership would be faster working and lesser bureaucratic model of the organization formed from public private partnership.

The major challenge for the publicly managed organization would be the organizational structure, decision making process and bureaucratic model of the organization which would hamper the overall process for management of these sites. Publicly managed sites also include other stakeholders for the management of site such as the protection groups and voluntary bodies working in the benefit of such tourism sites (Ham, 1992). It can be analyzed from the two structures of ownership in the tourism segment that cultural and heritage sites can be aptly managed with the combination of public and private partnership as there would be faster decision making process along with innovation in the promotion of the site so as to attract the tourists from domestic as well as international regions.

3.2 Analyze roles and responsibilities of organizations in the heritage and cultural industry

In order to discuss on roles and responsibilities involved in the management of heritage and cultural sites examples of department of culture and woodland trust has been taken wherein department of culture is publicly managed organization and woodland trust is public private partnership. Woodland trust is the organization made of public private partnership arrangement and looks after the work of development for the native habitat in England. Woodland trust has been successful in their endeavour wherein at present they are managing 1100 woods within an area of 190 sq km. There are different work responsibilities which are managed between the public department and Woodland Company based on their initial arrangement in order to manage the present objective in this trust. Major role of Woodland trust in the present work would be to influence their customers and other people so as to contribute for the noble cause for management of natural habitat (Beck and Cable, 2011). In order to arrange the funding requirements both public as well as Woodland would be responsible while legislative related issues would be managed by government agencies involved in Woodland trust. Another important aspect for the present trust would involve decision making process on the basis of merchandising, income generation and adopting of new technology in the organization would be managed by the two parties with mutual consent with each other. For promotional activities Woodland would be responsible looking into the brand promotion made by the company so as to manage such as popular brand all over the world.

Department of culture is a publicly managed organization which looks after the tourism activities in UK with special interest into cultural aspects for England and leisure activities carried out for the tourists. It is the prime role for Department of culture to manage the activities so that tourism in England can be promoted and it can become the source of income generation and employment for the people of England. In order to promote tourism Department of culture has organized two main events which are Olympics and Paralympics games in 2012. The responsibility list for the Department of culture would include the development of list of historic sites, obtaining export license for the cultural goods and maintaining promotions in order to enhance the interest from the domestic as well as international tourists towards the culture of England.

LO4 Understand the role of methods of interpretation within the heritage and culture industry.

The present task would involve role and importance for the interpretation methods for the heritage and cultural industry in UK in reference to the visit made to Science museum and V&A museum in London. There is high level of importance for the interpretation method used in order to understand the cultural and heritage importance of Science and V&A museum. It is important to understand the role of interpretation for stakeholders involved in the Science and V&A museum as it would help in building tourist experience. Thematic approach would be used in order to interpret the different heritage and cultural aspects of the tourism sites in UK. Different media types would be used in order to interpret the objects in Science and V&A museum such as audio-video, role play, interactive technology and published material etc.

4.1 Evaluate methods and media used for interpretation within the heritage and cultural industry for tourists

It is important to understand the need of tourists coming in London for the interpretation of objects placed in Science and V&A museum in London. So as to assess the consumer needs questionnaire can be used and test can be taken from the visitors after completing the visit to the museum. There would be need of different types for the tourists coming in Science and V&A museum in London along with language in which interpretation would be made.

The visit made to the Science and V&A museum helps in order to understand different media types used in these museums which are in accordance to the convenience pattern for consumers to understand the objects along with language which is used. Along with each gallery in the V&A museum and each floor in Science museum interpretation was made so that tourists can correlated the objects along with detailed explanation for the given objects. Usage of different types of media for the two museums includes print media, audio-video presentations, human interpretations and other sources (Jones, 2009). Print media was used through display made at every object and gallery containing detailed information for the particular object. Further leaflet and brochure were provided in order to understand the cultural importance of the objects placed in these two museums.

Human intervention was made in order to give deep details and to ensure better understanding for the particular aspects of objects contained in the museum. Human intervention was very important for the Science museum so as to impart the details of process involved in scientific objects so that tourists can easily understand the processes and inventions. Further audio-video visuals were important mean of interpretation as they provide details with interactive media and it was interesting for the tourists to learn through audio-video visuals. Usage of both personal and non personal media types were made so as to ensure better understanding of the tourists for the information provided in the museum.


Present paper evaluated the heritage and cultural tourism in context to UK by referring case studies for The Giant’s causeway, Central Jordan, Science museum and V&A museum. It was explored that there is high growth and development in the heritage and cultural tourism for UK wherein this industry provides opportunity for income, employment and adds to the reputation of country. Purpose for which tourists come to UK includes entertainment, leisure, recreation, research and education etc. Roles and responsibilities for management of tourism activities would include specific role assignment and there are mainly two ownership types identified which are PPP and public organizations. Finally it was made out that interpretation has high importance for the two museums in context wherein with the help of different media such as personal and non personal information is communicated to the tourists coming in UK.

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