ABI College Unit 19 Heritage and Cultural Tourism Management

This is solution of ABI College Heritage Cultural Tourism Management Assignment, describes about the top most heritage destinations of UK with the managing travel and tourism sector management.

Task 1

Understand the growth and development of the heritage and cultural industry within travel and tourism

1.1- Analyse the growth and development of the heritage and cultural industry with special reference to UK

UK is a country with some rich heritage that has been passed on from generations up until now and is also seen to be transferred to the following generations. It has some of the best and the most ancient heritage sites which are tourist attractions for millions of people who visit every year to study the ancient culture that these sites present. According to a survey in the UK, 57% of people from 20 countries said that their holiday destination choice would be dependent on the presence of history and culture in the destination (Visitbritain.org, 2014). Britain is home to some famous buildings, castles, monuments, ancient palaces, cathedrals, churches, which helps in attracting tourist to the country. Britain is ranked 4th in the Nation Brands Index 2009, which regards it as a world class destination with its built heritage of ancient culture (Visitbritain.org, 2014). Visiting museums is regarded as a most attractive holiday activity among travellers. The primary reason for consistent influx of tourist in Britain is the careful and periodic administration of these heritage sites by the country and its government, and since Britain maintains the importance of these sites, it tends to transfer the belief in travellers mind that such sites are really important and must be included in the itinerary. The following chart shows how Britain’s tourism has evolved over times and is experiencing a gradual increase in visitor arrivals.

Inbound tourism in UK with reference to ABI College Heritage Cultural Tourism Management Assignment

Source: (Inbound tourism, Visitbritain.org, 2014)

Britain is home to some contemporary culture in music, arts, literature, films, associated with vibrant and exciting cities that supports such culture (Culture and Heritage, 2010). This has helped to conduct heritage and cultural tourism which are different from the usual tours. The conduct of such tours helps in maintaining the rich heritage of the country, its history, its culture intact. The tours also helps the government and the authorities to collect substantial revenues to sustain the maintenance of these sites as they are more vulnerable and susceptible to faster degradation if not maintained well.

Thomas (2013) states that UK’s heritage and culture tourism has been able to generate almost £26.4 billion towards the economy which is a staggering amount for a country’s cash reserves and foreign exchange revenues. Out of all sites, the British Museum was the most popular of all sites and generated a lot of curiosity and interest among domestic and international travellers. This site is being followed by the Tate Modern, National Gallery, National History Museum, and the V&A. These sites offer tremendous options for multiple tourists to explore the heritage side of the UK. Besides, with increasing general tourism to UK, the inclusion of the heritage and cultural tourism gets a big boost. Thus, the tourism of the country plays an important role in escalating interest in the heritage and cultural tourism.

1.2- Discuss potential conflicts in the conservation of heritage and cultural resources referring to the case studies

The heritage tourism is often observed and formed by the government at a national level unlike local level. Sometimes, it so happens that a local heritage is somewhat different from the national heritage and in forming policies by the government, there is often a conflict of interest between the two. In the heritage tourism, the contemporary issues of travel and tourism remain in vain because of Government efforts. Government might involve steps and efforts to promote national tourism by forming programs and tours that address a specific type of culture, but they might not involve the local tourism aspects to a significant level, as seen in the conflicts of Jordan.

The turakh and tarikh concept in the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan separates the definition of heritage and history. According to them, all customs, food, and buildings after 1700 are classified as turath and anything before that is classified as tarikh. This is a typical ancient belief due to which there is a clash of thinking which forces them to have separate plans for marketing such tourist sites. This creates a conflict of interest and purpose in the local and national level of marketing of heritage and cultural sites. The restriction of the local communities to involve in the tourist sites by building fencing, walls, and some guards is a major barrier between the local and national tourism class. The situation is the same in the case of Dhiban development site where the Jordan tourism development is engaging, but leaving the local community behind in their progress. There is a deep conflict between the local community who will supposedly be replaced by the tourist sites and fencing. The exchange of cultural values and heritage resources for income is beneficial but there is always an emotional attachment to the heritage structures which may not be available to the community. In such cases, the government must realise that sometimes local heritage and culture may be more profitable in attracting travellers to the city. If a certain heritage and culture is properly marketed and made aware about in its marketing campaign, it spreads through the customers and travellers and only when the avid traveller knows about it, will they come and visit the same. The merging of national and local heritage is a must in order to make the image of a city more friendly and exploratory. Sometimes it so happens that there are many small group of people who tend to live in a city or a country which is of other religion and culture, but it is hardly taken notice of on a national level of marketing tourism. Moreover, heritage and culture tourism also relates to traveller’s taste and with more number of young tourist demanding to visit heritage sites, this tourism has taken a leap in its growth.

In the Giants causeway heritage site in Ireland, there is a conflict between the causeway conservation authority and the pressure from the people and government to build infrastructure like hotels, roads, golf courses, and holiday villages near to it. This will definitely deteriorate the conservation efforts of the site and will lead to the degradation of environment. This conflict is rather between the development minded community and environmentally concerned community. The authority is concerned with keeping the site clean and sustainable for a long time, but is consistently expecting resistance from development companies’ claim of it being underdeveloped. Such conflicts are also rising because of modern travellers need and the site specific requirements of keeping it clean from environmentally harmful products like plastic which travellers often use during their visits. A holistic approach towards the site will be more necessary to bring some kind of agreement between the two to keep the site free of such influx, and travellers will have to understand the importance of the sustenance of such sites and the pre-requisites that are required to maintain these sites.

Task 2- Understand the purpose of heritage and cultural attractions within the travel and tourism sector

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

Heritage and cultural attractions do have a set criteria of travellers who opt for such visits. Some years back only elder generation was interested in visiting such locations, but with growing awareness and mixing of culture and maturing of younger generation due to their expanded knowledge gained through variety of education, even younger generation is interested in visiting such ancient and heritage locations and study about the local culture and try and find out as much as possible about them. Customers with travelling to far off places with the same modern tourist spots, are sometimes looking for new avenues and ancient sites to explore. Increased globalisation and mixing of economy and culture, has helped most travellers to study the culture and heritage of the site they are about to visit, and with almost similar modern attractions available in almost all major cities, they do look for historical places to visit because of their uniqueness and novelty factor. Such historical sites are rare and found only where the government has taken efforts to sustain them in a traveller friendly way. The Science Museum is one of the most fascinating and most visited museum in the UK. It involves shows pertaining to psychology, science fiction, waste generation and its usage, energy show, ancient animals study, etc. (Sciencemuseum.org.uk, 2014). These concepts attract visitors which are mostly students and lifelong learners. It also attracts elder generation to it, but they might not enjoy the visit as much as students. The museum offers a lot of research and learning activities to students and educators, offers knowledge into the material world and its usage and importance, and has a large library containing details from microchips to aircraft. The museum fills the gap in the travel requirement of unique and interesting locations which also provides learning opportunities to travellers. Visiting this museum may provide a learning experience to young travellers, but they also merge with exciting attractions for elder travellers.

In contrast, the V & A museum is a more culturally driven museum which exhibits more ancient paintings, galleries, statues, drawings, arts, theatre, performance, sculpture, pictures, etc. It has a section which is classified according to the past ages like medieval, neo-classicism, gothic, liberalism, etc. (Vam.ac.uk, 2014). This provides a much more heritage connection giving the idea of the past events and a proper timeline for visitors to see the change that has taken place over time in development. This particular museum has a typical audience that is mostly into arts, literature, geology, paintings study, etc. and it has a low travel portfolio which is more young and driven towards modern travel sites. Thus this museum fills the gap in the requirement of the group which is looking for arts and literature study of different cultures and different times of the past.

The Science museum is different from the V & A museum in its attractive ability of the tourists. Science museum is more driven towards getting young generation into it by displaying various activities that excites them and equips them with scientific knowledge like electricity generation, basic science products, and school and college level teachings. The V & A museum is more towards historical art pieces, ancient paintings and statues and sculptures, literature records about medieval times, etc. These two museums tend to attract travellers from two different groups of people, young and elder generation, but it also has a purpose for those who are driven towards heritage collection or towards scientific products collection. They both provide the mush required traveller attraction in a city which is full of modern locations and artificially planned tourist spots. The two museums play an important role in the travel and tourism sector, and both sectors compliments each other by building their businesses. The museum may require tour operators and government traveller offices to provide information and recommendation for travelling to these museums, whereas the museums also may provide an opportunity for these tour operators to book customs build tours which can be sold as a single product to customers or can also be clubbed with a larger travel plan. Existence of these museums may generate demand in other tourist locations in the city and the museum may also create demand for tour operators to create an opportunity for generating more business. Thus these two tend to play an important role in the travel and tourism sector which is mostly service driven. Since, the service driven nature of the sector, both the museums and the tour operators along with the government’s tourism promotion efforts, it becomes imperative for all stakeholders to service their client properly to encourage repeat visits as well as a good word of mouth promotion to their friends and family.

UNESCO is also assisting such museums and heritage and cultural tourism sites to preserve and provide a system and surrounding which is conducive to travellers. The UNESCO world heritage and sustainable tourism program is designed as a dialogue based initiative which helps the stakeholders to cooperate where the dialogue is made at a destination level to value natural and cultural assets and integrate the processes at a national level (whc.unesco.org, 2014). This attempt by the UNESCO helps in maintaining the heritage tourist destinations in the way it is meant to be to display the originality of the site. Such support from the UNESCO proves an invaluable assistance for those dilapidated sites which to a common eye presents no value at all. Reviving such sites and discovering the historical significance of the site helps in creating a magnanimous heritage site which is capable of attracting millions of tourists.

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Task 3- Understand roles, responsibilities and ownership of organizations in the heritage and cultural industry

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

Heritage and cultural sites determine their value through the way it is being operated. The tour operations of these sites is an important indicator of its relevance to the travel and tourism sector. A site run by the government which is a popular site may almost remain a destination for years and generations, while a heritage site which is popular and run by a private organisation owning a stake, may have a different result from its operating style. There are often conflicts within the ownership structures of such sites because of the revenues which they generate. There are three types of owners of heritage and cultural sites: private, public, and voluntary.

One of the heritage sites is the Blenheim Palace which is run by the Duke of Marlborough. It is privately run, and provides commercial and residential properties to be let out in side of the palace premises (blemheimpalace.com, 2014). It has a large garden on the east and the west which was built by past Dues who took care about the property. The most famous member of the family was Sir Winston Churchill who carried out some phenomenal changes in the palace and its surroundings. The palace is a declared world heritage site which forms the basis of the ancient English culture. English people are proud of their historic culture who tends to display their pride through the collections inside the palace. The palace is sufficiently able to collect funds for its expansion through organization of various events and visit fees. The attraction is majorly through the heritage value that the government has put on it and this has made it more popular among tourists. Thus it shows that a privately run heritage site is also capable of running it well and attracting tourists from everywhere, if it is run well and is able to collect the restoration funds through its activities.

Another such heritage site is the City of Bath, which is run by the government and maintains its historic importance of the roman culture. It is well established with modern services and availabilities but is clubbed with ancient buildings and remains of the Roman Empire (Bath.cityofbath.co.uk, 2014). It contains influences from arts, literature, music, theatre, etc. which presents the ancient culture and its heritage to showcase to travellers. The site is important for the city’s council for the revenues it generates in the form of tourists spends. The maintenance of the city is under the local council which takes care of the maintenance of the entire city which has ancient heritage sites all throughout and collects substantial income to be invested for the restoration and sustenance of the city.

Voluntary sites are those which encompasses non-profit organisations which manages including charities. The primary motivation of voluntary ownership sites is self-sufficiency and it primarily relies on voluntary guides as staff (Park, 2014). Thus there are three such ownership types which manages heritage and cultural sites.

3.2- Analyse roles and responsibilities of organizations in the heritage and cultural industry

The two examples has a private and a government operator which is responsible for the upkeep of the property and its care and maintenance.

The first example is the public organisation called the English Heritage in the UK. They are responsible to manage the heritage sites across the UK and maintain a historical environment around the sites. They are responsible for the upkeep of archaeological remains, historical buildings and sites, and monuments and areas around those. They are run by the government and they maintain the sites for funding. They do it by collecting money from visitors, donations from visitors, from the government, from trusts, by letting premises on rent to be used for private or commercial use, and by exhibiting various shows, festivals that attracts tourist from many countries. The organization running the heritage site is responsible for its entire maintenance and collecting funds for its continuous care, because such old sites are more vulnerable to any natural disaster, and hence it needs special attention. Restrictions like not touching any property possessions, paying for any damage done by visitors, keeping silence, trying to understand the culture of the location, and behaving in a careful way, are most common in such sites to maintain its value and importance. Thus organisations owning such sites are their caretaker and maintain the sites through innovative ways in marketing and promoting the site.

The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity organisation that is concerned with the conservation of historical sites in the UK. The role of such sites is to maintain the importance of such heritage sites through collection of funds for its preservation and to give appropriate advice wherever necessary. These sites attracts customers who are intended to visit cultural locations, and also keeps the cultural and heritage value of the city intact. The organisation promotes preservation of historic buildings through financing low-interest funds to NGO’s and sites for their refurbishment and repairs. It has a large team of advisors across the UK who visits new sites and after auditing, prepares a recommendation plan containing innovative methods of preserving the site and keeping the historical value intact. The organisation, however cannot offer their support to private owners of sites and churches which seek their assistance in any manner, since it is concerned with the historical sites only and a part of the government.

Task 4- Understand the role of methods of interpretations within the heritage and cultural industry

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

The visitor profile that visits any heritage site depends largely on the advertising and promotion activities of the site and also how the marketing is being interpreted by the visitors. For attracting as much tourists as possible, it is required to prepare a plan which targets a specific segment of the tourist market. This must be carried out by first studying the various similar sites in other countries and their marketing activities. It is very important that the message of the heritage site which is being targeted to be passed on, the visitor gets exactly what the site owners wanted. For example, for a heritage site, the owners would want a mush mature crowd who understands the importance of the site and appreciates the maintenance of the site. For this it is important to use certain specific medium of marketing which tends to attract the right kind of visitors after they interpret the campaign right.

To understand heritage better, Tilden (1977) offers a clear view of the interpretation of today’s development. According to him, people are building urban places after destroying the trees, plants, and animals, and even then they are not bothered about the ecological responsibility that is prevalent. Heritage sites become less to do with remembrance of the site and its historical attachment, and becomes more like a daytrip excursion for tourists. The author contemplates that the interpretation of the past is mostly termed as unproblematic, and people assume that it can be known easily by investigating past history. The problem with heritage sites is that people interpret it according to their limited knowledge of the past. A site can be interpreted in several ways and cannot find a universal interpretation. The author identifies that interpretation can provide some opportunities for the future and for the society to build in such a way which can maintain the future heritage sites in a different way which will be remembered. The author speaks about the interpretation to be more about the specialness and uniqueness of heritage sites. It is fruitful in drawing attention of people towards the differences, of objects, places, and people and events, and that is where the virtue of interpretation lies. These concepts if applied to today’s heritage sites can actually form a common approach of tourists helping to identify the distinctiveness of a heritage site, and it need not be divisive in its explanation of interpretation.

The Science museum is being attracting all kinds of customer, but majorly is expecting younger generation crowd who are either from the scientific background or are interested in learning about science. Hence they adopt means such as emails, radio advertisements for announcing campaigns, exhibitions, contests, etc. They are careful of not mixing it with the marketing which looks more modern and happening, otherwise they would end up getting customers who are not interested in science but still visit the site. The site also markets through emails asking for referrals, and thus building its base. As like-minded people attract similar people, they target their existing customer base by tapping into their list of friends and family. They organise contests and exhibitions for school and college children to encourage them to visit the place. They earn out of tickets that can be booked online or by walk-in. Thus their promotion is more of targeting their existing customer base and adopting a light marketing through radio, email, telephone channels.

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The V&A museum is more towards history and culture, and for this reason they tend to promote it to people of elder generation or even younger generation who are from the literature background or want to learn about it. They adopt simple mediums like email, telephone, and radio channels sometimes. The focus is getting customers who are serious about literature, arts, music, theatre, and those who want to learn about various past events of different cultures. Historians, librarians, archaeologists, students of cultural studies, heritage conservationists, personnel from international heritage organisation, etc. are some of the people which visit the museum. These people visit only when they come to know about the museum and the way they come to know is through the medium they would most probably would be using such as historical magazines. Thus getting customers from a particular group or a city is dependent on the medium through which it is being promoted. The interpretation the customer must get is also important, so these museums do not mention things which sounds like inviting a group of young students for a gathering. This is because the ideological interpretation of heritage and cultural tourism is different from general tourism (Garrod and Fyall, 2000). This is being done by adopting specific mediums of promotion and not including anything which gives the wrong interpretation reasons to the targeted customer. Both museums use slightly different methods of transferring the interpretation and this is being done by using selected mediums. The Science museum uses more advanced channels like radio which the V&A museum does not use much. This is because their target market is different. Science museum is more interested in getting young students and eager learners of science, while the V&A museum is more interested in getting customers who value the importance of ancient cultural studies and its heritage. The V&A museum is very careful in maintaining the profile of its customers by keeping their promotion to selected people. This gives them a value of importance by receiving mature groups of people who are like-minded in nature and attract equal number of similar people by their recommendations. The methods of cultural and heritage tourism is to be prepared in advance because they are not attractive sites visibly. This becomes very hard for getting customers to the site and a special type of promotion about the importance of the site is necessary. Such type of promotion would also encourage the visitors to study their own ancient culture or about the other. Museums have become a place for interaction between people of different cultures and are gaining their importance in attracting culturally aware people. This gives them an opportunity to conduct special interview and interaction sessions between cultural scholars and this in turn gives them mush publicity to remains in the news. Organising drama, theatre acts, literature festivals, and music concerts which connects people to their past heritage are another ways to keep their customers intact and keep promoting the site through word of mouth promotion. Heritage and cultural products are formulated by influences from their mythologies, events, relics, artefacts, and legends. These products tend to pass on the right interpretation to customers. Heritage tourism products refer to institutions, lifestyle heritage opportunities, heritage sites, events, and it is also done by linking these events and product by turning them into focal points of major festivals and community events (Leslie and Sigala, 2005). Clubbing them with major festivals is a great way of linking the site to the event and maintaining its importance in the overall tourism market.

Thus there are different ways of methods and media which is being used by the museums to promote their sites and maintain the influx of the quality of crowd that each on desires. The most important thing is to include aspects of the right interpretation and avoid the ones which may create a confusion of the site. Both museums are capable of attracting their target customers in a specific manner of promotion.

References

Bath.cityofbath.co.uk, (2014). City of Bath. Available at: http://bath.cityofbath.co.uk/ . Centre, U. (2014). World Heritage Centre - World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme. Whc.unesco.org. Available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/tourism/ . Culture and Heritage. (2010). London: Visit Britain Research, pp.1-93. Garrod, B. and Fyall, A. (2000). Managing heritage tourism. Annals of tourism research, 27(3), pp.682--708. Leslie, D. and Sigala, M. (2005). International cultural tourism. 1st ed. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. Palace, B. (2013). Historic Blenheim Palace, a true masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Blenheimpalace.com. Available at: http://www.blenheimpalace.com/blenheimpalace/about-blenheim-palace/ .

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