Heritage interpretation challenges and management issues at film-induced tourism heritage attractions: case studies of Rosslyn Chapel and Alnwick Castle
  Although previous research has widely acknowledged the phenomenon of film-induced tourism, there is a paucity of research in relation to management of film-induced tourism at built heritage sites. This research, underpinned by a constructivist paradigm, draws on three distinct fields of study – heritage tourism management, film-induced tourism and heritage interpretation – in order to provide a contribution to the heritage management field and address this particular gap in knowledge. Relying on the method of semi-structured interviews with managers, guides and visitors at Rosslyn Chapel (RC) and Alnwick Castle (AC), this thesis provides a rich understanding of how heritage interpretation can address a range of management challenges at heritage sites where film-induced tourism has occurred. These heritage visitor attractions (HVAs) were specifically selected as case studies as they have played different roles in media products. Rosslyn Chapel (RC) was an actual place named in The Da Vinci Code (TDVC) book and then film, whereas Alnwick Castle (AC) served as a backdrop for the first two Harry Potter (HP) films. Findings of this research include a range of management challenges at both RC and AC such as an increase in visitor numbers; seasonality issues; changes in visitor profile; revenue generation concerns; conservation, access, and visitor experience; and the complex relationship between heritage management and tourism activities. The findings also reveal film-induced tourism’s implications for heritage interpretation such as the various visitors’ expectations for heritage interpretation, changes to heritage interpretation as a result of film-induced tourism, and issues with commodification. These findings also demonstrate that film-induced tourism to some extent influenced visitors’ preferences for heritage interpretation, though visitors’ preferences differed from one to another. This thesis argues that, in the context of film-induced tourism at HVAs, as evident from the two case studies considered, heritage interpretation can be a valuable management tool and can also play a significant role in the quality of the visitors’ experience.

  • Dates:

    2011 to 2015

  • Qualification:

    Doctorate (PhD)

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