Tourism beyond mere satisfaction? Heritage tourists as consumers, guests, citizens
Topelia, A 109, 3pm
Heritage is a powerful tool to promote the needs of the tourism industry as it marks the distinctions between destinations, therefore transforming spaces into places. Theoretically speaking the entanglement of heritage and tourism is, however, a complex topic that can be approached from various disciplines such as heritage and folklore studies, tourism and hospitality or sociology to name a few. In these disciplines, the visitor’s role may be understood differently: as an active audience member, customer of hospitality services, or even a citizen whose awareness is to be raised.
This presentation explores how cultural studies can extend the role of the visitor beyond that of consumer and offer new insights into the heritage visitor experience. The paper is based on guide interviews and fieldwork experiences at two sites: the Fortress of Suomenlinna and the Old Town of Tallinn. Moreover, the presentation seeks to discuss how the results of cultural studies and humanities can inform (sustainable) tourism practices. All participants are encouraged to share their experiences on the impact of cultural studies.