Interpretation and tourism: holy grail or emperor's robes?

Moscardo, Gianna (2014) Interpretation and tourism: holy grail or emperor's robes? International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 8 (4). pp. 462-476.

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Purpose: This paper aims to address the question – is heritage interpretation an effective tool in tourism?

Design/methodology/approach: The author takes a critical stance seeking to identify and evaluate key assumptions and questions about the nature and effectiveness of heritage interpretation as a tourism management tool.

Findings: There are significant gaps in the available research into interpretation and in those areas that have been studied, there is only limited evidence that interpretation is effective. There are few important findings in this area and even where there are some sound and useful conclusions, they still do not address some of the more fundamental concerns about interpretation more broadly.

Research limitations/implications: The paper identifies a set of topics for future research based on the outcomes of the review and consideration of the critiques of interpretation that could be used to improve and extend interpretation in tourism.

Originality/value: By taking a critical perspective on interpretation and questioning the untested and implicit assumptions about the nature and role of this activity within tourism, the paper identifies issues relevant to the conduct of tourism research more generally that have been given little attention in the academic literature to date.

Item ID: 37257
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1750-6190
Keywords: mindfulness, sustainability, commodification, heritage, interpretation
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2015 04:43
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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