Challenging the present approach to heritage tourism: Is tourism to heritage places heritage tourism?

Yaniv Poria, David Airey, Richard Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Observing visitors' behaviour in places presenting heritage and reviewing the tourism literature dealing with ‘heritage’ tourism led to this research that is aimed at clarifying the core of heritage tourism. The common approach that heritage tourism consists of tourists in heritage places, is challenged. The relationship between four groups of variables (the tourists' personal characteristics, the tourists' awareness of the history of the site, the tourists' perception of a site in relation to their own heritage and, the site attributes) and the tourists' visitation patterns (before a visit, during a visit, and after a visit) as the outcome variables was investigated. The actual study was conducted in Israel because of its attributes as a space containing a variety of heritage sites in a relatively small area, which relate to different tourists on different grounds. The research looked in detail at two sites: the Wailing Wall and Massada. The results (specifically the tourists' perception of the sites) indicate that the relationship between the tourists and the heritage site attributes is at the core of the phenomenon of heritage tourism. The understanding of this relationship has value for the study of heritagerelated behaviour including heritage tourism. The study suggests a new approach to understanding heritage tourism which could be applicable for other subgroups of tourism, and could have implications for the management of heritage and historic sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-53
Number of pages3
JournalTourism Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Heritage tourism
  • Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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