ABSTRACT: This paper explores the potential contribution of niche products to the development of sustainable tourism in small peripheral places. The exploration is conducted on the case study of Belmonte, a small peripheral Portuguese town, employing a strategy of niche tourism in the framework of “museum park” development. This park is comprised of different sorts of local heritage, including the town's unique Jewish history. Empirical research was conducted using an inductive methodology based on several primary and secondary sources of data. Results indicate that Jewish heritage tourism is an important and growing segment of tourism, though it does not constitute, as of yet, the sole engine of local development. Jewish heritage tourism faces the challenge of developing supportive services to sustain the growing demand and allow retaining more value in the region. It is concluded that in remote peripheral areas: (a) Niche tourism should be developed as a cluster of products; (b) Jewish heritage appears as a viable niche product within the framework of the museum parks cluster; (c) The involvement of local government is crucial for the success of tourism development; and (d) Sustainability of niche tourism products depend on joining local and global distributional networks.
- Jewish heritage
- Niche tourism
- sustainable development
- tourism product development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management