Visitors' preferences for interpretation at heritage sites

Yaniv Poria, Avital Biran, Arie Reichel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Research on interpretation at heritage settings commonly centers on the display. The current study highlights visitor preferences for on-site interpretation, an essential element in the management of heritage tourist attractions. This research focuses on the Wailing Wall, a religious "must-see" attraction in Jerusalem. The role of interpretation as a facilitator of emotional experience rather than a means to gain knowledge is explored. Results indicate the need to customize the interpretation to meet visitor preferences and motives. Furthermore, the study reveals the need to capture heritage tourism not only as a search for naïve nostalgia or a simplified romantic version of the past but also as a more complex phenomenon. Implications for marketers and heritage site operators are suggested, highlighting the need to adopt innovative approaches to the management of heritage tourist attractions and provide different interpretations for different visitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-105
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Interpretation
  • Perception
  • Personal heritage
  • Preferences
  • Tourist experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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