The invention of tradition
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The Invention of Tradition. Ingredients of tourism . Heritage tourists as consumers in an experience economy Prior knowledge of heritage Expectations of experience Heritage destinations Statement of Significance Making the destination accessible

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The Invention of Tradition

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The invention of tradition

The Invention of Tradition


Ingredients of tourism

Ingredients of tourism

  • Heritage tourists as consumers in an experience economy

    • Prior knowledge of heritage

    • Expectations of experience

      Heritage destinations

    • Statement of Significance

    • Making the destination accessible

  • Interpreters-Facilitators (often called hosts)

    • Goals

    • Expected benefits

  • Heritage Tourism as an industry

    • Investigates using metaphor of production and consumption


What is an invented tradition

What is an invented tradition?

  • A destination that lacks a priori authenticity.

  • A destination whose historic activities are selected and adjusted to be more attractive to a tourist audience.

  • An invented attraction is not necessarily total fabrication, but choices are consciously made selecting, modifying, and infusing with meaning objects, sites and activities that had no previous connection


Recreated villages

Recreated villages

Buildings moved to a site from multiple other locations and made to resemble and be interpreted as a whole.

  • Connor’s Prairie, Connorsville, Indiana

  • Greenfield Village, Michigan

  • Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts

  • What are some other examples?

  • The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia , Staunton, Virginia


Heritage villages in the midwest

Heritage villages in the Midwest


Supply side investigation

Supply side investigation


Living history

Living History

  • Staged Symbolic Communities (Barthel)

    • Represent values embodied in objects.

    • Questions about authenticity remain, but "the reality is that these sites have become important destinations for heritage tourism

  • In 1954 Paul Mellon funded a $30,000 grant to support a "reappraisal of the basic principles which underlie the program of nature and historical interpretation in the national park system. Undertaken by Freeman Tilden, the result was Interpreting Our Heritage, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1957.


Tilden s six principles

Tilden’s six principles

  • 1. Any interpretation that does not somehow relate what is being displayed or described to something within the personality or experience of the visitor will be sterile.

  • 2. Information, as such, is not Interpretation. Interpretation is revelation based on information. But they are entirely different things. However, all interpretation includes information.

  • 3. Interpretation is an art, which combines many arts, whether the materials presented are scientific, historical, or architectural. Any art is to some degree teachable.

  • 4. The chief aim of Interpretation is not instruction, but provocation.

  • 5. Interpretation should aim to present a whole rather than a part, and must address itself to the whole man rather than any phase.

  • 6. Interpretation addressed to children (say, up to the age of twelve) should not be a dilution of the presentation to adults, but should follow a fundamentally different approach. To be at its best it will require a separate program.


Association for living history farm and agricultural museums

Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums

ALHFAM is an organization of people who bring history to life.

  • ALHFAM enables its members to make history a valuable part of the lives of museum visitors.

  • It achieves this purpose through the exchange and sharing of ideas, information, tools and experiences centered around accurate, active, participatory, object-based historical interpretation.

  • ALHFAM, through its membership, is committed to leading museum interpreters, educators, researchers, administrators, curators and volunteers.


Alhfam areas of support

ALHFAM Areas of Support

  • Historical agriculture

  • Historical trades and manufacturing

  • Historical clothing and foodways

  • Living history programming

  • Historic site administration, care of collections, and program delivery within the above specialties


Commercial tourism sites

Commercial tourism sites

  • Require business plan and solid financial support.

  • Volunteers will eventually need to be replaced.

    • Volunteers mostly older retired individuals.


Dilemma of re created heritage sites

Dilemma of re-created heritage sites

  • Every recreated village was unique

  • For staff and volunteers the importance of each site is its representativeness, not its uniqueness.

    • Uniqueness is a need of tourist industry (demand side)

    • Representativeness is important to participants (supply side)

  • Dilemma is to safeguard past will continuing to build the future. (Berglee)

    • Balance of economic viability and passion to preserve.


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