The ttra Annual International Conference is the premier event in which the global community of practitioners and educators engaged in research, information management, and marketing in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries comes together to network and share best practices. Members in ttra represent a variety of segments from the greater international travel and tourism community, including educators, practitioners, research providers/consultants and users of research.
Back To Schedule
Tuesday, June 20 • 13:00 - 16:00
The Ultimate Attraction: Escaping Through Heritage | L'attraction ultime: l'évasion par le patrimoine

The practice of leisure tourism as one of the most pervasive and persistent markers of modernity owes a great deal to the concept of heritage. Indeed, the histories of heritage and of tourism overlap considerably and have long fed off one another. Heritage too is a powerful and essentially modern construct. If we accept that to varying degrees, tourism is an act of escape, then heritage not only provides a gateway for escape but also an important destination. This presentation will examine the construct of heritage as the ‘ultimate’ tourist attraction and argue that societies have long constructed heritage sites that are deliberately designed to attract the tourist. This challenges the idea that there is something intrinsic in heritage but rather, through carefully constructed narratives, aesthetic manipulation, and symbolic and political positioning, it is capable of being transformed into the most desirable of tourist experiences. Over a long period, the tourism sector has been adept and proactive in such transformatory practices, often in spite a more reactionary attitude from heritage producers and managers. Of course, each sector can learn from one another but neither can defy the demand from ‘tourists’ seeking to engage with the past.  To ‘visit’ the past works with imaginaries and opens up vast possibilities that meet social needs for identity, belonging, and meaning.

avatar for Mike Robinson, Ph.D.

Mike Robinson, Ph.D.

Director, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage
Mike Robinson, Ph.D., is the Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, a major inter-disciplinary research and graduate institute. He is a long-standing member of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Tourism, Culture, and Development. Dr. Robinson has served... Read More →

avatar for Université Laval

Université Laval


Tuesday June 20, 2017 13:00 - 16:00 EDT
De Tourny