CLOSE WINDOW


Boniface, Priscilla. Managing Quality Cultural Tourism. London: Routledge, 1995 (127 pp.). Boniface is one of the pioneers in heritage tourism studies, and this book, a brief text that seems intended mostly for students rather than practitioners, is one of the earliest to approach the issue of cultural resource management from a touristic perspective. The authorís primary focus is on heritage sites in Europe and, thus, the examples from Greece, France, or Hungary, for example, seem far removed from a small museum in rural America. Still, most of her principles would hold true for any cultural resource manager, regardless of the siteís size and location. The major contribution here is that Boniface identifies and analyzes some of the themes later scholars will explore in even more detail, such as authenticity of experience, marketing (and de-marketing) heritage attractions, evaluating and appealing to different traveler types, carrying capacity, education vs. entertainment, earned income, and assessing whether a heritage product is appropriate as a tourism attraction in the first place. What is particularly helpful is that she provides specific examples to illustrate nearly every point in the book (although, again, these examples tend to be major attractions in Europe). What is a little frustrating is the textbook-like structure of the book, which reads more like an outline. There are many helpful and insightful thoughts scattered throughout, but the approach doesnít hold together as a unified narrative, much of it is repetitive, and she will occasionally state a policy without really examining its meaning (to say, for example, attractions should be "sustainable" without pursuing the multiple meanings of that statement). Still, this is a valuable early study, most notably because Bonifaceís message is that we canít afford not to manage cultural sites better, because cultural tourism is here to stay, and we had better figure out how to care for sites or we face losing much of our heritage due to overuse. She argues that tourism can assist in heritage conservation, but only if managers approach tourism in appropriate ways, by taking advantage of modern technological advances.


CLOSE WINDOW