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Shackley, Myra. Managing Sacred Sites: Service Provision and Visitor Experience. London: Continuum, 2001 (206 pp.). Noting that much tourism is a quest for meaning to some degree, Shackely’s book focuses primarily on the management of places people visit for religious, spiritual, and related emotive reasons – including cathedrals, archeological sites, shrines, temples, cemeteries, and even mountains and islands. Through not purely a study in cultural heritage tourism, many of the examples she lists and the principles she draws from her studies relate to the management of less-than-sacred sites, such as museums and other generally secular heritage institutions. Many Native Americans will no doubt see applications to tribal museums, ceremonies, and land; and Shackley does provide some examples from America’s Indian nations. Beyond that, many other cultural resources managers probably consider their artifacts or dwellings "sacred" as well, and the policies Shackley spells out to assist the visitor experience will be helpful to them also (although the book is less a manual than it is an examination of the interaction between people and places). Like many museums, she notes that few sacred sites were created for or are managed now as tourism attractions and, thus, their managers have had to learn how to serve tourists at the same time they preserve the "spirit of place." In addition to specific sites, her ideas about visitor accommodation (not exclusion) have implications for whole communities which are in danger of losing their unique quality as a result of tourist overload. She reviews issues such as authenticity in interpretation, visitor expectations and etiquette, managing visitor impact, and local politics. The book provides many case studies of good and bad management practices, and while Shackley recognizes the pivotal role of tourism in economic development, she comes down squarely on the side of authenticity and preservation, rather than the commodification of cultural resources.


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