Conclusion: Feasibility Assessment at Public Archaeological Heritage Sites

  • Douglas C. ComerEmail author
  • Annemarie Willems


The arrival of visitors to any destination introduces economic incentives for the development of services and products. This holds true for archaeological sites that are open to visitation. As tourism increases, an expansion of physical infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, and utilities) becomes necessary. Modes of social interaction will change if traditional subsistence activities such as those centered on agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting, gathering, and nonmonetary exchange are replaced by vending to tourists or, in developed countries, if tourism-related business enterprises replace, compete with, or are not compatible with previously established businesses. Competition and friction among commercial enterprises can generate unprecedented sources of conflict. Construction can disturb or destroy archaeological deposits; in general, the closer the construction to the archaeological site to which visitors are attracted, the more likely that this will happen. A sustainable tourism at destination archaeological sites considers the social and environmental impacts of tourism infrastructure development and seeks to render these as beneficial. It anticipates and provides for a rewarding interaction between local populations and visitors. And, of course, it must provide authentic representations of the past that are associated with the physical remains of the archaeological site.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cultural Site Research and ManagementBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.The United States National Committee for ICOMOS (US/ICOMOS)WashingtonUSA
  3. 3.The International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICOMOS/ICAHM)BaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Friends of ICAHMBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.AW Heritage ConsultancyJyväskyläFinland
  6. 6.Helsinki University, Faculty of ArtsHelsinkiFinland

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