Archaeology and Tourism in Ireland: Bridging Two Cultures
Current government tourism policy in the Republic of Ireland seeks to increase foreign visitor numbers to ten million annually. This paper explores the relationship of archaeology with tourism in Ireland to date and sets out the challenges experienced internationally and domestically. It is argued that a cultural and disciplinary divide between heritage and tourism professionals needs to be overcome for a highly beneficial dialogue to emerge. Three cases of new emerging ‘boutique’ archaeological heritage attractions are described under headings of authenticity, experience, marketing and sustainability. All three face challenges in presenting heritage in an engaging manner but also in a way in which the values and physical fabric of the heritage resource are maintained. Experience has shown that a robust conservation and management plan is a vital first step in maintaining this.
KeywordsConservation Authenticity Co-operation ‘Boutique’ heritage attractions
The framework for three Irish case studies is partly based upon one used by Oxford Archaeology (OA), I would like to thank Rob Early of OA for sharing this at the European Association of Archaeologists 2014 conference in Istanbul. This paper is based on a presentation made at the European Association of Archaeologists 2015 conference in Glasgow. I would like the editors and reviewers for their comments.
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