Relationship Between Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management: Evidence from Hong Kong

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Tourism Management 26 (2005) 539–548

Relationship between tourism and cultural heritage management: evidence from Hong Kong$ Bob McKerchera,*, Pamela S. Y. Hoa, Hilary du Crosb
b a School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong/School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Received 24 November 2003; accepted 4 February 2004

Abstract This paper examines the nature of the relationship between tourism and cultural heritage management in the established urban destination of Hong Kong. In the past, conflict theory has formed the basis of most of the studies of relationships between tourism and other sectors. However, a conflict paradigm may not be the most appropriate framework. Instead, the authors outline a continuum reflecting different levels of maturity in the relationship between these two sectors. Seven different possible relationships are identified, that are influenced by five mitigating conditions. r 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Cultural tourism; Cultural heritage management; Relationships; Conflict

1. Introduction Tourism and cultural heritage management (CHM) often have an awkward relationship. Traditionally, CHM has been responsible for the provision and conservation of cultural heritage assets, while the broadly based tourism sector has assumed the product development and promotion role. Two opposing views of the nature of the relationship have been promulgated, that reflect different extremes of the conflict/co-operation dichotomy. On the one hand, a number of people have suggested that tourism and CHM are incompatible (Berry, 1994; Boniface, 1998; Jacobs & Gale, 1994; Jansen-Verbeke, 1998), and that because of this incompatibility, a conflict relationship is inevitable. The cultural heritage sector argues that cultural values are compromised for commercial gain (Urry, 1990; Daniel, 1996; ICOMOS, 1999), while tourism proponents feel that tourism values are compromised when a management attitude exists that any ‘‘tourismification’’ $

Funding for this project was provided for by a grant from the University’s Grant Committee of the Hong Kong SAR Government. *Corresponding author. Tel.: +852-2766-6553; fax: +852-23629362. E-mail address: hmbob@polyu.edu.hk (B. McKercher). 0261-5177/$ - see front matter r 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2004.02.018

has a corrupting influence (Hovinen, 1995; Fyall & Garrod, 1996). The alternative argument is that the sharing of the resource creates partnership opportunities, whereby mutually beneficial outcomes can be achieved. Heritage tourism reintroduces people to their cultural roots (Donert & Light, 1996; McCarthy, 1994) and reinvigorates people’s interest in history or culture (Squire, 1996; Tourism Canada, 1991; WTO, nd). Further, culture as a tourist attraction can be a powerful force in arguing that a region’s historic, cultural, religious and industrial past should be conserved (see for example Harrison, 1997; Frew & Shaw, 1995; Brokensha & Gruldberg, 1992; Nolan & Nolan, 1992; Simons, 1996). Questions can be raised about the validity of dichotomous relationships that portray the interaction between these two sectors as representing either extreme of a conflict/partnership continuum. Are conflict or comanagement the only possible scenarios that exist between these two diverse stakeholders, or can other possible relationships exist? This paper explores the dynamics of the relationship between tourism and CHM in the context of the established, urban destination of Hong Kong. It does so from the perspective of the asset manager that must cope with the impacts of tourism.

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2. Conflict and relationships between tourism and other stakeholders The nature of the relationship...
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