•Newgrange, Bru na Boinne, Co Meath. Ireland
TABLE & FIGURES
Table 1 – Applications of Culture pg 4
Table 2 – Cultural Tourism pg 5
Table 3 – Typological of Cultural Tourism pg 5
Table 4 – Benefits of Cultural or Heritage Tourism pg 17
Figure 1 – Newgrange’s Stakeholders
Critically evaluate the issues affecting the
Newgrange World Heritage Site
Gabriel Beranger’s watercolour of Newgrange in 1775.
It shows a heap of stones in front of the entrance (Royal Irish Academy). Source Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (2002)
Whilst heritage tourism has increased awareness of certain minority groups and offered new opportunities, the “interpretation of heritage is often sensitive and controversial Smith (2009 pg 20) conflicts can often arise due to the fact that the ‘approach of heritage organisations is to protect and preserve, while the overriding aim of tourism is to be profitable.’ Boyd (2000 p211) This essay attempts to examine three overriding issues affecting the World Heritage Site Newgrange, “This is Europe’s largest and most important concentration of prehistoric megalithic art. The monuments there had, social, economic, religious and funerary function” Fowler (2003 p98) Whilst there are many potential issues, time and volume constraints associated with this essay resulted in the author limiting the scope of the essay to cover; the conservation preservation of Newgrange, limiting visitor numbers and the stakeholders involved. Defining culture is a difficult if not impossible task as opinions vary widely on what constitutes culture, and the meaning of culture varies from theorist to theorists and society to society. “Culture is like a black box which we know is there but not what it contains Hofstede (2003 p27) Geertz’s (1973 p4) illustrated in figure 1 attempted to list the different possible applications of culture, 1.the total way of life of a people
2.the social legacy the individual acquires from his group
3.a way of thinking, feeling, and believing
4.an abstraction from behaviour
5.a theory on the part of the anthropologist about the way in which a 6.group of people in fact behave
7.a storehouse of pooled learning
8.a set of standardized orientations to recurrent problems
10.a mechanism for the normative regulation of behaviour
11.a set of techniques for adjusting both to the external environment and to other men 12.a precipitate of history
This does not assist in restricting the boundaries of the term culture but illustrates how broad the topic of defining culture can be. Whatever the chosen definition for culture there is no doubt that “culture and tourism have a mutually beneficial relationship which can strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of places, regions and countries” OECD (2009 p72) Culture is an increasingly important element of any tourism product as it creates uniqueness in an increasingly global market.
“Today, tourism along with increased education, growth in media access and increases in disposable income has torn down the wall between the high culture of elite social classes and the low culture of the masses, and especially the lower social and economic classes” Hall and Lew(2009 pg 143) making it more accessible and popular globally increasing the cultural tourism market. McKercher and Cros(2002) as cited in Smith (2009 p17) suggest that cultural tourism can be defined in a number of ways (See Table 2); As a form of special interest tourism where culture forms the basis of either attracting tourists or motivating people to travel. From a business perspective as involving the development and marketing of various tourists sites and attractions. From motivational perspective whereby visitors travel as a result of their interest in...