Cultural and heritage tourism in Canada: Opportunities, principles and challenges

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Tourists today are increasingly seeking new and different experiences beyond those provided within 'three S' destinations and traditional holiday places. Heritage appeal within destinations is capturing the interest of a more mature and discerning market. Canada as a destination is well placed to benefit from this trend, marketing heritage over other forms of travel experience. This paper is in three parts. First, a discussion of heritage tourism in Canada is presented that stresses diversity over the myth of a product base that is limited around a few themes, namely Mounties, mountains and moose. Secondly, principles of sustainable heritage tourism are advanced that include authenticity and quality, conserving and protecting the resource base, provision of learning as integral to the experience, and the development of partnerships between hosts, guests and managers. Thirdly, based on field visits undertaken in 1998 to sites containing cultural and heritage tourism attractions within the provinces of Ontario (mainly the southwestern region) and Alberta, these principles are examined and discussion is provided on the challenges managers of sites face in implementing such principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-233
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2002


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