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ATLAS Special Interest Group
Heritage Tourism and Education

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Contact details

The contact persons for this research group are:

 

Coordinator:

Dr Chin-Ee Ong

  Geography, National University of Singapore
  ICOMOS Singapore
 

geooce@nus.edu.sg

 

 

Dr Sharif Shams Imon

  Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao
  ICOMOS Bangladesh
 

 

 

Introduction

This Special Interest Group is focused on heritage tourism and its related education discourses and practices. We are concerned with the ways in which heritage tourism experience, in both its cultural and natural manifestations, is produced and consumed. We are also focused on the ways in which heritage places are conserved, maintained and thematised or managed for an array of heritage tourism practices. We will also like to interrogate the knowledge production, dissemination and consumption (or resistance) practices within heritage tourism.

Objective

The aim of the group is to understand and help improve heritage tourism and heritage tourism’s related training and education. We are concerned with both natural and cultural heritage and we also take a keen interest and commitment towards both the experiences of visitors and tourists and the people who work to create such experiences.

The often symbiotic, synergising and contesting relation between heritage tourism and heritage education (Figure 1) is a narrative that runs through our range of interests but it does not limit the multiple relevant Focus Areas we envisioned.

We do this via these focus areas and potential topics

Knowledge production, dissemination and consumption in heritage tourism - The design of curriculum, the politics of heritage and/or education, philosophical roots and implications of heritage studies, heritage tourism and tourism education, training of tourism workers, capacity building initiatives and projects in heritage tourism
Conservation of nature and culture in heritage tourism - Identification, documentation and safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage and World Heritage and their relationship with heritage tourism, conservation interventions and their interaction with heritage tourism, production of heritage tourism spaces, social and environmental justice in heritage tourism and conservation, quality benchmarks and accreditation in heritage tourism
Heritage tourism experiences and encounters - Motivations, expectations, experiences and encounters in heritage tourism, heritage interpretation and visitor management, community relations.

Work Plan and Output

We aim to produce a range of intellectual outputs from the research and scholarly work we do on the topics and focus areas listed above and these outputs can take the form of the production of academic peer reviewed papers, special issues, edited books, academic conferences, student workshops, policy and consultation work and community outreach.

More specifically, we are looking at the following:

  • An inaugural meeting in Macao
  • Special Interest Group meetings once a year (in Asia)
  • Student workshops every other year
  • Participation in ATLAS Annual Conference – as a thematic panel

Edited books or special issues in journals from the sessions

Connections with other groups

While possessing its unique focus areas, this proposed Special Interest Group (SIG) is envisioned to provide collaborative connections with existing SIGs, such as Cultural Tourism SIG and Events Tourism SIG. With a core group of researchers based in Asia, this proposed SIG has the potential to support ATLAS’ Asia-Pacific Section and help broaden ATLAS’ reach.

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Annual review of activities 2017

 

Chin-Ee Ong
Singapore

 

Activities in the Last Year
The group was just established in the summer of 2017. As such, activities to date has centred on skype calls and informal face-to-face and email discussions on the directions and the future activities of the group.

Plans for the next year(s)

Long-term Work-Plan and Output

Overall, we aim to produce a range of intellectual outputs from the research and scholarly work we do on the topics and focus areas listed above and these outputs can take the form of the production of academic peer reviewed papers, special issues, edited books, academic conferences, student workshops, policy and consultation work and community outreach.
We are particularly keen to use the group to help establish longitudinal, multi-locational and collaborative research on heritage tourism and education. Activities and meetings will serve as platforms for such research and scholarly exchange. We are also committed to involving students in such dialogues about heritage tourism and the educational aspects of such a field.

More specifically, we are looking at the following:
• An inaugural meeting in Macao
• Special Interest Group meetings once a year (in Asia)
• Student workshops every other year
• Participation in ATLAS Annual Conference – as a thematic panel
• Edited books or special issues in journals from the sessions

We are formulating a research on Heritage Tourism Education and will pilot this in the heritage town of Luang Prabang, Laos PDR. It is our intention that experiences gathered from this pilot will help shape a research template that could be adapted and used in multiple sites and over a sustained period of time so we are able to generate substantive multi-sited and longitudinal data which could be shared with members of the group and the community. Members of the group, led by Dr Wantanee Suntikul, are also embarking on a focused study of Hong Kong’s maritime heritage. These research projects will help shape the scholarly dialogues and activities we projected in the work-plan at the end of this report.

Connections with other groups

While possessing its unique focus areas, this proposed Special Interest Group (SIG) is envisioned to provide collaborative connections with existing SIGs, such as Cultural Tourism SIG and Events Tourism SIG. With a core group of researchers based in Asia, this proposed SIG has the potential to support ATLAS’ Asia-Pacific Section and help broaden ATLAS’ reach.


Tentative Immediate Work-Plan

 

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