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The place of cultural heritage: A case-study of the production and consumption of a tourism destination in Grythyttan, Sweden
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Geography and Tourism.
2005 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper deals with place and cultural heritage in the production and consumption of a place-destination in a geographical perspective. The purpose is to raise a question concerning the interest and the attractiveness to anchor a destination in the local place, the cultural heritage and the local identity in the tourism production and consumption of today.

In this paper I am focusing on the effects on a cultural heritage place which has been transformed to a tourism destination. The place I am dealing with, Grythyttan, is a cultural-historical place, placed in the old coalmining area called Bergslagen in Sweden. The destination has around 80.000 visitors a year and is strongly being profiled as a destination for food, drink and meal with a centre for culinary art. This strong profile is accepted by the locals and the cultural heritage sector but for them the identity of the place is associated with the history of coalmining and ironworks.

What has happened at the place is characteristic of our time, i.e. the commercialization of places and an adjustment to the tourism market. Places for tourism seeks to be attractive and unique. The tourism market also seeks for new niches for production of tourism destinations. Within this development the interest for culture and cultural heritage as a resource for tourism has increased. With this follows a concern and a critique from the cultural heritage sector towards the negative effects of commercialization.

My paper focuses on the meeting of tourism and cultural heritage. I will raise the importance of the transformation of a place to a tourism destination and the effects of the place, its cultural heritage and identity. I base this discussion on a study of Grythyttan focusing on the experience of the place of producers, consumers/visitors and locals. What is clear in this case is a distinction in-between the meaning and the experience of cultural heritage and the identity within the place and the destination. Producers are interested in a cultural heritage that could be transformed to a commercial product. Locals for example bring out the importance of preservation and informing next generations of the cultural heritage. Visitors are offering an experience of the meal destination but are not offering the story of the place.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-24673OAI: diva2:598443
Presenterad vid 14th Nordic Symposium in Tourism and Hospitality Research, sep. 22-25th, 2005. Akureyri, Island
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-01-22

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Braunerhielm, Lotta
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