Touristification of cultural resources: A case study of Robert Burns

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Abstract

Tourism and cultural heritage complement each other. Cultural heritage when coupled with tourism gives it commercial viability that, if successfully executed, could be a strong marker in country's national iconography presented to tourists. The case of Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, shows he is a national icon who now serves to the interest of both tourism and national identity. His literary genius and immense popularity has made him a strong marker of Scottish cultural identity, which now draws significant visitors to the places of his association. In Scotland, it is the image of Robert Burns which attracts tourist rather than his works of literary creativity alone. The aims of the paper is to see how his popularity as a tourism product has led to commercial realization amongst places associated with Burns - markedly the two towns Dumfries and Ayr - where objects, artefacts, and exhibits are rearranged to present it to meet the expectation and taste of visiting tourists. It also looks how this has led to 'touristify' Burns wherein more Burns are (re)created for the attraction of tourists, and has made him more of an item for consumption to tourists, than effectively only a cultural resource.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-293
JournalTourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal
Volume56
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2009
Externally publishedYes

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