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Title: Heritage places in Wales and their interpretation : a study in applied recreational geography
Author: Light, D. F.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis considers two themes of contemporary relevance within recreational geography - heritage and interpretation. The discussion reviews the origins of the 'heritage industry', and also the development of heritage interpretation in Britain with an emphasis on its new role within the heritage industry. These themes are examined with particular reference to guardianship monuments. An empirical study was designed with the aim of investigating a number of issues regarding the characteristics of visitors at heritage sites, and their reactions to interpretive facilities. Responses were obtained from 1812 visitors at seven historic buildings and monuments in south Wales. The analysis confirms that visitors to monuments are un-representative of the general population in terms of their social class and education. Furthermore, these people tend to consider their visit in positive and favourable terms, but are also suspicious of innovative developments which would alter the nature of the product. The profile of visitors differs among sites reflecting the unique appeal of each monument. Regional location is also important and distinct regional markets for tourism were identified. There is some evidence that visitor profiles at monuments are changing over time. With regard to interpretation the analysis noted that of the principal media, audio interpretation (a stereo-audio tour) is more effective than written interpretation. Of the written media, outdoor panels are more effective than exhibitions. Other media such as guidebooks are of subsidiary importance. The interest and attention paid to interpretation is related to visitors' behavioural and, to a lesser extent, socio-demographic characteristics. The analysis also examines visitors' learning from interpretation. The extent of learning is dependent upon the characteristics of both the visitor (particularly the attention given to interpretation), and also the interpretive medium itself (readability and subject matter). The policy implications raised by these findings are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available