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Packaging The Past: The Benefits And Costs Of Archaeological Tourism

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Chapter Summary

In recent years, tourism has become major world industry. Especially in developing countries, it often accounts for a large part of the national income, and certainly a high percentage of foreign exchange. The results of archaeological investigation have come to represent an exploitable resource, consciously packaged, marketed, and advertised as prime attractions. The benefits of making archaeological monuments accessible to tourism are many, and are relatively increased awareness on the part of traditional cultures of their own past and heritage; increased awareness on the part of consuming cultures of traditions other than or ancestral to their own. To the extent, most archaeological sites are located outside of urban centers and in relatively under-developed areas, archaeological tourism often penetrates the natural or rural environment as well; but since it is the ruin that is the primary focus of the journey, penetration is often undertaken without much thought to the surrounding area.

Keywords: ancestral; archaeological tourism; benefits and costs



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