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Commodification, Tourism And The Need For Visual Markers

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the link between monuments and tourism, i.e. the ability of monuments to become tourist attractions, to serve as focal points of the tourist's experience of a cultural landscape, to commodify complex historical circumstances and personalities through transformation into recognisable icons, to assist in the branding of destinations, to create memorable and reproducible visitor experiences along with the sale of merchandise, but also to create visual imaginaries of the past and of the nation, that gain authority through tourist consumption. It also focuses on how, precisely despite the absence of research, claims about economic benefits are regularly utilised to support heritage ventures that essentially serve other goals. Based on selected case studies, the chapter focuses on political discourse and the ways in which heritage tourism can support cultural policy, serve political agendas, and entrench particular readings of the past.

Keywords: commodify; cultural landscape; cultural policy; heritage; Monuments; political discourse; tourism; visual markers



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