Accepted Paper:

Scottish heritage - authentic or illusory?: The case study of the National Trust for Scotland cruise  


Anna Koryczan (Heriot-Watt University)

Paper short abstract:

Does Scottish heritage mean bagpipes, kilts, haggis and whisky? Or is it an image created to enhance a cultural tourism product? The paper aims to investigate heritage making process in the creation of the National Trust for Scotland cruise based around Scottish coast.

Paper long abstract:

Scotland is known worldwide for its heritage. Almost 15 million overnight trips were recorded in Scotland in 2013 alone, bringing £4.6 billion to the Scottish economy (Visit Scotland). The main drivers for such a boost of the country's tourism industry have been identified to be culture and heritage. Thus, the latter can be perceived as a successful stimulus for both direct and indirect revenue. The National Trust for Scotland, a conservation charity that aims to protect and promote Scottish heritage, uses various avenues to benefit from such an increased interest in Scotland as a travel destination. Organising annual cruises based in Scotland is one of them. These trips constitute a suitable case study for this paper as they incorporate heritage potential in multiple ways; by creating an image of Scottish heritage, enabling heritage consumption through excursions, cultural experiences on board and heritage-inspired retail opportunities and, finally, by generating funds to safeguard Scottish heritage for future generations.

This pilot study aims to examine the process of heritage construction (heritagisation) in the context of the National Trust for Scotland cruise. Are there any discrepancies between the image of Scottish heritage produced as a part of cultural tourism product creation and visitors' actual impressions of it? What are passengers' motivations to visit and consume heritage? What are their consumption patterns? Is heritage purposefully used as a financial resource or does it become one as a "side-effect" of other causes, such as the need for heritage conservation or tourists' drive to self-actualisation, etc.?

Panel Heri006
Heritage as social, economic and utopian resource