Browsing Business, Law and Social Sciences by Authors
Mobilising the domeAzara, Iride; Wakefield, Lisa; University of Derby (2016-09)More and more public and private tourism organisations are putting an emphasis on the creation of ‘memorable tourist experiences’ (Bærenholdt and Michael Haldrup, 2004; O’Dell, 2007 and Ennen and Van Maanen, 2013). It is now commonly accepted that technology plays a vital role in communication and interpretation and altogether in achieving this outcome, supporting tourism growth and instigating innovative responses to competition for tourist attraction (Neuhofer, Buhalis and Ladkin, 2012). This paper discusses how technology can be used to mobilise and reconceptualise a contested heritage space, focusing on an ongoing research project aimed at developing audio tours at the Devonshire Dome: a Grade II* listed building and iconic tourism landmark that dominates the Buxton 44 townscape (Sheller and Urry, 2006 and Haldrup and Larsen, 2006). Aimed at first-time visitor to Buxton, the exploration of the Dome encourages visitors to use the building under the terms and conditions of the Heritage Lottery Funds received in 2000. The terms of the HLF grant were that the building be made available to visitors and the community in perpetuity. The audio tours takes the visitors on a journey through time showcasing the building from a grand stable block; to a well-respected ‘hydropathic’ hospital before being given a new lease of life as a University campus. Preliminary findings, collected through a series of qualitative research interventions with visitors to the Dome and University stakeholders highlight the potential technology has to enable three competing heritage narratives of place to coexist simultaneously thus developing and reconfiguring people’s relationship with the place and the range of stakeholders involved in the delivery of the tourism product. The research contributes to the existing body of knowledge that aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of how technology can be used at heritage sites as both a key driver of change in helping to create and develop memorable experiences, redrafting visitor’s relationship with space and maximising effectiveness.
Reflecting on perceptions of local communities and visitors: Sustainable heritage leisure and tourismSpring, Charles; Wakefield, Lisa; University of Derby (Palgrave McMillan, 2020-06-25)The two aspects of Positive Sociology; those of psychology and sociology indicate that communities would prefer that they are engaged and involved in their local leisure activities. Visitors gain satisfaction from experiences they are engaged in. Understanding what these would be is important to destinations. Buxton is undertaking a major regeneration project at the Crescent, a hotel complex with ancillary buildings one of which is the Pump Room. The purpose of research undertaken by students, overseen by academics and members of staff from Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa; was to gain an insight into visitor and community perceptions of Buxton, The Crescent Hotel and The Pump Room. A sustainable use could then be determined for the Pump Room, which has a rich history of visitor use prior to its closure in the 1990’s. Qualitative research was carried out in order to gain a deeper insight into the quality of the community and visitor experience. Quantitative research was used to capture and portray demographics. Data was analysed comparing visitor and community expectations and perceptions of Buxton. Key themes emerging suggest that both visitor and community perceptions and expectations were very similar. The majority of visitors choose Buxton for heritage and culture or the scenery and both groups agreed the most appealing aspects of the Crescent and towns spa heritage, were the history, architecture, outdoor environment and surrounding beauty. Themes regarding future use of the Pump Room gave conflicting opinions. The most common response for both visitors and residents was a tea room/café/restaurant in keeping with the 5* Crescent Hotel. Another theme, which emerged from visitors, was for an entertainment venue. It could be argued that residents and visitors need a better understanding of the Pump Room in order to have a better vision of how it can best be adapted and restored. The authors of this article would suggest that further research is needed with both residents and visitors.