Is the Future of Tourism Something Akin to “Outbreak”, “Westworld”, “Blade Runner” or “Eyes of Darkness”?

We recently published Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourism edited by Ian Yeoman, Una McMahon-Beattie and Marianna Sigala. In this post Ian discusses the aims of the book and highlights some of its key chapters.

As the Scenario Planner at VisitScotland in 2006, I facili­tated a team to model and construct a set of scenarios which replicated the present COVID-19 pandemic reality. This is an exam­ple of science fiction coming true and a journey beginning. Science fiction was used to explore the possible and impossible, to construct futures based upon technologies which had not been invented, to think about the transformation of tourism, and to predict the end of tourism based upon a natural disaster. The process took rationality to its limits. However, as academic researchers we would normally view science fiction as nothing more than a piece of creative writing. It is not something based upon fact but imagination; it is not real but fantasy. COVID-19 has challenged our thinking, as in Dean Koontz’s prediction in the Eyes of Darkness about Wuhan 400 or the 2011 film Contagion which portrays spread of a virus, attempts by medical researchers and public health officials to identify and contain the disease and the loss of social order in trying to halt its spread. Science fiction has become reality.

Thinking about the future

Science fiction is a ‘thinking machine’. It is about imagination and is right at the centre of scenario planning – the main research methodology used in futures stud­ies. Thus, the purpose of this book is to understand the role of science fiction in tourism research and how it is used to portray and make us rethink the future of tourism. It explores if science fiction can be of benefit to tourism researchers in a rapidly changing world, as it provides them food for thought and a way of thinking, rethinking and de-thinking of tourism futures. It helps set research agendas, directions and scope of research. In this vein, science fiction can be seen as a useful approach to foster and support transformation in tourism research.

Why change is necessary

Given the implications of COVID-19 and the overdue changes required in tourism, this book is more than just topical in nature and focus; it is also much needed to direct and foster tourism research that envisions beyond the past normal. As such, we fundamentally address the requirements for transformational tourism thinking and research through the contributions of the authors in this edited collection. Holistically, the combined contribu­tion of the chapters is to understand and construct a theoretical position or framework between science fiction and the future of tourism. If one can find an underpinning theory, then we have the basis of using science fiction as a theoretical lens and methodological approach to explore, frame and even form the future of tourism. By focusing on a specific form of tourism or topic, every book chapter uses a practical example and evidence to dis­cuss and explain the theoretical underpinnings, as well as the methods that others can also use to vision and rethink tourism futures.

Highlights of the book

In Chapter 6, Life Without Limits: Design, Technology and Tourism Futures in Westworld, Gurevitch uses a design theory per­spective which intertwines media, tourism futures and design. He explores the disruptive potential of technology to deliver experiences and the desire of tourists to feel free from the moral, social, economic and political con­straints of their daily lives.

In Chapter 8, Wildlife Tourism in 2150: Uplifted Animals, Virtual and Augmented Reality and Everything In-between, Bertella discusses the current research in both tourism and other disciplines in order to make a considered predic­tion about the future of wildlife tourism in 2150. Bertella examines the authenticity of future wildlife tourism where technology has been used to enhance the tourism experience.

In Chapter 9, Tears in the Rain: Tourism in the World of Blade Runner and Total Recall, Bolan addresses the worlds and their technology as depicted in the science fiction works by Philip K. Dick and explores their impact and influence on tourism. He examines the transformational impact of technology in tourism, from rep­licants to memory implants and self-driving cars to holograms.

In Chapter 10, Destination of the Dead: The Future for Tourism?, McEntee and col­leagues consider tourists a plague of zombies within the context of over­tourism and sustainability. The chapter takes a novel look at tourism and its impact on the people and places that experience excessive numbers of tourists. Zombies are now a clear genre in popular culture, appearing in countless movies, TV programmes and comic books, all of which depict crowds of mindless bodies shuffling along aimlessly while leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The same could arguably be said for some tour­ists, slowly walking along looking upwards at buildings with a selfie stick in hand while busy locals go about their daily business.

Towards a theoretical framework

Tourism futures needs a theoretical frame­work to contribute towards the evolution of tourism research. But as Yeoman and Beeton note, tourism futures is often presented with­out a foundation, is often misunderstood, and those that write about the future tend to emphasise presentism. What COVID-19 has taught us is the importance of moving beyond presentism and not thinking about the future as a linear projection based upon previously studied interrelations of known (economic) variables. Hence, the value of this edited collection is it encourages us to make a quantum leap in the terms of how we view and how we can afford to think about the future of tourism and tourism research. It takes us beyond the positivism to the non-linearity of interpre­tivism and a multiplicity of futures.

The book gives us a theoretical framework to study the future of tourism based upon science fiction. From an ontological perspective, the assumption is that the future needs to be explained by how the future will occur through science fiction. From an epistemological perspective, the book identifies a number of concepts including plurality, disruption and transformation, hyperreality of authenticity, dystopia, liminality, scepticism and the importance of narrative.

What next?

Many science fiction movies and books come in sequels. So, COVID-20 we suppose, but hope not! Indeed, that is not a science-fiction-inspired thought anymore but very much a possibility. We can only suggest you read a good science fiction novel and draw your own imaginings about the future of tourism. That’s what we did, and Captain Kirk was our inspiration, along with films such as Soylent Green or Star Wars. Delve into those alternative, imaginative worlds and ask yourself, what if they were to come true?

Ian Yeoman

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like The Future Past of Tourism edited by Ian Yeoman and Una McMahon-Beattie. 

Exploring the Complexity and Nuances of Sex in Tourism

This month we published Sex in Tourism edited by Neil Carr and Liza Berdychevsky. In this post the editors explain why this remains a relatively under-researched field and how discussions can be brought out in the open.

Sex in tourism (not to be confused with sex tourism, which is only a small part of sex in tourism), incorporating the light, dark and shades of grey in between, is an understudied area of research in comparison with its position in the tourism experience. This reflects the point that even in contemporary sex-saturated society, people are generally uncomfortable talking about or even acknowledging sex. This is especially the case if we seek to study or talk about sex in ways that are perceived to be non-moralistic or conformist. The result is that academics are often ‘discouraged’ from pursuing research involving sex in, and beyond, tourism.

Yet sex in tourism is such an important topic that touches on the wellbeing of so many people, and non-human animals, that to not research and talk about it is not the answer. What drives those working in the field is a desire to help improve the wellbeing of those touched by sex in tourism in myriad ways and those yet to be touched by it.

As such, this book represents some of the important work going on in the under-researched field of sex and tourism and aims to bring discussions about it, in all its diversity, into the public sphere. In doing so, the book explores the complexity and nuanced nature of sex in tourism. It encompasses issues of empowerment, freedom, exploration, abuse, entertainment, ethics and morality, and draws on work spread across the Americas, Europe, Africa and cyberspace.

This book is situated as a beginning, or potential beginnings, from which open, serious conversations can go on to examine and understand sex in tourism in all its diversity, in a way that not only pushes knowledge forward, but enhances the wellbeing of people.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Gay Tourism edited by Oscar Vorobjovas-Pinta. 

The Future of Wildlife Tourism

This month we published Wildlife Tourism Futures edited by Giovanna Bertella. In this post the editor explains how the idea for the book came about.

It was during one of my walks in the forest that I started wondering how wildlife might coexist with tourism in the future. Having witnessed the boom of whale watching in the Arctic, I had serious concerns about the possibility for a bright future. Was I too pessimistic? I might have a tendency to be too critical. Sometimes worries overshadow possibilities. While I was captured by such thoughts, my dog’s attention was captured by something else. A stuffed whale! Such a strange coincidence finding a stuffed whale in the forest while thinking about whale watching. Probably a toy forgotten by a child. Still, could it be a sort of sign? Could the future of whale watching be in the forest? Could tomorrow’s whale watching be very different from today’s whale watching?

A few days after this episode, I was invited by Channel View to submit a proposal for a book about the futures on wildlife tourism. The proposal soon turned into an invitation to colleagues passionate about wildlife and tourism. This invitation included two requirements: contributors had to use critical thinking and imagination to develop future scenarios that covered various aspects of the future of wildlife tourism, such the experiential dimension of wildlife encounters, the educational and managerial aspects, and the ethical implications. 17 exceptionally engaged authors answered my invitation and, together, we started to work at the first draft of the book Wildlife Tourism Futures.

The book developed in a strange time, the COVID-19 crisis. Critically imagining the future of wildlife tourism while the world was in the middle of a pandemic derived from a zoonosis added an extra dimension to the project. Many times, I found myself wondering how close we should be to wildlife at all. Discussing challenges and future possibilities with the book chapter authors helped me to reflect deeper on what I wish and what I fear about how we approach wildlife.

Eventually, the book took the shape of a journey into Terra Incognita, the unknown land that symbolises our future. The book is now finished and we would like you to join this adventurous journey. The authors will be your guides and will show to you how the futures of wildlife tourism might be. Exploring alternative futures, you will find yourself questioning the present, pondering your beliefs, and evaluating the choices you have today in order to influence your and others’ tomorrow. Some of the futures you will visit are inhabited by caring tourists, professional and responsible operators, and include technological solutions to protect the wildlife and enable a sort of inter-species fellowship. Other futures are definitely dark, dominated by unsustainable practices that leave little or no space to wildlife. The book will not provide you with any definitive answer, suggesting that, ultimately, each of us, in our roles as students, practitioners, scholars and tourists, can contribute to build the future.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism Ethics by David A. Fennell.

The Importance of Giving and Receiving in the Tourism Industry in a Covid-19 World

This month we published Philosophies of Hospitality and Tourism by Prokopis A. Christou. In this post the author explains the importance of the book’s central topics of ‘giving and receiving’ in the Covid-19 era.

In an era of numerous challenges for the tourism industry this book aims to remind travel, tourism and hospitality professionals and students of some of the core rudiments of the tourism and hospitality domain. The acquisition and channeling of certain notions and practices, such as care for the well-being of our guests are deemed crucial at an organisational and societal level. In a COVID-19 world, our guests trust that we will convey them safely to their loved ones, accommodate, feed, and guide them, while taking care of their health and well-being.

Crises like the recent pandemic lead us to reflect on our actions and behaviour towards our employees and guests. Professionalism and quality-driven service provision are vital for the sector’s success. Nonetheless, the cultivation and circulation of virtues such as care, kindness and patience are of the utmost importance if destinations, hotels and restaurants are to be associated by their guests with terms such as “genuine care”, “extraordinary experience”, “anthropocentric-driven”, “unexpected treatment”, “quality” and “satisfaction”.  

This book moves beyond the very basics of what is the professional way to greet a guest, serve a dish, answer a phone, or deal with a complaint. It provides hotel managers, tourism stakeholders, students and other readers with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of some of the most important and core aspects of tourism and hospitality, such as how to nurture a caring and anthropocentric organisational culture, how to contribute towards the well-being of people, how to cultivate genuine and personalised hospitality, philoxenia and philanthropy, how to trigger certain “emotions”, fulfil and satisfy the “senses”, and create “memorable experiences”.

By reading this book, tourism and hospitality professionals will better understand tourists, how and why they behave in certain ways, what they expect from them, and how the managers’ actions (towards tourists, employees, the environment and the community) may negatively or positively affect their organisation. Tourism stakeholders, such as tourism planners and regional authorities will understand how tourism development and uncontrolled tourism activity may impact on the socio-natural environment of their destination. Idiosyncratic niche forms of tourism and associated ethical issues are also covered in this book, including “dark tourism” and “religious/spiritual tourism”.     

For more information about this book please see our website

If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism Ethics by David A. Fennell.

Border Watching: The Impact of Brexit and COVID-19

This month we published Tourism and Brexit edited by Hazel Andrews. In this post Hazel discusses the impact that Brexit and subsequently the COVID-19 pandemic have had on the UK.

When I was initially invited to write a book about tourism and Brexit it at first felt problematic. Although the referendum on leaving the EU had taken place nearly two years before in June 2016, when Tourism and Brexit was conceived, the UK had not left the EU and a withdrawal deal had not been settled. It was hard to envision what tourism to and from the UK would be like. In addition, Brexit was subject to on-going debate not only in the UK parliament, but also in numerous news media forums and, for me, like many others, a bit of Brexit fatigue had set in. 

However, Brexit is too important an issue to be left un- or under-explored, especially from the perspective of tourism and the ramifications that a change in freedom of movement might bring to travel practices, which sit alongside understandings of how welcoming a place the UK would be as it reconfigured and repositioned itself on the global stage. The implications of the UK’s departure from the EU has consequences far beyond the country’s immediate borders.

The referendum campaign and the resulting outcome drew attention to stark divisions within the UK, not only in terms of whether to leave or remain, but also between the countries that make up the UK and further still in terms of class and regional identities, age, education and so on. Questions of identity seemed to be at the forefront of debate.

In the immediate aftermath of the referendum result things felt strange as if something palpable had changed in the atmosphere of the country. Many regarded family, friends, neighbours and colleagues in a new light, wondering which way they had voted. Couples divorced, people left the country or began to actively seek citizenship elsewhere. Trust in the UK and those around us had changed.

Those who voted leave doubtless placed trust in the campaign leaders that exiting from the EU would herald a new era characterised by easily made trade deals and control over the UK’s external borders. Since June 2016 and the ongoing debates, it seems that trust has become a keyword in the sociocultural and political landscape of the UK.

The UK officially left the EU on 31st January 2020, entering a transition period as the UK and EU began negotiations about their future relationship. The debates were far from over, but Brexit was no longer centre stage, it had been usurped by COVID-19.

COVID-19 has wrought damage around the world in many ways. It is understandable that it presently dominates much of our thinking. Among its side-effects has been the immeasurable damage to the tourism and hospitality sectors. However, in September 2020 Brexit was front page news again.  

This reemergence into the spotlight was based on the UK Government’s announcement that they would break international law with the Internal Markets Bill, thus changing elements of the Withdrawal Deal that they, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, had themselves agreed with the EU. The move was widely condemned in the UK and EU, as well as within the United States. Questions were raised about how any other government in the world would be able to trust the UK ever again.

Campaigns to leave the EU and Johnson’s response to COVID-19 have both made appeals to a sense of national character. Among such traits is the idea of fair play, enshrined in expressions like the motto of the London Stock Exchange ‘my word is my bond’. It seems ironic then that one of the qualities that is supposed to make us who ‘we’ are could so readily be abandoned. Perhaps going forward questions will be not just based on how welcoming the UK is, but also how trustworthy.

English-Welsh Border sign on the A494 highlighting different COVID-19 rules © Hazel Andrews

Border watching has never been more important whether this be the safeguarding of the borders of our bodies against the Coronavirus and the placing of our trust in those around us to help keep each other safe, or the need to watch not only what the external borders of the UK will be after 31st December 2020, but also what the internal borders in the UK will look like in the years to come.

 

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Brexit and Tourism by Derek Hall.

What Do Staff Think and Feel when Creating Service Encounters in Tourism, Events and Hospitality?

We recently published Service Encounters in Tourism, Events and Hospitality by Miriam Firth. In this post the author tells us what to expect from the book.

Satisfying customers and management is not enough. What do the staff think and feel when creating service encounters in tourism, events and hospitality?

The industries of tourism, events and hospitality require service encounters to offer customers intangible products. The service encounters form customer opinion on the business and are often referred to when evaluating service quality and customer satisfaction. But what are the staff perspectives on completing these? Where is the TripAdvisor for staff who want to complain about customers who do not behave appropriately? How does the front/back of house culture affect the service? What culture shocks does an Asian staff member have when serving a European customer in a UK business? These are some of the questions students can consider when using this book. Staff voices are presented in storied incidents from graduates working as staff in businesses associated with these industries to enable understanding and reflection on staff positions when creating service encounters.

In the book I present an examination of existing key terms often taught in programmes management in further and higher education: service quality, soft skills, intercultural communication/sensitivity, emotional/aesthetic/sexualised labour, co-production/-creation, humour use, and legal frameworks are all discussed and aligned to graduate/staff storied incidents for students to consider the staff perspective. When using these stories in my own classes students naturally open up further discussion of their own stories, or opinions on the stories. I have found that these stories enable easier access to theory by considering how and where these manifest in ‘real life’ situations and support critical examination in a more approachable frame. Rather than showcasing a case study of industry, this book offers insights from the staff creating the industry.

Within the discussion presented I question the validity of consistent focus on ‘management’ and ‘customer,’ or how management can support staff to do more, or how staff can listen and work with customers to offer more. I also expand current models on service encounters to include colleagues, management and suppliers and question the large cultural positions taken in contexts of transnational flows of people (including the staff themselves).

As a former worker and manager from these industries I often think of my own stories and incidents when serving customers. The people are what make these industries a fantastic and enjoyable location to pursue a career within, but these experiences are mostly created by the staff, not the customers nor management. This book praises the work completed by staff delivering service encounters and outlines the armoury of skills and knowledge utilised when delivering an intangible product. It also shows ways in which individuals and small cultures form the experiences and how the staff not only create, but educate management and customers within these contexts.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism and Humour by Philip L. Pearce and Anja Pabel.

What Opportunities do Modelling and Simulation Techniques Offer to Researchers and Practitioners?

We recently published Modelling and Simulations for Tourism and Hospitality by Jacopo A. Baggio and Rodolfo Baggio. In this post the authors explain the need for new methods in tourism and hospitality research.

Tourism is a complex phenomenon because of the many interdependent activities and organizations that deal with the movement of millions of people across the world for the most diverse purposes. The enterprise of understanding tourism’s main characteristics and attempting to predict future behaviors of tourism systems is thus complex. What is more, there is no satisfactory definition for “tourism”, despite a vast and enduring effort of a wide number of scholars and practitioners, thus making the endeavors of rigorously framing many questions even more difficult.

This complexity, as many scholars have recognized in recent times, requires tools and methods that are more sophisticated than the qualitative and quantitative techniques traditionally employed.

Today there are a number of methods that are facilitated by the availability of good hardware and software applications, which can be used to model systems and phenomena, and stimulate possible configurations and the effects that these have on many dynamic processes. These tools come from the work done in several different disciplines but are, however, not very widely diffused in the tourism and hospitality domain, even though they could prove quite effective in analyzing, assessing and predicting complex systems and phenomena, such as those observed in tourism and hospitality.

In recent years we have studied and used many of these methods, applying them in different contexts, often with a special focus on issues connected with the tourism and hospitality domains.

In Modelling and Simulation for Tourism and Hospitality we provide an introduction to the main opportunities modelling and simulation techniques and tools offer to researchers and practitioners. The approach we follow is mainly “practical”. We do not delve into complicated theoretical descriptions of the methods, and when we do, we mainly focus on highlighting the conceptual nature of the technique at hand.

Instead, we concentrate on discussing examples aiming to show the basic features, the possibilities of the different techniques and how these methods complement each other in providing a wider array of tools for all those interested or involved in studying or managing tourism or hospitality organizations. Finally, we complement the book with suggestions for further readings and with a list of software tools usable for the different modelling techniques discussed.

Jacopo A. Baggio, jacopo.baggio@ucf.edu

Rodolfo Baggio, rodolfo.baggio@unibocconi.it

 

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Quantitative Methods in Tourism by Rodolfo Baggio and Jane Klobas.

Writing about Brexit: The Challenge of Uncertainty

This month we published the very topical Brexit and Tourism by Derek Hall. In this post the author talks about the challenges of writing about something uncertain and ever-changing.

To many, relationships between Brexit and tourism may not at first sight seem obvious or even significant. But the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, and the issues surrounding it, have influenced, and will continue to exert profound impacts upon, tourism and related issues.

The value of sterling, availability of labour and migration, agriculture, food and catering, visa policies, taxes, travellers’ health and welfare provision, transport, accommodation, regional development, imagery and identity are just some of the more obvious tourism-related dimensions of Brexit’s direct and indirect impacts that are addressed in the book.

Continued uncertainty and the successive postponement of a withdrawal date have posed an ongoing challenge in maintaining the book’s integrity. Such uncertainty was – and continues to be – exacerbated by the absence of any coherent medium- or long-term national policy for coping with Brexit’s consequences. The outside possibility that a UK withdrawal from the EU might not actually take place was also dangled, and that as a consequence the book could prove to be a hypothetical historical document, an exercise in writing alternative history.

Critical analysis within the book has needed to look beyond the superficial rhetoric and political mendacity that has surrounded so much of the divisive Brexit debates. Acknowledging that academics have their own vested interests in such debates, sustaining objective arguments within the book has also been a challenge.

As no sovereign country has previously left the EU, the precedent of Brexit opens up unknown territory and many intriguing questions to explore. Thus, for example, one chapter of the book is devoted to examining a range of possible theoretical frameworks that can be employed to understand Brexit’s impacts on tourism.

One objective of the book is to broaden and inform debate in areas that have been neglected or even ignored in the UK. Thus the position of Gibraltar, voting 96% to remain in the EU but tied to a UK withdrawal, has barely been mentioned in UK debates. This merits a chapter, as do the likely environmental consequences of Brexit. The roles and situations of EU nationals in the UK and of UK nationals living, working and retiring in (other) EU countries also receive close attention.

Long before the 2016 EU referendum, some Eurosceptics were arguing that the Commonwealth could replace the role of the EU if the UK left the latter. Such arguments later faded away, but the role of the Commonwealth has deserved further scrutiny, not least in relation to the appalling treatment the UK government has meted out to some of the ‘Windrush generation’ regarding their UK citizenship rights.

So, while the book’s focus is placed firmly on relationships between Brexit and tourism, these are set within broad (geo)political, economic, social and environmental perspectives that help to illuminate and illustrate the central themes.

Derek Hall

derekhall@seabankscotland.co.uk

For more information on this book please see our website

A Month of Tourism Titles!

Woo-hoo! 2020 is kicking off with a month in which all the books we’re publishing are Channel View Publications titles – five tourism books published in January! This is the first time this has happened in CVP/MM history (we usually publish far more linguistics titles than we do tourism) so it’s very exciting 😊

Here are the books we’ve got coming your way this month:

Brexit and Tourism by Derek Hall

This book offers a multidisciplinary, holistic appraisal of the implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) for tourism and related mobilities. It attempts to look beyond the short- to medium-term consequences of these processes for both the UK and the EU.

Tourism Economics and Policy (2nd Edition) by Larry Dwyer, Peter Forsyth and Wayne Dwyer

This revised edition incorporates new material on the sharing economy, AI, surface and marine transport, resident quality of life issues, the price mechanism, the economic contribution of tourism, and tourism and economic growth. It remains an accessible text for students, researchers and practitioners in tourism economics and policy.

Contents Tourism and Pop Culture Fandom edited by Takayoshi Yamamura and Philip Seaton

The term ‘contents tourism’ has been defined as ‘travel behaviour motivated fully or partially by narratives, characters, locations, and other creative elements of popular culture…’. This is the first book to apply the concept of contents tourism in a global context and to establish an interdisciplinary framework for contents tourism research.

Modelling and Simulations for Tourism and Hospitality by Jacopo A. Baggio and Rodolfo Baggio

This book offers an essential introduction to the use of various modelling tools and simulation techniques in the domains of tourism and hospitality. It aims to encourage students, researchers and practitioners in tourism and hospitality to enhance and enrich their toolbox in order to achieve a better and more profound knowledge of their field.

Service Encounters in Tourism, Events and Hospitality by Miriam Firth

This book offers insights into the demands made on staff in service encounters in tourism, events and hospitality roles. It hinges upon storied incidents offered by workers about which the reader can reflect and apply theoretical knowledge. Each chapter includes learning objectives, questions and summaries.

 

Continuing the excitement, a brand new textbook follows in February – Sustainable Tourism by David Fennell and Chris Cooper, which we expect to be a bestseller. We are also hoping to get a few more titles published in the second half of 2020. Some titles to watch for are Archaeology and Tourism edited by Dallen Timothy and Lina Tahan; a second edition of Dallen Timothy’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism textbook; Tourism and Earthquakes edited by Michael Hall and Girish Prayag; Gamification for Tourism edited by Feifei Xu and Dimitrios Buhalis; Sustainable Space Tourism by Annette Toivonen and Wildlife Tourism Futures edited by Giovanna Bertella. Watch this space…

Sarah

Seen something you like? Get 50% off all our titles this month using the code JANSALE at the checkout on our website!

Understanding Sport Heritage

We recently published Heritage and Sport by Gregory Ramshaw. In this post the author explains why the book is needed.

Sport is undoubtedly part of our cultural heritage. As Canadian author Roy MacGregor once wrote “it is impossible to know a people until you know the game they play.” Sport heritage tells us much about our shared past, what we remember, and what we value today. Indeed, we see manifestations of sport heritage everywhere! Many communities erect statues and sculptures to their sporting heroes; cities use sports museums and halls of fame as anchors of tourism development; teams, clubs, and organizations regularly employ heritage-themed events and souvenirs; chants, cheers, and rituals at matches are often thought of as a kind of intangible heritage, while sporting stadia and venues are regularly provided heritage designation and protection.

Because of this growing interest in sport heritage, a book like Heritage and Sport could not be more timely. Although there have been other texts which look at elements of the sport heritage phenomenon – such as sport museums, or heritage-based sport tourism – this book is the first which examines the whole of sport heritage. In particular, the book looks at some new topics in sport heritage – such as marketing sport heritage, managing sport heritage, and intangible sport heritages – while also bringing new perspectives to more familiar topics such as sport heritage in the fields of museums, events, and tourism. As the sporting past becomes more a part of our present, it is imperative that we have a broad understanding of sport heritage.

One of the primary aims of this book is to provide the reader with a wide-ranging understanding of sport heritage. In many ways, it is a launching-pad for other investigations, understandings, and research. A reader might associate sport heritage with, say, historic stadia, a hall of fame, or perhaps with a specific sport. What this book helps to do is demonstrate that sport heritage includes these topics – but that it is so much more! If a student, for example, reads the chapter about existential sport heritage – understanding how sport heritage is related to both bloodlines as well as the practice and performance of sport heritage – she or he might think about this in their own culture and experience. Similarly, if a researcher or practitioner reads the chapter about heritage-based sporting events or sport heritage landscapes, it may help spur ideas for future research and development.

Sport heritage has become an integral part of both the sport and heritage landscape. It is hoped that Heritage and Sport will help others to explore this fascinating topic further!

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Sport Tourism Development by James Higham and Tom Hinch.