Irreconcilability of heritage missions: personalized and general tourism audiences

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This paper explores the tensions between access to heritage as a social good, its commercialization and the subsequent impact this has on service delivery. Drawing on the context of ancestral tourism, a growing heritage tourism segment requiring a high level of personalization, it develops arguments about the structural irreconcilability implicit in contemporary museum service delivery when staff resources do not meet the individualized demands of specialist markets. Its findings reveal how challenges with delivering bespoke services drive tensions surrounding aspirations for greater public access and the commercialization of public heritage. Our focus contributes to debates around heritage missions and public heritage management, illuminating the importance of understanding provider perspectives as museums adapt to more visitor-centered service delivery modes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103621
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Early online date19 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2023


  • heritage tourism
  • heritage management
  • ancestral tourism
  • personal heritage
  • diaspora tourism


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