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The Legacy of Mining: Visual Representations and Narrative Constructions of a Swedish Heritage Tourist Destination

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This article examines the marketing and management efforts that have been undertaken to make the Falun World Heritage Site a successful tourist destination in terms of hegemonic, visual representations, and narrative constructions. Visual representation is assumed to be a vital aspect of the construction of narratives used to promote tourist destinations. The idea of a narrative as something that constructs sites as comprehensible places through visual representation can be used to illuminate the logic of heritage tourism and branding destinations. The article argues that representations of a heritage site that are closely related to hegemonic ideas of the site's history are not necessarily the most profitable ones. If the heritage site is to contribute to local development and tourism, it is essential to understand what the representations of heritage communicate. Using the Falun World Heritage Site as a case study, the article aims to show how the attraction of a site can be hindered by hegemonic assumptions of its history, and therefore of its most interesting and valuable aspects. Analyses of Falun's marketing, as well as the site itself, show that the constructed hegemonic narratives about the Falun Mine primarily concern men, masculinity, and nationalism. Visitors are offered an opportunity to take part through narratives of the Swedish Great Power Period, as constructed and experienced by male geniuses and male mineworkers. These are the stories that correspond to the hegemonic view of those who manage and market the site.
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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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