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Heritage tourism (whether historic, cultural, or natural) is widely seen as one of the mainstays of rural tourism. Most research on heritage tourism has focused on issues such as the protection of the physical fabric at heritage attractions, balancing authenticity, and accessibility in interpretation and the meaning of heritage for people. However, the issue of the viability and sustainability of heritage tourism operations as businesses has in contrast hardly been considered. This article addresses this issue by focusing on three rural heritage tourism attractions that have experienced financial problems. In addition, the article explores two factors that may limit research into the financial viability of attractions. The first is that problems may be manifested in many different ways, of which bankruptcy and closure are only the most extreme. The second is the difficulty of gaining useful objective information from and regarding businesses in trouble.
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Keywords: Australia; Failure; Heritage attractions; Rural; Tourism businesses

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Management, Monash University, Australia

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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