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Heritage Tourism and Inherited Institutional Structures: The Case of Falun Great Copper Mountain

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This study focuses on the local resource that a mine represents and analyses the role of stakeholders and institutions during the development of heritage tourism. The paper aims to examine the role of stakeholders and their interpretation of heritage in the management process in the case of the Great Copper Mountain World Heritage Site in Falun, Sweden. The paper focuses on local strategies for developing heritage tourism in which concepts of institutions and path dependency in terms of inherited social and economic structures can shed light on more general local development processes. The empirical material consists of interviews, official documents and marketing material. While the goal of many of the interviewed stakeholders is to promote tourism development, a common view is often lacking in terms of what the tourist product is or how the role of the World Heritage Site can be interpreted with regard to tourism activities. There are also sceptical voices regarding the development of activities and attractions devoted to entertainment without educational purposes. The marketing texts focus on the landscape and the 17th century system of production, which further supports the view that the preservation of the remnants from this period will be prioritised in contemporary management policies. The present paper interprets this concept as an indication of the strength of the institutions and ideas that promote the importance of education and historical facts related to mining communicated by former mining-related stakeholders as well as by heritage organisations, including UNESCO.
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Keywords: Great Copper Mountain; Heritage tourism; Sweden; World Heritage Site; institutional structures; stakeholders

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dalarna University, Sweden

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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