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The role of trails in the creation of tourist space

The role of trails in the creation of tourist space

MacLeod, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0001-7504-2270 (2016) The role of trails in the creation of tourist space. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 12 (5). pp. 423-430. ISSN 1743-873X (Print), 1747-6631 (Online) (doi:

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Trails and routes are increasingly ubiquitous features within the tourism landscape and although their role and usefulness as applied tourism products has been analysed, they remain under-theorised within the academic literature. This article addresses this gap by exploring the role of trails within the socio-cultural construction of space. In particular, the potential function of trails in creating themed, static spaces is analysed and the concept of museumisation is employed to further illustrate the capacity of trails to reconfigure spaces within specific cultural framings which may exclude local identity and yet are consumed by the unquestioning visitor. However, the article goes on to use more recent paradigms such as tourism’s performance turn and the associated concept of embodiment to further explore the trail’s potency in promoting a more engaged, multi-vocal and sensory experience of place. Using these contemporary approaches to the role of the tourist and the cultural construction of place, the article employs a range of examples to argue for the efficacy of trails as flexible, interpretive tools that allow a multiplicity of stories to be told and encourage visitors towards a more engaged interaction within the spaces through which they tour.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Trails; Routes; Theming; Performance turn; Museumisation; Embodiment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Faculty of Business > Tourism Research Centre
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 13:39

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