A snapshot into the past: The utility of volunteer-employed photography in planning and managing heritage tourism

  • Garrod B
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Visual imagery is a critical constituent in the production and consumption of heritage tourism; yet researchers have been relatively slow to capitalise on the potential of visual data analysis techniques to assist its effective planning and management. While there is some research that uses industry generated images found in holiday brochures and on postcards, few studies have made use of photographic data that has been collected by tourists themselves in a self-directed manner. This technique, generally known as volunteer-employed photography (VEP), can be seen to hold a number of potential advantages over more traditional methods of visual data analysis; yet at the same time there are a number of potential drawbacks with the approach. This paper reviews the VEP technique and sets out its major strengths and potential weaknesses. A case study of resident and tourist perceptions of the image of a Welsh seaside town is then presented in order to illustrate the potential for VEP in the planning and management of tourism in the built-historic environment. The paper then presents some suggestions for potential applications of the technique in the planning and management of heritage tourism.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Management
  • Participation
  • Photography
  • Planning
  • Visual images

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  • Brian Garrod

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