Mining for Tourists: A Longitudinal Analysis of Industrial Tourism in Wales

Authors: William Price*, Central Connecticut State University
Topics: Tourism Geography
Keywords: Industrial Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Wales, Coal, Slate
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the aftermath of deindustrialization, many communities in Wales faced the loss of the economic, political, and social identity that had long surrounded their mining industries. Industrial heritage has featured in Welsh tourism and economic development plans at the national and county levels since the 1970s. Former coal and slate mines, among other industrial sites, have subsequently been converted into cultural heritage and adventure tourism attractions, with several operated and funded by the national and local governments. As a result of its early prominence, industrial tourism in Wales was extensively researched in the 1990s and 2000s in regards to tourist motivations, authenticity, and economic potential, with a focus primarily on case studies. Questions emerge in the literature regarding the long term demand for industrial tourism, with decades now past since the closure of many facilities and the disappearance of the associated way of life. Through a longitudinal study incorporating a discourse analysis of past and present tourism plans, economic development plans, and promotional material, and a tourism resource analysis of industrial tourism sites, this paper discusses the ways in which government promotion and the overall supply of industrial tourism in Wales have changed over the last several decades. It also considers the current strengths and weaknesses of the product.

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