Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Study Aims to Make Most of Heritage Site; Marketing Key to Cashing in on Hadrian's Wall

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Study Aims to Make Most of Heritage Site; Marketing Key to Cashing in on Hadrian's Wall

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson

RESULTS of a study on how to boost the benefits of having world heritage sites will be outlined at a conference in Northumberland today.

The first Hadrian's Wall world heritage site conference is taking place at Hexham Auction Mart.

The aim is to promote wider understanding of the Wall and how it is managed, as well as encouraging wider participation in the range of issues, challenges and opportunities.

The conference will hear from heritage economist James Rebanks, who is based near Penrith in Cumbria, and who has carried out a study of all 890 world heritage sites worldwide. As well as Hadrian's Wall and Durham Cathedral and Castle, the North East is likely to have a third world heritage site in the Wearmouth-Jarrow monastic site, while the Lake District is also in the running.

Mr Rebanks said that locations which enjoyed most benefits from their world heritage site status did so with marketing which emphasised the quality and distinctiveness of designation.

He said: "They point out why they are special places and why people should visit. It is about distinctiveness and saying you are better than other places, and getting a competitive advantage."

The study found that well-marketed locations attracted more visitors from countries - especially in Europe - which themselves had world heritage sites.

Mr Rebanks said: "These people, who tend to stay longer and spend more, understand the concept of world heritage sites.

"They are interested in the culture of the countries they visit and, on holiday, will go looking for world heritage sites," said Mr Rebanks.

He added that there were opportunities to create private businesses off the back of world heritage sites. A survey of businesses showed they valued the distinctiveness and many used it on brochures, websites and general marketing. The conference has been organised by Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd on behalf of the Hadrian's Wall world heritage site management plan committee. …

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