Keys to the Marketplace: Problems and Issues in Cultural and Heritage Tourism

By Patricia Atkinson Wells | Go to book overview

PREFACE

As a folklorist, my education, avocations, and varying employment have led me to span the usual intradisciplinary divides, and I stand—sometimes precariously—with one foot firmly in the camp of academic folklore and the other in that of the public sector. I find myself increasingly drawn to and working in applied ethnology, both at the grassroots level—as in my work providing technical assistance in the areas of business skills, promotion and marketing to traditional artists and performers, and at the policy-making level—lobbying state agencies and the tourism industry on behalf of the arts, rural community development and cultural and heritage tourism.

This present volume is both a reflection and a result of this alternate micromacro view of ethnology and the marketing of traditions. It had its inception in an issue of Tennessee’s Business, the thrice-yearly publication of the Business & Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University. Although as a folklorist I am an anomaly in the College of Business (where I am employed as Publications Editor), the position affords me access to different perspectives and some unusual partnerships in terms of research and public service projects.

With the issue of Tennessee’s Business—“Preserving and Promoting Cultural Resources: Strengthening Local Economies Through Responsible Tourism”—my intent was to get the perspectives of folklorists, anthropologists, historians, and community organizers to the people who have the money and power to affect policy—the business community, elected representatives, and government officials. The issue was so well-received that it went out of print in less than a year; budgetary constraints did not permit reprinting.

At this time, I began to seek a publisher and to conceive of adding some substantial essays of international interest and import. I am delighted that Hisarlik Press decided to take on this project, and that I have been able to gather essays on cultural and heritage tourism outside the USA from scholars in the fields of applied anthropology, public folklore, natural resource management, and tourism research to supplement the original group of papers.

I would be remiss if I did not thank Dr Reuben Kyle, Director of the Business & Economic Research Center at MTSU, and Dr Teri F. Brewer of the University of Glamorgan, without whose support and encouragement this volume would not have seen print. My thanks also to the authors—scholars and gentlepeople every one—for putting their work in my hands.

PATRICIA ATKINSON WELLS
MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE

-v-

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