Preserving cultural assets of others: Jewish heritage sites in Macedonian cities

Petrevska, Biljana and Krakover, Shaul and Collins-Kreiner, Noga (2017) Preserving cultural assets of others: Jewish heritage sites in Macedonian cities. Tourism Geographies. ISSN 1470-1340

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Issues arise when trying to understand the motivation of policymakers to preserve the assets of cultures that do not belong to the mainstream population. Tunbridge and Ashworth’s seminal study on ‘Dissonant Heritage’ and Bennett’s developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS model) provide a basis to evaluate both the motivations and the existence of a cultural dissonance. As there is a growing worldwide trend towards preserving and developing Jewish heritage tourism (JHT) this study examines Jewish heritage sites in three Macedonian cities endowed with rich Jewish history. Unlike previous studies concentrating on the notion of dissonant heritage this research focuses on the motivation for preserving such sites, an issue hardly tackled before. Previous studies suggested the prevalence of six possible motives: guilt, facing harsh history, emphasis on dark tourism, revival of a harmonious past, respect, and economic benefits. Data were obtained via face-to-face interviews conducted with policy-makers from central and local governments. The interviews were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively in order to determine the leading motives for preservation. The findings indicate that by establishing and maintaining Jewish heritage sites, stakeholders reflect sentiments of respect and admiration for the perished Jewish community and a longing for the revival of an elusive harmonious past. The potential economic benefits and dark tourism surfaced only as minor motives. Practically, JH preservation is used to revive dialogue with a forgotten past that may also contribute to urban tourism development in the future. Conceptually, the interviews did not reveal any indication of heritage dissonance, a finding that stands in sharp contrast to the dissonant heritage theory.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jewish heritage tourism; dissonant heritage; motivation; urban tourism; Macedonia; dark tourism
Subjects: Social Sciences > Other social sciences
Social Sciences > Social and economic geography
Divisions: Faculty of Tourism and Business Logistics
Depositing User: Biljana Petrevska
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 09:58
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2017 09:58

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