Developing partnerships: Tools for interpretation and management of world heritage sites

Stephen W. Boyd, Dallen Timothy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Many natural and cultural tourist attractions have been given World Heritage Site (WHS) status. This designation, however, has not always resulted in numbers of visitors increasing as this is often influenced by other factors like marketing and accessibility. Equally, there remain few world heritage sites that have been placed on the danger list as a result of overvisitation, which suggests that visitation is still at levels where management can address and alleviate problems. One method that offers potential in maintaining popular tourist sites is the development of partnerships. This paper proposes a model of partnership for WHS and presents a discussion, using British and North American examples. Partnerships are examined for protected and mixed-use settings, where the scale involved ranges from local/regional to international. Emphasis is directed at assessing partnerships as a tool to assist site interpretation and general site management, visitor management in particular. It is suggested that partnerships need to be broad-based, encouraging empowerment of, and cooperation between, stakeholders, accepting that they will range from agency-led to grassroots initiatives and result in public-private co-operative arrangements. It is also argued that partnerships should not just exist at the management level alone. Rather, they should filter down to the visitors and be reflected in how they view and respect the site through their understanding of its qualities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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