Tourism and Cultural Heritage: Traditions and Dilemmas
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-ACWME1003
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; Cultural Studies;
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
PER 1  (05/09/2022 to 06/11/2022)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After successfully finishing the course:
  • You will have acquired general knowledge of and insight in cultural heritage tourism as a professional field, focusing on key issues, dilemmas and recent trends regarding authenticity, politics of heritage, visitor’s demand and experience, protection and conservation, storytelling, planning and marketing
  • You will have acquired general knowledge of/insight in heritage tourism studies as an interdisciplinary field of academic research, linking tourism studies, heritage studies, cultural studies, museology 
  • You will have enhanced your competences in finding, reading, interpreting and evaluating scholarly publications beyond your own field of expertise
  • You will have acquired elementary competences in systematically and critically analyzing various aspects of heritage attractions, combining the expertise of your bachelor’s programme with new research methods and sources
  • You will have gained elementary experience in translating systematic and critical analysis into original ideas and constructive advice
Cultural heritage, the presentation and representation of the past in the present, is an increasingly important element of the tourist industry worldwide. Cultural heritage includes archeological sites, historical monuments and museums, but also inherited living traditions and rituals such as pilgrimages and folkloristic dances. Cultural heritage is not a static entity but a practice and process that is constantly negotiated. Heritage attractions reflect and stimulate shifting ideas and debates about contemporary society and the past as well as general changes in contemporary culture, society, economy and environment.
Heritage tourism can be both a blessing and a curse. At the one hand it facilitates and supports protection, preservation and restoration of buildings, artifacts and traditions. On the other hand, tourism often endangers the preserved original state of sites and monuments or the authenticity of rituals. But what is original and authentic? Which and whose histories have been preserved, how are they presented and for whom? Systematic research and critical reflection on heritage tourism enable us, on an abstract level, to better understand the meanings of art and culture in our contemporary society. On a more practical level, academic research helps us to formulate new ideas to make heritage attractions more attractive, interesting, inclusive and successful.
This course offers an introduction to cultural heritage tourism as a professional field and to heritage tourism studies as a scholarly field. Departing from a handbook written by a key player in the field, we will focus on seven key themes: the professional and scholarly field (week 1), authenticity and the politics of heritage (week 2), visitor’s demand and experience (week 3), protection and conservation (week 4), storytelling (week 5), planning (week 6) and marketing (week 7). With additional literature, primary source assignments, excursions, guest lectures and class discussions, students will each week deepen their insights in the scholarly and professional field and will learn to formulate well informed and nuanced academic standpoints in current debates, dilemmas and challenges. Students will learn to apply their knowledge by focusing on a specific heritage attraction, creating a multi-perspective portfolio with a systematic assessment and fruitful suggestions for future development.

Presumed foreknowledge
toelating tot masterspecialisatie Tourism and culture
Test information


Required materials
Timothy's Cultural Heritage and Tourism should be available as an e-book via the University Library, but if you prefer reading from a hard copy, it might be worth your while to buy it since we will be reading chapters from it every week.
Title:Cultural Heritage and Tourism. An Introduction
Author:Dallen J. Timothy
Publisher:Bristol etc, Channel View Publications, 2011
Selection of articles and chapters made available through the University Library or Blackboard

Instructional modes

Test weight100
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 1, Block PER 2

Minimum grade