Assessing the Use of Archaeological Sites as Cultural Tourism Resources: The Case of Segóbriga (Spain)

Assessing the Use of Archaeological Sites as Cultural Tourism Resources: The Case of Segóbriga (Spain)

Nuria Huete-Alcocer (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), María Pilar Martínez-Ruiz (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) and Víctor Raúl López-Ruiz (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2927-9.ch008

Abstract

This chapter offers an in-depth analysis of archaeological sites and the value they represent to the field of cultural tourism. Specifically, this chapter discusses the suitable means of studying and managing archaeological sites, which represent tangible examples of cultural tourism. Managed properly, such sites may attract a larger number of visitors and thereby contribute to the region's socioeconomic development. In order to illustrate this line of research, this analysis will focus on one archaeological site in particular, namely the Archaeological Park of Segóbriga in the province of Cuenca, Spain. More specifically, the chapter reviews survey data collected over several years by related public institutions. The findings lend support to several measures that may improve the management of such sites in the context of cultural tourism. The most important of these is the dissemination and promotion of information about the site through WOM and eWOM.
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Background

In order to accomplish the above goal, we need to first establish some conceptual distinctions regarding cultural tourism and, more specifically, archaeological heritage.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cultural Heritage: Cultural Heritage (CH) is a way to bring tourists to the past, or more precisely, a particular vision of the past that can then influence present and future cultures.

Cultural Resources: Cultural Resources (CR) are the goods that have been valued and transformed by human activity or knowledge.

Cultural Heritage Management: Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) is carried out by different actors pursuing different goals: on the one hand, the private sector, whose main objective is to obtain economic benefits thanks to tourism. And on the other hand, the public sector, whose purpose is to obtain social benefits, guaranteeing their existence and conservation.

Archeology: Archeology (A) is defined as the result of surveys, excavations and other empirical studies designed to interpret and retrieve the past and it is one such form of cultural heritage that governments frequently sponsor and promote as part of their tourism efforts.

Worth of Mouth: Worth of Mouth (WOM) is informal person to person communication about a product or service.

Archaeological Parks: Archaeological Parks (AP) are classified as the most important and well-preserved scientific sites in the country whose purpose is to promoting their social value.

Electronic Word of Mouth: Electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM) is informal person to person communication, mediated through the internet, about a product or service.

Cultural Tourism: Cultural Tourism (CT) is effectively a synonym for heritage or ethnic tourism—a way for travelers to access the charm of local communities’ traditions, folklore, spaces and values.

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