Key Factors in the Development of Tourism-Led Local Innovative Heritage Entrepreneurship in the South Wales Valleys

Key Factors in the Development of Tourism-Led Local Innovative Heritage Entrepreneurship in the South Wales Valleys

Lisa Marie Powell (University of South Wales, UK) and Simon Thomas (University of South Wales, UK)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7721-8.ch011

Abstract

This chapter investigates key factors in the development of tourism-led local innovative heritage entrepreneurship in the South Wales Valleys. It is concerned with opportunities to develop industrial heritage tourism enterprises in the South Wales Valleys, with special reference to Merthyr Tydfil. The analysis involved key partners across community and voluntary sectors, local authorities, funding and tourism bodies under the auspices of the Welsh Government. The research reported on eight case study structured interviews and collated data to investigate, in combination with contemporary literature, key factors including network capital to achieve a sustainable regeneration scheme for innovative heritage entrepreneurship development.
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Introduction

This chapter is a further study to previous investigations of heritage development (Powell et al., 2010, 2011) with the aim to investigate key factors in the development of tourism-led local innovative heritage entrepreneurship in the South Wales Valleys. It is particularly concerned with the key factors and opportunities to develop industrial heritage tourism enterprises in the South Wales Valleys, with special reference to Merthyr Tydfil. The research analysis involved several key partners from across community and voluntary sectors, local authorities funding and tourism bodies under the auspices of the Welsh Government. The research reported on eight case study structured interviews and collated data to investigate, in combination with contemporary literature, the key factors to achieve a sustainable regeneration scheme for innovative heritage entrepreneurship development. By focusing on relevant case studies it is possible to shed light on local entrepreneurship in peripheral areas, such as the South Wales Valleys, in relation to tourism. Key factors are funding challenges, cohesion of the community, a strategic approach and network capital in the form of networking and partnerships. Analysis shows growing significance of non-environmental sustainable development and socio-economic regeneration. Through analysis of key factors the importance of innovation and heritage entrepreneurship development has become apparent. This proves they are inseparable due to the need to work together to provide a sustainable approach for regeneration to work effectively in the long-term. A strategic approach is essential as a sustainable way forward to develop heritage tourism enterprises for future generations. The South Wales Valleys area is relatively distanced from the urban industrial hub of Cardiff, Newport and Swansea which provide essential resources and services. As a result the Valleys suffer from marginalisation although they benefit from a broad range of social, cultural and environmental resources. The investigation of the key factors involved in local entrepreneurship and tourism development considered policies and practices in fostering local development exhibiting dichotomies such as innovation versus tradition.

The research undertaken into the key factors in the development of tourism-led local innovative heritage entrepreneurship in the South Wales Valleys has considered extant sources including background literature in the area, sustainable entrepreneurship development and policy in Wales, sustainable heritage entrepreneurship development in the South Wales Valleys and sustainable heritage entrepreneurship development in Merthyr Tydfil. A study of Wales reported that 64% of the country is reliant on grant aid and it was argued that for Wales to be successful and enterprising it cannot depend on continuous grant aid, especially in the current economic climate (Williams, 2009) and post Brexit. As well as business and enterprise in general this is of particular concern to tourism in Wales. A research methodology has been employed which has undertaken eight case study interviews with key partners from local authorities, community and voluntary sector and funding and tourism bodies in Wales. Findings are reported according to the key factors of the challenges of funding, community cohesion, a strategic approach, and partnership and network capital in the form of networking. The factors are further developed following discussion and analysis. The research question asked - in what way can the key factors be developed for tourism-led local innovative heritage entrepreneurship? Conclusions are drawn in terms of the importance of key factors in the development of tourism-led local innovative heritage entrepreneurship in the South Wales Valleys.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Innovative: Introducing new ideas, methods, and thinking.

Networking: The process of sharing information and forming relationships among individuals and groups with a common interest.

Entrepreneurship: Process of starting and running a new business, initially as a small venture or start-up company, by offering a product or service.

Partnership: A relationship where two or more people, organizations or countries work together.

Regeneration: Improve and develop something by making it as successful or good as it was in the past.

Tourism: Activities of persons identified as visitors involving holidays and visits to places of interest.

Sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations.

Heritage: A society’s or country’s traditions, languages, historical buildings, cultural traditions, monuments, objects, or features of life from the past.

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