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Heritage attractions, competitive pressures and adaptation: the case of the British seaside pier.

Chapman, A., Light, D. and Richards, S., 2021. Heritage attractions, competitive pressures and adaptation: the case of the British seaside pier. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 16 (5), 533-545.

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JHT Piers paper REVISED.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1080/1743873X.2020.1806288


Heritage visitor attractions operate in a dynamic environment requiring them to respond to changing circumstances which they cannot control. This paper focuses on adaptation strategies adopted by one type of heritage resource: the seaside pier in the UK. As part of the heritage of mass tourism itself, piers were created in a specific context and, as that context has changed, they have needed to adapt to remain viable as attractions. A combination of observational field visits to all UK piers and in-depth interviews with selected pier owners was used to examine strategies of adaptation. Three pier categories were identified, characterised by different adaptation strategies and experiences offered to visitors. The Family Entertainment Pier has adopted a strategy of consolidation, offering a traditional product with some diversification to suit contemporary consumer tastes. The Twenty-first Century Innovator Pier has followed a strategy of differentiation, focussed on contemporary entertainments and catering. The Heritage Pier has differentiated by offering a nostalgic and uncommercialised experience of the traditional seaside holiday. These strategies enable individual piers to remain competitive as attractions but some have more robust business models and are in a stronger financial position to deal with ongoing and future challenges.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:seaside piers; adaptation strategies; competition; visitor experience; coastal tourism
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:34431
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:14 Aug 2020 09:44
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:23


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