A Study of the Motivations Behind Heritage Site Selection in the United States

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Virginia Tech

Motivations behind heritage site selection was researched to glean information regarding heritage site selection. The objectives of the study were to determine: (1) The type of experience someone with an environmental preservationist and historic preservationist attitude seeks at a heritage site and (2) If the type of experience sought at a heritage site is related to the type of services and benefits sought at a heritage.

Data was collected by utilizing a mailed questionnaire. Correlation analysis was used to determine if there were any relationships between Environmental Preservationist Attitude, Historic Preservationist Attitude, Benefits Sought at a Heritage Site, and Service Sought at a Heritage Site and the type of Heritage Experience preferred.

The sample size consisted of 197 respondents or 29% of the 679 surveys successfully mailed. Of these respondents 37% were male and 67% were female. Most of the respondents were married (74%) and travel with their family (83%).

Although no statistically significant relationships were found concerning the research hypotheses some interesting relationships surfaced relating to the value society has placed on heritage site visitation. Mainly, the great interest in a more authentic and rugged experience at a heritage site was a pattern found in the responses. This study gave a basis in which to build future research efforts in the area of heritage tourism.

tourism, motivation, heritage