2020.28.1

Results of an academic study ‘Ancestral tourism & heritage work in a Hebridean island’ conducted by Joanna Rodgers, UHI, on Tiree in 2015-2018. From the book ‘Creating Heritage – unrecognised pasts and rejected futures’, Routledge 2020.

Abstract Roots-seeking travel is an increasingly popular activity around the world, and such visitors are particularly ubiquitous in Scotland. As a heritage practice, this ‘ancestral tourism’ has been predominantly interpreted in terms of its national or regional significance, with previous research focusing largely on ancestral tourists in the context of official heritage institutions or commercial tourism events. The distinctive contexts of ancestral tourism destinations at the local scale are rarely attended to on their own terms and residents’ perspectives have received little attention. Consequently, the practices and meanings connected to this form of tourism are only partially understood: the “heritage work” (Byrne, 2008; Harrison, 2010) of both residents and visitors in quotidian, unofficial spaces remains unexamined. Drawing on 18 months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in the island of Tiree, this chapter addresses these gaps and explores the heritages connected to ancestral tourism “from below” (Robertson, 2012).

A digital photocopy of the full text is available from An Iodhlann.

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