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The South Wales Heritage Tourism Industry and Small Industrial Museums

International Journal of Applied Entrepreneurship (ISSN: 1742-5824) Volume 1 Issue 3

Simon Thomas and Dr. Brychan Thomas
Welsh Enterprise Institute, University of Glamorgan Business School

Abstract

This paper will critically evaluate the importance of the ‘historic environment’ and small industrial museums in the context of heritage tourism using the Coalfield Landscape of the South Wales Valleys (1850-2003) as a case study analysis. The paper will be focused on the changing patterns of the landscape, both socially, culturally, physically and economically. This will be explored through an analysis of the changing patterns of the landscape from an industrial area to an area that has attempted to use this resource to regenerate through the introduction of the ‘heritage tourism product’. The paper will identify potential possibility for future development within the context of current issues and debates that encompass the industry. The geographical focus of this paper will span North from the city of Cardiff, encompassing the five central and Eastern valleys of the Rhondda, Cynon, Taff, Rhymney and Sirhowy.

The research methodology has involved four stages including (1) a review of the ‘historic environment’ and small industrial museums in the context of heritage tourism in the South Wales Valleys, (2) a general survey of small industrial museums in South Wales in relation to heritage tourism properties in Wales, (3) a case study analysis of the extent to which business formats are exploited in relation to the historic environment, and (4) a discussion with recommendations to develop a regional policy for business activities for small industrial museums in South Wales. The paper concludes with an overview of how the present heritage tourism industry policy structures in Wales can develop an ‘entrepreneurial philosophy’ for small industrial museums in both the rural and urban setting.

Key words: small industrial museums, heritage, tourism

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