Organisational convergence, ancestral tourism and provision of cultural heritage

Johnstone, Jane and Bryce, Derek and Alexander, Matthew (2017) Organisational convergence, ancestral tourism and provision of cultural heritage. In: 2nd International Conference on Tourism and Leisure Studies, 2017-04-06 - 2017-04-07, University of British Columbia.

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Glasgow Life is a semi-autonomous organisation within Glasgow City Council responsible for disparate functions and facilities, including museums, culture, sport and learning. It is charged with the delivery of social aims through provision of related facilities while using the same to encourage economic regeneration and growth through cultural tourism. As the official custodian of the city’s cultural and heritage assets, it promotes and encourages public access while maintaining the integrity of curatorial and archivist roles and preservation of objects and documents. One area identified for development from both social and economic perspectives is the sphere of ‘Ancestral Tourism’, largely consumed by the Scottish diaspora in the rest of the UK as well as overseas markets such as Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. This has been identified as a growth heritage-tourism sector by Visit Scotland, the official national destination marketing body, but existing research shows an inconsistent network of provision across the country (Alexander, Bryce and Murdy, 2016). Glasgow Life seeks to harness this potential with its offering of urban / industrial heritage, largely absent from established ancestral narratives, but needs to develop a strategy to align its provision of resources across its diverse array of subsidiary institutions, including museums, galleries and archives. We attempt to propose contributions to the Organisation theory, curatorial and destination marketing literatures in this paper which reflects the first stage of a wider PhD study set up to tackle these issues, sponsored by Glasgow Life and the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council.