Integrating management and marketing strategies at heritage sites
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Purpose - This paper examines the integration of management and marketing practices at heritage sites in Ireland. Design/methodology/approach - The research process involved: phase one, a survey of 224 heritage attractions in Ireland and phase two, semi-structured interviews with the six organizations that represent the heritage sector on the island of Ireland. Findings - The findings suggest that market research and marketing communication are vital in achieving a balance between targeting cultural tourists and tourists with no specific interest in heritage. Research limitations/implications – The study has the restriction of being limited to the Irish case. However, these findings provide scope for further investigation, namely extending to other destinations and to sites which use different techniques. Originality/value - A combined commitment to visitor research by the individual heritage sites could provide information to the representative organizations to facilitate target marketing and improved on-site management. However, a change of mindset is required among heritage practitioners in Ireland regarding the use of marketing and the implications for on-site management. The authors propose that this is achievable through education linked to the study of models of best practice.
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