Ramshaw, Gregory and Gammon, Sean
On home ground? Twickenham Stadium Tours and the construction of sport heritage.
Journal of Heritage Tourism, 5
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17438730903484184
Constructions of home are powerful from both heritage and tourism perspectives, as ‘home’ suggests a certain type of heritage precedence while also providing a competitive tourism advantage over rival locations. Sport tourism sites also disseminate notions of home as part of their narrative, both to create and solidify particular heritage claims as well as to enhance the tourism potential of a location. Home narratives are used, in particular, during stadium tours, where tourists go ‘behind the scenes’ at a famous sports venue. Tour narratives at Twickenham Stadium were examined in this study. At Twickenham, it was found that the stadium was represented as ‘home’ during tours in three different ways: as the literal home of the English National Rugby team; as the spiritual home of the sport of rugby; and as the home of particular notions of English identity. These representations were created as a means of claiming cultural propriety, particularly with regard to the sport and its heritage, as well as in recognition of the venue's role as an international tourism destination. However, the employment of home narratives, which espouse notions of stability and continuity, also mask wider heritage and tourism anxieties, in particular competition from rival sites.
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