December 13, 2018
Novel research undertaken in Edinburgh on ‘perceived authenticity’
Edinburgh World Heritage has undertaken new research to measure the perceived authenticity of the Royal Mile – the historic thoroughfare which runs along the ‘spine’ of the Old Town of Edinburgh, from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Edinburgh Castle. A review of academic literature on this topic has revealed that while tourists actively seek out authentic experiences and products during visits to urban World Heritage Site, the process of ‘touristification’ can erode and undermine this value and lead to a process of ‘banalisation’.
The research, which is at the pilot stage, incorporated structured interviews with visitors, residents and retailers. Initial findings will be published in January. A further stage of the research will be undertaken during the 2019 ‘peak season’ over the Edinburgh Festival and include a wider range of visitors including Chinese tourists. The research has been designed to inform both AtlaS.WH as well as the development of a new tourism strategy for the City of Edinburgh for the period 2020 – 2030.