Traditionally within the developed western world, decisions concerning the preservation of heritage buildings and sites have been primarily based upon economic measurement and criteria. It is recognised that heritage assets offer many experiential qualities and hold importance to the wider lives of individuals; specifically, tourists and host communities imbue the sites with their own personal values and subjective significance. They seek personal meaning and connection through their experiences with heritage. In this way, the accountability of heritage building preservation can be viewed in greater terms than solely their economic value. Despite this recognition, there remains a lack of attention in previous heritage tourism studies towards exploring the personal meaning and experiential qualities of heritage buildings, with the exception of the literature focusing on buildings of religious significance. Further, the spiritual value of heritage has been explored largely within the context of sites of religious significance; spirituality though is a broader, more encompassing concept than religion. This paper explores the spiritual value ascribed by international tourists to heritage buildings within a particular region of New Zealand: Hawke’s Bay. Sixty-six photograph-supported interviews conducted with international tourists found that heritage buildings can hold deep ‘spiritual’ meaning to individuals. Rather than any religious significance, findings showed that heritage buildings render the townscape an experiential ‘spiritual’ space filled with emotion, mindfulness, engagement and personal meaning. The paper concludes that this finding has important implications for the way in which heritage buildings are promoted, developed and preserved within a destination townscape.

Full Text:



Albers, P. C., & James, W.R. (1988). Travel photography: a methodological approach. Annals of Tourism Research, 15, (1) 134-158.

Allison, G., Ball, S., Cheshire, P., Evans, A., & Stabler, M. (1996). The value of conservation? A literature review of the economic and social value of the cultural built heritage. London: English Heritage.

Art Deco Trust (2011). Art Deco Napier: New Zealand. Retrieved 5 August 2011 from

Ashmos, D. P, & Duchon, D. (2000). Spirituality at work. A conceptualization and measure. Journal of Management Inquiry, 9(2), 134-145.

Beeho, A.J., & Prentice, R.C. (1995). An application of ASEB Grid Analysis to Blists Hill Open-Air Museum, The Ironbridge Gorge Museum. Museum Management and Curatorship, 14, (3) 229-251.

Beeho, A. J., & Prentice, R.C. (1997). Conceptualizing the experiences of heritage tourists: A case study of New Lanark World Heritage Village. Tourism Management 18, (2) 75-87.

Benjamin, P., & Looby, J. (1998). Defining the nature of spirituality in the context of Maslow‟s and Rogers‟s Theories. Counselling and Values, 42(2), 92-100.

Benner, D. G. (1989). Toward a psychology of spirituality. Implications for personality and psychotherapy. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 5, 19-30.

Bigne, J. E., & Andreu, L. (2004). Emotions in segmentation: an empirical study. Annals of Tourism Research, 31, (3) 682-696.

Botterill, D. (2001). The epistemology of a set of tourism studies. Leisure Studies, 20, (3) 199-214.

Botterill, T.D., & Crompton, J.L. (1996). Two case studies exploring the nature of tourists‟ experience. Journal of Leisure Research, 28, (1) 57-82.

Bown, J, & Williams, S. (1993). Spirituality in nursing: A review of the literature. Journal of Advances in Health and Nursing Care, 2(3), 41-66.

Burack, E. H. (1999). Spirituality in the workforce. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 12(4), 280-288.

Carney, T.F. (1972). Content analysis: A technique for systematic inference from communications. London: B.T. Batsford.

ChHetri, P., Arrowsmith, C., & Jackson, M. (2004). Determining hiking experiences in nature-based tourist destinations. Tourism Management, 25, (1) 31-43.

Denzin, N.K., & Lincoln, Y.S. (2003). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

du Cros, H., Bauer, T., Lo, C., & Rui, S. (2005). Cultural heritage assets in China as sustainable tourism products: Case studies of the Hutongs and the Huanghua section of The Great Wall. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 13, (2) 171-194.

Dutta, M., Banerjee, S., & Husain, Z. (2007). Untapped demand for heritage: A contingent valuation study of Prinsep Ghat, Calcutta. Tourism Management, 28(1), 83-95.

Elias, J.L. (1991). The return of spirituality: Contrasting interpretations. Religious Education, 86(3), 455-466.

Fairweather, J. R., & Swaffield, S.R. (2001). Visitor experiences of Kaikoura, New Zealand: an interpretative study using photographs of landscapes and Q method. Tourism Management, 22, (3) 219-228.

Fairweather, J. R., & Swaffield, S.R. (2002). Visitors and locals experiences of Rotorua, New Zealand: an interpretative study using photographs of landscapes and Q method. International Journal of Tourism Research, (4) 283-297.

Fisher, D. (2000). The socio-economic consequences of tourism in Levuka, Fiji. Unpublished thesis, Lincoln University, New Zealand.

Francis, L, Muller, J, & Goddard, R. (2003). Does spiritual help the unemployed? Australian Journal of Psychology, 55, 180-180.

Fyall, A., & Garrod, B. (1998). Heritage tourism: At what price? Managing Leisure, 3, (4) 213-228.

Garlick, S. (2002). Revealing the unseen: tourism, art and photography. Cultural Studies, 16, (2) 289-305.

Giraud, K.L, Loomis, J.B, & Cooper, J.C. (2001). A comparison of willingness to pay estimation techniques from referendum questions Environmental and Resource Economics, 20, 331-346.

Goodall, B. (1993). Industrial heritage and tourism. Built Environment, 19, 93-104.

Gottschall, J. (2003). The tree of knowledge and Darwinian literary study. Philosophy and Literature, 27(2), 255-268.

Goulding, C. (1999). Heritage, nostalgia and the „gray‟ consumer. Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science, 5, (6) 177-199.

Griffiths, M. (2000). Tourism and public buildings: the case for Parliament Houses as tourism attractions. Journal of Tourism Studies, 11, (2) 53-60.

Groves, D.L., & Timothy, D.J. (2001). Photographic techniques and the measurement of impact and importance attributes on trip design: a case study. Retrieved 25 February, 2006 from

Hall, C. M., & McArthur, S. (1998). Integrated heritage management: principles and practice. London: The Stationary Office.

Hawke‟s Bay Tourism. (2011). Get me to Hawke’s Bay. Retrieved 1 August, 2011 from

Holt, G.E, Elliott, D, & Moore, A. (1999). Placing a value on public library services. Public Libraries, 38(2), 98-108.

Howard, P., & Pinder, D. (2003). Cultural heritage and sustainability in the coastal zone: experiences in south west England. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 4, (1) 57-68.

Jennings, G. (2001). Tourism Research. Australia: John Wiley and Sons.

Lau, A.L.S., & McKercher, B. (2004). Exploration versus acquisition: a comparison of first time and repeat visitors. Journal of Travel Research, (42) 279-285.

Lowenthal, D. (1975). Past time, present place: Landscape and memory. Geographical Review, 65, 1-36.

Mackay, K., & Fesenmaier, D. (1997). Pictorial element of destination in image formation. Annals of Tourism Research, 24, (3) 537-565.

Majumbar, S. (2005). Preservation and conservation of literary heritage: a case study of India. The International Information & Library Review, 37, (3) 179-187.

Markwell, K. W. (1997). Dimensions of photography in a nature-based tour. Annals of Tourism Research, 24, (1) 131-155.

Marra, R. (2000). What do you mean, „spirituality‟? Journal of Pastoral Counseling, 35, 67-88.

Masberg, B.A., & Silverman, C.H. (1996). Visitor experiences at heritage sites: a phenomenological approach. Journal of Travel Research, 34, (4) 20-25.

Mataga, J. (2008). Beyond the dance: A look at Mbende (Jerusarema) traditional dance in Zimbabwe. International Journal of Intangible Heritage, 3, 96-102.

McDonald, M. (2000). Tourism, heritage buildings and tax relief. Journal of Travel Research, 38, (3) 282-291.

McGregor, R. (2003). Art Deco city: Napier, New Zealand. Napier, New Zealand: Art Deco Trust.

McIntosh, A. J., & Prentice, R.C. (1999). Affirming authenticity: Consuming cultural heritage. Annals of Tourism Research, 26, (3) 589-612.

McIntosh, A. J., & Siggs, A. (2005). An exploration of the experiential nature of boutique accommodation. Journal of Travel Research, (44) 74-81.

Miner-Williams, D. (2006). Putting a puzzle together: Making spirituality meaningful for nursing using an evolving theoretical framework. Journal of Clinical

Nursing Science Quarterly, 15(7), 811-821.

Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing. (2003). Five regions backed to develop cultural tourism. Retrieved January 14, 2006 from

Morgan, D., Moore, K., & Mansell, R. (2005). Adventure tourists on water: linking expectations, affect, achievement and enjoyment to the sports tourism adventure. Journal of Sports Tourism, 10, (1), 73-88.

Moscardo, G. (1996). Mindful visitors, heritage and tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 23, (2) 376-397.

Munsters, W. (1996). The strategic development of heritage tourism: The Dutch approach. Managing Leisure, 1, (3) 139-151.

Navrud, S., & Ready, R.C. (2002). Valuing cultural heritage: applying environmental valuation techniques to historic buildings, monuments and artefacts. Cheltenham, UK: MA Edward Elgar.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (2001). Hawke's Bay Registration Project 2004-2006. Retrieved 10 November, 2004 from

Noonan, D.S. (2003). Contingent valuation and cultural resources: A Meta-analytic review of the literature. Journal of Cultural Economics, 27(3-4), 159-176.

Otto, J. E., & Richie, J.R.B. (1996). The service experience in tourism. Tourism Management, 17, (3) 165-174.

Palmer, C. (2004). An ethnography of Englishness. Annals of Tourism Research, 32, (1) 7-27.

Patton, M.Q. (1980). Qualitative evaluation methods. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.

Pearce, P.L. (1990). Farm tourism in New Zealand: a social situation analysis. Annals of Tourism Research, 17, (3) 337-352.

Poria, Y., Butler, R., & Airey, D. (2001a). Clarifying heritage tourism: a comment. Annals of Tourism Research, 28, (4) 1047-1049.

Prentice, R. C., Witt, S.F., & Hamer, C. (1998). Tourism as experience: the case of heritage parks. Annals of Tourism Research, 25, (1) 1-24.

Ramshaw, G., Gammon, S. (2005). More than just nostalgia? Exploring the heritage/sport tourism Nexus. Journal of Sport and Tourism, 10(4), 229-241.

Reynolds, T. J., & Gutman, J. (1988). Laddering theory, method, analysis and interpretation. Journal of Advertising Research, 28, (1) 13-32.

Riley, M., & Harvey, D. (2005). Landscape archaeology, heritage and the community in Devon: An Oral History Approach. International Journal of Heritage

Studies, 11(4), 269-288.

Rinschede, G. (1992). Forms of religious tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 19, (1) 51-62.

Robson, C. (2002). Real world research. Victoria, Australia, Blackwell: Publishing Limited.

Salazar, S. D. S., & Marques, J.M. (2005). Valuing cultural heritage: the social benefits of restoring an old Arab tower. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 6, (1) 69-77.

Schanzel, H.A., & McIntosh, A.J. (2000). An insight into the personal and emotive context of wildlife viewing at the Penguin Place, Otago. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 8, (1) 36-53.

Statistics New Zealand. (2005). Hawke's Bay Region Community Profile. Retrieved January 10, 2006 from

Stern, B. (1992). Historical and personal nostalgia in advertising text: the Fin de Siecle effect. Journal of Advertising, 21, (4) 11-22.

Timothy, D. J. (1997). Tourism and the personal experience. Annals of Tourism Research, 24, (3) 751-754.

Tourism Research Council New Zealand. (2004). New Zealand regional tourism forecasts: 2004-2010: Hawke's Bay RTO. Retrieved 15 August, 2005 from

Turley, S.K. (2001). Children and the demand for recreational experiences: the case of zoos. Leisure Studies, 20, (1) 73-88.

Turley, L.W., & Kelly, S.W. (1997). A comparison of advertising content: nsinessto business versus customer services. Journal of Advertising, 26, (4), 39-48.

UNESCO. (2009). World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 31 July, 2009 from

Uriely, N, Israeli, A.A, & Reichel, A. (2002). Heritage proximity and resident attitudes towards tourism development. Annals of Tourism Research, 29(3), 859-862.

Urry, J. (1990). The tourist gaze. London: Sage Publications.

Wheelan, S., & Abraham, M. (1993). The concept of intergroup mirroring: reality or illusion? Human Relations, 46, (7) 803-825.

Willson, G. (2008) Heritage Buildings and Tourism. Germany: VDM Verlag.

Willson, G., & McIntosh, A. (2007). Heritage Buildings and Tourism: An Experiential View. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 2(2), 75-93.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

View My Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.