A critical examination of cultural heritage aspects of tourism place branding, with a focus on Tula, México

Guerrero Portillo, Karina (2020) A critical examination of cultural heritage aspects of tourism place branding, with a focus on Tula, México. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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One of the main growth segments in tourism is the creation and promotion of cultural and heritage communities intended to enhance the tourism experience. Branding is a strategy commonly used to market cultural heritage sites. A literature review of theory and examples shows that place branding and destination branding are often confused. Furthermore, within destination branding, individual and umbrella brands are often conflated. This thesis will unpack these concepts then go on to review claims that destination branding can achieve economic and social regeneration. The main focus of my research is a case study of the never before researched town of Tula, Tamaulipas in the context of the Pueblos Mágicos, or Magical Towns, place branding program in Mexico. It is argued that claims of economic and social regeneration are justified only when communities are empowered to participate directly in the project. Using an anthropological and ethnographic perspective and qualitative field work I find that the magical towns programme has had beneficial effects, reviving many aspects of the local culture including folklore, music, dance, religious festivals and cuisine. There have been some economic benefits and local people feel that the authenticity of their culture has not been seriously compromised. However, many local people feel that the program lacks leadership and has done little to build social capital or improve public services in the town. These findings align with case studies in other Magical Towns and my research concludes with a series of recommendations for improvements in the operations of the Magical Towns programme.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Tourism development, cultural heritage, place branding, magical towns.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Macleod, Dr. Donald
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Mrs Karina/ K Guerrero
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81791
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2020 12:01
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 14:02
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81791
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81791

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