Heritage tourism on the West Coast of New Zealand
Abstract This study provides a systematic, empirical exploration of eight heritage sites on the West Coast of New Zealand, notably those associated with gold and coal mining. Data on each site collected through a visitor survey, structured interviews, field visits and the examination of documentation were analysed through element-by-element comparison of site characteristics, development, management and patterns of demand. The results highlight the diversity which is to be found in terms of the first three sets of factors, with major differences occurring between community-managed sites and those managed by the Department of Conservation. Few systematic differences were observed in terms of the profile characteristics of visitors to the eight sites. General sightseers, not enthusiasts or specialists, appear to form the dominant market for heritage tourism on the West Coast.