Cultural capital, Life Course Perspectives and Western Front battlefield tours
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This paper argues that battlefield tours have strong religious overtones covering remembrance and sacrifice that features non-spiritual philosophies built on emotional and cultural capital. This paper canvasses views of tourism, icons, memorials and cemeteries as contributors to cultural capital. There is a view that religion and pilgrimages follow the Life Course Perspectives of religious influences on individual life stories, events and interactions. The proposition suggests that religion meets commemoration. Insights from a group of 28 visitors to the Western Front in 2008 contribute to, and support the tenets of this paper. The Western Front is a single icon built on the cultural elements of emotion, earthiness and respect rather than destination sophistication. Tourists felt the region had not succumbed to excessive or unwarranted infrastructure development that would spoil the experience. Tour party participants considered the tour to be a pilgrimage enabling the achievement of longheld personal goals, and created their own memories and heritage to compliment their family history. Ultimately, in the beliefs of Australian tourists to the Western Front, religion does meet commemoration and connects with Life Course Perspectives influences and values.
Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change
© 2011 Routledge. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services not elsewhere classified