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Guides of the Falu Mine : Perceptions of Differences and Similarities onDomestic and International Visitors

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DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
Keywords
  • Heritage Tourism
  • Great Copper Mountain
  • Tour Guides
  • Domestic Tourists
  • International Tourists
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Abstract

Industrial heritage tourism has been in focus for many academic studies and tourism is an alternative developmental tool for mines and contributes to their economic success. This thesis is about the Falu Mine in Dalarna, Sweden, which has World Heritage status since 2001 and is one of the biggest attractions in the region. Its history and cultural importance are reasons for the importance of preserving the heritage. The Falu Mine is under the management of the Great Copper Mountain Trust and one of their ambitions is to ensure the continuous popularity among domestic and international visitors. In order to gain a better understanding of the visitors and to find strategies to improve performance, a visitor survey has been conducted in the summer of 2011. It is the authors believe that the guides of the Falu Mine have the best available insight and that their perceptions help to add to the understanding about the visitors. Therefore, this thesis aims to explore the perceptions of the guides about their visitors, to investigate how the perceptions correspond to the statistical results and to study if there are any differences between domestic and international visitors. The mixed methods approach will increase the depth and accuracy of the results, by linking qualitative with quantitative data. The results show that differences between domestic and international visitors exist, both proven by interviews with the guides and the visitor survey. These differences occur in the factors, such as level of education of the visitors, group size and number of children in the group, knowledge of the visitors prior to and after the visit, sources of information and the fulfillment of the visitor expectations. The perceptions emphasize how these differences impact the guided tours. The guides of the Falu Mine have to be aware of those differences in order to adjust the tour accordingly, as well as the management of the Falu Mine can use this knowledge in order to identify strategies for improving performance.

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