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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Visitors’ evaluations of the historic content at Storyeum : an edutainment heritage tourist atraction Hertzman, Emily

Abstract

Edutainment heritage tourist attractions are a hybrid form of attraction that seeks to maximize both the educational value and entertainment value of their heritage contents through the use of multimedia and entertainment technologies. The edutainment nature of this new form of tourist attraction makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish it from other form of tourist attractions, such as museums of history and culture, theme parks and cultural performances, which may also work with the dual mandate of maximizing both educational and entertaining values. This thesis investigates how visitors understand and evaluate this new form of attraction. Interviews with visitors to Storyeum- an edutainment heritage tourist attraction that presents a theatrical musical history of the province of British Columbia- reveal that such attractions have the potential to generate within their visitors powerful feelings of pride in local identity, as well as other emotional responses. Visitors’ evaluations of Storyeum’s unique type of historical representations show a high degree of active and critical engagement with the attractions content. Visitors’ positive overall evaluations of Storyeum, their feelings of pride in local identity and their level of critical engagement with Storyeum’s historical representations are each discussed in detail in order to identify some general and potentially transferable characteristics of edutainment heritage tourist attractions.

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