Archaeology and Tourism

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

On a national and international level archaeological sites have great social, cultural, and economic value. Archaeological sites are integral parts of regional histories, heritages, and identities. They are also often major tourist attractions. The economic potential has increased the pressure on archaeological sites to accommodate greater influxes of tourists and on the authorities in charge to open up more sites to tourism. Tourism expands local opportunities and brings in revenue but it can also have serious impacts on sites. Archaeotourism must be considered carefully and entered cautiously. Steps must be taken to maintain the integrity of the site as both a cultural resource and as a subject for research and scholarship. If negotiated properly, many future possibilities lie in the cooperation between cultural managers and tourism experts. In this session we will explore the possibilities and best practices of presenting archaeological research and communicating the importance of archaeological heritage to an interested public as well as share innovative approaches to archaeotourism involving local communities, technology, and more.