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Article

Industrial Heritage Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development? A Case Study of Steirische Eisenstrasse (Austria)

Department of Geography and Regional Science, University of Graz, Heinrichstrasse 36, 8010 Graz, Austria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Bart Neuts, João Martins, Milada Šťastná and John Martin
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073857
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 29 March 2021 / Accepted: 30 March 2021 / Published: 31 March 2021
The valorization of cultural heritage for regional development (“Conservation 3.0”) has been a widely used concept in the last decade. Heritage institutions and the European Union have advocated and fostered the view of cultural heritage as a place-based development potential. Therefore, this article investigates the impacts of such approaches in the context of sustainable development. It does so with a specific focus on more peripheral, (old) industrial regions in Central Europe, where industrial heritage and industrial tourism play an important role. Based on this background, this article highlights the difficulties of establishing a tourism product based on industry-related features. The product mainly serves a niche market, thereby not helping to overcome structural disadvantages of peripheral regions. The economic impacts of industrial heritage tourism on the transition towards a more sustainable regional development are rather low. Nevertheless, the case study highlights the social benefits that industry-related tourism yields in regions in transformation, forming an important pre-condition for any future development. However, ecological aspects are not widely addressed in heritage tourism in this region. Policy-wise, stakeholders in peripheral regions should be more aware of the different limits and opportunities cultural heritage utilizations can bring in terms of achieving a more sustainable regional development. View Full-Text
Keywords: regional development; sustainability; (old) industrial regions; small (peripheral) towns; cultural heritage; tangible and intangible heritage; industrial heritage tourism; industrial tourism; EU place-based development strategies; network-based management strategies regional development; sustainability; (old) industrial regions; small (peripheral) towns; cultural heritage; tangible and intangible heritage; industrial heritage tourism; industrial tourism; EU place-based development strategies; network-based management strategies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Harfst, J.; Sandriester, J.; Fischer, W. Industrial Heritage Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development? A Case Study of Steirische Eisenstrasse (Austria). Sustainability 2021, 13, 3857. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073857

AMA Style

Harfst J, Sandriester J, Fischer W. Industrial Heritage Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development? A Case Study of Steirische Eisenstrasse (Austria). Sustainability. 2021; 13(7):3857. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073857

Chicago/Turabian Style

Harfst, Jörn, Jasmin Sandriester, and Wolfgang Fischer. 2021. "Industrial Heritage Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development? A Case Study of Steirische Eisenstrasse (Austria)" Sustainability 13, no. 7: 3857. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073857

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