University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Images of Rurality: Commodification and Place Promotion

Storey, David ORCID: (2006) Images of Rurality: Commodification and Place Promotion. In: Rural Futures, April 2006, Plymouth.


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It is argued that rural areas and landscapes can increasingly be regarded as places of consumption
rather than production. This is reflected in the emphasis which appears to be placed on attracting
visitors to rural localities. While some rural locations are long-standing tourist attractions, others
are increasingly endeavouring to promote themselves through the ‘marketing’ of local uniqueness.
An emphasis on local heritage frequently underpins these attempts and landscapes, local
individuals or families, events, traditions, building styles are amongst the ‘resources’ put into the
service of place promotion. The use of local heritage as a mechanism to promote rural places opens
up a series of issues including those of authenticity, romanticisation, sanitisation, contestation and
dissonance. These place promotional trends are reflected in the importance attaching to tourism in
rural development strategies pursued at a local level. In this way development funding and the
various local strategies devised by local partnerships appear to increasingly emphasise the
importance of attracting visitors. This apparent commodification of the countryside appears to be
motivated by a number of concerns. While the desire to generate revenue is clearly one of these,
social and cultural factors may also play a role. In turn, these place promotional initiatives affect
both visitors’ and local residents’ perceptions of place. This paper explores aspects of the historic
and contemporary promotion of rural places.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: rural areas, countryside, tourism, local heritage, marketing, promotion
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Depositing User: David Storey
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2007 16:24
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:23

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