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This article analyzes the relationship among dramaturgy, tourism, and rurality. Through an ethnographic study of Goathland in North Yorkshire—the filming location for the U.K. television drama series Heartbeat—the rural is shown to be a cultural performance that invokes certain lifestyle preferences that are both reliant and counterpoised to urban society. However, when urban viewers exchange the virtuality of television viewing for the corporeality of visiting the rural scenes that have become a familiar part of their cultural landscapes, the consequences are much more profound, nuanced, and complex than the demarcation of positive or negative impacts reified in certain managerialist discourses. Moreover, the article shows how the public and private spaces of the rural are being fundamentally transformed by the types of global consumption and mobility that “film-induced tourism” represents.
Journal of Travel Research
The online version of this article can be found at:
DOI: 10.1177/0047287508321203
2009 47: 332 originally published online 7 July 2008Journal of Travel Research
Tom Mordue
Television, Tourism, and Rural Life
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Television, Tourism, and Rural Life
Tom Mordue
University of Teesside
This article analyzes the relationship among dramaturgy, tourism, and rurality. Through an ethnographic study of Goathland
in North Yorkshire—the filming location for the U.K. television drama series Heartbeat—the rural is shown to be a cultural
performance that invokes certain lifestyle preferences that are both reliant and counterpoised to urban society. However,
when urban viewers exchange the virtuality of television viewing for the corporeality of visiting the rural scenes that have
become a familiar part of their cultural landscapes, the consequences are much more profound, nuanced, and complex than
the demarcation of positive or negative impacts reified in certain managerialist discourses. Moreover, the article shows how
the public and private spaces of the rural are being fundamentally transformed by the types of global consumption and
mobility that “film-induced tourism” represents.
Keywords: performance; power; rurality; space; authenticity
ince 1991, Goathland has been the scenic home of
the Yorkshire Television’s (YTV) Heartbeat, which
is based on Nicholas Rhea’s Constable novels about the
life of a country policeman living in Aidensfield village
in the 1960s. Still commanding figures of around 7.5
million U.K. viewers per episode, at its peak in the mid-
1990s 16.7 million were regularly watching Heartbeat
in the United Kingdom, and it has been sold to more
than 40 countries worldwide (Yorkshire Tourist Board
[YTB] 1996; Tourist Net UK Ltd. 2006). Heartbeat’s
mixture of depicting quaint rural community life along-
side 1960s nostalgia has been an obvious winner for
YTV, and the series has brought a phenomenal upsurge
in visitor numbers to Goathland from 200,000 per
annum, prior to 1991, to around 1.2 million per annum
since the program achieved widespread popularity
(Gilbert 1996). This has made it the most visited desti-
nation in the national park, with 61% of all holiday-
makers (i.e., tourists staying at least overnight) and 26%
of all day-trippers in the national park visiting
Goathland (NYMNP 2007). These figures assume an
even more startling character when it is considered that
the population of Goathland village is in the region of
450 people (Mordue 2001; HMSO 1991) and that day
visits to the national park itself declined from 12.67 mil-
lion in 1991 to 7.79 in 1994 (NYMNP 1991, 2000). It is
also noteworthy that the majority of visitors to the
national park have consistently fallen within the ABC1
social groupings, whereas the perception of villagers is
that Heartbeat tourists generally fit a lower social
profile (Breakall 2004; Beeton 2005).
Given these developments, it is not surprising that
there has been much disquiet in Goathland about the
impact Heartbeat tourism is having on country village
life. However, the notion that Heartbeat tourism is
affecting the village and rural village life in a rather lin-
ear fashion is problematic. This article explores this
problematic through ethnographic data gathered from
field research and in-depth interviews undertaken with
Goathland residents, tourists, and a range of key infor-
mants between 1995 and 2004 and triangulates this with
other research undertaken in Goathland over the same
period. The analysis reveals how Goathland qua
Aidensfield is constructed and consumed as the center of
Heartbeat Country and as a quintessentially “authentic”
rural village. More significantly, the article critically
assesses the ways in which these places and their differ-
ent constituencies of consumers collide and coalesce in
very real and symbolic ways.
The analysis also demonstrates that focusing on the
often messy and contradictory interactions of people and
place in a tourism context can reveal sets of cultural and
political nuances that are deeply rooted, powerful, and
beyond the received wisdom of “managerialist”
approaches to tourism.
This wisdom is deeply coloured by managerialist
assumptions—assumptions that take for granted
the legitimacy and efficacy of established patterns
of thinking and action. Knowledge of management
then becomes knowledge for management in which
alternative voices are absent and marginalized.
(Alvesson and Willmot 2001, p. 1)
Indeed, tourism managers are part of the social
morass who, like other social actors, respond to as well
Journal of Travel Research
Volume 47 Number 3
February 2009 332-345
© 2009 Sage Publications
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as influence the multidimensional and multiscaled rela-
tions that create tourist places. Thompson (2004, p. 597),
on rural tourism, puts it thus:
Tourism and the people, places, and cultures that
are part of it are not static or unchanging, but are
social and historical creations and processes that
need explaining both in terms of the extension of
the national and global into the realm of the local as
well as the extension of the local into the realm of
the national and the global.
When the rural is subject to film-induced tourism, these
processes and related issues can be greatly intensified. As
Hudson and Ritchie (2006, p. 395) say, “Film tourism is
a complex and dynamic concept...[that] depends on
a number of factors outside the control of a destination.
The article takes on board all these insights and
applies them by focusing on the circulation and repro-
duction of highly potent cultural meanings that originate
outside the boundaries of Goathland but that converge
there in the form of Heartbeat tourism to transform and
extend it into a simulacrum of its traditional self. Indeed,
Hudson and Ritchie (2006) list Goathland’s Heartbeat
tourism as an important example of the increasingly
global phenomenon of film-induced tourism whose vari-
ous impacts are felt from the United States to Europe to
Australia, Africa, and the Far East.
The Rural Myth and the Dramatization
of Rural Life
The Rural Myth
Heartbeat relies heavily on a mythological framing of
rurality that is both romantic and modern, which
Humphreys (1995, p. 216) describes as
the way that urbanized and industrialized England,
even now, is recreated as a rural nation.... It is,
in short, the sense that the countryside is somehow
special—the feeling that life is better, the people
are kindlier, and the existence “truer” there.
This is by no means a uniquely English predilection; the
Western world generally ascribes its rural landscapes as
being more authentic than their urban cousins (Bunce
1994). Moreover, Bunce (1994) shows that there is a
shared Anglo-American “countryside ideal” even though
the vastness of North America produces a diverse sense
of the rural whereby wilderness and pastoral aesthetics
vie for the cultural heart of middle America. Indeed, by
dint of its location and aesthetic attributes, Goathland
straddles the cultural cusp of the English ideal of (a
rather tamed) “wilderness” and the quaintly domesti-
cated vision of a “typical” English country village.
Antiurban sentiments are integral to the construction
of this mythic heritage landscape, just as they are promi-
nent in traditional constructions of English identity itself
(see Newby 1979; Lowenthal 1991; Cosgrove and
Daniels 2002; Urry 2002). At its center lies the country
village, the focal point of an Arcadian vision that invari-
ably pictures “true” England in past tense:
That solid look of the village; the fact that the roofs
and walls seemed to mingle naturally with the
fields and the trees; the feeling of the naturalness of
the inn, of the cross-roads, of the market cross—all
these things were a very precious possession...
in a real sense the Crown Jewels. These were the
national, the normal, the English, the unreplaceable
things. (G. K. Chesterton, quoted in Lowenthal
1991, p. 213)
It is notable that the poor are absent from this rural utopia
because the vision of heritage and inheritance that it con-
structs defies and transcends “mere” socioeconomic rela-
tions. Bunce (1994), however, reminds us that the actual
upkeep of the character of “traditional” country villages
in both modern Britain and the United States is a major
preoccupation of the “exurban” middle classes who have
moved out of the metropolitan centers into the not-too-
distant countryside. Once ensconced, they are inclined to
close the door on things urban as being in conflict with
their aesthetic sensibilities and vested social interests that
converge around strongly preservationist ideologies.
Ironically, though, as more exurbanites chase the rural
myth as a lifestyle attribute, it becomes stretched beyond
its elitist roots, and the actual social, economic, and visual
character of the metropolitan countryside is redefined.
The middle classes also dominate leisure and tourism in
rural Britain, where “those with professional-managerial
jobs are twice as likely as those with manual jobs to visit,
and they are more likely to be frequent visitors” (Urry
2002, p. 88). And because London dominates England’s
cultural output, at the heart of the English rural myth is an
aesthetic that draws on images of relatively domesticated
landscapes located in the south (Humphreys 1995;
Lowenthal 1991; Newby 1979; Shields 1991). By contrast,
the landscapes of the north are associated with “wilder” and
“bleaker” uplands or with grimy working-class towns and
cities that are scarred from the ravages of industrialization
Mordue / Television, Tourism, and Rural Life 333
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(see Wiener 1981; Shields 1991). The rural north is, how-
ever, given value because of the cultural influences of 19th-
century romantics such as Wordsworth and Turner and
because “things that are rural or ancient are at the very
heart of southern English snobberies, even if they occur in
the North” (Horne 1969, p. 38, in Urry 1995, p. 205).
Stereotypical constructions of the north have also been
reinforced by many popular cultural outputs of the 20th
century that include, for example, the novels of D. H.
Lawrence and modern “soaps” such as Coronation Street
(Shields 1991). Even today the people of the north are
associated with sociality, emotional warmth, rugged leisure
pursuits, and a lack of cultural sophistication or affectation.
It would be a mistake though to think of these stereotypes
as resulting exclusively from a southern English gaze, as
northerners too commonly subscribe to them to assert their
own cultural uniqueness (Shields 1991). Heartbeat,then,
has all the cultural formulae to capitalize on these north-
south-rural-urban-wild-domesticated projections and,
rather cleverly, laces them with a large helping of 1960s
pop nostalgia.
Performing and Staging Rural Life
and Rural Tourism
Given the dramaturgical flavor of traditional and pop-
ular constructions of the rural, it is apposite to view crit-
ically the way the countryside is a stage on which rural
life and rural consumption are performances that can be
judged against certain social rules, standards, and identi-
ties. The use of performance as a metaphor for tourist
practice has become a focus of attention in the critical
tourism studies literature in recent years (e.g., Adler
1989; MacCannell 1992; Chaney 1993, 2000; Edensor
1998, 2000, 2001; Mordue 2005; Quinn 2007). Although
this is a relatively new line of analysis, it is rooted in
social constructionism and underpinned by the seminal
works of authors such as Blumer (1937) and Goffman
(1959) on “symbolic interactionism,” which refers to
how “human interaction is mediated by the use of
symbols, by interpretation, or by ascertaining the mean-
ing of one another’s actions” (Blumer 1937, p. 180).
Performance, in the context of this article, refers to the
symbolic interactions, discourses, and signifying prac-
tices intimately embroiled in the reproduction of space,
habitus, group membership, power, and the display of
“cultural capital” (Bourdieu 1984). This applies as much
to local people as it does to tourists and tourism man-
agers because the acting out of daily life by anyone
involves performance in all public circumstances
(Goffman 1959). Moreover, when tourists and locals
occupy the same space, the scene is set for a variety of
performative conflicts and power struggles to arise
(Mordue 2005; Edensor 2001; Quinn 2007).
A major strength of this approach is that it allows a
means of understanding people who constitute themselves
as social actors primarily through what they do and say
rather than as being categorized as members of predeter-
mined groups such as, say, tourists, residents, and so on.
These commonsense categories are useful for identifying
certain regularities and patterns in populations, but, as
Edensor (2001) argues, they are really about describing
roles adopted rather than social entities made manifest.
Edensor (2001, p. 63) also remarks that “the coherence of
most tourist performances depends on their being per-
formed in specific ‘theatres.’” In this case, the countryside
is constructed as a theatre in which people perform rural
leisure and rural tourism, and where rural residents
perform as “country people” who live a “country life.
Similarly, rural tourism managers will perform their roles
acutely aware of their setting. Situating rural perfor-
mances this way sensitizes the observer to the ways they
are ideologically constructed and socially malleable. They
are also interchangeable in that rural residents and rural
tourism managers can and do consume the countryside
much as tourists do much of the time (cf. Fees 1996).
It is well established that film and television have phe-
nomenal power to induce tourist visitation (Riley, Baker,
and Van Doren 1998; Beeton 2005). And Kim et al. (2007)
demonstrate that TV dramas in particular can significantly
change the popular image of the places where they are
filmed. They also argue that, even at an international level,
this can lead to greater cultural exchange and understand-
ing between “host and guest” communities. The findings of
the Goathland case support the first part of Kim et al.s the-
sis but demonstrate that resistance to tourism engendered
by a popular TV drama series can be fiercely felt. More
important, the Goathland case shows that when a relatively
unknown rural location that resonates with symbolic values
that are tied up with social status and national identity
becomes a global media star, the prospect of sharing cul-
tural understanding and meaning can quickly give way to
dominant groups asserting sociospatial superiority. Hence,
Goathland’s residents attempts to mobilize a “politics of
aesthetics” (Duncan and Duncan 1997; Duncan 1999) to
construct the countryside as a traditional English theatre on
which their rural lifestyles are rightly produced and per-
formed privately beyond the gaze and ken of the urbanized
public at large. Whether the cultural citizenship of that
public originates locally, nationally, or internationally
matters less than the consumer rights of middle-class rural
residents and rural tourists who know how to navigate the
signs and symbols that link the socioeconomics of place to
its performance.
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Mordue / Television, Tourism, and Rural Life 335
Research Method
The substantive data presented here are derived from
ethnographic research undertaken in Goathland between
1995 and 2004 in two phases. Between 1995 and 1998,
field observations were made during 24 separate visits to
Goathland to assess how the area is valued and poten-
tially contested by what Cheong and Miller (2000) call
“the tripartite of brokers, locals and tourists. A total of
23 in-depth interviews were conducted with 55 tourists,
of which approximately half were vacationing in the
area, while the others were on a day trip to Goathland.
Two resident focus groups were held with 12 people, and
six “key informant” in-depth interviews were conducted
with the local vicar, the tourism and traffic officer for
North Yorkshire Moors National Park (NYMNP), the
locations manager for YTV, the local agent for the Duchy
of Lancaster, the Goathland post officer, and a local
farmer who owned the Goathland Exhibition Centre and
the Heartbeat Experience in nearby Whitby.
All interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, and
interrogated via the software package HyperResearch
(for preliminary analyses of this field research, see
Mordue 1999, 2001). HyperResearch is a qualitative
data-management system that eases systematic coding of
interview extracts that relate to a particular topic, issue,
or theme that can be given a name or code. It allows the
researcher to interrogate interview transcripts and sec-
tions of transcripts in relation to each other and the con-
text or contexts within which the speaker has situated his
or her comments. Various codes can be electronically
selected against particular interviews, a group of inter-
views, or all the interviews, and the software can produce
correlated “reports” based on these codes, from which
the corresponding comments can be readily analyzed,
related, compared, contrasted, and contextualized.
Finally, the reports produced are cross-referenced “by
hand” to doubly ensure the integrity, consistency, and
rigor of the data handling and analysis without overre-
liance on the mechanical process.
Between 2000 and 2004, eight more visits were made
to Goathland to observe firsthand how issues relating to
Heartbeat tourism had progressed over the period.
Photographic and video records were made of tourist
activity, and spontaneous conversations with tourists and
locals were annotated in field diaries. Furthermore,
meetings were held annually during the period with the
tourism and traffic officer for North Yorkshire Moors
National Park Authority (NYMNPA) to update on the
issues from his perspective. As a supplementary piece of
research, a telephone interview was held with the senior
manager of ITV Yorkshire (formerly YTV), Leeds
Studios, in October 2007 to discuss Heartbeat viewer
characteristics because such data are not available in the
public domain.
With regard to sampling, all respondents who took
part in this research were either identified by networking
or were met spontaneously through participant observa-
tion in and around Goathland. They were invited to
express their views because of their willingness to par-
ticipate and because of the positionality of the informa-
tion they could offer, as opposed to the “typicality” or
“representativeness” of the sample of people themselves,
as is usual in quantitative research (on ethnographic
methods, see McCracken 1988; Geiger 1990; Cook and
Crang 1995, 2007). Known as “theoretical sampling,
this approach is based on linking theoretical knowledge
to knowledge of the empirical circumstance under inves-
tigation, from which the researcher gains “selective
access to appropriate groups of people who may be con-
cerned with, and/or involved in living through, the
research problem and encouraging them to teach the
researcher from various perspectives” (Cook and Crang
2007, p. 14). To achieve this in this particular instance,
all tourists were approached and interviewed on fine
days while taking a rest in the center of Goathland
(which ensured that interviews were relaxed, lasting any-
where from 20 to 50 minutes), the focus groups with
local people were held in the village hall where refresh-
ments were made available (these lasted 1.5 to 2 hours
each), and key informants were interviewed either in
their places of work or at home (with each interview tak-
ing between 40 and 80 minutes).
The interviews and discussions were underpinned by
topic or issue schedules to ensure consistency, although
they were sufficiently flexible and conversational to allow
respondents autonomy in bringing up issues they thought
important. As is usual in theoretical sampling, the whole
process ceased when issues and opinions became repeated
to the point of “theoretical saturation” (see Cook and Crang
1995, 2007; Agrosino 2007), by which continuing to
uncover and explore issues and opinions further with other
people could confidently be deemed as unnecessary. The
respondent comments cited here are taken from Mordue
(1999 and 2001) for consistency of approach in relation to
the way data are cited from other sources and are presented
to qualitatively illustrate bodies of local opinion that are
supported, and therefore triangulated, by the findings of
other research undertaken on Heartbeat tourism in
Goathland between 1995 and 2003 (see Demetriadi 1996;
YTB and NYMNPA 1997; Beeton 2005).
My own position in this research is that of a white,
middle-aged, male academic researcher and senior
manager of a business school who lives in a semirural
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336 Journal of Travel Research
location. I have no direct affiliation with this community
or any of its members. Furthermore, all the research and
analysis were done solely by me, with all original tape-
recordings, transcripts, and photographs being preserved
for public scrutiny.
Goathland qua Aidensfield
On visiting Goathland, it is apparent that its spa-
ciously spread layout, its large village green, and its
position on a broad spur of the moors make it an ideal
location for filming. In terms of its social makeup, by the
mid-1990s around half of its households were occupied
by retirees, and 60% of its population had lived there for
less than 20 years (YTB and NYMNPA 1997). Indeed,
the local vicar comments, “A lot of people have come
here to retire. I haven’t met anybody yet who has actu-
ally been born and raised in Goathland” (Mordue 2001).
Throughout the 20th century, Goathland was a popular
meeting and resting place for holidaymakers, walkers,
and hikers who enjoy its moorland location. All the com-
mon land in and around Goathland is owned by the
Queen (Duchy of Lancaster), and there are more than a
dozen tourist hotels and bed and breakfast establish-
ments in and around the village. On the edge of the
village green there is a general store, an outdoor pursuits
shop, a post office, a gift shop, and tea rooms—all of
which stock an extensive range of Heartbeat souvenirs
(Beeton 2005). The village is also on the route of the
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, established in 1971 as a
private trust and tourist attraction that unabashedly lists
Aidensfield–Goathland as one of its major stop offs.
The majority of people, though, visit Goathland by car
and by coach.
Demetriadi (1996) reports that Goathland residents
quickly came to resent Heartbeat tourism because of its
encroachment on village life. This was not only about the
increase in tourist numbers but also about the “quality”
and the perceived lower social class of the tourists them-
selves. As a retired male resident puts it, “It’s the kind of
tourism we’ve experienced in the past few years that has
made the dramatic changes that everyone goes on about”
(Mordue 2001, p. 237). And from research conducted in
Goathland in 2003, Beeton (2005, p. 103) found that
“guesthouse and B&B providers lamented the loss of
ambience and the ‘wrong type’ of visitor now coming to
At the same time, there has been much marketing
efforts to persuade people to visit Goathland as the
centerpiece of Heartbeat Country (see Beeton 2005). The
following extract from a mid-1990s brochure provides a
vivid example of this:
Heartbeat’s setting is true to the books (and the
author still lives nearby). The majestic amber
sweep of the North York Moors seems to fill the
small screen and no less real are the challenges and
characters faced by PC Nick Rowan (Nick Berry).
This is hill country life head on—tough, unsenti-
mental and faced with bluff Yorkshire humour.
Aidensfield” is real life Goathland, home to the
Aidensfield Arms and Heartbeat’s base camp. The
cast and crew are often out and about in Helmsley,
Pickering and Whitby plus special locations only
tracked down on official Heartbeat Country Tours.
(YTB 1996)
Descriptions such as this and sobriquets such as
“Heartbeat Country” invite tourists into an immediate,
“real-life” consumption drama that can somehow bridge
the fictional world of Heartbeat and the actual sociogeo-
graphic condition of the Goathland area and set the epis-
temological framework through which tourists negotiate
and interpret experiences (cf. Edensor 1998; Cooper
1994). To overcome mismatches between the “real” and
the imagined, it is axiomatic that tourism managers and
entrepreneurs will stage manage places to satisfy the
performative demands of the tourist (cf. MacCannell
1976). This is especially the case when tourists are trying
to breath empirical life into the scenes and fictions
brought to them by televised dramas through visiting the
places where they were actually filmed.
The stage management of Goathland for Heartbeat
tourism has meant that its identity as a “traditional” rural
village and its media identity as Aidensfield are, visually,
completely intertwined. The Goathland Garage, for
example, bears the sign “Mostyn’s Garage,” as it does
when used as a prop in the television program, and displays
1960s vehicles as well as the series’ policeman’s motorbike
in its forecourt. There is also the shop “Aidensfield Stores,
which again is left as it is when filmed and which makes its
living solely from selling Heartbeat paraphernalia and
souvenirs to tourists. The Goathland Hotel becomes the
Aidensfield Arms in Heartbeat when its exterior sign is
changed. At virtually every corner of the village center
there is some reminder, through a souvenir or a sign, that
you are in the heart of Heartbeat Country.
The dramaturgy of Heartbeat advertising material and
the physical (re)figurations of Goathland itself have
meant that there has been a progressive dedifferentiation
between “back-stage” Goathland, the “real” place where
“real” country people live, and Aidensfield, the fictional
“front stage” of Heartbeat and Heartbeat tourism
(cf. Goffman 1959; MacCannell 1976). According to
Lash (1990, p. 11), dedifferentiation is “the fundamental
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Mordue / Television, Tourism, and Rural Life 337
structuring trait” of postmodernism, but, in this instance,
it is underpinned by a rural myth that both Goathland and
Aidensfield seem to conform to in equal measure but
which, in social terms, Goathland’s residents are des-
tined to contest. On such issues, Hughes (1998, pp. 19-
20) notes that how places are represented as tourist
attractions “engages with the affective attachments of
residents to their own localities.” However, as already
alluded to, we must be careful of privileging rural resi-
dents’ attachments to a place as unique and therefore
asserting a dichotomy between residents and tourists that
might not necessarily exist—at least not in the cultural
consumption of the rural. Cloke (1993, p. 53), for
instance, suggests that the underlying issues relating to
the construction and commodification of the rural as a
tourist playground “are equally
people wishing to ‘buy into’ a rural lifestyle either in
terms of residential status or the display of particular
commodities.” Furthermore, Fees (1996, p. 121) offers
an interesting designation, “resident tourists,” to describe
those who have made culturally cherished rural locations
their home. They are “the [immigrants] for whom the
locale is a leisure backdrop to a ‘real’ life lived primarily
elsewhere—in the past, in the case of retired persons; in
the present, in terms of commuters and of holiday/sec-
ond home owners.” Given the profile of Goathland resi-
dents, this typology of consumption practices is
applicable to the majority of them, and it also implies
that there is little difference between the consumption
motivations of Heartbeat tourists and those of Goathland
residents. The materially important distinction lies
within the separate spatial and temporal capabilities of
residents and Heartbeat tourists to access the locale to
perform their consumption dramas.
The View from Inside: Residents’ Perspectives
That Heartbeat tourism quickly became an issue in
Goathland is evidenced by the fact that in 1994 the
Goathland Residents Association conducted its own
“Goathland Residents Survey” on issues relating to
tourist congestion, whose findings were duly submitted
to the national park authorities as proof that something
needed to be done. Furthermore, numerous villagers’ and
“traditional” visitors’ complaints have reached the
national park over the years. Some residents have even
advocated using toll gates around the village to manage
Heartbeat tourist traffic flows while raising money for
the general upkeep of Goathland (Mordue 2001). Such
tactics, complaints, and suggestions are far from being
only practical reactions to physical problems but are
political strategies that are about formally enshrining a
particular code of rural being, regardless of how accu-
rately congestion problems and the like are presented.
Indeed, both in 2000 and 2004 the NYMNPA tourism
and traffic officer (personal communication 2004) stated
that the underlying sociocultural issues relating to who
should consume the area and what type of consumption
was “appropriate” to it had gone on unabated, even
though many of the issues regarding congestion and so
on had been addressed through better management of
tourists and traffic by then (Mordue 2001).
The national park authority realized the political com-
plexity of the Heartbeat tourism issue as early as 1992
and decided to embrace a strategy of public meetings by
way of a series of open, two-way discussions between
the national park and Goathland residents. The aim was
to empower residents by including them as soon as pos-
sible in the Heartbeat tourism management process.
However, this strategy failed because consensual agree-
ments could never be reached among residents. As one
resident describes,
I think the National Park has rather a problem.
They come to these meetings and they say, “What
do you want?” And somebody will say, “Well we
want a car park at the top end of the village,” and
somebody else will get upset and say, “No we
don’t.” Nobody ever seems to have a concerted idea
of what is wanted. (Mordue 2001, p. 242)
Some residents were so suspicious and incensed by the
newfangled tactic of the national park that they would
either boycott the meetings altogether or walk out of
them in anger because their structure did not allow indi-
viduals to dominate proceedings. From this, an impasse
developed, and the strategy broke down completely (also
see Beeton 2005).
In an attempt to throw objective light onto the
Heartbeat tourism issue, the YTB, in conjunction with
the NYMNP, commissioned a survey that culminated in
a report titled The Impacts of Filming on the Residents of
Goathland, which was published in May 1997.
Unsurprisingly, it described the strength of local unhap-
piness on traffic congestion, increases in tourist
numbers, and the change in tourist type. Moreover, the
authors acceded to the political nature of these impacts
by balking at recommending so-called solutions to
defined problems, instead saying that “these must be
drawn up and agreed upon by all those involved in the
village” (p. 2). Although Beeton (2005) rightly pro-
claims this as a disappointing outcome of the report, it is
telling—as is the finding that
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there is a cultural difference between some residents
and some visitors which at least causes bemusement
and at worst causes each side to be intolerant of the
other. Most of the residents feel they have more in
common with walkers and ramblers who appear to
appreciate the local scenery than those who visit to
see the location of a television series. Many resi-
dents feel that the traditional walking tourists are
now put off by the crowds of visitors to Goathland.
(YTB and NYMNPA 1997, p. 61)
Although this statement is flawed in that it suggests
that there is a two-way intolerance between Heartbeat
tourists and Goathland residents, even though tourists
were not surveyed for the report, it does indicate the
class culture alliance or, in Bourdieu’s (1984) schema, a
similar rural habitus between residents and walkers who
appropriate the countryside through a particular rural
gaze (cf. Urry 2002). As a corollary, Goathland’s
residents tend to disavow Heartbeat tourists of the
knowledge and capacity to enact “authentic” rural per-
formances themselves (Mordue 2001). One resident
disparagingly describes Heartbeat tourists as day
trippers who
bring all their own food [and] sit out of one of the
guest houses or a cafe, they eat their own food,
[and] start coming in at 9.30 in the morning....
We’ve monitored them going back at half past
seven/eight o’clock. Now can you enjoy your
village life if you are surrounded by cars, people
playing football and transistor radios going? It’s
murder. (retired female, quoted in Mordue 2001,
p. 244)
By contrast, ideal tourists are described by another
Goathland resident as
people that stay in the hotels or small guest houses
[and] take in the environment, they get on their
boots and walk for miles or they take their car out
and come back late in the evening. They explore
the whole of the National Park and they spread
themselves out thinly. (retired male, quoted in
Mordue 2001, p. 244)
These quotations not only show the dichotomy that resi-
dents uphold between the two tourist types but also
reveal that Heartbeat tourists are subject to much local
monitoring and surveillance. It is also evident that ideal
tourists are complicit in monitoring the unwelcome pres-
ence and performances of their Heartbeat counterparts
when a local guest house owner says, “Our guests com-
plain about the tourists” (Mordue 2001). And Beeton
(2005: 102) reports that while Heartbeat has brought a
“lower class” of visitors to Goathland, this has not
diminished the “traditional customer-base of nature
lovers” who not only comment on Heartbeat tourists but
“avoid them by visiting the moors.
These sentiments fly in the face of the second guiding
principle of NYMNPA, which is to encourage greater use
of the park itself. Indeed, a recent review of all the
national parks authorities found that they generally
“could do more to encourage social inclusion, particu-
larly through the second purpose of promoting enjoyment
and understanding” (Department of Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs 2002). Arguably, Heartbeat does
exactly that by reaching out to millions of people “outside
the A, B, C1 social groupings who constitute the majority
of Heartbeat viewers” (ITV Yorkshire Studios senior
manager). It also might be expected that a counterbalance
to these sentiments might be found in the economic prag-
matism of local business proprietors, other than accom-
modation owners, who should benefit materially from
increased visitor numbers. The comment of one local
shop owner (who lived in the village) demonstrates how
this assumption can be very wide of the mark:
It sounds awful to say but there is a different class
of people coming now.... But it’s not that, it’s
the fact that in towns nowadays there is so much
accepted theft. Supermarkets accept that they’re
going to lose a certain amount of their stock. And
it’s how people perceive it, they look on everybody
in the same way as the big supermarkets and say to
themselves “Oh they can afford it,” and there is an
element of that. (Mordue 2001, p. 245)
A lack of empathy for the particular circumstances of
small rural businesses among Heartbeat tourists is
adjudged to be endemic because town people, especially
people from large towns, are thought to have cultivated a
set of values and practices that are as indifferent to rural
amenities as they are to urban facilities.
These types of urban–rural dualisms seem set in the
minds of residents, although a degree of qualified sensi-
tivity apparently can be shown to the “plight” of certain
Heartbeat tourists by some. A female shop worker’s
comment on coach tourists demonstrates this well:
I actually feel sorry for people who come on
coaches.... They get harangued by residents
because they don’t want them here. The coach com-
panies sometimes only allow them fifteen to twenty
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Mordue / Television, Tourism, and Rural Life 339
minutes to actually look round the shops [and] take
their photographs. We call them where I work the
fifteen p people, all they have time to do is to spend
fifteen p. Now that is not adding to the economy of
the village really. (Mordue 2001, p. 245)
The people who come into Goathland by coach are, in the
main, of pensionable age and are either on a touring day
trip to Whitby and “Heartbeat Country” or on vacation on
a national or regional tour that includes the area in its itin-
erary. Both the coaches and their occupants are univer-
sally maligned by Goathland residents because they are
especially visible in their encroachment on the village,
even if their stay is a short one. “Nobody wants a coach
parked in their back yard and do we want a coach parked
anywhere?” said a local female shop keeper (Mordue
2001). Given that so many Goathland residents are retired
themselves, this lack of empathy is noteworthy.
Notwithstanding that there may be quite legitimate
safety concerns regarding coaches coming into the vil-
lage, there are several symbolic reasons why coaches are
unattractive to Goathland residents. By their very nature
coaches collectively package people into a mobile unit,
and this is antithetical to what Rojek (1985, 1995) terms
as the leaning toward “individuation” in (post)modern
society. Coach tourism also denotes working-class
economies of scale consumption because it is people col-
lectively dependent on a driver and possibly an “expert”
courier, and the passengers are therefore passive and lack-
ing in the “cultural capital” (Bourdieu 1984) to read the
countryside for themselves and appropriately perform in
it. Indeed, the Goathland Residents Association was
formed in 1995 on an anticoach platform (Beeton 2005),
and the NYMNPA tourism and traffic officer comments
that the villagers “have this fear of coaches and the sort of
people coaches bring, their social class” (Mordue 2001,
p. 246). In addition, coach tours patently symbolize the
commodification of Goathland by the fact that “the vil-
lage is used by certain tourist companies...who
advertise it as a ‘Heartbeat break’” (working male resi-
dent, college lecturer, quoted in Mordue 2001, p. 246).
Rural Authenticity and Heartbeat Country
For some residents, the private space of home is the
last bastion of “country life” left in Goathland as the area
becomes discovered more by the public at large.
I stop in the house. I love to walk in the village but
I don’t walk in the summer, I don’t enjoy it at all, or
I might take the dog right up on the moors, but now
cars have started going up on the moors. (retired
woman resident, quoted in Mordue 2001, p. 246)
A number of residents have even changed the way they
use the private space of their homes to avoid the public
intrusion by swapping their living rooms to the backs of
their houses that face away from the village green. This
is an attempt both to recapture a private country view
devoid of people (on the “landscape idea,” see Cosgrove
1998) and to maintain the status of residents’ private
living space as a “back region” (Goffman 1959;
MacCannell 1976) away from a penetrating “tourist
gaze” (Urry 2002) that stages their rural authenticity.
Another resident’s comment unintentionally reveals
the ironies and the duality of this rural authenticity:
Tourism generally does have a long term effect on
country life.... Over a long period of time there
becomes a different mix of people living in the
countryside.... People that are coming to see the
countryside have really loved it and, like a lot of
people who come to Goathland, eventually move
into the countryside.... Then you get outsiders
moving in, and most people in the past were cus-
tomers with a real understanding of the country-
side. But then you get it accelerated.... You are
watering down the countryside, this is my point, so
that eventually you don’t get the people who have a
true understanding, you get a kind of suburban
existence in the countryside. (retired woman,
quoted in Mordue 2001, pp. 246-47)
This statement clearly describes exurbanism, though she
is careful to induce a distinction between Goathland res-
idents as former tourists with a “true understanding” of
the countryside and the current crop of Heartbeat
tourists as being “outsiders.” It also implies that
exurbanism accelerated by Heartbeat tourism would be
to the absolute detriment of the countryside.
A retired male resident takes this proposition a stage
further by leveling charges of falsification and cultural
incompetence at the performances of Heartbeat tourists.
Goathland isn’t known as Goathland, to the point
where people get on the North Yorkshire Moors
Railway train at Pickering, they don’t get off at
Goathland because they’re waiting for Aidensfield
to come up.... Well it’s only in their heads you
know. You see them wandering around and they
think well there’s nothing here, why are we here?
(Mordue 2001, p. 247)
In another extract, he links this to the way the Heartbeat
drama series and the various advertisers sell a rural idyll to
the masses that is, in reality, unavailable to them:
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340 Journal of Travel Research
They are trying to encapsulate everything that
everybody thinks about the countryside and they
are trying to package it in the modern, contempo-
rary way, [to] package an experience. The coach
people [especially] are trying to package an experi-
ence and that’s the thing that is causing the damage.
(Mordue 2001, p. 247)
On these terms, the promise of bridging or dedifferentiat-
ing the divide between the real and the imagined fuels the
demand for Heartbeat Country consumption yet under-
mines the integrity of the place itself. This signifies a dis-
tinct and escalating clash between the supposedly false
representations and values of popular media and their
consumers and the traditions of “real” countryside and
“real country people.Heartbeat tourists once again are
disavowed of the capacity to access this reality, and coach
tours are seen as particularly culpable because they are
cashing in on the false rural hopes of the urban masses.
Scripting as Spatial Regulation
In the absence of being able to control tourist
numbers, residents’ attentions became focused on how to
direct and control tourists once they arrive in the village.
This, however, raises seemingly intractable aesthetic
issues that the local post officer, who bought his business
after 1991, sums up by saying,
Nobody wants yellow lines, nobody wants fencing,
nobody wants street lights.... They don’t want street
lights because they don’t want it to look like a city....
I’ve even heard comments about the pavement, the
footpath that’s been put in now, and people saying it
gets more like a town every day because we’ve got a
footpath. (Mordue 2001, p. 247)
As a consequence, the most acceptable management
strategies for most residents are less about crude physical
rearrangements of space, bodies, and motor vehicles than
about educating and modifying the preconceptions of
Heartbeat tourists themselves. The local vicar, for
example, saw interpretation as a key means of influenc-
ing tourist attitudes and behavior through providing
more understanding of what he believes to be the authen-
ticity of Goathland beyond Heartbeat. When asked if the
general idea is to turn Heartbeat tourists into ideal
tourists, the Vicar replied,
Yes. Explore and spend some time here, and obvi-
ously in the process spend some money, but primar-
ily to explore, spend some time here and enjoy the
place. We enjoy living here, a lot of us came here
because we wanted to, because its a nice place to be
and we’d like other people to find that same kind of
enjoyment. (Mordue 2001, p. 247)
The latter part of this comment reveals that residents
buying into and consuming Goathland is akin to a touris-
tic experience of it (cf. Fees 1996). Furthermore, the
power of interpretation described here lies with its self-
legitimating reclamation of a “true” natural and social
past to retrieve certain sociospatial distinctions in the
present. This would provide something of a local anti-
dote to the global simulations of Goathland both in the
Heartbeat series and in the marketing material that
promotes it as the center of Heartbeat Country. However,
given that the majority of residents are relative newcom-
ers with, in their own terms, little real claim to some kind
of innate connection to Goathland, their only legitimacy
as arbiters of what is locally authentic lies with their
rural “habitus” (cf. Bourdieu 1984) and their self-
received cultural rights as owners of local property. The
efficacy of interpretation in this context lies in the provi-
sion of a seemingly apolitical means of scripting
tourists’ performances, but in ways that regulate and
approximate local space with residents’ aesthetic priori-
ties, ideals, and, ultimately, class interests.
Viewing Goathland through the Tourist Gaze
What of visitors to Goathland, how do their predilec-
tions compare and contrast to those of Goathland’s resi-
dents? As alluded to, Beeton (2005) sets a clear distinction
between traditional nature-loving middle-class visitors
and the “lower-class” Heartbeat tourists—although she
presents no evidence to support this assumption other
than saying “the friction [between them] is evident, even
to a casual observer” (p. 104). The research underpin-
ning this article suggests, however, that on close, quali-
tative examination, this starkly dualistic distinction is
problematic and that Heartbeat tourists are not so easily
pigeonholed. For example, without exception, all visitors
spoken to between 1995 and 2004 proclaimed to be
lovers or appreciators of the English countryside. For
many, the North Yorkshire Moors was a prime example:
“Within twenty miles of here I would have thought is one
of the nicest parts of England,” said a retired man from
Stockton-on-Tees (quoted in Mordue 1999, p. 642).
Furthermore, as with residents, tourists tended to coun-
terpoise the values of the countryside with those of mod-
ern urban life.
Where we live isn’t a community anymore. Crime
has increased and there is a bigger feeling of inse-
curity from all sorts of directions. Being in the
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countryside does remind you of community and
times gone by, it’s more permanent than the town,
but I guess that is threatened more as well. I should
think there is more of a community spirit here and
it’s nice to be in a community even if it is for a visit.
Having said that, I can’t be sure if this place is a
real community because we haven’t spent enough
time here—so we don’t really know (woman cleri-
cal worker from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, quoted in
Mordue 1999, p. 642)
One of the many interesting things about this comment is
that while this woman appreciates the aesthetics of what
appears to be a traditional rural setting, she is not at all
convinced that the picture presented is one of a “real”
community. This is a point picked up by Beeton (2005),
who, while advocating community planning, criticizes
management approaches that tend to view communities
as homogenous entities and that in places like Goathland
“one-size-fits-all” solutions can only fail because they
fail to grasp the dynamism of the situation.
Many of Goathland’s tourists seem to be critically
aware of the exurban factor and that conspicuous rural
consumption can bring its own problems, as a male
factory manager from Northampton reveals:
I think what spoils it is when you look over there
where the Range Rover is parked outside the cot-
tage. You’ve got the villages now with really nice
cottages and you see a couple of Range Rovers out-
side and that’s what is bringing the higher crime
rate into the rural areas, because they assume that is
where the money is. (Mordue 1999, p. 642)
By contrast, a male student from Leeds sees tourism
as the problem:
I wouldn’t like to live here myself. I wouldn’t mind
being in a small village, but not particularly this
village with thousands of tourists milling about. It’s
perhaps too commercialised, too touristy, it takes
away the atmosphere that Heartbeat gives you of
the place. (Mordue 1999, p. 642)
All visitors encountered over the period were keen to be
seen as responsible guests rather than marauding tourists,
but, unlike the student from Leeds, most did not think
Goathland was too commercialized. For example, when
discussing car parking issues, most said they would have
welcomed even greater parking charges as long as they
were at an affordable level and were hypothecated toward
the upkeep and maintenance of the village itself.
When asked about issues of public access to
Goathland, set against the private spatial interests of its
residents, visitors were adamant about their rights—
seeing the village and its surroundings as a public good
and as a space to be shared much like any other public
space. Thus, while the countryside is special culturally,
as a political space it has no special dispensations in
relation to its urban cousins. For many visitors, though,
the cultural and political spaces of the rural are insepa-
rable and mutually constituted. As one proclaimed,
“It’s part of the British heritage isn’t it, the Yorkshire
countryside. It’s what makes Britain great, the country.
. . . I like to think we share it [Goathland] with them,
the local people” (male technician from Hull, quoted in
Mordue 1999, p. 643). The woman from Newcastle-
upon-Tyne most forcefully expresses her opinions on
such matters:
I don’t know who lives here. Is it some tycoon from
the London stock markets who has decided to buy a
house here and has decided he’s not going to let us
Geordies or Yorkshire lads and lasses in here and he
thinks he owns it? Well, it’s not his. It’s as much ours
as it is his, only I can’t afford the house. I can, and
should, be able to walk around the road, and I mean
that truly from me heart. (Mordue 1999, p. 643)
With regard to what visitors hoped to find when they
arrived in Goathland qua Aidensfield, responses were
mixed. One woman from Teesside (occupation unknown)
I expected to come here and see it how you see it
on the TV, you know. But things look different,
there’s lots of things missing.... Its nice, I like
the place [but] we expected it to be more or less
exactly the same. It should be more sixties-like
really.... I [wanted] to see things like the police
station and the Aidensfield Arms so you could go in
and have a sit down. (Mordue 1999, p. 643)
This woman’s disappointments and expectations were
not expressly shared in discussions with most other
visitors encountered, though like her many thought the
village “quite ordinary,” but “pretty,” without its
Heartbeat connection. On the other hand, like the
woman above, some would have preferred more inter-
pretation to bring Heartbeat and Aidensfield “alive,
saying that a well-planned, quite extensive visitor
center and car park outside the village could fill the
dual role of satisfying their curiosity about Heartbeat
while helping to manage visitor and traffic flows.
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342 Journal of Travel Research
None, however, thought that Goathland (minus Heartbeat)
needed interpreting.
Some visitors, while conceding the novelty of
Goathland’s Heartbeat connection, disagreed with the
idea of providing more visitor-oriented facilities and
interpretation displays on any level, saying that the vil-
lage should not be stage managed any more than it is
now. A woman from Norwich (an executive officer in the
civil service) expressed this position most clearly:
I don’t like heritage centres. I don’t like that sort of
thing. I always feel when I go to places with a her-
itage centre that I am being exploited. I don’t want
card board cut-outs of things that happened in the
past that might not necessarily have happened like
that. I like to see the scenery and come and see
where the television people came but I don’t neces-
sarily want it hyped up for me.... Itll be more
interesting talking to some of the old people than
seeing a lot of...designer words written on some
sort of interpretation display or hoarding....
That’s not what life is like is it, you don’t want to
be managed. (Mordue 1999, pp. 643-644)
Critically, for her the tourist experience is not about being
a simple viewer or part of a relatively passive audience; it
is about participation and interaction, or the active per-
formance of place through using one’s own judgment and
cultural capabilities without being cajoled or manipulated
by hidden intermediaries and “expert” practices.
Concluding Discussion
This article has shown that Goathland residents and
Heartbeat tourists share similar constructions of rural life
and demonstrates that rural tourists and those who buy
into a rural lifestyle cannot be considered as belonging to
separate cultural realms. Neither can it be assumed that
Heartbeat tourists come from only lower-class urban
backgrounds, as the comments of Goathland’s residents,
and to a large extent Beeton’s (2005) observations, imply.
There is nothing in this research or survey research done
by the national park itself to suggest that visitors to
Goathland are significantly different in their social profile
to visitors of the park more generally. The critically
important issue raised in this research is that Goathland’s
residents tend to see Heartbeat tourists as different and
less rurally competent in these terms and are scripted by
residents as being strangers in and to the countryside.
Yet as the visitor from Newcastle upon Tyne alluded
to, the materially differentiating factor between residents
and tourists is that residents own rural space (in terms of
property ownership) and, as a consequence, are more
able to appropriate it culturally, temporally, and discur-
sively. Their property ownership does not, however,
change the counterpoising fact that besides being home
to 450 people, Goathland is also a public space within a
national park, and its residents have no real claim to it as
a private good. To protect their private (spatial) interests,
they have only cultural means at their disposal. Thus,
they use discursive tactics in public forums—such as
taking part in research, writing to the press, complaining
to the national park, trying to use interpretation to “edu-
cate” visitors, and so on—to spread the message that
Heartbeat tourism is incompatible with an authentic rural
life. In this context, rurality, and any recourse to a rural
heritage, is a means of drawing performative barriers that
translate materially into sociospatial divides. Although
these rural battles are fought in the realms of postmodern
consumption, the issues chime with what Williams (1973,
p. 124) famously said of the 18th-century middle-class
love and appropriation of landscape:
It is into this complex of territorial establishment
that we must re-insert the self-conscious develop-
ment of landscape and what is called “the invention
of scenery. . . . For what was being done by this
new class, with new capital, new equipment and
new skills to hire, was indeed a disposition of
“Nature” to their own point of view . . . to make
Nature move to arranged design.
Landscape is a visual framing of nature governed by, in
the Foucauldian sense, a particular gaze and, as
Cosgrove (1998) argues, a dominant set of ideologically
rooted ideas. Rurality, however, is this and more. As
Lefebvre (2004) says of social space generally, the rural
is not a place on a map with clear physical demarcations
but a set of relations, practices, imaginings, and affecta-
tions that are constantly lived and negotiated by a range
of social actors. The rural is variously performed, and its
scripting is a power play that, in nascent postmodern
society, many interlocutors are able to author through
their imaginings and actions. In this particular case, the
main protagonists are residents, TV script writers, TV
viewers, brochure producers, marketers, tourism busi-
nesses, park authorities, tourists, and so on.
The Goathland case study supports authors such as
Kim and Richardson (2003) when they say that film
serves to “mystify places by imbuing them with myth
and meaning through drama” (p. 233). However, it
shows they are only partially right when they say, “It is
not the objective reality of the place...but instead the
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Mordue / Television, Tourism, and Rural Life 343
meaning it represents that transforms places depicted in
motion pictures to [become] symbolically meaningful
tourist attractions” (p. 234), because places are per-
formed culturally all of the time by various people, not
just in films or through tourism, and their realities can
never be objectively fixed in space or time.
Given these performative complexities, when
researching and thinking critically about the kind of new
rurality that Heartbeat Country represents, care must be
taken by researchers and managers when placing resi-
dents and tourists in relation to each other. While a dis-
tinct population in commonsense terms, Goathland’s
residents do not represent an authentic rural community
or single vantage from which tourism development can be
objectively assessed, just as the appellation local does not
represent an undifferentiated social or ethnic community.
The local responses here reveal that the impacts of
Heartbeat tourism engage highly nuanced relations of
power. Moreover, performance of local space is a homol-
ogous power play in which locals and tourists use their
relative cultural and economic competencies to choreo-
graph consumption and socially determine the appropri-
ateness of the actors themselves. This praxis means that a
spatial hegemony is being discursively brokered by resi-
dents (and seemingly many of their favored “guests”),
which lauds their class interests as being synonymous
with the interests of the countryside as a whole. At the
same time, nontraditional voices that might raise issues
relating to social access and a more inclusive cultural
ownership of the countryside are made less audible. In
this rather privileged corner of northern England,
Goathland’s residents are not just the beneficiaries or
sufferers of tourist impacts but are part of a wider social
grouping who feel it is their cultural right to consume
the countryside as a space purified and managed in their
own image.
Management Implications
These findings uphold the conclusion of Quinn (2007,
p. 474) who says,
Locals are much more than passive subjects acted
upon by tourists and related forces. They demon-
strate agency, and are proactively and intricately
involved in reconfiguring relationships and mobili-
ties with and within place. Acknowledging this cre-
ates a series of research questions about both
conceptualizing and managing local-tourist encoun-
ters, and about theorizing both locals’ and tourists’
experience of place.
An important practical response to this for academic
research is to reveal how certain commonsense realities
of place can in fact be social constructions loaded with
ambiguities and contradictions. Informed practitioners
acknowledging these complexities and trying to act on
them would, however, make the practical task of tourism
management more complex. Arguably though, greater
awareness of these issues raises the prospect that those
responsible for managing rural tourism for sustainability—
such as national parks authorities—could initiate more
imaginatively effective ways to include urban voices
alongside rural voices in negotiations of how, why, and
for whom tourism is to be developed and managed in the
countryside. As McGehee and Andereck (2004, p. 139)
state, “The most important goal must be to assure that
varied voices of the community are heard. For this to
occur, the most appropriate and inclusive theory must
provide the research foundation.
As a starting point, the community of interest should
not be automatically fixed as being rural residents in
rural tourism research. Locals should be situated politi-
cally and socially to avoid conflating, and therefore
romanticizing, their residential status with a received
cultural sovereignty. Tourists need to be similarly located
and not assumed to be outsiders affecting authentic com-
munities and localities in simple positive or negative
terms (see Cheong and Miller 2000). Indeed, such
impact dualisms are rarely completed or uncontested out-
comes of tourism but are part of the tourism process that
can vary considerably in different places and in different
contexts. Rural tourism, for example, is a generalized
appellation that in reality covers myriad different
circumstances that vary considerably physically, structurally,
and performatively (Petrzelka et al. 2005).
One generalization worth making is that tourism man-
agement anywhere is what Lefebvre (2004) calls a “spa-
tial practice” in that it invariably involves acts and
interventions on, in, and through space. In places such as
Goathland, destination management is largely about man-
aging the convergences and contradictions of global–
local relations. Yet the positionality of the destination-
management process can place great limitations on its
efficacy because it is only one power vantage point among
many acting on, in, and through a locality. Therefore,
while many normative approaches in tourism manage-
ment research are useful because of their overt practica-
bility, executed and applied uncritically many can
reproduce a chain of management practice that reinforces
an all too neat “business as usual,” though more techni-
cally proficient, view of the world. As Alvesson and
Willmot (2001) warn of management studies generally,
we must be careful of reproducing received wisdom for
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344 Journal of Travel Research
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... Despite these contributions, the literature exhibits a paucity of academic attention on the combined subject areas, that is, resident's responses to or perceptions of film tourism impacts (Beeton, 2016;Connell, 2012;Croy & Heitmann, 2011;Yoon et al., 2015). This is paradoxical, since locals act as key hosts to tourists and their involvement and collaboration are fundamental to the likelihood of successful (film) tourism development (Beeton, 2008;Heitmann, 2010;Mordue, 2009;Nunkoo et al., 2013). In most cases concerning film tourism impacts (Thelen et al., 2020), it is documented that residents hold little or no control over how their residential areas are represented and/or reproduced during media production (Beeton, 2016;Yoon et al., 2015), often incurring social, cultural and/or spatial conflicts between the film tourist's quest for media representations as the imagined social construction of reality (Frost & Laing, 2014;Mordue, 2009) and the resident's preservation of social representations as a metaphor for everyday reality (Beeton, 2016;Mordue, 2009). ...
... This is paradoxical, since locals act as key hosts to tourists and their involvement and collaboration are fundamental to the likelihood of successful (film) tourism development (Beeton, 2008;Heitmann, 2010;Mordue, 2009;Nunkoo et al., 2013). In most cases concerning film tourism impacts (Thelen et al., 2020), it is documented that residents hold little or no control over how their residential areas are represented and/or reproduced during media production (Beeton, 2016;Yoon et al., 2015), often incurring social, cultural and/or spatial conflicts between the film tourist's quest for media representations as the imagined social construction of reality (Frost & Laing, 2014;Mordue, 2009) and the resident's preservation of social representations as a metaphor for everyday reality (Beeton, 2016;Mordue, 2009). ...
... This is paradoxical, since locals act as key hosts to tourists and their involvement and collaboration are fundamental to the likelihood of successful (film) tourism development (Beeton, 2008;Heitmann, 2010;Mordue, 2009;Nunkoo et al., 2013). In most cases concerning film tourism impacts (Thelen et al., 2020), it is documented that residents hold little or no control over how their residential areas are represented and/or reproduced during media production (Beeton, 2016;Yoon et al., 2015), often incurring social, cultural and/or spatial conflicts between the film tourist's quest for media representations as the imagined social construction of reality (Frost & Laing, 2014;Mordue, 2009) and the resident's preservation of social representations as a metaphor for everyday reality (Beeton, 2016;Mordue, 2009). ...
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Minimal research has been carried out regarding the host community's perceptions of and reactions to film tourism impacts, utilizing a mainstream tourism destination such as Bali. This article aims to identify and explain residents' perceptions of and attitudes toward the social impacts of film tourism, proposing an integrated theoretical model of social exchange theory, social representations theory and place change theory. Results indicate that the integrated model is particularly robust in explaining what caused a condition or event to be perceived as negative, positive or neutral place change, and why such changes are interpreted and evaluated in the social and cultural contexts. It also suggests that the locals do not perceive or necessarily respond to tourism impacts uniformly. As such, it contributes to a more wholesome understanding of the underlying dynamics and complexities involved in identifying and explaining the perceived impacts of tourism on the residents of a community in a theoretically rigorous, nuanced manner.
... already established tourism destinations or newlycreated destinations) (Connell, 2012). While the impacts of film tourism from a tourist perspective has been one of the most heavily researched areas (Connell, 2012), only a handful of studies have attempted to understand the impacts of film tourism on local communities from a resident perspective, loosely applying the social exchange theory (Beeton, 2001;Connell, 2005aConnell, , 2005bMordue, 2009;Riley, Baker, & Van Doren, 1998). Of particular note is the scarcity of film tourism impact research from multiple stakeholders' perspectives in the context of local community of film tourism location, which has resulted in our asymmetric and atomistic understanding of film tourism impacts. ...
... Planning, impacts and stakeholders of film tourism Film tourism is usually described as a phenomenon that begins with the broadcast of a film or TV series, and as a development that can often be rather surprising for local communities at filming locations, due to unexpected spin-off effects. The activities of local communities at film tourism destinations, therefore, often emerge in a sporadic and ad-hoc manner in response to the sudden and unexpectedly long-lasting interest of fans (Beeton, 2008;Connell, 2005aConnell, , 2005bHeitmann, 2010;Kim et al., 2017;Mordue, 2009;Yoon et al., 2015). ...
... In comparison, Yoon et al. (2015) adopted the use of a multiple destination approach by undertaking an empirical, comparative study of the local residents' perceived film tourism impacts between successful and unsuccessful film tourism locations in the South Korean context. Their study confirms the existence of different magnitudes of local residents' perceptions of film tourism's adverse impacts, being supported by previous studies that local residents tend to be more sensitive to and concerned about negative effects of film tourism (Beeton, 2001;Mordue, 2009). Such diversity within the stakeholder groups in particular, among the often perceived homogeneous 'local communities', should be assessed in the planning of film tourism. ...
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This study examines multiple local stakeholders’ perceptions of film tourism impacts to shed light on the complexities of film tourism planning and development, using a longitudinal exploratory research approach. The Japanese TV series Mare (2015) was chosen as the case study. Qualitative interviews with various local stakeholders were conducted over a 21-month-long period of a film tourism development project in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The study found that this film tourism project was initiated with high expectations. However, due to several incidents, such as the controversial rebuilding of a local highway road for promotional purposes, the audience’s mixed reception of the series’ storyline, and a sexual harassment scandal involving one of the main actors, the film tourism development did not progress as planned. The study also revealed that consultation which included a diverse range of local stakeholders and long-term planning embedded into a larger regional development strategy were key factors for successful film tourism planning and development. We contribute that an investigation of local stakeholders’ consultation, diversity, inclusion and long-term embedding is reflected in perceptions across the pre-, during- and post-production stages. These four complexities provide valuable insights and even explanations for local’s dynamic perceptions of film tourism impacts.
... On the other hand, the growth in tourism may lead to unplanned mass tourism [97] and consequent contamination of the destination. In addition, this growth in tourism is not always well received by the locals and there may be cases of tourism-phobia or rejection by residents [98]. Let us not forget that the places likely to become points of interest after appearing on the screen are of all kinds, and this can be a great nuisance in the day-to-day lives of the locals. ...
... On the other hand, the growth in tourism may lead to unplanned mass tourism [97] and consequent contamination of the destination. In addition, this growth in tourism is not always well received by the locals and there may be cases of tourism-phobia or rejection by residents [98]. Let us not forget that the places likely to become points of interest after appearing on the screen are of all kinds, and this can be a great nuisance in the day-to-day lives of the locals. ...
Full-text available
The objective of this research is to analyze the publications of Andalusian universities that have had the greatest interaction on social networks Facebook and Twitter from the beginning of the alarm state by COVID-19 to the beginning of the de-scalding. A quantitative and qualitative methodology is used. The results show that there is an evolution in posts, for topics of social interest and current affairs, such as human support, research and development, with the predominant objectives being to inform and inspire the whole community.
... On the other hand, the growth in tourism may lead to unplanned mass tourism [97] and consequent contamination of the destination. In addition, this growth in tourism is not always well received by the locals and there may be cases of tourism-phobia or rejection by residents [98]. Let us not forget that the places likely to become points of interest after appearing on the screen are of all kinds, and this can be a great nuisance in the day-to-day lives of the locals. ...
Full-text available
The destination image is a complex construction in which the different sources of information consulted are decisive. Among these information sources, we can find films, which have a relevant function to create destination images. Films are one of the factors that most influences people in their motivation to travel to a destination. The academic literature on film tourism has grown considerably in recent years, but an updated revision is needed. Due to this fact, the main contribution of this paper is the proposal of an updated review of the academic literature focused on film tourism and destinations and their management implications. The general objective of this research is to analyse the existing literature, systematising the relationships that exist between films, film tourism, destination image, and tourist destination. To this end, a systematic review of the literature has been carried out, with two aims: on the one hand, a review of the existing literature from a descriptive perspective, showing the main publications, authors and topics, and on the other hand, a review from a thematic perspective. The results of the latter will be addressed in the discussion and conclusions. The results of the descriptive analysis highlight the significant growth in the literature analysed over the last 45 years, especially between 2005 and 2015. They also underline that the most studied topics are film destinations, marketing and destination image. The results of the thematic analysis highlight the importance of films and series as important information sources on the creation of destination images. The thematic analysis also provides information on the negative and positive aspects of film destination management.
... Film-induced tourism in unfamiliar destinations Jewell and McKinnon, 2008;Kim et al., 2007;Kim et al, 2009;Kim, 2010;Kim and O'Connor, 2011;Portegies, 2010;Ryan et al., 2009. film tourism and local communities Beeton, 2001Beeton, , 2005Beeton, , 2004Beeton, , 2008Connell, 2005aConnell, , 2005bCroy, 2011;Mordue, 2009;O'Connor andFlanagan, 2001, 2002;O'Connor et al., 2009Saltik et al. 2011, Croy, 2010 Motivation in film tourist Bolan and Davidson, 2005;Bolan and Williams, 2008;Busby and Klug, 2001;Chan, 2007;Macionis and Sparks, 2009;Kim et al., 2009;Karpovich, 2010;Beeton, 2010. ...
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My first acknowledgement will be addressed for who guided my work under his supervision for his undivided encouragement, advice and support during my master study and the thesis semester, his supervision helped this project to be amazing experience and deepen my knowledge for my academic future, thank you Dr. David Mwaura. I wish also to thank all the visitors who visited my country Jordan under my guidance within the last fifteen years, in remembering those people who accepted so kindly and willingly to fill the surveys, and who accepted to set for the interviews. I would like to express of my deep thankfulness for some people who did not hesitate to support my ambition to complete this stage of my study, some of them were around me despite the long distance when I most needed them; my Mam, my wife Rana and my children; Mouthanna, Rayan and Ahmed for their love and encouragement. Thanks also addressed to my big family and my friends in Jordan and UK. I dedicate this work to them and for the spirit of my father. 3 ABSTRACT The literature of tourism marketing and destination management discussed very little bit movie locations, including TV programmes sets, in UK and worldwide. This research discusses the phenomenon of film-induced tourism relative to its wider meaning of literary and cultural aspect. The thesis aims to examine the impact of film-induced tourism on the tourism image of Jordan, and to explore the influence of that image upon visitation intension. The results of this research are expected to provide appropriate recommendations to develop film-induced tourism industry from the destination image perspective, in order to help the destination marketing to create its promotional campaigns. The first chapter provides a background of film-induced tourism and introduced two famous movies in which locations in Jordan were featured as backdrop. The second chapter discussed critically film-induced tourism phenomenon in its wider meaning, then the research brought the most relevant literature concerning motivation and destination image theory that affect on tourists' decision making. Chapter three explained the philosophy and approaches employed to achieve undertaken research objectives through adopting qualitative and quantitative primary data. The image of Jordan perceived through film tourism by British and foreign publics were evaluated in chapter four, in order to bring findings about the effect of that image held by film tourism and its influence on potential tourists towards visitation intention. The conclusion of chapter five demonstrated from the participants' profile came fairly consistent with results from the previous literature; frequent results indicated that many participants had a fairly clear pre-visit destination image about Jordan, a significant number of them gained their image from different information sources where film tourism was not the main reason for the visitation intention. These results do not neglect that a strong awareness of Jordan destination brand had been achieved by film tourism and an important part of the respondents would consider visiting Jordan in the future based on watching TV reality programmes as types of film tourism rather than movies particularly documentary series.
... Couldry (1998) called tour group members who took part in the British TV series Coronation Street "film tourists". Mordue (2009) as well as Young and Young (2008) have adopted the same definition in their respective studies. They state that "film tourists can take the movie and TV shoot as a short distance traveler in their multi-day tour." ...
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Based on user-generated content from a social media website, this study investigated the impact of a popular film in China— Lost in Thailand—on tourist behavior at the destination. The authors analyzed tourist volumes and conducted social network analysis and content analysis to explore the spatiotemporal behavior patterns of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand before and after the release of the film. This study investigated changes in tourist behavior at a destination in three dimensions: total tourist volumes, the structure of tourism flow networks, and the spatiotemporal patterns of tourists. The results revealed that film productions substantially influenced the behavior of tourists visiting the destination.
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This study examines the relationship between how a television series presents the locations where it is filmed and the tourist experiences of its audience, combining content analysis and reception theory. The Spanish filming locations for Game of Thrones (HBO) were chosen as a case study. The findings suggest that tourists post more photographs on social media of locations that are shown longer on screen, that have more sequences of importance to the narrative structure and that characters interact with more intensely. These findings demonstrate the importance of the audiovisual text to the potential role of film in tourist destination promotion.
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Although the use of wind-turbines is widely accepted as generating clean and sustainable energy, when windfarms are sited in rural areas they are frequently opposed by locals because of their negative impacts, including on tourism. There is, however, little academic research on the role and significance of tourism in onshore-windfarm development disputes. The paper addresses this gap by way of a nuanced analysis of mixed-methods research undertaken on behalf of Northumberland County Council (NCC), UK, on the impacts of onshore-windfarms on tourism in Northumberland’s rural hinterland. We also trace the influence the research has had on NCC’s policy and land-use decision-making practices in the years since the research was completed in 2014, with particular focus on national policy changes enacted in 2016 that gave local communities more decision-making power on the siting of onshore-windfarms across the UK. From here we critique democratic decision-making on the development of onshore-windfarms more generally and consider political lessons learned from this case study that can have resonance anywhere wrestling with the same or similar issues.
Film-induced tourism has the potential to revitalise flagging regional/rural communities and increase tourism to urban centres, however it carries with it its own unique problems. This publication explores such elements, delving into the disciplines of sociology and psychology, along with the fields of destination marketing, community development and strategic planning.
The Long Interview provides a systematic guide to the theory and methods of the long qualitative interview or intensive interviewing. It gives a clear explanation of one of the most powerful tools of the qualitative researcher. The volume begins with a general overview of the character and purpose of qualitative inquiry and a review of key issues. The author outlines the four steps of the long qualitative interview and how to judge quality. He then offers practical advice for those who commission and administer this research, including sample questionnaires and budgets to help readers design their own. The author introduces key theoretical and methodological issues, various research strategies, and a simple four-stage model of inquiry, from the design of an open-ended questionnaire to the write up of results.
England was the world's first great industrial nation yet, paradoxically, the English have never been comfortable with industrialism. Drawing on a wide array of sources, Martin Wiener explores the English ambivalence towards modern industrial society. His work reveals a pervasive middle- and upper-class frame of mind hostile to industrialism and economic growth. From the middle of the nineteenth century to the present, this hostility shaped a broad spectrum of cultural expression, including literature, journalism, and architecture, as well as social, historical and economic thought. In this new edition Wiener reflects on the original debate surrounding his work and examines the historiography of the past twenty years.