Julia Crozier explores how heritage tourist attractions innovate over time, driven by changes in social attitudes and values. By using Port Arthur as her case study, this qualitative research project retrospectively maps the shifting definition of heritage, and how tourist attractions use their inherent resources to innovate or adapt to meet the demands of each generation. Julia has used a variety of primary and secondary sources, dating back to the early 19th century to understand how and why perceptions of Port Arthur have changed, providing opportunity for innovation in the interpretation of place. The chronological study identifies different types of innovation, including paradigm innovation, as the story of place-shifts to engage the contemporary generation. This research questions how iconic heritage places ensure their longevity, innovating to remain relevant to their tourism audiences and significant to the broader national and international public.
Julia considers heritage is the definition of the past in today's terms. She asks the question, "How does a place that is geographically, temporally and spatially bound able to reinvent itself as society changes every 25-30 years?"
By exploring historic materials to identify both external and internal environments, Julia elucidates the shifts in perspective to people's core values at different periods over time. By using contemporary commentary found in various primary sources, ranging from private correspondences, to public debate, and more recently, interviews, "it's as if I have taken myself back in time to identify what were the things that excited people then and initiated paradigm changes."
This research is unique in several ways. It is the first study to link heritage attractions and innovation. Most of the tourism innovation research to date focuses on other sectors of the tourism industry, in particular hospitality. Also most of the previous research looks at tourism development rather than using a retrospective of attitudes and perceptions to identify the drivers of innovation.
Through the chronological study, Julia has developed a life cycle for heritage tourist attractions. In the future this may assist operators to forecast when to rethink the interpretive and experiential heritage tourism products they offer.
Julia has almost thirty years experience in the tourism industry across a broad spectrum. She was a professional Blue Badge guide in London, worked for a Destination Management Company as well as working internationally in events management. She completed a joint Honours degree in History, and History of Art, Architecture and Design from Kingston University in the UK. Considering herself a story-teller and having been brought up in the City of Durham, a World Heritage area in the North East of England, Julia has always had a real, almost tangible, love of history and heritage.