chapter  8
13 Pages

Developing a heritage tourism attraction in a working salt mine: The Kansas underground salt museum

ByDEBORAH CHE

Mines can be venues for experiential, educational heritage tourism. A growing number of tourists are seeking new experiences where they can learn firsthand about a region’s lifestyle, natural attributes, local history, and culture. The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) considers 81 per cent of U.S. adults who had travelled in the past year, or 118 million people, to be historical/cultural travellers. Eighteen per cent of travellers in the past year reported that an educational trip was the main purpose of their travel while 30.2 million adults had taken such an educational trip in the past three years (Fermata Inc., 2006). In resourcedependent areas, mines formerly or currently in operation can provide this large subset of tourists with opportunities to learn about the unique culture, heritage, and settlement associated with extractive industries.