1. Chapter –The definition and components of heritage value

The definition of heritage is not uniform, though beginning with the 1970s, the concept became more and more important in both political arenas and scientific areas. Its global meaning is related to the category of World Heritage. According to its actualized sense, heritage includes today ideas, traditions, customs, different stories and rituals as well. (Husz, 2007, in.:Gődér, 2011)

Theheritagedescribestheculturewhichis treasured by a community, taken careof and delivered to thenextgeneration.Without this,there is no identityandsense of belonging. (Husz, 2007 in.:Gődér, 2011)

Heritage can be categorized in multiple ways. Depending on the type of the attractional powers, the following types of  heritage are distinguished:

  • Natural Heritage
  • Live Cultural Heritage
  • Built Heritage
  • Industrial Heritage
  • Personal Heritage
  • Religious Heritage
  • Military Heritage
  • Literary or Artistic Heritage (Husz, 2007 in.: Gődér, 2011)


1.1.The heritage-interpretation, as a presentation of theheritagevalues

Heritage interpretation as a concept has not got yet a consistent Hungarian equivalent. The conceptional approach of the expression basically means ”the experiencelike transfer of the heritage values”. In the field of professional activities related to heritage interpretation, the activity of KÖME (The Association of Cultural Heritage Managers), an NGO founded in 2012, can be considered pioneering as they were the first who defined the subject and highlighted its importance. KÖME gave the following definition: ”Heritage interpretation is the market-oriented management of natural and cultural valuescommunication. It is not focused on a location or object but on the visitor’s needs and intends to provideexperiences, thataddress theaudiencein anentertaining way, whilehighlighting new connectionsin a specifictopic”.

The market orientation and thedevelopment ofapplicable/usablemanagement toolsand the implementationin the scientific,culturalviews, set newtasks for theleaders oftheculturalinstitutions.Whyis this necessary?Becausethe attitudes of people towards culture consumption, the expectations and the behavioralcharacteristics have changed fundamentally. The change generatingfactors are:

  • thephenomenon of multi-optionality
  • the phenomenon of mobility
  • the phenomenon of the absoluteappreciation oftime factor

Themulti-optionalitymeans thattoday'sconsumers-regarding the fulfillment of needs at any level– have almostcountlessproductorserviceoptions tochoose from, and they alsoexpectto have the possibility to choose from more and more alternatives.For the consumers,multi-optionalitygives the possibilityofwasalwaysexperimenting with newandnewerproduct/ servicealternatives, and this leads to the "softening", the breaking of the consumerhabitsnorms.”Everything is possible, but nothing is sure” from the consumer’s point of view. Thetourism operatorscannot shapetheir servicesonlyandexclusively onthebasisofpredictableseeming consumption norms based on pasttrends orthe solid-lookingmarket segments.Themassmarketing solutionsbecomeless functionalin this way, they being replaced with the"target group-specific" solutions and this, of course,sets newchallenges for theprovider.

The mobilityis expressed through the reduced importance of distances, the possibility of quick change of the physical location and the flexibility in our daily life.

Theappreciation oftime factor. Under thepressureof passing time, continuosly and constantly, we can feel thatwe have accomplishedless,that we are staying outof somethingthat is importantandnecessary for our growth.

Ifwe considerinterpretation as the critical, scientificor hostinterpretation of awork or art, it isnecessary to take into accounttheabove factors for the successful "heritage interpretation" methodsdevelopment as well.For example, a visitor ofa museumis notsatisfiedjust walking between thecoldwalls of the museum, he is not just a passiveviewer of an exhibition lockedbehind aglass case, buthe/she wants to bean active participantof theexperience offered in thatexhibition.Herewe have arrivedtothetwocardinalareas ofheritageinterpretation. The first is acredible andconvincing"communication"and the other is the possible "experience" provided through the connectionto some culturalheritageelements.

1.2. The role of communication

In the case of heritage interpretation, convincing and credible communication cannot be separated from culture. Thecultureisthe totality of the customs, traditions, norms, values, beliefs and convictions that governs the behaviour of the society or of a smaller group of the society like some kind of program. One generation is able to leave its culture to the next generation using the tool of communication, which gives the individual the opportunity to learn it. In our case, communication represents the totality of the elements, which basing upon their informational and motivational function are able to present the specific heritage element or cultural service. Furthermore, it can influence the heritage-type related attitude and behaviour of the customers. The basic objective of marketing communication is to present the services and the livable experiences in a creative way having as a result the testing of the services and the consolidation of the decision of the client group. 

As a part of the communication activity, first we gather then determine and summarize those unique characteristics of heritage-elements which could give reason and motivate the potential visitors to give credit to our service and use it. The collected positive features – as the principal experience provider elements of our service –should be summarized in an easy to

remember, distinctive ”sign-symbol-colour-name” combination. The brand can be well used for this purpose and by the help of a creative and convincing communication message we try to get the potential visitor’s attention, so that we accomplish the first use of the service. According to the American Marketing Society, the brand is the name, sign, symbol, design or the combination of these elements, which has the mission of marking and differentiating the supplier’s products/ services from the ones of the competitors.Heritage interpretation cannot function without a brand because it concludes and represents the spirituality, culture and values of the supplier. In the same time, the brand provides the image of the supplier in the eyes and minds of those who are in business relations with him.

Between the communication channels used by the companies nowadays, depending on their importance, the first place is occupied by Internet and online communication. The results of development of informational technology has an influence both on touristical sectors and their stakeholders.

E-tourism represents the totality of informational and communication technologies which provide opportunities of collaboration during the travel for the operators and travelers as well.

The base of online announcements consist of the webpages of the companies, which provide direct or indirect support for the valorification of the products and services of the firm, adressed to the target groups. The content and design elements of the webpages (use of colours, graphics, moving pictures, sound) are efficient elements of the company’s image and support the company's externalcommunication activities. In order to increase the online visitors’ number, there is a large scale of marketing tools: the advertising banners, the advertising campaigns, affiliate marketing arrangements for the mutual tresspassing on the websites and increase the result rate of the search engines.Besides the internet marketing, the companies use more and more the traditional media (magazines, newspapers, TV) and their own publications to popularize their webpages. (Török, 2002, in. www.itthon.hu)

The use of virtual tours and 3D technics are some of the most actual trends in the activity of the heritage-interpretation. The virtual tour is a 3D panorama connecting more spherical panoramas. This way, the visitor is able to walk around between some panoramic pictures, like if he/ she would be phisically present in that location.



Example1: The visitors of the Fine Arts Museum are invited to take part on a virtual tour, which offers the participant similar experiences as the virtual games or the world of Second Life.

The application developed upon the collaboration between Microsoft, Arcus Interactive Group and The Museum of Fine Arts, gives us the possibility to watch a selection of the works of arts from the permanent museal exhibition. The experts from Arcus Interactive Group developed the application called Virtual walk, present on the webpage of the museum, the sponsor of the development being Microsoft and the technological background the newly presented (by Microsoft) Silverlight technology. The virtual walk from the Museum of Fine Arts’s webpage is enabling not just the three-dimensional viewing of the pieces – after the download of the necessary programs for watching –but it offers an informational presentation for each picture by clicking on them.

The work of Arcus Interactive Group was based on a space network 3D model of the Museum of Fine Arts. Mihály Mária, the Deputy Director of the Museum of Fine Arts said: ”The museum is a public space: it makes connections between people working in different social domains: culture, business and others. By using the virtual walk application, we are able to reach a larger group of visitors, to inspire the artistic life, enable learning, searching, bring dynamism into the classical space of arts.”

The development of the virtual tour was supported by Microsoft. ”Cultural support is extremely important for Microsoft. We had a great partner in our mission, Arcus, with whom we’ve worked in an unexplored territory of innovative technology. We are especially proud that The Museum of Fine Arts was presented in this unique virtual space.” – told us Csiszár Dénes, the webstrategy consultant from Microsoft Hungary. (source:www.sg.hu)

Example 2: TheMuseum of Fine Artshas beencommittedfor a long time tothepursuitof modernmuseology, that of adding interactive and specialvisual elements to the important scientific exhibitions in order to increase their attractivity. That’s why in the summer of 2011, when the Mummies Uncovered exhibition was opened, during the preparations, the organizers decided for the making of a 3D film and the development of an Ipad application. The application was providing detailed information in a visual and interactive way. From the four mummies, the application called Mummy was presenting the one of Hortesznaht. The purpose of Budapest Mummy Project, an interdisciplinary research programme organized in the spring of 2011 by The Museum of Fine Arts, was to find out and reveal the visitors as much as possible about the four persons, personal aspects of their past, by using scientific analyzing methods. The studies included the series of CT analysis, which revealed the interior details, the anthropological research, the facial reconstruction of Hortesznaht, the age determination using radiocarbon and the microbilogical tests. During the studies, using the CT scans and the three-dimensional digitizations of the mummies and their coffins, three-dimensional models were built, which revealed the secrets of the mummies in presentations, offering the visitors unique, visual experiences. The 3D film belonging to the exhibition is used as an introduction for the application and using the red-blue anaglyphglassestechnology can be viewed in real 3D form.

Besides the introductional film, the app is divided into two parts, an encyplodecic unit and an interactive content interface, using more than 110 high resolution images from the mummies’ world. The firstencyclopedicpart includes a series of photographsandbackgroundinformationabout the researches of the mummies, thebroader context(Introduction), someanalyzing methods(Research) and those results(Reconstruction).In the Introduction we are taken via Budapest totheMuseum of Fine Arts, then through themuseum’scollections,throughthe most importantpieces ofthe Egyptiancollection, we get tothe researched mummiesfrom theBudapestMummyProject and have aninsight intothemuseum's ongoing archaeologicalfieldwork(El-Lahun Survey Project). In the Research part we can learn about the scientificanalyzing methodsused for study oftheHortesznaht- radiology(CT), historical anthropology, facial reconstruction, microbiology,chemicaltests.The lastunit, theReconstruction answers to questions aboutHortesznaht’s life-when and wherehe lived, what did he do, when and whydid he dieandhowwas he mummified–using the results of the researches.Thesecondunit of theMummyapplication isaninteractivesectionwhere theuser ofthe applicationis able to explore the secretshiddenin Hortesznahtcoffin, mummyandskeletonfrom the perspective ofthe researchers. The three layersof theburialcan be revealedone by one and some of the detailscanbecome visible by the use of the hotspots.These picturescan be as much enlargedthat thecoffin, themummyand the skeletoncan be exploredby the users almost at their original size.(source:http://www.szepmuveszeti.hu/kiallitasok/budapest-mumia-projekt-297)


The experience – as the basis of heritage interpretation

The experience is the most essential value creator of the tourism products and according to the Hungarian Encyclopedia is defined as „a happening full of excitement which develops our personality and remains in our memories”.

The Larousse Encyclopedia defines the experience as „an important, lasting event with a pleasant or unpleasant memory; otherwise it is described as a spiritual phenomenon, important not through the content of reality but its relevance for us”.

Gerhard Schulze, german sociologist gives a suggestive guidance (quoted by Éber, 2007), affirming that the “inner life concept” is becoming more and more relevant in the richersocieties, wherethe purpose of actionis the obtaining of the experience. The action aims directly the experiencing, which can be reflected afterwards as a beautiful memory. The experience is coming from the living of a certain situation of life. The processing of the experiences is happening in a social context: during their reminiscences, people are building their experiences by turning thememories into linguistic form and once the stories created, they interpret and evaluate them.   

What provides experience for the Hungarian turists?

The touristic experience is the subjective feeling gained during the journey. The essence of tourism is the experience gathering, the services will be used only if they lead to the experience.

The most general experience can be described as „the permanent process of doing and experiencing with relevance for the individual” (Boswijk et al, 2005 in.: Zátori, 2013). The experiences are very personal, they are lived subjectively, abstract, forever passing away and continously happening. Although they are products, more than randomly occuring ideas in one’s mind (O’Dell, 2005 in.: Zátori, 2013). The touristic experience represents the culmination of the experience lived by the tourist, while visiting and spending some time in a specific touristic area (Graefe és Vaske, 1987 (in.:Zátori, 2013).

Larsen (2007 in.: Zátori, 2013) describes the touristic experience as a past, personal, travel related event, which is strong enough to be stored in the long term memory.

Cole and Scott (2004, in.: Zátori, 2013) proposed four stages of the touristic experience, namely: the dimension of performance quality, the dimension of experience quality, general satisfaction and intention of visiting again.

Quan and Wang (2004 in.:Zátori, 2013) were considering the tourists’ experiences as an organic complex, in which the determinant, the culmination elements (for example the tourist attractions) and the supporting elements (accomodation, transport, shopping) are complementary.

Michalkó and Rátz (2005) confirm that the touristic experiences can be of many types, the most relevant ones being listed below:

  • excitement, adventure
  • real or perceived danger
  • new knowledge, skills
  • esthetics
  • togetherness
  • novelty
  • exoticness.


Experiences in the museum

Seal show in the Zoo Park

Zoo feeding

Tourism, Heritage, Culture, Heritage - interpretation, Multi-optionality, Mobility, Time factor, Communication, Brand, Virtual tour, Experience, Excitement, Adventure, Involvement
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