The two opposing impacts of heritage making on local communities

Residents perceptions: A Portuguese case

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This article examines the impact associated with the making of heritage and tourism at a destination. Special attention is paid to the residents perceptions of the impact. The examination is focused on the rural village of Sortelha, in Portugal, where, in recent decades, a state-led programme was implemented in order to renovate the historic buildings and built fabric and to generate benefits for the local community. Based on ethnographic materials collected in 2003, 2009 and 2013, the study demonstrates that the making of heritage may give rise to two opposing impacts simultaneously -increased social cohesion and place pride, on the one hand, and envy and competition (and, hence, social atomisation), on the other hand- and that residents are entirely cognisant of the tension between the two. The study has the potential to contribute to both the theoretical and the applied literature on heritage making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-633
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2014



  • Built heritage sites
  • Conservation
  • Impact
  • Residents'perceptions
  • Tourism
  • Portugal
  • Historic Villages of Portugal

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