Investigating motives for preservation of Jewish heritage sites: the case of Macedonia
KeywordsSocial and economic geography
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AbstractThe study investigates the main motives for preservation of sites of Jewish heritage tourism (JHT) by studying three locations in Macedonia: Skopje (the capital), Štip (the largest city in the east part of Macedonia) and Bitola (the largest city in the southwest part of Macedonia). The article assesses the presence of several motivations, like: (i) Guilt; (ii) Interest in national history; (iii) Revival of a glorious Past; (iv) Economic benefits; (v) Display of sympathy; and (vi) Dark tourism development. The analysis is based on a qualitative research method and incorporates: (a) Qualitative data analysis, by conducting interviews in June 2016 with key stakeholders from central and local governments as the main policy makers; and (b) Analysis of secondary data sources, achieved by reviewing literature, historical, and statistical data related to Jewish history in Macedonia. Generally, the results point to the presence of strong iconic connection among Macedonians and the Jews that lived in Macedonia. The general findings indicate that by establishing and maintaining JH sites, stakeholders reflect sentiments of sympathy and even admiration to the perished Jewish community and a strong desire to revive a glorious past. Only in the case of Bitola, the potential economic benefits were surfaced as the main motive for initiating activities and investments in JH sites. Finally, the study recommends design and development of JHT product and tailor-made tourist packages as key elements that may boost tourism development in Macedonia alongside with commemoration of the Jews and their ties with the Macedonian people.
TypeConference or Workshop Item
Petrevska, Biljana and Collins-Kreiner, Noga and Krakover, Shaul (2017) Investigating motives for preservation of Jewish heritage sites: the case of Macedonia. In: Geobalcanica 2017, 20-21 May 2017, Skopje, Macedonia.