Assessment of Visitor Management at the Archaeological Site of Umm Qais: Condition and Problems

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Authors

Abstract

Umm Qais is one of the most significant archaeological tourist attractions in Jordan besides Petra and Jerash. It is also popular with locals due to its rich diversity of natural history features and landscapes. However, there has been no detailed study of approaches to visitor management at the site. This paper investigates the visitor management pressures on the site of Umm Qais, seeking to develop an understanding of the approaches that direct the process of visitor management in an archaeological site. The specific objective of this study is to identify and analyse the current visitor management measures and tools at the site. It explores issues of hard and soft visitor management through monitoring, visitor guidance, and interpretation. The study has been conducted as a qualitative case study, and its results are based on direct personal observation and discussions with the personnel that have been conducted on-site by the Jordanian authors.

Despite the visitor management applied approaches, results reveal important and continuing challenges for Umm Qais due to limited visitor monitoring, weak information, and poor restriction measures. Based on the findings of the study, some recommendations are made in order to permit the local heritage managers to develop the site and its visitor management appropriately. This is an essential process in aiding this potential World Heritage Site to update approaches and adapt to the changing circumstances related to the visitor needs for the site. This will contribute to heritage and tourism literature and practice by enhancing the knowledge of visitor management at a national level.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-340
Number of pages18
JournalConservation and Management of Archaeological Sites
Volume16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Keywords

  • visitor management, visitor monitoring, visitor guidance, Umm Qais, jordan, visitor restriction