Evaluation of Interpretation in Natural Protected Areas


Interpretation can be broadly summarised as the process of explaining the significance of places to people. It is hoped that this communication (in whatever form) leads on to an understanding of the place, which in turn contributes to an appreciation and a desire for the conservation of that place. This succession of ideas resonates with one of the key notions in sustainable tourism that by informing visitors, care is established and visitor actions can more easily be managed. Furthermore, sustainable tourism management aims to retain a location’s unique sense of place, to prevent all locations becoming alike. Interpretation has a critical role, to retain, present and enhance a particular sense of a place. This project seeks to provide a series of case studies across a variety of protected natural areas, both in New Zealand and overseas that evaluate interpretation using ideas from ‘sense of place’ theory. 


Stewart, E. J.; Glen, M. & Daly, K. (2001) To centralise or disperse – A question for interpretation.  Journal of Sustainable Tourism 9 (4) 342-355.

Stewart, E. J. (2001) Simple lessons from Antarctica.  Interpretation: Journal of the Association of Heritage Interpretation 6 (3) 5-7.

Stewart, E. J.; Glen, M. & Jones, R. (2000) Sense of place in practice: A case study of Coed Y Brenin Forest Park. International Journal of Customer Relationship Management. 333-340.

Stewart, E. J.; Glen, M. & Taylor, R. (1999) Activating visitor research: A case study of visitor use of interpretation at selected National Trust properties. International Journal of Customer Relationship Management. 225-232.

Stewart, E. J; Hayward, B.M.; Kirby, V. & Devlin, P. (1998) The place of interpretation. Tourism Management 19 (3) 257-266.

Stewart, E. J. & Kirby, V. G. (1998) A new approach to the evaluation of interpretation.  International Journal of Heritage Studies 4 (1) 30-44.

Page last updated on: 11/05/2011