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Sterry, Pat. “Social Interaction of Family Visitors at Heritage Tourism Sites: Establishing a research program.” Visitor Studies 9(1) (1996): 127-33.


Traditionally, visitor studies have focused on the individual as a unit of analysis, with museum visitors dominating the field of study. Findings show that most visitors are accompanied by family and friends, yet groups appear to be a neglected area of study. There are, of course, significant American studies of family groups in museums with additional and significant studies by McManus and others in the UK (see studies by Blud, 1990; Cone & Kendall, 1978; Diamond, 1986; Hilke, 1988; Hilke & Balling, 1989; McManus, 1994). The purpose of my paper is to draw attention to the potential and dynamic of family group research and the need to establish a research program in a variety of heritage sites and attractions, not just museums.

Informal Science