Urban regeneration through heritage tourism: cultural policies and strategic management

Azadeh Lak, Mahdi Gheitasi, Dallen J. Timothy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In spite of its influential history of saffron production and carpet weaving, as well as its notable urban historic fabric, the historic city of Birjand, Iran, has lost its original appeal due to various social, cultural, economic, and physical problems. This research investigates the potential for heritage tourism to help regenerate a declining historic city by utilizing urban cultural capital. This case study utilizes a conceptual framework of current trends in urban renewal and cultural assets, as well as a SWOT-ANP approach to understand the primary ways in which a declining urban destination can utilize its cultural heritage to regenerate physically, socially and economically. Findings suggest that successful implementation or urban regeneration through heritage tourism occurs when a city makes maximum use of opportunities in four areas: cultural policy-making, holding cultural events, participatory management, and enhancement of public urban spaces through competitive/pro-action, diversification, revision and defence strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-403
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 3 2020


  • Birjand
  • Iran
  • Urban regeneration
  • branding
  • heritage tourism
  • policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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