Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Industrial Tourism

Tourism and Industrial Heritage has been on my mind often this week.  This morning I found this entry on Steve Sammartino's Start Up Blog.  Modern tourist visits to industrial factories can be pretty big business.  Mr. Sammartino claims that visitors to Boeing's Seattle plant generate $2.7 million in annual revenue for the company.  "Watch the work floor" and "R&D as Exhibit" are two common themes on tours like these.

The Society for Industrial Archaeology takes an annual study tour where a group of scholars, avocational researchers, and other people with interests in industrial history visit historic and modern factories, historic ruins, sites, landscapes, and monuments.

Plant visits like these make an interesting comparison to the trend in museums to open their storage rooms to the public and to move the research laboratory onto the gallery floor, where the research or conservation process becomes part of the exhibit.

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