“Entrenching nostalgia” : the historical significance of battlefields for South African tourism

19 Jan 2015

Many famous battles have left legacies and these have often created a sense of nostalgia motivating people to visit associated sites. Battlefields and other sites of “death and decay” have increased as a popular sub-sector of the fast growing heritage and cultural tourism industry. Battlefields, and other sites associated with war, have been studied by scholars from a variety of disciplines. In more recent times, tourism professionals and academics have begun to study battlefields and their associated histories for the purpose of developing and promoting them as tourist attractions. This has resulted in a distinct link between the historical and tourism sectors. In this paper, the Battle of Spioenkop (KwaZulu-Natal) will be discussed as an example of how history and a battle site in particular can contribute to the development of tourism.