One of Adelaide's most unusual cultural tourism developments, the Heritage Highlights interpretive trail, won Best New Tourism Development at the 2011 South Australian Tourism Awards in early November.
Developed by School of Tourism PhD student Regan Forrest, the interpretive trail at State Heritage Listed West Terrace Cemetery was selected ahead of seven other entrants and will now go on to represent the state at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in March next year.
Heritage Highlights is a 2km self-guided interpretive trail of West Terrace Cemetery, the principal cemetery of South Australia for approximately the first century of development.
Ms Forrest said that as well as being the final resting place of many notable South Australians, the layout and design of the cemetery mirrored wider social and cultural developments, such as the impacts of migration, attitudes to the destitute and beliefs about the afterlife.
Ms Forrest was commissioned by the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority to develop an Interpretation Plan in late 2008.
"For the Interpretation Plan, I identified key themes associated with the cemetery and recommended developments such as a range of themed interpretive trails, as well as podcast audio tours and a small exhibition in the former curators' quarters near the main entrance," she said.
"Heritage Highlights was the first phase of implementation of the Interpretation Plan. I was commissioned to write interpretive text and source images for the signage at each point of the trail. This phase was launched in March 2011.
"Work is now under way to develop additional self-guided trails with different themes: Trailblazing women and Beliefs, attitudes and customs are both due to be launched next year. Again, I have been commissioned to write the interpretive text for the additional signage."
Other recommendations, such as developing an exhibition, are still part of the longer-term planning for the site.
The Cemetery is also considering development of app-based interpretive tools, a technology that has developed considerably since the Interpretation Plan was first written.
Ms Forrest said that winning the SA Tourism Award would encourage the Cemetery to continue in its implementation of the Interpretation Plan.
Republished from the original article, with permission: