Archaeological tourism can include all products associated with public archaeological promotion, including visits to archaeological sites, museums, interpretation centers, reenactments of historical occurrences, and the rediscovery of indigenous products, festivals, or theaters.
Archaeological tourism walks a fine line between promoting archaeological sites and an area's cultural heritage and causing more damage to them, or to risk becoming invasive tourism. As such sites are often run by tourist boards that place ticket fees and souvenir revenues as a priority, the question remains whether a site is worth opening to the public or remaining closed and keeping the site out of harm's way. Damage to irreplaceable archaeological materials is only direct, as when remains are disordered, altered, destroyed, or looted, but often the indirect result of poorly planned development of tourism amenities, such as hotels, restaurants, roads, and shops. These can drastically alter the environment in ways that produce flooding, landslides, or undermine ancient structures.
- Messai, Hada (November 8, 2010) "Pompeii's House of the Gladiators collapses", CNN.com.
- Mason, Peter (2008). Tourism Impacts, Planning and Management. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Ltd. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-7506-8492-7.
- Comer, Douglas C. (2012). Tourism and Archaeological Heritage Management at Petra: Driver to Development or Destruction?(SpringerBriefs in Archaeology. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-1461414803..
- ArqueotuR (2010) Institutional network for the promotion of archaeological tourism and local development. Co-ordinated by the University of Barcelona.