The global heritage tourism industry is a multi-million-dollar phenomenon which impacts on national, regional and local aspects of cultural identity. In Hong Kong, there has been a growing appreciation of the value of heritage assets resulting in more built heritage assets being revitalised for tourism. This study aims to answer the following question: “Why – when the stated primary intention of so many urban heritage revitalisation projects is to tell the story of the site for the purposes of cultural tourism – does the interpretive element of these projects so often get diminished during the course of implementation and what can be done about it?” The importance of heritage tourism is established and the role of interpretive planning in the process of heritage revitalisation, heritage attraction design and consumption by tourists is examined. A review of the literature reveals the dearth of material about the interaction between the role of interpretation and commodification of heritage assets.