A heritage interpretation strategy is the first step in the planning process when considering a heritage site. A heritage interpretation strategy is a high-level approach that explains the vision for a heritage site and communicates the main story to be told. The heritage interpretation strategy outlines the central story line and defines other key themes that organize the story and help visitors find meaning in it.

The heritage interpretation strategy also begins to describe the on-site experience – those things that visitors might see, hear, feel and do while there. Finally, it outlines those key messages visitors will take home with them.