Tag Archives: Tourism

The Dracula Dilemma: Tourism, Identity and the State in Romania – reviewed by Jerome de Groot in the Times Higher

“How to establish a serious national tourist agenda when the most famous person associated with your country is not only someone you’d rather not be associated with but furthermore is fictional? Duncan Light’s entertaining but very serious book considers the ways in which tourism has been configured in Romania from the late 1950s to the present day…

…At present, we have few historically wide-ranging accounts of the effects of literary tourism, and this is a great example of what might be done with a case study in terms of conceptualising the complex interplay of national identity, tourism and culture.”

Read the full review in the Times Higher

For many in the West, Romania is synonymous with Count Dracula. Since the publication of Bram Stoker’s famous novel in 1897 Transylvania (and by extension, Romania) has become inseparable in the Western imagination with Dracula, vampires and the supernatural. Since the late 1960s Western tourists have travelled to Transylvania on their own searches for the literary and supernatural roots of the Dracula myth. Such ‘Dracula tourism’ presents Romania with a dilemma. On one hand, Dracula is Romania’s unique selling point and has considerable potential to be exploited for economic gain. On the other hand, the whole notion of vampires and the supernatural is starkly at odds with Romania’s self-image as a modern, developed, European state.

The Dracula Dilemma examines the way that Romania has negotiated Dracula tourism over the past four decades.

During the communist period (up to 1989) the Romanian state did almost nothing to encourage such tourism but reluctantly tolerated it. However, some discrete local initiatives were developed to cater for Dracula enthusiasts that operated at the margins of legality in a communist state. In the post-communist period (after 1989) any attempt to censor Dracula has disappeared and the private sector in Romania has been swift to exploit the commercial possibilities of the Count. However, the Romanian state remains ambivalent about Dracula and continues to be reluctant to encourage or promote Dracula tourism. Romania’s dilemma with Dracula remains unresolved.

About the Author: Duncan Light is an Associate Professor at the Liverpool Hope University, UK

Further information about The Dracula Dilemma

‘Sex, Tourism and the Postcolonial Encounter’ reviewed in the Times Higher

Sex, Tourism and the Postcolonial Encounter

Jessica Jacobs’ book Sex, Tourism and the Postcolonial Encounter: Landscapes of Longing in Egypt was reviewed in last week’s Times Higher Education.

This is a lucid account of tourism and draws usefully upon postcolonial understandings of the historical-socio-economic web that exists between “the West and the Rest” to understand the intricate relationships between European women and Egyptian men. Jacobs offers a salutary reminder that the longing to “lose oneself” is always problematic and never neutral, and that the desire “to leave the hell of work to a paradise of leisure” is always freighted with historical-socio-cultural resonances.

Read the full review…

Jessica Jacobs is based at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Mike Robinson, editor of The Framed World: Tourism, Tourists and Photography interviewed on Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed

Mike Robinson, one of the editors of The Framed World: Tourism, Tourists and Photography spoke on Radio 4’s January 13 episode of Thinking Allowed. You can listen again via the BBC website.

The book asks why tourists take photos of certain things and not of others? Why do tourists take photos at all? How do photos build places, how do they change and shape lives? An interdisciplinary team of contributors from across the globe explore such questions as they examine the relationships between photography and tourism and tourists.

‘Given the ubiquity of tourist photography, it is surprising that so little scholarly attention has been dedicated to this subject. The Framed World fills the gap. Like tourism itself, this volume travels the globe, with cases ranging from Taiwan and New Mexico to Greece and Indonesia, and spans the entire history of photography. A most welcome addition to the “new tourist studies”, thanks to the volume’s attention to photography as a social practice.’
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage

‘Ranging from the methodological to the historical, via the anthropological and philosophical, this volume presents cross-disciplinary approaches with which to read off the many layers in the palimpsest of each tourist site considered. It presents a strong analysis of the particularly neglected area of tourists’ photographs, and the photography of tourism.’
Marcus Banks, University of Oxford, UK

‘The book consists of 14 essays intertwining a number of disciplines, from the most obvious ones of tourism studies and photography (both professional and amateur image-making), to anthropology, history, psychology, cultural studies, and even theology and music. It is the richness of the dialogue between these, combined with the ubiquity of the practices described, that makes the publication intriguing and accessible.’
The Times Higher Education

The Framed World: Tourism, Tourists and Photography – reviewed in the Times Higher

The Framed World: Tourism, Tourists and Photography, was reviewed in the Times Higher last week.

From the THE review:

The book consists of 14 essays intertwining a number of disciplines, from the most obvious ones of tourism studies and photography (both professional and amateur image-making), to anthropology, history, psychology, cultural studies, and even theology and music. It is the richness of the dialogue between these, combined with the ubiquity of the practices described, that makes the publication intriguing and accessible.

More…

Edited by Mike Robinson and David Picard, the book is published in Ashgate’s New Directions in Tourism Analysis series.

Other reviews:

Given the ubiquity of tourist photography, it is surprising that so little scholarly attention has been dedicated to this subject. The Framed World fills the gap. Like tourism itself, this volume travels the globe, with cases ranging from Taiwan and New Mexico to Greece and Indonesia, and spans the entire history of photography. A most welcome addition to the “new tourist studies”, thanks to the volume’s attention to photography as a social practice.
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage

Ranging from the methodological to the historical, via the anthropological and philosophical, this volume presents cross-disciplinary approaches with which to read off the many layers in the palimpsest of each tourist site considered. It presents a strong analysis of the particularly neglected area of tourists’ photographs, and the photography of tourism.
Marcus Banks, University of Oxford, UK

Visit the Ashgate website for more information on the titles we publish on Tourism.

Cultural Tourism and Sustainable Local Development

One of the post popular titles from our Geography list this year has been Cultural Tourism and Sustainable Local Development, a collection of essays edited by Luigi Fusco Girard and Peter Nijkamp.

‘This book defines and illustrates this sustainability dilemma and provides policy options for both the development of heritage and cultural tourism and the management of the sustainability problem. It examines various approaches to the evaluation of such policy precepts and related practices. Several case studies provide detailed examples in a way that illustrates the themes of the book. This is a must read for all students of tourism and cultural/heritage driven economic development and planning.’
Roger R. Stough, George Mason University, USA

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