New Urban Tourism – Short Trip #2

Join us for our second digital short trip! This time we will hear about the work of the Lockdown Stories Collective in Rio de Janeiro. Our short trip is called
“Crisis as Attraction: Storytelling and Community Resilience in Rio’s Favelas”
and it will be held by
Camila Moraes, Isabella Rega, Juliana Mainard-Sardon, Bernado de La Vega Vinolo, and Fabian Frenzel
May 20, 2021, 6–7PM.

Join us for the presentation and discussion via zoom, please register at

Abstract: COVID-19 has hit communities around the globe and brings unprecedented challenges. Among more deprived communities, such as favelas in Rio de Janeiro, the impact of the virus, its consequences for the health, income and social life of the communities is exacerbated by a priori exclusion and marginality. In this talk some of the responses that citizens in those communities have developed to the crisis will be presented. This includes practices of digital storytelling, the telling of ‘lockdown stories’. In these practices, favela residents and collectives, often previously involved in community tourism and guided political tours, are reorganizing their touristic offerings for global virtual audiences. The lockdown stories research collective brings together researchers and community activists in Rio’s favelas. The project is based on a collaboration between Dr Isabella Rega (Bournemouth), Dr Fabian Frenzel (Centre for Philosophy and Political Economy) and the Observatory of Favela Tourism, led by Dr Camila Moraes at the University of Rio. It includes groups such as the Museo de Favela (MuF), the Santa Marta Tour Guide collective and others engaged in community led tourism and political and social advocacy.

New Urban Tourism – Short Trips 2021

The Urban Research Group New Urban Tourism is back! 
As the COVID-19 pandemic restricts physical travel, we invite you to join us for our digital Short Trips, a series of online talks at our imaginary pool bar. Changing guests will present their perspectives on urban tourism phenomena and current research findings. The first talk
“Touristification, social movements and creative professionals: Findings from Athens”
will be held by
Dr. Dimitris Pettas (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, TU Berlin) on
March 15, 2021, 6–7PM.

Join us for the discussion via zoom, please register at

Abstract: During the last few years, Athens has experienced a substantial increase in tourist inflows, while transforming from a one-day stop destination during summer to a year-round, city-break destination. This overall shift in the city’s touristic identity was driven by a series of trends and events that increased Athens’ popularity. The presentation explores the role of the aforementioned developments in the emergence of Athens as a city-break destination, along with processes of touristification, focusing on the central district of Exarcheia, where grassroots political activity and creativity co-exist in high densities. Due to the increased touristic traffic in the area, specific, often interrelated problematic conditions emerge concerning housing, residents’ everyday life and local businesses’ activity. At the same time, political groups and precarious creative professionals are facing substantial threats due to touristification.

Cheers, your Urban Research Group New Urban Tourism

Travel, Tourism & COVID-19

TRINET (Tourism Research Information Network) collects all relevant information for tourism science research that addresses the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic. Their website features a constantly updated collection of calls for papers, conference announcements, publications, relevant surveys, and funding opportunities. The challenges and opportunities of COVID-19 for new urban tourism also require further discussion and research.

You can find this collection here.

Overtourism and the sharing economy

The International Journal of Tourism Cities published an issue on “Overtourism and the sharing economy” early this year. Both topics touch on important aspects of new urban tourism and the articles deal with important and pressing issues. In their paper “The Airbnb phenomenon: the resident’s perspective”, Steven Richards, Lorraine Brown and Alessandra Dilettuso, for example, examine how Barcelona’s residents deal with the rising number of Airbnb accommodations in their city. And in “Social media, media and urban transformation in the context of overtourism” Hochan Jang and Minkyung Park use the example of a neighborhood in Seoul to show the consequences of turning a residential area into a tourist attraction.

The complete table of contents and links to the articles can be found here.

Tourism and Everyday Life in the Contemporary City

Last year we published “Tourism and Everyday Life in the Contemporary City” (Routledge), one of the first volumes addressing the diverse phenomena of new urban tourism. Even though the current situation will fundamentally change the way we travel, our book provides helpful and useful information on the facets of urban tourism.

Based on the thesis that “tourism and urban everyday life are deeply connected in a mutually constitutive way”, this volume explores the various moments when a city’s everyday life turns into a matter of tourist interests for travellers, short-term visitors, and/or long-term residents. It offers different interdisciplinary approaches to shed some light on this phenomenon, on the dynamic research field of new urban tourism. This tourism is focused on the extraordinary mundane, opens up new contact zones, and results in urban co-production.

You can order your copy here.

The Untourist Guide to Amsterdam

The ongoing COVID 19 crisis will certainly have a huge impact on the way we travel. But even before the pandemic, popular tourist cities were already thinking about how to change urban tourism. Because in cities like Barcelona, Lisbon, San Francisco or Berlin, the high number of visitors is increasingly at the expense of the quality of life of long-time residents. In Amsterdam, an initiative called “Untourist Guide to Amsterdam” asked itself how tourism could be made more sustainable – more sustainable for the city, its inhabitants and travelers alike. On their website you can browse and book experiences and accommodations that are “hidden to mass tourism” and try “to change tourism in Amsterdam for the better”.

Since such projects actively think about the future of city tourism and focus primarily on local and individual city experiences, they too represent a facet of new urban tourism.

Annual John Urry Lecture 2020: Covid-19, Mobilities and Futures

This year’s annual John Urry Lecture will focus on the many impacts of Covid-19 on (im)mobilities:

What does a Mobilities lens have to offer to illuminate our current Covid-19 predicament? What issues, usually overlooked or neglected, does it bring to the fore, whether explanatory or normative? And what futures does it enable us to see or envision, for better or worse?

Institute for Social Futures

The panel discussion is organized as an online event hosted by Lancaster University’s Institute for Social Futures, Centre for Mobilities Research and Sociology Department. The three key speakers are:

  • Professor Tim Cresswell (Edinburgh): How do we, might we, value mobility post COVID-19?
  • Professor Mimi Sheller (Drexel): Contested visions of im/mobilities
  • Professor Noel Salazar (KU Leuven): Essential vs. Existential Mobilities?

Questions of control, facilitation and restriction of (im)mobility affect tourism in general, and therefore also provide important insights into the future dynamics and development of new urban tourism.
You can find all info on this panel discussion here.

We Love Travel! – A tourism recovery pop-up in Berlin and online

What short- and long-term effects does it have on new urban tourism that travel is still heavily restricted or not possible at all? Some answers might be found at “We Love Travel! – A tourism recovery pop-up“. The event is taking place from 16-18 October 2020 and is organised by Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB Berlin) and Berlin Travel Festival:

The love for travel connects – across all borders. This will not change, not even in our much-cited “new normality”. […]
We want to look back together and draw an interim conclusion, but also look ahead and inspire new ideas. We Love Travel! brings everyone together – tourism professionals, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and travelers alike – including content creators such as Instagrammer and bloggers. […]
Companies have the possibility to present themselves digitally as virtual exhibitors or on-site in the arena with a stand. Visitors can either be present on-site or experience the entire three-day program – including all network events and exhibitor offers – live at

You can find more about the event here and you can buy tickets here.

Airbnb’s “City Portal”

Airbnb is one of the many actors who contribute to shaping new urban tourism in cities worldwide. A couple of days ago the company introduced a new data tool to help municipalities and tourism organizers to better control Airbnb short-term rentals in their cities. According to Airbnb, the so-called “City Portal” helps to keep track of tax revenues from short-term rentals, creates transparency in rental policies and regulations and should also provide more security for hosts and guests.
The portal has been launched with more than 15 pilot cities, including Palm Springs and San Francisco.

Airbnb’s “City Portal” has to be seen as a long-waited response to the demand for regulation, which is repeatedly raised not only in the media but also in the academic world. Whether and how effectively the company can counteract this demand through such its new portal remains open.

However, political regulation is one of several issues for the company. In her recent New York Times article, Elaine Glusac identified overtourism, racial discrimination, and party tourism as central challenges determining the “Future of Airbnb”.

Today is World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 September. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel and international mobilities all over the world, tourism is in decline and the tourism sector is in crisis. Against this background the UN describe this year’s World Tourism Day as a chance to think and discuss about the furture of tourism:

On this World Tourism Day, the COVID-19 pandemic represents an opportunity to rethink the future of the tourism sector, including how it contributes to the sustainable development goals, through its social, cultural, political, and economic value. Tourism can eventually help us move beyond the pandemic, by bringing people together and promoting solidarity and trust – crucial ingredients in advancing the global cooperation so urgently needed at this time.

United Nations

UNWTO has chosen “Tourism and Rural Development” as the central theme for World Tourism Day 2020, underlining the importance for tourism in rural areas and communities.
You can find more info and events related to World Tourism Day on their website.