CfP: Hopes and Troubles of New Urban Tourism

RGS-IBG Conference 2019, London, UK, 28-30th August 2019

Session convenors: Sybille Frank (TU Darmstadt); Kristin Wellner (TU Berlin); Anna Laura Raschke (TU Darmstadt); Stefan Brandt (TU Berlin); Claus Müller (TU Berlin)

Cities have been tourism destinations for a long time, but tourists’ use of the urban space has changed in recent years. More often than before, the classic sights and “tourist traps” are avoided by urban travellers in favour of a more “local” and “authentic” mode of travel. Thus, the (imagined) way of life in cities and certain neighbourhoods (e.g. Williamsburg, Kreuzberg, Camden, Gangnam) has become a tourist destination in itself. “New urban tourists” are seeking to be embedded in urban day-to-day-living. They want to “live like a local”, as a successful apartment-sharing platform advertises. To live locally, new urban tourists rent residential apartments offered for short breaks, rather than hotel rooms, and thus compete with residents for the use of urban spaces, such as flats, cafés, restaurants, parks and sidewalks. At the same time, they do not only bring revenue to often disenfranchised parts of the city but also increase the opportunity for contact and inter-cultural encounters. City tourism is even lauded as an important “driver of global economic growth and development” by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2012).

In light of these hopes and troubles that are connected with such trends in touristic use of urban spaces we welcome theoretical or empirical papers that deal with, but are not limited to, questions such as:

  • What are the impacts of new urban tourism on cities and neighbourhoods?
  • What are the hopes and fears that are connected with new urban tourism, and whose hopes and fears are they?
  • Do urban spaces in residential neighbourhoods become contested by potential or factual conflicts of interest between residents and urban tourists, and what interests do these conflicts uncover?
  • How can tourism marketing and regulatory bodies manage travel routes, informal holiday rentals and tourists’ use of urban spaces?
  • How do disenfranchised neighbourhoods change due to new investments in tourist hotspots?
  • How do digital representations, social media and peer-to-peer instead of business-to-consumer models of travel planning change urban landscapes?
  • How can new urban tourism be conceptualized theoretically, to which general social trends can it be linked?
  • Considering that the traditional differentiation between residents and tourists gets blurred in times of growing mobilities, how can we address different forms of mobilities in a more adequate way?

Please send your abstracts of no more than 250 words to Claus Müller (claus.mueller@tu-berlin) by 10th February 2019 and include your affiliation and contact details.

We look forward hearing from you.

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