Tourism is part of everyday perception: a way of seeing and sensing the world with its own kit of technologies, techniques and aesthetic sensibilities and pre-dispositions (Franklin/Crang 2001)
Urban tourism is shaping city life and vice versa. Recently, residential neighborhoods have become increasingly attractive for travelers seeking experiences off the beaten track. The ordinary everyday lifeholds great value for urban explorers looking for urban (self-)experiences. This new urban tourism is not totally new; but it prompts new questions beyond a solely more intense “life-seeing” (Enzensberger 1958).The mundane is regarded as adventurous, it is thought to offer travelers insights into the real and therefore authentic life of a visited destination.
At the same time city residents adopt practices that are traditionally labelled as “touristic”. By taking part in guided tours or visiting famous sightseeing spots of their hometown they become tourists in their own city. Therefore, urban everyday life is deeply infused by locals and their own type of city tourism.
Both dynamics—tourists’ fascination for urban everyday life and residents’ performance of city tourism—have profound effects and far-reaching consequences for the urban fabric.
Our interdisciplinary urban research group addresses the manifold consequences of these developments as effects of new urban tourism. We study the various dimensions in which urban tourism and everyday city life are deeply entangled: How is urban everyday life designated and produced as an extraordinary mundane attraction? Where do encounters between various city users—travellers, long-term and short-term residents—take place? How are contact zones outside ‘tourist bubbles’ established? Which potentials and conflicts arise in these (new) forms of urban co-production? How can urban planners and municipal governments react to new urban tourism?
Our young research group started to tackle such questions with a kick-off meeting in Berlin in November 2015. Since then, we continued with further productive discussions at several meetings. Consequently, we decided to open up our debates to a larger audience. In May 2017, we held the international conference Touristified everyday life – mundane tourism: Current perspectives on urban tourism at Humboldt University Berlin which was a great event and generated interest among academics and practitioners alike. Based on selected contributions of the conference we published the edited volume Tourism and Everyday Life in the Contemporary City (Routledge) in 2019. Building on these two milestones, our group is continuing to study new urban tourism theoretically and empirically in order to understand the fascinating developments and transformations that take place within the field of tourism and urban study.
We are happy to extend our group and welcome PhD students and Postdocs from all academic disciplines. If you are interested in joining our research group please contact Natalie Stors (research[at]nataliestors.de), Christoph Sommer (sommer[at]umwelt.uni-hannover.de), Luise Stoltenberg (stoltenbergluise[at]gmail.com) or Thomas Frisch (thomas.frisch[at]uni-hamburg.de) with a short abstract of your current scholarly work and your research interests.