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Tourism, Imaginaries and Identities: reversing the point of view

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Published in Via@. 2012, no. 1
Abstract Most papers which deal with the issue of tourism and collective identities of local people point at the influence of the former on the latter, these influences being said to be either source of problems or stimulation. This paper takes the opposite point of view: when and under which conditions the will to express a collective identity can lead to the development of cultural tourism in relation with these public identities? This paper presents a few cases of political and cultural instrumentralization of tourism development. It enters into details for three examples : Chamonix (France), Little Italy in New York City and the gay district in Manchester (UK). It explains that a decisive condition of such an instrumentralization lies in the capacity of a social group or local stakeholders (the Chamoniards, Italo-américains of Little Italy, gay activists in Manchester) to promote the imaginary of a very specific place, to present themselves as being highly dependant of this place, in order to build a spatial equivalence between a tourist place and the place of their cultural and political demonstration.
Keywords TourismCollective identitiesTerritoriality
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Research group Pôle/Institut Gouvernance de l'environnement et développement territorial (PI-GEDT)
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DEBARBIEUX, Bernard. Tourism, Imaginaries and Identities: reversing the point of view. In: Via@, 2012, n° 1. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:23459

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Deposited on : 2012-10-18

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