Contemporary ‘anti-tourism’ in historical context

Authors: Jim Butcher*, Canterbury Christ Church University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Cultural Geography, Europe
Keywords: tourism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Astor Ballroom II, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Anti-tourism is as old as tourism. In the early C19th the landed aristocracy were reportedly unhappy at the sons of the new industrial elite encroaching on their beloved Naples. A few decades later a mixture of romanticism & loathing amongst the elites, new & old, was directed against the newly leisure-mobile working class holidaying at the seaside (Zuelow,2016).

Post WW2 witnessed the package holiday revolution, again premised upon growth, technology and the capacity of the masses to obtain their share. Yet counter-culturalists viewed the commercialisation of experience dimly and sought respite in Kerouac and Kathmandu. Meanwhile, French students scrawled ‘A holiday in other people’s misery’ (reprised by the Sex Pistols in the 1977 hit Holidays in the Sun) on the walls by Club Med’s Parisian office (Butcher,2017).

But what is behind anti tourism today? A romantic reaction to mass society, as in the C19th? A distaste at a one-dimensional society as per the counter-culturalists’ objections?

The paper situates anti-tourism today in the light of that of the past to tease out what is & is not new. It will look at both the protests of 2017 (focusing on Barcelona), & their reception & coverage in the media. The research will consider the sense in which these recent events may be novel, expressing a new dynamic.

Butcher, J.(2017). The morality of mass tourism, in D.Harrison & R.Sharpley (2017) Mass Tourism in a Small World. Oxon:Cabi
Zuelow, E.(2015) A History of Modern Tourism.London:Palgrave

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