Tourism Gentrification 2.0

Authors: Fabian Frenzel*, University of Leicester & University of Johannesburg, School of Tourism and Hospitality
Topics: Social Geography, Economic Geography, Tourism Geography
Keywords: Tourism, Technology, Gentrification, Platform Urbanism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Regent, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

It is increasingly evident that tourism inflows can effect gentrification processes in cities and neighborhoods, causing regeneration and valorization as well as appreciation of real estate value and displacement of former residents. Tourism Gentrification is not a new phenomenon and has been discussed, for example with regards to cities like New Orleans as a result of deliberate tourism policies (Gotham 2005). But in recent years negative aspects of tourism gentrification have become an increasingly important grievance of anti-tourist social movements in Europe and beyond. This is driven, partly, by global growth in urban and neighborhood tourism. Additionally the arrival of new technological mediators, from rating platforms such as Tripadvisor to Online Rental Portals like Airbnb, seem to have accelerated and perhaps significantly altered the workings of tourism gentrification.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to current efforts at theorizing the influence of these new technological mediators on tourism gentrification and wider urban transformation processes. In order to do so, the paper re-visits the theories of neighborhood gentrification, reflecting specifically on the transformation of non-desirable and unattractive neighborhoods into attractive ones. The paper thus asks: how do neighborhoods become attractive, or more specifically: who are the agents of these processes, with a focus on the role of new technological mediators: are they merely platforms for valorization processes or more active algorithmic agents of valorization?

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