Tourism and Imperial Heritage in Gibraltar

Authors: Jason Dittmer*, University College London
Topics: Cultural Geography, Political Geography, Tourism Geography
Keywords: Affect, heritage, assemblage, tourism, Gibraltar
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Plaza Ballroom E, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper examines the use of imperial heritage to produce Gibraltar as a distinct tourism destination within a regional and global marketplace. Gibraltar, while being advantaged in tourism via a Mediterranean shoreline, is nevertheless disadvantaged in comparison to neighbouring regions by a lack of good beaches and a border/transport infrastructure that is particularly vulnerable to Brexit. The paper will start with a brief history of tourism in Gibraltar before moving to a discussion of the materiality of empire (e.g., concrete bunkers, cannons, the Rock itself) as a heritage resource that is being cultivated to generate affective forces among tourists such as nostalgia, awe, and nationalism. Utilising assemblage theory, the paper will also argue that these heritage resources are increasingly also interwoven with urban planning and everyday life for Gibraltarians.

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