|General programme, activity sheet|
||Friday 25 October, 2013 12:00 to 12:20
Pop Culture Tourism: Research PropositionsSpeaker: Szilvia Gyimóthy, Aalborg University
Speaker: Kristina Lindström, University of Gothenburg, Centre for Tourism
Speaker: Mia Larson, Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Lund University
Authors: Christine Lundberg, Szilvia Gyimóthy, Mia Larson, Maria Lexhagen, Kristina Lindström
Tourism in the wake of films, literature, TV-series and music is increasingly gaining interest in academia and among practitioners. Lord of the Rings tourism in New Zeeland, tourists visiting the ABBA museum in Stockholm, Dracula tourism in Romania, and Twilight Saga vacations in USA and Italy are examples that have pinpointed the growing potential of this form of touristic activity. This popular cultural phenomenon a representation of social change or cultural construction “for the people and by the people”, as Lindgren (2005) aptly noted. Such changes become evident in the sudden emergence and fading of popular cultural tourism trends, induced by films, literature, music, radio, fashion, or games. Popcultural phenomena tend to suddenly ‘pop up’ on consumers’ radars, contributing to the emergence of a substantial fan community, which may eventually trigger extensive travelling. Crossmediality and topicality is believed to be central conditions of longer-term pop culture tourism. For instance, many of the notable and successful film, TV-series, literature tourism examples are based on book series adapted to the big screen or television (e.g. Lord of the Rings, The Twilight Saga, Harry Potter, Dracula, Pride and Prejudice).
Accordingly, tourism and media as intertwined phenomena represent converging cultures in a contemporary globalized world. The co-presence of local economies and global popular cultural phenomena brings about new ties and increased connectivity between destinations, tourism, media industries, and fan cultures. More specifically, popular culture has a complex, de/stabilizing impact on destination development and competitiveness, as it opens up for new kinds of rationales for visiting localities featured in films, literature or other media. However, the interdependencies of destinations, fan communities or tribes and the global tourism and media industries are asymmetric and path-dependent. Distant localities featured in popular culture may embark on fundamentally different development trajectories from those of unfeatured regions with similar resources.
Despite the significance of converging processes in tourism and media production and pop cultural consumption, theorizing in this field is weak. Confined case studies of film or literature tourism has so far been unable to fully explain the rise and fall of tourist destinations. This paper responds to previous research’s call for synthesizing film tourism research by employing a broader social science approach to explore the complex relationships between tourism and popular culture consumption/ production as well as destination development. Based on a comprehensive review of interconnected themes featured in tourism/experience/cultural economy literature, this paper problematizes the growing supply and demand of film tourism, literary tourism and other popular cultural phenomena evoking leisure mobility. By revisiting related research themes (such as post-modern consumption, hyper reality and fiction, fans and fandom, media convergence, technology mediation, and positionality), the authors present a number of propositions related to popular culture induced tourism related to six topics: (1) Pop culture tourism and its topicality, (2) Pop culture tourism and its driving forces – Fans and fandom, (3) Pop culture tourism and post-modernity, (4) Pop culture tourism and media convergence, (5) Pop culture tourism and technology mediation, and (6) Pop culture tourism and the experience and cultural economies. Moreover, the paper argues that research in this field would advance further by employing inter-disciplinary perspectives and mixed methods.
Key words: popular culture, media and pop culture-induced tourism, fan tourism, destination development
Session 5 – Culture, peace and new research agendas
Place: Room SB03