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Souvenir. Martin Parr, Photography and Collecting

Global Tourism, Souvenir Cities

Debate

Global Tourism, Souvenir Cities


The tourism that we used to know, occasional in time and specific in territory, has now taken on a permanent, continuous dimension in cities. The multiplication and total ubiquity of the different types of tourism mean that, nowadays, any kind of tourist use can appear in any city and, hence, any city can be a tourist destination. From museum tourism and cruiser tourism through to religious tourism, the uses and patterns of cultural tourism never stop expanding. There is no corner or moment of urban life that seems to be exempt from the varied, wide-ranging impacts of a type of tourism that has perhaps become the most significant feature of cultural globalisation.


Tourism has become a potent industry for many cities. The use of public spaces and commercial zones, patterns of mobility and even the local identity of the city are all affected by the economics of tourism and constitute the laboratories of a new, vibrant urban sociology which is necessarily constructed but badly distributed between visitors and inhabitants. In short, it is a sociology deriving from the categorical success of tourism.


Barcelona is presently a privileged urban testing ground where all these factors come together and explain how the new global tourist imaginary has so vigorously taken root in the city. On the occasion of the exhibition “Souvenir: Martin Parr, Photography and Collecting”, the panel session titled “Global Tourism, Souvenir Cities” offers a discussion on the risks and challenges associated with the new forms of global tourism and which must be confronted by cities and, in particular, the city of Barcelona.

Directior: Francesc Muñoz, director the Observatori de la Urbanització (Urban Planning Observatory) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona


 

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