New urban tourism and new urban citizenship: researching the creation and management of postmodern urban public space

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    In recent decades western cities have slowly evolved to extend their cultural offer to “the postmodern mixing of public and commercial culture” (Richards, 2014, p. 120) as a major plank of urban regeneration and development strategies. Urban tourism has been central to this and tourists are now an ever present temporary population of cultural consumers in so many of our towns and cities, even in those industrial cities that until recently would not have been imagined as tourist places. Tourism is thus a part of everyday urban life (Urry, 2002) whether we gaze on tourists going from one cultural space to another in our home towns or whether we ourselves are transformed into tourists as we conduct our cultural consumption in places distant to our usual workaday lives. This research note considers the impact such consumption is having on our urban centres. The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the way our urban centres are managed, who the urban citizen now is, and in what direction could tourism research take to shed further light on the way we manage, create and reproduce urban life in the increasingly diverse postmodern city.

    The paper is a critical reflection on urban tourism and offers a future research orientation.

    The argument is that in light of new mobilities urban tourism research needs to be more politically reflexive than it often is.

    Research limitations/implications
    There is no empirical research content so this does not apply.

    Practical implications
    The practical implications are that urban tourism research should be about making cities better places and not simply about being policy performing vehicles in a politically light sense.

    The originality of this piece is in the way it mixes urban studies, social theory and tourism studies together to come out with a view and argument on a way forward in researching tourism and cities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)399-405
    JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017


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