Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

The Cultural Landscape: Perception, Knowledge, Awareness and Support to the Development of a Sustainable Tourism

Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

The Cultural Landscape: Perception, Knowledge, Awareness and Support to the Development of a Sustainable Tourism

Article excerpt

"A tourist landscape can be described as constructed through a myriad of symbolic and material transformations of an original physical and/or socioeconomic landscape in order to serve the interests of tourists and the tourist industry. Since the early days of tourism, landscape has played an important role in the decision making for holiday destinations. In trying to escape from an ordinary taken-for-granted-world, people of all periods have looked to far-away landscapes in order to re-create". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourist_landscape

1. Introduction

The specialized geographical literature reviews specific trends mainly focused on: highlighting the systemic nature of the landscape (see Troll 1950, Bertrand 1969, Tufescu 1971, Soceava 1975, Wieber 1985, Rougerie and Beroutchachvili 1991, Drägut 2000, Mac 2000, Cocean 2002 etc.), its image or character, as a reflection of all territorial components (Alexander von Humboldt, Taillefer, 1974, Raffestin, 1977, Posea, 1978, Levy, 1991, Koreleski, 2008) or the human component as the dominant factor shaping the geographical space (Schmithiisen 1959, Ro§u, Ungureanu 1977, Fraser 1998, Woebse 2008, Macaría 2009).

Recently, geographical landscape, especially the cultural one, has become the object of study, interpretation and theorizing cultural landscape for many Romanian and foreign researchers, leaning closely on this field and meritorious concerns in defining this concept, the panoply of definitions, revealing various aspects such as: the role of historical evidence held by the cultural landscape, (see Schwind 1950, Hard 1973, Denecke 1997), reflecting therein the various activities undertaken by men (see Negrufiu 1980, Finik, Grün weis, Wrbka 1989, Fellman, Getis, Getis, 1990), human contribution in transforming the cultural landscape (see Hart, 1998, Schmidt 2007, O'Regan 2009) or cultural landscape complexity (see Hiess H., 1999, European Convention on Landscape 2000, Dorozhynskyy, Kolb 2008) and, last but not least, the "raw material" quality of cultural landscape for tourism development (Mazilu 2012) and conscious or unconscious tourism impact, beneficial or less beneficial, on cultural landscape.

Tourist landscapes become by nature and by function eloquent geographical media and expressions of this new global cultural economy of space, by hosting, promoting and exhibiting new types of spatial experiences that are increasingly more fluid, complex, surreal and ageographical than in the past. Tourism is an integral part of such processes that also involves the creation and maintenance of tourism spaces which are in part spaces of the imaginary, of fantasy and dreaming. There are such spaces and flows of tourists that temporary migrate and circulate, often travelling with a set of expectations derived from various media such as brochures, TV programs, the internet and the popular genres of travel writing, as much as from their previous travel experiences. The spaces of tourism are constructed, more or less consciously, to fulfill - or attempt to fulfill - such expectations through representations and the consumption of goods and services, as well as the cultural assets and activities to be found at a destination, or en route. We view tourism then as a practical accomplishment which involves performative elements and the active engagement of the tourist or traveler through practice and embodiment in the creation of meanings, identities, and place. We live in a world characterized by a complex global interplay of information, economics, culture and space. People, goods and capital are more mobile than ever before. Such mobility and flux creates the conditions in which new forms of identity, work and leisure, as well as new socio - spatial configurations are emerging which may involve translocational, transnational and multicultural elements.

Tourism landscapes contribute to local and regional identity and reflect the history and the interaction between man and nature. …

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