The political transformation of Eastern Europe since the 1980s has revolutionized tourism praxis. Small companies flourish promoting culturalization and individualism, changing worldviews to express new identities and ethnicities, seeking mental/spiritual support and rapprochement with nature.
The transformation of political systems in Eastern Europe in the 80s and 90s produced significant effects on the tourism industry. First, tourism ceased to be benefit solely of social security programmes. Tourist services became commercialized and state enterprises privatized. The opening of home markets created favourable conditions for a wide range of tourist-related companies, especially micro, small and medium. Open borders enabled free movement between countries. The dominant role of tour operators and workplaces which organized recreation changed radically, evolving towards individual and self-organized travels. Moreover, a new model of tourism organization was developed at national and local levels. Tourism became an integral part of life for the average Eastern European citizen.
20 years of tourist industry developments and changing travel patterns can be analysed through the prism of anthropology. Papers might address some of the following:
1. Culturalization and individualisation of tourist praxis and new class formations (the development of package tourism and subsequent openings for cultural, 3E tourism)
2. The influence on worldviews (stereotypes, a category of 'the stranger', social distance, emergent ethnicities) and new, global trends (e.g. evolution of gender and family relations)
3. Tourism as re-creation: searching for mental, psychical, spiritual support, active tourism, relationships with nature
4. Revitalization of heritage, including controversial ones like industrial or socialist heritage
5. Regionalization and globalization (e.g. crossborder cooperation, UE & Shengen Zone)
6. Discovering ethno-cultural identity (e.g. ethnic cuisine, festivals, design)
7. Memory and history (e.g. historical narrative in the creation of tourist products)