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Accepted Paper:

Tourism and the critical cosmopolitanism imagination : tuk-tuk tours and 'worst tours' in a European old city  
Paula Mota Santos (Universidade Fernando Pessoa and Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Administração de Políticas Públicas ISCSPuniversidade de Lisboa)

Paper short abstract:

UNESCO’s classification of old Porto centralized heritage tourism as main economic engine. Having as background Portugal’s present economic crisis and Porto’s tourism boom, this paper analyses how middle-class tourism entrepreneurs’ ventures can be framed within a critical cosmopolitanism framework

Paper long abstract:

With its old core classified as a World Heritage Site since 1996, Porto has been experiencing a tourism boom in the last five years. Voted 'Best European Destination of 2014', this mid-size city's old core and downtown areas are experiencing an economic renewal after decades of neglect. Many of the new commercial ventures are tourism-orientated: hostels, short stay apartments, restaurants, bars and specialized crafts shops, are populating previously derelict 18th and 19th century buildings, bringing new life to previously depopulated and economically depressed streets. Most of these ventures are fronted by individuals with high cultural capital, part of a middle class that saw its traditional economic outlets wither during the Portuguese economic crisis. This paper will look at two particular tourism ventures, the tuk-tuk tours of old Porto and the 'Porto's Worst Tours'. Both tours are the offspring of middle-class individuals, but while the tuk-tuk tours align themselves within an hegemonic model of tourism by centralizing the built heritage of the UNESCO classification and producing a mostly historical discourse on the city, the 'worst tours' centralize a more politically engaged discourse in which the urban and social impacts provoked by Portugal's economic downturn are highlighted and actively discussed with the tour participants. The opposing tourism heritage dynamics represented by each one of these tours will be approached through the lens of critical cosmopolitanism in which the cosmopolitan imagination occurs when and wherever new relations between self, other and world develop in moments of openness.

Panel P096
Urban revitalization through heritagization: collaboration, resistance and the right to the city
  Session 1