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Accepted Paper:

The social production of tourist destinations through public intervention: the case of Penedès' wine region.  
Eloi Sendrós Ferrer (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

In this intervention I propose a critical insight on the social production of tourist destinations through the study of the role deployed by the state and public action in this process.

Paper long abstract:

As many other social problems and phenomena, tourist destinations are easily taken for granted. Therefore, when studying them, we should try to deploy an exercise of defetichisation; which means focusing on the social conditions, relations and practices through which tourism and the destinations are produced.

In this contribution, I present a critical perspective on the social production of Penedès region (Spain) as a wine tourism destination by introducing the state and public action - that's it, the study of political and bureaucratic practices, and public policies too - as central phenomena to consider in it. Drawing from the bourdieusian model of fields, I will present some considerations on how tourism destinations come into being by being recognized - and, thus, regulated - as such by different forms and instantiations of the state. Or, in other words, how tourist destinations are instituted through public intervention (being tourism a "matter of state") thus transforming the social and economic structures of the region. The intervention will focus on the role of the technicians and policymakers from the Penedès' Tourism Consortium, who operated as mediators between the field of tourism and the winemaking field, fostering the circulation of logics from the first to the second.

The fieldwork sustained in the region between 2018 and 2021 lies on an historical ethnography, which combines a diachronic regard on the sociogenesis of wine tourism (based on semi-structured interviews and the analysis of public policies), with a synchronic ethnographic approach to the current political and public theatralizations, interventions, and practices around tourism.

Panel P156b
On public policies, lives, and social spaces: anthropological perspectives from the Mediterranean [Mediterraneanist Network (MedNet)]
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -