Accepted paper:

Consuming the large in tourism - the city


Paul Cleave (University of Exeter)

Paper short abstract:

Consuming the city in tourism. Cities often are consumed as an entity, the large. A case study, utilising archive material from 1911 suggests tourists are still drawn to parts of the whole, in their consumption of the large.

Paper long abstract:

Cities encapsulate culture, history and modernity, and in the context of tourism have an enduring and evolving appeal. Cities offer differentiation, through; size, culture, history, architecture, nostalgic enchantment, and experiences provided. Tourists tend to refer to the city as an entity, rather than the small portion they may actually consume, city break, or longer holiday. This paper looks at consumption of the large in the context of the city and tourism. Its focus is Dresden, and the English visitor. Utilising an unpublished holiday journal written in 1911, it draws parallels and contrasts in the way in which cities were consumed in the early twentieth century, and might be consumed today. It suggests a synergy including the tangible, and intangible, and elements of the past. Consuming the city in the large, indicates that it is often experienced in smaller parts, the Central business district, historic and cultural areas, rurban and gentrified areas. Souvenirs and miniature reminders of the city, symbolise consumption of the large, in images and representations of buildings. In the case study example of Dresden, Semper Opera house, and Frauenkirche fridge magnets, books, and postcards, reflect larger dimensions of the city, its aesthetics,and history. A city by definition is large, physically and conceptually. Although tourists want to experience the city - the large, many will only consume small parts selected by tour operators and DMOs. They see the major attractions or features and the city is 'done', then move on to the next on an itinerary of consumption.

panel P106
Tourist Art and Commodification