Tourism as a factor of economic, technical and social transformations: a comparative approach (19th-20th centuries)
Until today, historical research has not attracted much interest on tourism, despite its undisputable social, technical and economic importance – particularly with regard to its impacts on regional development. The situation is now improving, but some aspects still remain « terra incognita ». If analyses have often dealt with tourism as a consequence of broad social and economic evolutions – such as urbanization, leisure and transport revolutions –, its impact on the transformation of European and extra-European societies deserves to be explored more thoroughly. In fact the development of the tourism sector has had many effects, and some have been studied. But most of the existing scholarship has analysed the different components of tourism – such as transport, accommodation, recreation, embellishment, health etc. – separately.
This conference aims at studying tourism with a much broader approach. The goal is to consider tourism as a factor of large societal transformations in terms of mobility, housing, city planning, leisure, health, etc. Historians are thus invited to present papers dealing with these multiple aspects in order to facilitate comparative approaches between different time periods and geographic levels (local, regional, national, and international).
Three aspects will be examined: the first one will deal with the various impacts of tourism on other economic sectors. Improving the purchasing power and stimulating the investments, its effects are clearly visible on building and real estate sectors, agriculture, craftman’s trade, industries and other services. In Switzerland, for instance, tourism obviously facilitated the development of the food industry, the fabrication of luxury goods and the banking sector.
The second aspect will deal with tourism as a factor of societal modernization. To attract an ever more demanding clientele in search of comfort, new and modern facilities are required. Accordingly, the tourist regions try to provide all these innovations in architecture, equipment, communication, energy and transportation, and search to use them in marketing campaigns. Therefore, innovation and technology transfers are at the core of the tourism dynamic, with large consequences on the rest of the society.
The third aspect concerns the socio-cultural transformations, such as the socioprofessional structure, migratory flows, standards of living, and representations induced by tourist activities. Yet, these transformations can be hindered or slowed down by social resistances.
Papers devoted to impacts of the development of the tourism sector on a regional scale are particularly welcome. They could serve a stimulating comparison with the research project developed by the organizers on the Geneva Lake region in Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey-Montreux, Evian).
10 – 12 November 2011
University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
Organizers: Cédric Humair (Université de Lausanne), Laurent Tissot (Université de Neuchâtel), Marc Gigase (Université de Lausanne)
Conference languages: English / French
Proposals should be sent by February 20th, 2011 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send a summary (maximum 1 A4 page) of the proposed contribution, as well as a brief CV. The participants selected will be informed by mid-March 2011. A selection of the contributions presented will be published (to appear in 2012).
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