Call for Papers


This conference aims to bridge the gap between space and places. Space is a term expressing fluidity or contingency, whereas place appears to be more restrictive and implying a greater interaction between individuals and the physical location. The places sought by tourists are a form of "valued environments" (Burgess and Gold 1982). But tourist themselves also appear to create their own "spatiality" moving from one place to another, as Clifford (1992) suggests, by putting forward a metaphor of a traveller based on routes and itineraries, searching for authenticity and new places (McCanell, 1992; Cresswell; 1997, Löfgren, 1999). Pearce (1982) defines a "tourist place" as "any place that fosters a feeling of being a tourist". The latter has been understood as a juxtaposition of "outsideness" and "insideness", with one of the objectives of the tourist being to penetrate into the insideness or «back region» of the attraction to savour its authenticity (MacCannell, 1976). This drives the discussion to the affective and emotional dimensions of the place.

A number of researchers have developed measures of place attachment in personal, community and environmental contexts (Raymond, Brown and Weber, 2010). Schroeder (2007) argues that human-nature relationships differ based on how people see themselves, either as part or apart from nature. As such, place attachment may be measured by the extent to which people feel attached or embedded in the places they experience. In addition, place attachment has also been explained by "place" belonginess, where individuals feel as being "members" of a given environment (Mesch and Mannor, 1998) ; (Milligan, 1998).

This conference aims to discuss the topics outlined under the umbrella concept of experience. Different elements of tourism experience are believed to generate emotive outcomes among tourists (i.e., feelings, moods), which may lead to affective transformation (Volo, 2009) in tourism experiences. In the area of marketing, Schmitt (2002) introduces five dimensions of experience: sensory, affective, cognitive, physical, and relational. Applying these dimensions into tourism experience, Ye, Tussyadiah and Fesenmaier (2009) identify the relevance of these elements to make up the structure of experience based on tourists' interactions with places, people and artifacts. Thus tourism experience is to be understood as a subjective performative action contextualized by the geographical characteristics of tourist destinations, which takes form in different physical, cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions resulting from interactions between "tourists" and "places".

Thus this conference is expected to contribute to the understanding of how tourism experiences may contribute to the sense of places and spaces whether they are created by tourists or by travel industry and its increasing importance, considering sensorial and physical approaches of tourism experience.

Lastly it is also our aim to bring the discussion to the understanding of how tourism attractions may be scaled on a space based perspective. Lew (1987) states that tourism attractions are a combination of elements not available at home, which draw discretionary travellers away from their usual place of residence. An individual´s need to temporarily depart from one´s usual living environment is explained by the search of a number of assets as well as activities unavailable at home. The exposure to landscapes and/or unique built environments as well as interacting with its activities is generally considered to be the explanatory variables originating tourism flows into a certain local or region. It is, however, difficult to give a clear definition of what is an attraction generating tourism flows. One would expect that assets such as landscapes of outstanding beauty or heritage cities should be considered "attractions". But services such as transport and accommodation, eating and drinking or even tourists themselves (MacCarnell, 1976) may also play the role of attractions and the extent they can do so is somewhat less clear. Thus this conference expects to contribute to the understanding of what, how and where place characteristics are scaled to generate tourism flows.