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Pop-up tourism and the 'cult of the temporary'.

Gale, T., 2022. Pop-up tourism and the 'cult of the temporary'. In: International Geographical Union (IGU-UGI) Centennial Congress 2022, 18-22 July 2022, Paris.

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Pop-up tourism_Temporary urbanism_UGI-IGU Paris 2022_T Gale.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



'Pop-up tourism' is a phenomenon of our times, comprising temporary installations in/ along dormant and otherwise unremarkable spaces and thoroughfares of the city designed to realise certain performances and experiences that are recognisably ‘touristic’ and which simulate the out-of-the-ordinary, with a view to attracting footfall, spending and publicity, reimagining place, creating space for community and recreation, promoting behaviour change or some other worthy goal. Examples include urban beaches such as Paris Plage, Christmas markets, pocket parks, immersive cinematic events, low traffic neighbourhoods as with The Vakantiestraat (Vacation Street), and a host of one-offs like London’s Marble Arch Mound and Luke Jerram’s waterslide along Park Street in Bristol, UK. This paper presentation identifies some of the drivers and influences behind the growth of these pop-ups, including the climate emergency, the global financial crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic with its attendant risks and restrictions. It proposes a typology and a stratified ontology of pop-up tourism sites/ sights, encompassing local considerations and imperatives and environmental factors (e.g. the above-mentioned goals and driving forces), underpinned by ‘generative mechanisms’ (in a realist sense) or fundamental - and fundamentally geographical - things and processes that defy empirical study and are best apprehended through labels (‘acceleration’, ‘de-differentiation’, etc). Case studies of selected pop-ups are used to illustrate ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of temporary urbanism, with a focus on their design and spatial semiotics. While pop-ups are themselves transitory in nature, the trend towards ephemera, simulacra and event-based tourism is persistent and worthy of investigation as we transition from long-distance travel and stays in established destinations - the stuff of traditional tourism - to locally-based, fluid and arguably more sustainable alternatives.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:37627
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:11 Oct 2022 14:26
Last Modified:11 Oct 2022 14:26


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