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Tourism and Festivals.docx

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University of Waterloo
GER 100
Paul Malone

3 October 2012 Tourism and Festivals “The analysis of tourism trends must also be set against two pivotal characteristics of the German market. First, for the last quarter of a century Germany has been a net exporter of tourists and tourism- related capital… and second, consumption of German tourism products and experiences has been dominated by domestic visitors. Throughout the 1990s the ratio of overnight stays of domestic visitors to foreign guests has remained virtually constant at 8:1 at the federal level ...” “White-collar workers were the first post-war middleclass stratum that regularly spent a substantial part of their disposable income on travelling and vacations. Already in 1956, 44% of all white-collar workers in private enterprises and 45% of all public officials (Beamte) spent a vacation of at least five days, about double the rate of the average West Germans...” “At a time when members of the traditional middle classes – such as shop owners, master craftsmen and other small businessmen – were still reluctant to spend money for a fashionable and ephemeral good like a vacation, white-collar workers had already made travelling a part of their habitus. Only the financially privileged members of the academic professions enjoyed more frequent leisure travel.” “The rate of expansion since World War II has been spectacular: in 1950 there were still only 25.3 million international tourists; in 1960, 75.3 million; in 1970, 169 million… and in 1981, 291 million. Domestic tourism apparently grew at an even steeper rate and was estimated at 2.3 billion in 1981... The major destinations of international tourism are still North America and Europe. The share captured by other world regions, while still miniscule, is rapidly growing...” “Herein lies the politics of culture: Why are certain practices singled out as cultural traditions while others are forgotten or ignored? Who, in particular, links people and practices to the past and for what purposes? Who defines the cultural traditions for which groups? Which group is able to impose its version of the past on other groups and why?” “Certain aspects of past culture (e.g., traditions of some cultural groups) have been selected, transformed, and represented as a ‘national heritage’ or ‘national tradition’ of that country and then marketed for tourism. In this way, certain visions of history, of tradition, of heritage, real or fabricated, have been produced for tourist consumption.” “Ironically, these versions of history or these invented traditions, although targeted at the visitor, the foreigner, and the tourist, do affect locals because the locals themselves often visit the tourist places in their own country.” “Many of the monuments, statues, and shrines are constructed not only for touristic attractions but also for indoctrinating into the local citizens a sense of the nation’s past and achievements. Thus, schoolchildren who are shepherded through national museums are given a lesson about their national heritage. Images of the past in this way can serve the dual function of national tourism and nationalism.” “The key concept with regard to national identity is authenticity. That is to say – to draw again on a more dynamic picture – reconstructing nations over time inevitably means reconstructing them as 3 October 2012 distinctive, original, and historically embedded orders. Once they cease to be perceived as authentic and original, nations lose much of their former legitimacy and meaning.” “The first staging of the Unspunnen festival in 1805 spoke directly to the romantic cravings of foreign visitors for unspoiled, ‘authentic’ peasant and cow-herders’ traditions, the later inventions demonstrate more and more the search on the part of natives for what they perceive to be authentic manifestations of their own culture.” “From a formal point of view, the authentication of a national culture entails two processes: the construction of continuity with a nation’s alleged ethno-historical past (historicism) on the one hand and the creation of a sense of naturalness (naturalization) on the other. The two processes, while analytically separate, are mutually intertwined and reinforce each other in the reality of nation formation...” “ …Whereas references to significant features of the natural environment serve to bu
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