1st Edition

Cultures of Mass Tourism Doing the Mediterranean in the Age of Banal Mobilities

By Pau Obrador Pons, Mike Crang Copyright 2009

    With more than 230 million international tourists a year, the Mediterranean region is the largest tourist destination in the world. This book outlines that its economic importance is matched by its significance as a cultural and aesthetic phenomenon. Through a series of ethnographic insights into some of the key sites of mass Mediterranean tourism, it focuses on package tourists' experiences of the serial, banal and depthless spaces that are mushrooming along the coast and the enchantments, dissolutions and dreams that saturate them. Moving away from the notion of authentic places corrupted by mass tourism, the book shows how new forms and spaces are made and remade by the mobilities and performances of locals, workers and tourists. Finally, the book looks at the complex materialities of mass tourism and the many networks that make it possible.

    Chapter 1 Introduction: Taking Mediterranean Tourists Seriously, Pau Obrador Pons, Mike Crang, Penny Travlou; Chapter 2 Morocco: Restaging Colonialism for the Masses, Claudio Minca, Rachele Borghi; Chapter 3 Banal Tourism? Between Cosmopolitanism and Orientalism, Michael Haldrup; Chapter 4 The Island That Was Not There: Producing Corelli’s Island, Staging Kefalonia, Mike Crang, Penny Travlou; Chapter 5 The Mediterranean Pool: Cultivating Hospitality in the Coastal Hotel, Pau Obrador Pons; Chapter 6 ‘De Veraneo en la Playa’: Belonging and the Familiar in Mediterranean Mass Tourism, Javier Caletrío; Chapter 7 1I would like to dedicate this paper to Valerie, who very sadly and unexpectedly passed away since this paper was first drafted, demonstrating rather starkly the materiality of our bodies. She is missed, and I hope I have done justice to her sincere attempts to settle in Spain. Research for the paper was funded, between 2003 and 2005, by the Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain (Grant No. R000223944)., Karen O’Reilly; Chapter 8 Mobile Practice and Youth Tourism, Dan Knox; Chapter 9 Corrupted Seas: The Mediterranean in the Age of Mass Mobility, Pau Obrador Pons, Mike Crang, Penny Travlou;


    Dr Pau Obrador Pons is a lecturer in geography at the University of Sunderland, Dr Mike Crang is Reader in the Department of Geography, Durham University. and Dr Penny Travlou is a Research Fellow in the OPENspace Research Centre at Edinburgh College of Arts, UK.

    'This collection offers refreshing new perspectives. Exploring the mix between steady routines and the carnevalesque, as well as the skills of handling fleeting transnational encounters, it shows how important it is to take what may seem as the banalities of tourist life very seriously. The result is a fascinating cultural analysis of contemporary life.' Orvar Lofgren, University of Lund, Sweden 'Tourism in the Mediterranean has never received the academic treatment it truly deserves - until now. This book is theoretically astute, substantively rich and spatially diverse. A perfect research tool or teaching text.' Adrian Franklin, University of Tasmania, Australia 'Cultures of Mass Tourism excellently brings out the significance of bodies, beaches and the banal to the making and remaking of the complex and corrupted Mediterranean, the world's largest destination for international visitors.' John Urry, Lancaster University, UK 'The volume represents a nexus of cultural anthropology and human geography and is an excellent addition to existing literature on the cultural anthropology and geography of tourism, and brings the literature up to date with timely examples and current references...a highly enjoyable read.' Annals of Tourism Research