The purpose of this paper is to provide details of the communist and socialist past to inform the debate on redesigning tourism in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries as impacted by the transition and accelerated by European Union (EU) membership.
The issues from two sides are addressed: academic and practical. Based on a literature review, the authors propose a model of five main research topics that represent the main areas of change and conceptualise the general EU accession research debate on tourism. Content analysis is conducted on each of the revealed main research topics that are presented and discussed from the standpoint of tourism-relevant socialist and communist stature and image. On the other hand, this paper engages with reality as it surveys real-life practices in tourism development and business operation based on the personal experience of the researcher regarding the social situation under consideration.
The findings concerning the revealed main areas of tourism change in CEE countries following EU accession refer to the: change from communism towards a new image (Europeanisation and re-imaging), change from communism to capitalism (transformation and marketisation), change from old communist tourism products to new products (rejuvenation, diversification), change from communist towards sustainability values (sustainability) and change from tourism inside the communist block to international tourism (re-internationalisation) The discussion indicates how each area of change relates to socialist and communist content and its tourism relevance and the potential for tourism development, policy and business.
The list of relevant works is not exhaustive as only tourism-focussed quality journals are surveyed in order to define the main areas of change.
A very relevant source of information and impartial advice for tourism developers and policymakers in ex-socialist and communist countries is provided regarding tourism development at the strategic and managerial levels.
This paper fills an identified information/resource gap concerning the potential and contribution of communist and socialist heritage to tourism development and business, and places this in the context of the changes CEE countries have made in order to stay and/or become tourism destinations. It introduces a new term “tourism redesign” which explains the transition in tourism development, policy and management through different areas of change.
Mihalic, T. (2017), "Redesigning tourism in CEE countries: the main areas of change and the communist past", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 227-242. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-10-2016-0036Download as .RIS
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