The Walking Institute: a reflexive approach to tourism

Blake Morris (Department of Drama, Applied Theatre and Performance, University of East London, London, UK)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Publication date: 3 September 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss Deveron Project’s (DP) Walking Institute, the only programme in the UK dedicated to commissioning artists to create walks. The author argues that the Walking Institute offers a model for tourism practices that engage local and international stakeholders in the creation of new global relationships. His research expands current critical discourse around the intersection between walking, tourism and art, and argues for DP’s approach as a way to create community-based, critically reflexive modes of tourism.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on research completed for his doctoral thesis and combines practice-based and qualitative methods. The author has visited Huntly on two separate occasions, and have had conversations with project stakeholders, spent time visiting local attractions, and participated in local events and artists’ walks. The analysis draws on theories from performance studies and those being developed within cultural geography and the mobilities paradigm.

Findings

The Walking Institute provides a model for a community based approach to global tourism that calls on the artistic medium of walking to create a critical, reflexive mode of engagement. Through this model, the Walking Institute provides an innovative approach to tourism that offers potential tourists with a mode of local engagement beyond the consumption of the picturesque.

Originality/value

There is very little research into DP’s model, or the intersection between tourism and the burgeoning artistic medium of walking. This paper offers original insight into DP’s model and its relationship to a new field: walking art. Additionally, it informs current understandings of tourism through a demonstration of how a rural arts organisation is engaging with the global tourism industry.

Keywords

Citation

Blake Morris (2018) "The Walking Institute: a reflexive approach to tourism", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 316-329

Download as .RIS

DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-11-2017-0060

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, International Tourism Studies Association

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.