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Alternative tourism and civil society in Athens

Hecate Vergopoulos (CELSA – Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 21 November 2018

Issue publication date: 12 March 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to tackle the issue of the meaning of tourism as it is being crippled by the economic crisis in Greece.

Design/methodology/approach

To do so, it brings together the findings of three different fieldworks related to tourism in Athens in times of crisis. Each one of these focuses on a specific player of tourism: a linguistic and semiological analysis led mainly on travel guides and ad campaigns deals with the industry of tourism; a linguistic analysis of tourists’ posts on a French web forum deals with the tourists themselves; and an ethnographical approach of alternative guided tours of Athens focuses on local players (associations and cooperatives offering out of the beaten tracks tours).

Findings

The whole study reveals that there is a misunderstanding between the industry and the consumers toward what the tourist practice should mean: whereas the tourists are in search of an ethical meaning, the industry claims there is no room for such issues. The alternative players, however, offer a political perspective that embraces the ethical issues raised by tourists.

Originality/value

They thus might, in the end, show us the way a so-called “civil society” could also have its own role to perform in tourism.

Keywords

Citation

Vergopoulos, H. (2019), "Alternative tourism and civil society in Athens", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 51-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-12-2017-0086

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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