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Festivals and events — (Re)interpreting cultural identity

Sophie Elias‐Varotsis (Professor Université Paris XII — Val de Marne 61 Avenue du Gl. de Gaulle 94010 CRETEIL CEDEX France)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 1 February 2006



The issues at stake in this paper namely concern the changes in the cultural identity representations of territorial landscapes as a result of increasing mobility of which tourism is but one of the numerous forms. The decision to focus on festivals and events is that: 1. Traditionally speaking, festivals and events are both the result and the signifiers of the cultural identity of spaces within which they occur; 2. In more recent years, they have increasingly been instrumented as a marketing tool in the development of tourist spaces as can be attested by the large body of tourist literature; 3. Beyond the emphasis placed by researchers on the economic impacts of events organization, there has been a growing interest in investigating their social impacts. 4. Limited attention has been paid to comparing the strategies of events organization, the way they intervene on cultural identity and the ensuing impacts on territorial development in general. Accordingly, it was decided that an investigation of regularly recurring events, which have become part of the territorial landscapes within which they occur, would be led to try and answer the following questions: 1. How do festivals and events contribute to staging the particularities of cultural identity within different spaces? 2. Are these festivals and events staged simultaneously to encourage greater mobilities to and within the given spaces and to devise better responses to the mobilities that have already modified them? 3. To what extent do festivals and events contribute to re‐interpreting cultural identity?


Elias‐Varotsis, S. (2006), "Festivals and events — (Re)interpreting cultural identity", Tourism Review, Vol. 61 No. 2, pp. 24-29.



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