Alternative tourism mobilities and urban spatial change

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


One of the most important trends in contemporary tourism is the increase in urban tourism, both in absolute and in relative terms. An increasing number of cities have become significant tourism destinations. Cities also attract an increasingly diverse set of visitors, some of which could be called alternative tourists. The development of alternative tourism is related to decreasing relative costs of travel, e.g. low-cost aviation, and increasingly accessible forms of cheap accommodation, such as Airbnb. We have also seen evidence of non-traditional forms of intra-urban tourism mobilities in many cities, for example new forms of guided tours. These forms of tourist activities are sometimes referred to as examples of innovative sustainable tourism. Along with the general expansion of urban tourism and the emergence of new forms of tourist activities, larger parts of urban space become affected by tourism. Thus, tourism takes up more urban space and becomes an agent of urban spatial change. In many European cities the impact of alternative tourism is particularly visible in former working class districts located outside the traditional tourist business districts. Well-known examples are parts of East London and Kreuzberg in Berlin. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss how alternative tourism mobilities affect spatial patterns of tourism in an urban context. The discussion is based on studies of guided tours on foot and on bicycle, taking place in the greater Copenhagen and Malmö region (in Denmark and Sweden). In will be argued that these activities contribute to opening up new urban areas for tourism. The alternative tourism mobilities become parts of emerging networks, involving other forms of
alternative tourism such as food spaces and accommodation; also influencing urban images and place marketing processes. The development of alternative tourism clearly follows a set of global trends, connected among other things to hipster culture. There are however also important path dependencies transforming the trends to local circumstances, i.e. making them “glocal".
Translated title of the contributionAlternativ turism och urban rumslig förändring
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 27
EventAtlas Annual Conference, Copenhagen 2018 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 2018 Sep 272018 Sep 29


ConferenceAtlas Annual Conference, Copenhagen 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


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