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A Hunt for Experiencing the “Real Thing": How tourism industry reconstructs meanings and purposes of places and spaces – Mgr. Lýdia Grešáková

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Masaryk University

Faculty of Social Studies

Bachelor programme / field:
Humanities / Sociology

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Mgr. Lýdia Grešáková

Bachelor's thesis

A Hunt for Experiencing the “Real Thing": How tourism industry reconstructs meanings and purposes of places and spaces

A Hunt for Experiencing the “Real Thing”: How tourism industry reconstructs meanings and purposes of places and spaces

Abstract: Autorka v tejto diplomovej práci pojednáva o súčasnom trende „reálneho turizmu“ v rámci piatich konkrétnych príkladov, na ktorých poukazuje na fenomén autenticity a jeho vzťah s priemyslom cestovného ruchu. Vymedzuje ho v rámci konceptu performativity, ktorým ukazuje pohľad za pomyselnú oponu divadla pre turistov, podmienky jeho úspešnosti a vplyv, aký majú pracovníci v oblasti cestovateľov na jeho vytváranie. Špecifikom tejto eseje je snaha o upozornenie na organizované zásahy turistického priemyslu do urbánneho plánovania miest zakrývané týmito predstaveniami. Práve prostredníctvom tvarovania určitých symbolických významov, lákajú turistické agentúry či príručky návštevníkov do vybraných lokalít s úmyslom zvýšenia ich návštevnosti kvôli ekonomickému zisku či pozdvihnutiu popularity. Mimo iné sa práca tiež pozerá na premenlivosť jednotlivých rolí v rámci „predstavenia“ a na možnosť úniku z oblasti vopred nastavenej (ne)autentickosti.

Abstract: This diploma thesis deals with the case of “real tourism.” On five specific examples author examines the phenomenon of authenticity and its relationship with the tourist industry. Together with the theory of performativity, the work shows different layers of the tourism as a performance, concentrating on its construction and on influence that travel media and government have. Tourist workers attract tourists to the destinations with the use of the current trend of individuals searching for the “authentic experience.” As directors of touristic plays they shape their imaginaries and reconstructing the meanings of such places to be better suitable for this definition. The specificity of this work is an adaptation of this theory to urban planning with the aim of displaying these interventions as tactical, with an objective of secured economic growth and increased popularity – which comes with the constant influx of tourists. Apart from other things, the writer shows possible ways out of the staged performances of (in)authenticity while taking a look at the fluidity of roles within the performance.

Keywords: Autenticita, Performativita, Turizmus, Plánovanie mestského priestoru, Authenticity, Performativity, Tourism, Urban Planning

Language used: English

Thesis defence

  • Date of defence: 28. 5. 2014
  • Supervisor: M.A. Dominik Bartmanski, Ph.D.
  • Reader: Mgr. Adam Gajdoš

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