The peculiar attraction of royalty for tourism and the popular cultural construction of ‘Royal Tourism’

PALMER, Nicola and LONG, Philip (2018). The peculiar attraction of royalty for tourism and the popular cultural construction of ‘Royal Tourism’. In: CHRISTINE, Lundberg and VASSILIOS, Ziakas, (eds.) Handbook on popular culture and tourism. Abingdon, Routledge.

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In 2008, we explored both implicit and explicit relationships between royalty and tourism in contemporary and historic UK and some international contexts. In doing so, we provided an original, direct and specific focus on the hitherto neglected subject of ‘Royal Tourism’ (Long and Palmer, 2008). A range of historical, sociological and popular cultural perspectives were included as a basis for examining the royal tourism phenomenon. There has to date, and surprisingly given the continuing relevance of the subject and enduring prominence of royalty, been no further academic studies of which we are aware that focus specifically on this royal tourism phenomenon. Nine years on, we revisit the peculiar attraction of royalty for tourism and specifically consider an enduring and persistent touristic focus on the monarchy, particularly in the UK. This chapter re-investigates the concept of 'Royal Tourism' as a specific form of popular cultural tourism and considers how royal tourism may be employed not solely for economic gain and commercial exploitation (one of the most enduring and publically contested aspects of the relationships between tourism and monarchy) but also as a political and socio-cultural tool and context. We consider Royal Tourism as a socially constructed concept (Berger and Luckman, 1966), whereby the entering into and playing out of roles and reciprocal actions by members of society as tourists are institutionalized. Thus, responses to royalty, in a tourism context, are embedded in the institutional fabric of society and popular culture. To explore this, we draw on our 2008 book though this material is adapted and updated to focus on popular cultural dimensions of Royal Tourism. The chapter considers, in turn: how there persists a focus on monarchy per se and in specific relation to royal events and tourism development and marketing activities; royal families and their prominent contribution to the reproduction of social mores and the establishment of tourist destinations through their patronage; the politics of Royal Tourism; and Royal Tourism’s meeting of psychological and physiological needs for the tourist. It then attempts to make sense of these features collectively to consider how understanding of this specific form of tourism can inform and assist deeper understanding of tourism within a wider popular cultural context.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Nicola Palmer
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 17:33
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 02:56

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