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The construction of global tourism spaces. The spaces of flows . Global travel spaces: Airports Airline cabins Transit lounges Hotels. Non-places?. Daniel Boorstin: The lost art of travel “nothing to see but the weather...” “I had flown not through space but time” .

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the spaces of flows
The spaces of flows

Global travel spaces:


Airline cabins

Transit lounges



placeless mobility

Daniel Boorstin: The lost art of travel

“nothing to see but the weather...”

“I had flown not through space but time”


“Passage through space

unnoticeable...robbed of landscape”

“Each Hilton hotel is indistinguishable...‘a little America’ have the comforting feeling of not being there”

“don’t know where you are unless you look out window

Placeless mobility


American tourism frontier modernity

  • Modernization theory
  • Spatialization of modernity
  • Mobility = agent of modernity
  • American tourist=> modernization
  • Travel spaces connecting “places”

US: Building the postwar

global tourism economy

  • Eliminating boundaries
  • The Marshall Plan and tourism to Europe
  • International airlines and tourist fares
  • The jet plane revolution
time space compression
Time-space compression

“crossing global distances


connecting places”

mobile lounges
mobile lounges

-The airport as a machine of movement

-Designed to efficiently move travelers from entrance to planes

making american tourism global
Making (American) tourism global
  • Cold War: modernization efforts in the ‘Third World’
  • Tourism: agent of econ. development
  • US hotel and airline companies expand globally
At the “frontier of modernity”
  • Modern international hotel in Istanbul: “a little American”
  • A product of the Cold War (1955)
modernist architectural design
Modernist architectural design:
  • Aesthetized technological efficiency
  • Stands out from landscape at the territorial frontier of modernity, but
  • A dematerialized (not an enclave)
    • plate glass, transparent form...
    • Open form, no private spaces
    • a “machine for viewing” at the frontier of modernity
    • a model of modernity, a map of the future

Drawn from Annabel Jane Wharton’s

Building the Cold war: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture.

global transformations 1960s 1970s
Global transformations: 1960s-1970s
  • Economic expansion of Europe and Japan
  • The end of the “dollar standard” Vietnam War/Third Worldism/1968
  • Failures of modernization theory
  • The crisis of Fordism/flex. prod., oil shocks
  • => retrenchment and the relative decline of US hegemony
end of the global tourism frontier
End of the global tourism frontier
  • Most of the globe accessible to mass tourism
  • 1968: US seeks to limit travel abroad
  • “The ugly American”
  • Ecological/cultural impact of mass tourism
  • End of tourism promotion as development
  • Airline hijackings, Airline deregulation
  • Intl. Tourism=> staged, commoditified, enclave
globalization 1980s 1990s
Globalization: 1980s-1990s
  • A new vehicle for expansion of US power: neoliberalism, market reform, privatization..
  • The end of the cold war
  • Free markets, not modernization
  • Developing world integrated into global markets
  • Promoting the deterritorialization of capitalism
the transformation of tourism
The transformation of tourism
  • More reflexive tourists
  • New frontiers=> new market segments: ecotourism, adventure tourism,...
  • “Places” as products: cities, theme parks
  • Tourism as consumerism
  • Americanization no longer =

modernization and shifting frontier

collapsing global travel spaces
Collapsing global travel spaces
  • “the end of territorial distance”
  • No territorial frontier of tourism
  • Places as products
  • Consumerism rather than mobility defines tourism
  • Ex. consuming “places”

“Americanization” deterritorialized =>


international tourism becomes

a theme for tourism in the US

A McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia

Paris Hotel, Las Vegas

Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas

travel spaces become places
Travel spaces become places
  • Because of increased mobility, the experience of traveling is no longer about crossing territory
  • Global tourism spaces no longer defined by territorial mobility
  • Travel “democratized” and routine
  • => Hotels and airports remake themselves as destinations
hotels as destinations
Hotels as destinations
  • “post-modern” architecture: The Bonaventure Hotel =>
  • New styles of luxury hotels
the new culture of airports

Shopping at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam

The new culture of airports
  • “epicenters of post-nationalism”
  • Shopping malls-with-planes
  • Themed airports
  • Airport cities
  • Growth poles

Working at

an airport café

Denver Airport:

a “locational” theme

the encounter lounge
The encounter lounge

Retro-themeing LAX

post 9 11 travel spaces
Post-9/11 travel spaces

New American discourse:

  • Airplanes as weapons
  • American tourists as targets
  • Foreign tourists as terrorists
  • 30% drop tourism=>US
  • Global mobility = threat
  • Towards spaces of security
american spaces abroad
American spaces abroad

“The new $83 million U. S. consulate outside Istanbul satisfies important security concerns but also seems a remote crusader castle.” --US report on Public Diplomacy

“...looks like a maximum security prison” --Tom Friedman

possibilities for a cosmopolitan tourism
Possibilities for a cosmopolitan tourism?
  • “the ambiguous effects of speed” --William E. Connolly
  • Places matter, but not as measures of modernity, closed political identities, or objects of consumption
  • Pluralization within territories more critical than mobility or localization
  • Global travel as means towards hybridization between “places”
  • Mobility only one means to connect pluralized locations, but not a means to impose transformation/modernization