Abstract

In recent years tourism scholars and practitioners have been keenly interested in tourist experience. Researchers have also made connections between tourism and meanings of place. What is still needed is to examine tourists’ emotional connection to place, to philosophical understandings of sense of place, and how to harness these intimate characteristics for place marketing. This paper is “going forward by looking back” by first discussing similarities between the dimensions of the tourism experience and a sense of place suggested by Lew (1989) and, second, by introducing a conceptual model of the interconnections among sense of place, memory, nostalgia and the tourist experience. A review of interdisciplinary literature and results from a qualitative study on sense of place are used to demonstrate the basis for the model. A discussion outlines why senses of place are important in an era where the threat of placelessness is an on-going concern. A final section provides suggestions for applying these relationships to the marketing of place.

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Going Forward by Looking Back: Memory, Nostalgia and Meaning-Making in Marketing for a Sense of Place

In recent years tourism scholars and practitioners have been keenly interested in tourist experience. Researchers have also made connections between tourism and meanings of place. What is still needed is to examine tourists’ emotional connection to place, to philosophical understandings of sense of place, and how to harness these intimate characteristics for place marketing. This paper is “going forward by looking back” by first discussing similarities between the dimensions of the tourism experience and a sense of place suggested by Lew (1989) and, second, by introducing a conceptual model of the interconnections among sense of place, memory, nostalgia and the tourist experience. A review of interdisciplinary literature and results from a qualitative study on sense of place are used to demonstrate the basis for the model. A discussion outlines why senses of place are important in an era where the threat of placelessness is an on-going concern. A final section provides suggestions for applying these relationships to the marketing of place.