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From Travellers Accounts to Travel Books and Guide Books: The Formation of Greek Tourism Market in the 19th Century

Dritsas, Margarita (2005): From Travellers Accounts to Travel Books and Guide Books: The Formation of Greek Tourism Market in the 19th Century. Published in: TOURISMOS: An International Multidisciplinary Refereed Journal of Tourism , Vol. 1, No. 1 (15. April 2006): pp. 29-54.

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Abstract

The paper traces the emergence of the tourism market by using instead of statistics or quantitative data, which are very rare for the period, alternative sources. It traces the transition from travel writers to travel guide-books by focusing on the rich literature about Greek travel. It points to the process of commodification of poetry and literature of the 1800’s as information sources and tools of creating the tourist ‘gaze’, on the one hand, and to the appearance of the main patterns of the mass tourist market, on the other. By referring to and analysing the most widely used travel books of the period (the John Murray and Baedecker Handbooks for Travel) it contrasts them with earlier forms of travel writing. It points to the process of appropriation of the latter by the new genre; the passage from a more personal, romantic, literary and direct style of individual travellers during the early 19th century to a detached, authoritative and descriptive style at the end of the period. Hypotheses are formulated about how new institutions and businesses contributed to creating and propagating the special tourist gaze about Greece, as well as about the main patterns of mass travel which characterized visits to Greece during the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century. By comparing handbooks the paper also draws hypotheses about the diversification of the market.

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