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There is no such thing as a free walk : Spatial implications of shared guiding developments

Nilsson, Jan-Henrik LU and Zillinger, Malin LU (2018) IGU Regional Conference 2018, Quebec Canada
Abstract (Swedish)
The sharing economy has many faces, and it has taken our societies by storm. For many people, it has quickly become a norm to book accommodation via AirBnB, or to think sharing instead of owning when it comes to products of their everyday lives. The tourism industry has seen many adaptions towards a sharing economy, one of them being a new way of conducting guided tours. Based on an innovation in Berlin 2003, there are now several organisations around the globe that offer guided tours without an official fee, but with tips instead. Such organisations use the Internet as a platform both externally, by addressing new customer groups, and internally, by working effectively across space to direct and develop the own administration. In a... (More)
The sharing economy has many faces, and it has taken our societies by storm. For many people, it has quickly become a norm to book accommodation via AirBnB, or to think sharing instead of owning when it comes to products of their everyday lives. The tourism industry has seen many adaptions towards a sharing economy, one of them being a new way of conducting guided tours. Based on an innovation in Berlin 2003, there are now several organisations around the globe that offer guided tours without an official fee, but with tips instead. Such organisations use the Internet as a platform both externally, by addressing new customer groups, and internally, by working effectively across space to direct and develop the own administration. In a previous study, free walking tours in Copenhagen have been studied, showing that such organisations have the power to strongly influence the guiding industry, as we know it. The tours enjoy great popularity not only among young and cost-conscious travellers, but increasingly among mature visitors as well. On a typical day during high season, there are hundreds of visitors who take part in the tours that start at the town hall square in Copenhagen.

Experiences from the Copenhagen free walking tours and related services in Northern Europe bring forward a number of issues related to the impact of shared tourism services on the local environment:

• Spatial patterns of urban tourist mobility. Do alternative tourism innovations create alternative tourism landscapes?
• Diffusion of innovations. How do successful models of shared tourism services influence the development of similar services elsewhere?
• The importance of social media for marketing shared tourism experiences. Is visibility the new tourism currency? If yes, how does it affect the quality of experiences?
• Values of professional local knowledge. Is the craft of professional guiding being re-negotiated or even devalued as a result of shared guiding?
• Bubbles of cosmopolitan non-space. Is the creation of globalised elite networks in major cities a challenge to local and national integration? Could this be related to the current political situation in Europe?

The common denominator among these issues lie in the interplay between global forces and different aspects of localness. Global technological, economic, and cultural forces will inevitably influence the development of new tourism spaces, at the same time as local phenomena may be shared on a global scale creating new glocal experiences. The question is whether we are facing increased plurality or a higher degree of homegenisation. Is diversity increasing in global tourism, or does sharing economies in tourism represent ”the end of tourism as we know it” and the rise of global middleclassness?
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Abstract
The sharing economy has many faces, and it has taken our societies by storm. For many people, it has quickly become a norm to book accommodation via AirBnB, or to think sharing instead of owning when it comes to products of their everyday lives. The tourism industry has seen many adaptions towards a sharing economy, one of them being a new way of conducting guided tours. Based on an innovation in Berlin 2003, there are now several organisations around the globe that offer guided tours without an official fee, but with tips instead. Such organisations use the Internet as a platform both externally, by addressing new customer groups, and internally, by working effectively across space to direct and develop the own administration. In a... (More)
The sharing economy has many faces, and it has taken our societies by storm. For many people, it has quickly become a norm to book accommodation via AirBnB, or to think sharing instead of owning when it comes to products of their everyday lives. The tourism industry has seen many adaptions towards a sharing economy, one of them being a new way of conducting guided tours. Based on an innovation in Berlin 2003, there are now several organisations around the globe that offer guided tours without an official fee, but with tips instead. Such organisations use the Internet as a platform both externally, by addressing new customer groups, and internally, by working effectively across space to direct and develop the own administration. In a previous study, free walking tours in Copenhagen have been studied, showing that such organisations have the power to strongly influence the guiding industry, as we know it. The tours enjoy great popularity not only among young and cost-conscious travellers, but increasingly among mature visitors as well. On a typical day during high season, there are hundreds of visitors who take part in the tours that start at the town hall square in Copenhagen.

Experiences from the Copenhagen free walking tours and related services in Northern Europe bring forward a number of issues related to the impact of shared tourism services on the local environment:

• Spatial patterns of urban tourist mobility. Do alternative tourism innovations create alternative tourism landscapes?
• Diffusion of innovations. How do successful models of shared tourism services influence the development of similar services elsewhere?
• The importance of social media for marketing shared tourism experiences. Is visibility the new tourism currency? If yes, how does it affect the quality of experiences?
• Values of professional local knowledge. Is the craft of professional guiding being re-negotiated or even devalued as a result of shared guiding?
• Bubbles of cosmopolitan non-space. Is the creation of globalised elite networks in major cities a challenge to local and national integration? Could this be related to the current political situation in Europe?

The common denominator among these issues lie in the interplay between global forces and different aspects of localness. Global technological, economic, and cultural forces will inevitably influence the development of new tourism spaces, at the same time as local phenomena may be shared on a global scale creating new glocal experiences. The question is whether we are facing increased plurality or a higher degree of homegenisation. Is diversity increasing in global tourism, or does sharing economies in tourism represent ”the end of tourism as we know it” and the rise of global middleclassness?
(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
keywords
Tourism, Sharing economies, guided tours
conference name
IGU Regional Conference 2018, Quebec Canada
conference location
Quebec, Canada
conference dates
2018-08-06 - 2018-08-10
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
323ee0e9-7141-4693-a737-6b875d9ba656
date added to LUP
2018-10-17 16:38:16
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:42:31
@misc{323ee0e9-7141-4693-a737-6b875d9ba656,
  abstract     = {The sharing economy has many faces, and it has taken our societies by storm. For many people, it has quickly become a norm to book accommodation via AirBnB, or to think sharing instead of owning when it comes to products of their everyday lives. The tourism industry has seen many adaptions towards a sharing economy, one of them being a new way of conducting guided tours. Based on an innovation in Berlin 2003, there are now several organisations around the globe that offer guided tours without an official fee, but with tips instead. Such organisations use the Internet as a platform both externally, by addressing new customer groups, and internally, by working effectively across space to direct and develop the own administration. In a previous study, free walking tours in Copenhagen have been studied, showing that such organisations have the power to strongly influence the guiding industry, as we know it. The tours enjoy great popularity not only among young and cost-conscious travellers, but increasingly among mature visitors as well. On a typical day during high season, there are hundreds of visitors who take part in the tours that start at the town hall square in Copenhagen.<br/><br/>Experiences from the Copenhagen free walking tours and related services in Northern Europe bring forward a number of issues related to the impact of shared tourism services on the local environment:<br/><br/>•	Spatial patterns of urban tourist mobility. Do alternative tourism innovations create alternative tourism landscapes?<br/>•	Diffusion of innovations. How do successful models of shared tourism services influence the development of similar services elsewhere?<br/>•	The importance of social media for marketing shared tourism experiences. Is visibility the new tourism currency? If yes, how does it affect the quality of experiences?<br/>•	Values of professional local knowledge. Is the craft of professional guiding being re-negotiated or even devalued as a result of shared guiding?<br/>•	Bubbles of cosmopolitan non-space. Is the creation of globalised elite networks in major cities a challenge to local and national integration? Could this be related to the current political situation in Europe?<br/><br/>The common denominator among these issues lie in the interplay between global forces and different aspects of localness. Global technological, economic, and cultural forces will inevitably influence the development of new tourism spaces, at the same time as local phenomena may be shared on a global scale creating new glocal experiences. The question is whether we are facing increased plurality or a higher degree of homegenisation. Is diversity increasing in global tourism, or does sharing economies in tourism represent ”the end of tourism as we know it” and the rise of global middleclassness?<br/>},
  author       = {Nilsson, Jan-Henrik and Zillinger, Malin},
  keyword      = {Tourism,Sharing economies,guided tours},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Quebec, Canada},
  month        = {08},
  title        = {There is no such thing as a free walk : Spatial implications of shared guiding developments},
  year         = {2018},
}