Can tourism be a new driver for regeneration?

Click on the image below to read a short article I have written for the British Urban Regeneration Association.  In it, I question whether the tourism industry, conceived solely in economic terms, is an appropriate partner for regeneration or whether we need to develop an understanding of tourism as a social force before we turn to it as an income stream during the economic crisis.


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5 responses to “Can tourism be a new driver for regeneration?”

  1. Great article! The idea of ‘Volun-tourism’ contributing to regeneration in urban UK is intriguing, but I guess the problem would be replicating the sense of self-worth (or should that be self-importance?) that volunteers derive from, say, ecotourism – where there is a sense of contributing to the preservation of an unspoilt landscape or the perceived romance of a “primitive” culture. So many ecotourists seek to distance themeselves, physically and philosophically, from the kind of urban landscapes most in need of regeneration, thus absolving themselves of collective responsibility for urban and environmental degradation. This prejudice needs to be addressed to tip the balance in favour of projects closer to home

  2. I know this is not what you are saying in your interesting article, but I find that one of the problems with Regeneration is that some people see one thing as the silver-bullet which will solve all of their problems. Tourism, like anything else, is not THE answer, but it can be used as part of the answer. Likewise, it may be part of the answer for part of the time – use tourism to help you move forward but don’t rely on it to solve all of your problems for all time.

    Steven Boxall
    Regeneration X

  3. Hi Steven, I suspect we are in agreement here. The danger of all ‘top-down’ regeneration schemes is that they focus on one or two key drivers and when the wider context changes, the lose their impetus. Hav eyou got a link to ‘regeneration x’ – great name!

    • James,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.

      I have only just started up on my own, so haven’t got a website for Regeneration X yet. Glad you like the name.

      As you are based at University of Greenwich, and I am based close by in Bexleyheath, perhaps we ought to met up? I would be interested in learning more about what you do and your research interests.

      020 8301 5570

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