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Exploring the historical evolution of tourist places: methodological implications and cartographic considerations when assessing tourism globalisation

Étudier l’évolution historique des lieux touristiques : implications méthodologiques et considérations cartographiques pour l’analyse de la mondialisation du tourisme
Andreea Antonescu

Résumés

Abordant la Mondialisation dans le contexte de « l’émergence du Monde comme espace pertinent » (Lévy et Lussault, 2013, p. 690), cet article examine la transformation des frontières spatiales et de la relation espace-temps, notamment sous l’influence des progrès des transports et de la technologie. Il identifie le tourisme comme un facteur significatif de l’interconnexion mondiale, modelé par une variété de développements sociétaux et infrastructurels. La mise en place d’un réseau mondial de 72 000 lieux touristiques de 1800 à 2000, stimulée par la propagation de l’imaginaire du voyage à travers différents médias, signe la « touristification » du monde. Notre recherche transcende les frontières politiques et administratives des cartes mondiales pour mieux dépeindre cette évolution spatiotemporelle et quantitative, révélant des périodes distinctes de croissance et de ralentissement. Elle donne des aperçus critiques sur les trajectoires de développement des lieux touristiques et leurs liens avec le processus plus large de la Mondialisation. Ce travail aborde les difficultés liées à la création d’une base de données mondiale et aux méthodologies de cartographie, en intégrant l’utilisation innovante des guides de voyage pour la collecte des données. En employant des méthodologies numériques et quantitatives, notre recherche examine les avantages potentiels de cette approche, mais également les limitations et les biais en termes de validité et de fiabilité de l’étude. Enfin, en nous appuyant sur des publications antérieures, nous mettons en lumière les limites rencontrées et esquissons des pistes de recherche pour l’avenir, apportant une compréhension approfondie des complexités de l’étude de la mondialisation du tourisme.

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Introduction

1This article approaches Globalisation as “the emergence of the world as a relevant space” (Lévy and Lussault, 2013, p. 690) for a multitude of professional and personal practices. Globalisation in this context does not entail the eradication of spatial boundaries but rather alludes to modifications in the space-time relationship. This change was significantly propelled by the evolution of transportation systems and technology, which have enabled access to remote places of interest. Simultaneously, the development of tourism has also been influenced by stakeholder engagement, infrastructure development, service provision, as well as societal shifts (Equipe MIT, 2011, p. 192-193), such as the delineation between workdays and holidays, that have fostered travel to unfamiliar places (Knafou and Stock, 2003; Stock et al., 2003). The transmission of the travel imaginary through various mediums, from traditional travel guidebooks to, more recently, digital platforms, has further stimulated the growth of tourism. This intricate process has led to the establishment of interconnected networks and hierarchical global systems, which in turn can introduce disparities and competition among differently advantaged regions.

2In examining the development of tourism in space and time, the research intentionally excludes political and administrative borders from global maps, highlighting the interconnected nature of the global tourist field (Clivaz et al., 2011). Tourism, nested within this theoretical framework, is identified as a significant contributor to Globalisation. This contribution manifests through the creation of a global network of tourist places, thereby contributing to the “touristification” of the world. The research traces the spatiotemporal and quantitative evolution of the global tourist field across the last two centuries. This endeavour unveils pivotal periods in the history of tourist places and establishes their linkage with the broader process of Globalisation (Antonescu, 2016).

3The research findings reveal several trajectories that allow for the identification of distinct periods of growth and slowdown when conducting a quantitative analysis of tourist places on a global scale. These trajectories provide valuable insights into the diverse developmental paths followed by different tourist places, offering a deeper understanding of the fluctuations and trends that shape the evolution of the global field of tourist places.

4The article’s structure begins with an examination of the challenges in constructing a global dataset, considering issues such as scarcity of robust data and methodological hurdles. This is followed by a section on mapping methods, including map projections and the use of the Buckminster-Fuller projection. The third section delves into the insights gained, concluding with areas for future research.

5Various digital and quantitative methodologies were employed, with critical evaluation of their potential advantages, limitations, and biases, to ensure the study’s validity and reliability. Originating from a doctoral thesis, this research has led to early-stage collaborative publications (Stock and Antonescu, 2011, 2014; Antonescu and Stock, 2014), focusing on theoretical proposals and methodological protocols. The present article expands on this work, outlining the actualization of initial proposals, construction of the global database, challenges faced, and the examination of global mapping representations.

6The paper marks significant advancements from previous work, exploring the practical application of initial ideas and assessing quantitative evaluations of tourist trajectories. Moreover, the research discusses encountered limitations and offers directions for future investigations, intending to provide insights into the complexities of studying tourism globalisation, including aspects like sources, encoding, geocoding, projection choices, and derived insights from these processes.

Building a reliable global dataset

7The initiation of this research, focusing on the global historical progression of tourism, necessitated the deliberation of methodological concerns. Critical questions considered include the definition of a location’s emergence as a tourist place, the potential consideration of the first tourist or initial tourist infrastructure such as a hotel, and the temporal precision to be applied (decade, year, month, day). These queries posed substantial challenges for both defining parameters and determining methodology, as distinct empirical data would emerge based on the chosen definitions. The definition of a tourist place may be based on infrastructure, the presence of tourists, or the importance of tourism to the local economy, resulting in potentially disparate emergence dates. Additionally, the necessary data, relating to the “first tourist”, “first tourist infrastructure”, or tourism becoming a dominant economic activity, is ingrained in a variety of both mythical and statistical narratives, each determining a different moment of emergence. Furthermore, the creation of a consistent, globally relevant source of data pertaining to tourist places across the past two centuries was deemed critical (Antonescu and Stock, 2014).

Unavailable robust and coherent data

8The review of literature divulged a scarcity of research regarding the correlation between Globalisation and tourism (Antonescu, 2016; Coëffé et al., 2007; Cornelissen, 2005; Furt and Michel, 2011; Gay and Violier, 2007; Gay and Decroly, 2018; Hoerner, 2010, 2013; Lazzarotti, 2000; Lyon and Wells, 2012; Macleod, 2004; Meethan 2001; Violier 2000, 2016; Sacareau et al., 2015; Wahab and Cooper 2001; Ivanov and Webster, 2013; Dwyer, 2015; Violier and Taunay, 2019). Even as the Globalisation phenomenon has been extensively scrutinized in social sciences, with emphasis on capitalism, multinationals, world culture, and industrialization (Conrady, 2012; Dwyer, 2015; Vellas, 1996), the linkages between Globalisation and tourism have remained underexplored. This research gap is exacerbated by the lack of precise global tourism data, as extant studies are often reliant on national-level data provided by institutions like the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which is typically based on estimated economic indicators, resulting in metadata that may not accurately reflect ground reality (Antonescu and Stock, 2014). A preference for microdata was noted. Furthermore, accessibility for tourism data is limited to post-1980 data.

9Efforts have been put forth to curate a national and sub-national level database, but they remain limited and incomplete (Bigano et al., 2007). Other studies, which deal with globalisation and tourism, often concentrate on a segment of the world, thus excluding a global perspective (Bruner, 2001; Duhamel and Knafou, 2007; Little, 2004; Macleod, 1999a; Salazar, 2005; Scarpaci, 2005; Sugiyarto et al., 2003; Wood, 2000).

10A pioneering exploration on tourist locations was undertaken by a team of several researchers (Equipe MIT, 2011) who developed a global mapping based on a database of 2,000 places and their emergence as tourist places. This research shed light on aspects such as colonisation, accessibility, industrial organisation, and circulation of innovations (places and practices) as integral to global tourism. Their efforts laid the groundwork for this study. Unlike the collaborative methodology used by Equipe MIT, this research was conducted by a single researcher, utilising an innovative approach to discern the emergence of tourist places globally.

Travel guidebooks as data source and data collection

11For this study, a documented source that could facilitate the examination of tourism as a global phenomenon was indispensable. Given the requisite depth and historical range, travel guidebooks were chosen as the primary source of information. However, these guidebooks did not offer information about the precise date when a location evolved into a tourist place (Stock and Antonescu, 2014). To address this obstacle, the study transitioned its focus from identifying the precise date of touristification to recognising the moment when a location was documented as a tourist place. This documentation was denoted by the initial reference of a location in a printed travel guidebook and was considered indicative of the location’s acknowledgment as a tourist place by a group of tourists, editors, and publishers. This usage of guidebooks, therefore, implies that all locations mentioned in the guidebooks are deemed tourist places and that they represent a socially and culturally constructed “tourist gaze” (Urry, 1990).

12Travel guidebooks were chosen as the data source due to their coverage of diverse geographical spaces, the continuity and abundance of their editions, and their reflection of tourist preferences. Two types of data were extracted from 200 guidebooks: toponyms and publication dates. The resulting database was utilised to construct an atlas of global tourism, although its coverage is limited compared to a global city database like the Geopolis database (Moriconi-Ebrard, 1993, 1994, 2000).

13To attain a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of tourist places, data was collected not only on the emergence of places as places, but also on their progression over time. Three categories were established based on the status of a location as a tourist place at various stages in its lifecycle: permanent loss of tourist function, temporary interruption, and constant maintenance. This categorization aimed to provide more precise information on the number of global tourist places. This approach necessitated the collection of data from different guidebook editions and determination of whether the places were repeated in each edition. Toponyms were extracted from the alphabetical index, with manual intervention required to remove non-place data. The process of data entry was laborious, necessitating both digital and manual manipulation of data.

14The methodology employed in the construction of the travel guidebook corpus presented several limitations. Firstly, the corpus is a text that is subject to editorial rules, meaning that data interpretation cannot provide a global perspective on tourism, but can only offer one aspect of tourism. Secondly, the chosen collections were primarily edited by Europeans and Americans, thereby restricting the view of the tourist world to Western perspectives and excluding other tourist places. Thirdly, there is an absence of information prior to the publication of the first guides in 1780, meaning that emerging tourist places prior to that date cannot be differentiated. Fourthly, the approximation of dates by the guides cannot provide absolute historical events, affecting the dating of tourist places. Lastly, difficulties in searching for digital guides were encountered due to incomplete titles and confusion between authors, publishers, and guide collections on different online platforms.

Selection of collections, series, and editions: an analytical approach

15The selection process for travel guidebooks entails the consideration of multiple factors: each guide is published by a particular publishing house, reissued at various intervals, devoted to a specified geographic area, and often translated into different languages.

16A crucial initial step involved choosing a collection based on the publisher. The chosen publishers for this study were those producing significant guide collections, for example, Baedeker, Murray, Guides Joanne, Guides Bleus, Guide du Routard, etc., while ensuring that all continents were represented.

17The reason behind focusing on prominent collections stemmed from the significant variability in the promotion of tourist places across different publishing houses. For instance, the Guide Delta for Italy (1982) proposes 400 locations, while the Guides Bleus (1988) for the same country suggests 1,693 locations. Therefore, the objective was to gather a comprehensive representation of tourist places worldwide.

18The methodology, in its initial stages, involved selecting the first publisher who had published a guide on a specific country. For example, French publishers for France, Baedeker guides for Germany, Murray guides for the UK, Appleton’s guides for North America, etc. The same approach could apply to colonies, such as English guides for India and South Africa, French guides for some African countries and French Polynesia, and so on. Eventually, it became evident that different perspectives of various publishers on tourist places, inferred from the nationality of the publisher, would prove to be beneficial. For example, it might be possible to identify the preferred tourist places of English, French, American, and German readers.

19To assemble a coherent corpus, it was essential that various collections were comparable in terms of described spaces, publication periods, and general text organization. From 1780 to 1830, the most renowned authors of the era were chosen: Nugent (English), Dutens (French but also published in English), Reichard (the German pioneer of the genre), and a representative from the United States, author Henry S. Tanner.

20From 1830 until 1919, certain collections emerged and established their presence in the market. In Germany, Baedeker succeeded Reichard from 1827; in France, Adolphe Joanne published guides from 1841, followed by his son Paul from 1881; in the UK, John Murray began publishing guidebooks from 1836. In North America, “Appleton’s guides” appeared from 1846, contemporary to the three major European collections.

21An essential subsequent step involves selecting the editions of a publisher for a specific region. Having chosen the titles from a catalogue, the necessary editions are selected based on the update of information within the guidebook. Travel guidebook information requires frequent renewal or updates to cater to tourists’ needs and keep pace with evolving trends. The focus was primarily on the increase or decrease in the number of proposed tourist places. Therefore, it was essential to record all places mentioned in a travel guidebook while checking for updates in subsequent or previous editions.

Processing a global database: a methodological and empirical challenge

22Printed travel guidebooks present information about popular tourist places as of their publication date but lack insights into the evolution or decline of a location’s tourism function. To address this, the publication dates of guidebooks have become essential reference points in evaluating the touristic status of a place, including the evolution and decline of its tourism function, its intermittency, and its constancy.

23Indicators for these observations were developed utilising conditional formulas. The date of emergence of a location as a tourist place is denoted by the date of its initial mention within a collection of guidebooks. The emergence of a tourist place is believed to be acknowledged from the moment its tourist function is recognised by the visitors due to its first appearance in a travel guidebook. This process can be seen as the societal recognition of a location as a tourist place. Due to such recognition, a place found its mention in a travel guidebook. Nonetheless, there is no available evidence of the methods employed by the guidebook publishers in their selection of places. Still, the locations suggested by these guidebooks are assumed to represent “fashionable” places during a particular period and, thus, are presumed to be frequented by tourists.

24The decline in tourism for a place is signified by its final appearance in a series of guidebooks, as noted by the year of the edition which last includes the place in question. Places that sustain their tourism function “permanently” have been checked for their presence in the guides from their initiation as tourist places until 2000. If a place exhibits an “intermittent” tourism function, it signifies that there were discontinuities in its trajectory, discovered by verifying the presence of the same toponym in each edition consulted between these two dates.

25From a practical perspective, this new data was gathered by assigning a code to each location, denoting its presence (coded 1) or absence (coded 0) in travel guidebooks, for each pre-established period. Table 1 serves as an illustrative example that showcases the encoding and calculation of a permanent trajectory within the database. Following the determination of these new indicators, statistical analyses were conducted, and the results were mapped on separate maps with different purposes.

Table 1. Example for calculating a permanent tourist trajectory

Example of a permanent trajectory

1793-
1830

1831-
1850

1851-
1881

1882-
1895

1896-
1928

1929-
1973

1974-
2000

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

Antonescu, 2016.

26Challenges in creating this corpus were numerous and necessitated the construction of a genealogy of travel guidebooks for each of the four distinct perspectives taken into account: British, German, French, and American. This process underscored the complexity of collating and organising the information within the scope of this study.

27Despite its innovative approach, the methodology employed for the assembly of the travel guidebook corpus presents several limitations. For instance, the corpus is tied by editorial norms, suggesting that the data interpretation is not capable of providing a holistic view of worldwide tourism but can merely reflect a fragment of it. Moreover, due to the primarily European and American origins of the guide collections, the corpus unavoidably depicts a Western perception of the tourist world, consequently sidelining other cultural perspectives. To provide a more diverse understanding of the tourism phenomenon and counterbalance the predominantly western-centric view inherent in the current data, this study could benefit from incorporating data derived from non-western guidebooks, such as those originating from Asia and South America.

28Further compounding these limitations, the guidebooks’ approximation of dates lacks the ability to accurately depict specific historical events, thereby influencing the determination of the dating of tourist places. For a more granular and precise determination of the specific dates concerning tourist places, a thorough investigation into a multitude of other published sources is recommended. This individualised, place-by-place research approach could yield more precise dating and provide a richer, more nuanced understanding of the temporal aspects of a specific place.

29Additionally, the process of searching for digital guides posed considerable challenges due to the incomplete titles and confusion between authors, publishers, and guide collections across different online platforms. The assembly of this database, hence, demanded meticulous research and organisation, illustrating the multifaceted challenges of collating an extensive and diverse array of guidebook data.

30During the compilation phase of the corpus, several challenges were encountered. Since the alphabetical index plays a significant role in gathering locations, the focus was on selecting guidebooks that include one. However, some guidebooks, and even certain publishers, lack an alphabetical index or a table of contents, as is the case with the Michelin Guides. Likewise, some editions within the chosen guide collections do not possess an alphabetical index, but a section often called “practical information” where each location is briefly described. This is, in fact, a detailed alphabetical index, and data extraction from this section was performed manually in the absence of a simple index.

31The alphabetical index encompasses various facets; it can contain a mix of place names, character names, or keywords. Some guides use differentiation of these three aspects in the index via different writing styles. For instance, place names might be bolded, character names italicized, and keywords in uppercase, allowing for an easy sorting process. However, certain guidebooks do not differentiate in this manner, which makes sorting considerably challenging. Moreover, this sorting must be carried out manually. Some guides use a distinct writing style in the text and not in the index, implying that locations would have to be extracted from the text, page by page, as observed in the 1909 Baedeker guide on Central Italy. Manual extraction of place names from the text was a substantial and time-consuming operation and was not pursued. Nonetheless, the removal of additional information, like the names of characters from that time and other keywords, had to be performed manually.

32Another difficulty encountered was the change in the writing form of toponyms. For instance, “Domodossola” is the present writing, but it was written as “Domo-d’Ossola” in 1853. Another example is “Sanremo”, written as a single word in 1883, but found as ”San Remo” in the same collection in 1890, resembling its modern usage. This challenge was partially overcome by the geocoder, which could recognize some toponyms with a writing close to or similar to today’s. Yet, places that underwent a complete name change throughout history, such as certain Eastern European cities that bore the names of communist personalities and changed names after the regime’s fall, were not mapped to the same geographical locations. This issue posed a problem during the mapping of locations.

Conclusions

33The inherent complexities in using travel guidebooks as a primary data source stem from their varied nature. The lack of standardization among guidebooks, stemming from their diversity in terms of intended audience, geographical coverage, and theme, poses a significant methodological challenge. It is also important to highlight that, while this study leans on the assumption that inclusion in guidebooks signifies recognition as a tourist place, this assumption itself carries a significant bias. Guidebooks, by their nature, are products of selective processes that reflect the perspectives of their authors and editors, rather than a complete or objective representation of all existing tourist places.

34The challenges faced in this research underscore the potential benefits of incorporating advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. With their capacity for information retrieval, data mining, natural language processing, and machine learning, AI-driven tools could significantly enhance the efficiency and accuracy of gathering, extracting, organizing, processing, and representing data from guidebooks. Machine learning algorithms, for instance, could be trained to extract pertinent data from a variety of sources, while natural language processing algorithms could automate the currently manual process of categorizing different types of data. Moreover, AI could streamline the organization and processing of data using methods such as clustering, pattern recognition, and semantic analysis, potentially overcoming difficulties like recognizing the changing forms of toponyms over time.

Visualizing tourism globalisation

35Tourism, akin to numerous societal practices, has led to the formation of distinctive spaces, fostering its broad growth (Towner, 1996; Löfgren, 1999; Venayre, 2012; Zuelow, 2015). Despite these comprehensive studies, a detailed examination of the subject has not been extensively explored. The representation of space emerges as a prominent issue while managing, processing, and evaluating data. This challenge of spatially and visually illustrating globalisation has been approached in scholarly journals via global mapping, which includes a sequence of technical operations and choices, such as colour and base map selection, cartographic projection, map orientation, and representation of entities (Antonescu and Stock, 2014).

36The considerable impact of globalisation on the tourism sector has elevated the role of mapping as an indispensable tool for conceptualizing and understanding tourism’s spatial aspects (Robertson, 1990; Hanna and Del Casino, 2003). Different maps have been employed in tourism studies, each providing unique advantages and disadvantages. Tourist flow maps help in identifying popular tourist places (Goeldner and Ritchie, 2009), heat maps utilize colour intensities to depict densities of tourist activities (Kulyk and Sossa, 2018), while choropleth maps use colour variations to represent changes in a single attribute across a geographical area (Li et al., 2021).

37Network maps are used to represent the interconnectedness of tourist places and the use of 3D models and virtual reality technologies enhance the visualization of tourist flows (Beck et al., 2019; Yung and Khoo-Lattimore, 2019). Apart from conventional mapping techniques, digital methods have gained traction among historians for representing the history of tourism (Boyer, 2000, 2005; Gigase et al., 2014; Tissot, 2000; Walton, 1983, 2005, 2014).

38Techniques such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which amalgamate various data types to create a spatial representation of the data, are effective for investigating the historical geography of tourism (Langran, 1992). Moreover, digital humanities is leveraged to study the impact of tourism on society (Tunbridge and Ashworth, 1996). The recent use of Historical-Geographical Information Systems (HGIS) in studying the history of tourism has been highlighted, for example, in the work of Antons (2021) on transnational tourist flows of the Baltic Sea in the 19th century. This application of HGIS furnishes a comprehensive understanding of the spatial dimensions of tourism and its effects on specific regions.

39In the current digital era, online museum collections and digital libraries created by memory institutions offer access to historical primary sources related to tourism (Terras, 2012). Such platforms provide avenues for researchers to virtually tour historical sites and gain a deeper understanding of tourism history. Additionally, blogs and social media platforms facilitate researchers in sharing their findings and collaborating with other historians.

40In conclusion, an array of mapping techniques, each with its unique strengths and limitations, has been employed to examine tourism globalisation. The choice of a mapping method largely depends on the precise research questions being investigated and the data at hand.

Mapping methods choices and challenges

41The notion of globalisation incorporates all forms of diffusion, interaction, and communication among diverse global regions, referring to globally inhabited areas beyond politically defined borders. These regions’ boundaries are typically delineated by natural barriers such as mountains, seas, oceans, and deserts. This research removes political and administrative borders from global maps to emphasize the interconnected nature of tourism’s development in space and time. In cartographic semiotics, points usually represent places and cities, but for mapping tourist places globally, points serve as a more practical graphic representation. The use of colour differentiates geographical entities and accentuates information types. With mapping software like ArcGIS, the colour palette can be manipulated to reflect the information intended.

42To maintain map simplicity and highlight tourist places, other geographical information such as relief, hydrography, or road networks were deliberately omitted to prevent interference with map readability. Specific attention was given to the base map and map projection, crucial for representing globalisation. The base map was utilised more as a support for tourist place representation than a location means, enabling an emphasis on specific geographical information and focusing the reader’s attention on key data. It is noteworthy that any world representation on a flat surface inherently constitutes a compromise, given that reality cannot be accurately depicted in a flat representation. Hence, the transition from a sphere to a map necessitates a projection system, which might cause alterations or distortions to certain parts of the globe. Consequently, the choice of a projection that minimizes these flaws was crucial. Such flaws often relate to the preservation of shape (angles), area, and continuity of the Earth. Conformal projections retain the angles between two directions, whereas equivalent projections safeguard surface proportionality. Yet, these projections also present issues, for instance, they accurately represent shapes predominantly at the map’s center, often around the meridians passing through Europe (Grataloup, 2011, p. 9). On the contrary, certain aphetic projections aspire to offset these distortions, but at the expense of earth continuity. No projection is ideal, and the selection of a projection will invariably involve a degree of subjectivity on the part of the mapmaker.

Buckminster-Fuller projection as a basemap

43The Buckminster-Fuller or “Dymaxion Map” projection was selected to map globalization in this study (see Figure 1), serving a dual purpose as a tool to locate information and as support for information (Hurel and Poncet, 2008, p. 19-20). This projection offers a satisfactory compromise for statistical maps, accurately rendering areas and shapes, while the Tissot indicators remain relatively undistorted, enabling comparisons between regions like Greenland and India which, in reality, have similar surfaces. However, earth continuity is not preserved as the oceans are cut to form an icosahedron. The projection emphasizes the interconnected nature of the global tourist field, permits rotation in any direction, allows for uninterrupted trans-Pacific flow visualization, and contrasts traditional projections like the Mercator and Robinson by granting relatively equal areas to all regions and avoiding significant distortions. A simplification effort in map production aimed to enhance readability and the choice of the Buckminster-Fuller projection was influenced by factors such as its portrayal of a unified world without favouring any specific region, its more accurate representation of Earth’s geography without distorting the Pacific Ocean, and its versatile nature allowing for flipping and utilization from multiple perspectives. Limitations include inaccessibility and unfamiliarity to some, and an imprecise depiction of regions near the poles.

Figure 1. The World of Tourism according to Buckminster Fuller’s projection

Figure 1. The World of Tourism according to Buckminster Fuller’s projection

Georeferencing

44In accordance with the principles and techniques of graphic semiology, the fundamental step in mapping places is georeferencing. This process involves assigning geographical coordinates (latitude/longitude) to an entity. In this research, mass geocoding was applied, successfully locating 72,000 out of an initial 120,000 addresses. Due to the substantial dataset, consisting of 48,000 unresolved addresses, and the limitations of manual processing by a single researcher, a difficult decision was made to confine the study to the 72,000 geocoded places.

45Prior to cartographic representation, a meticulous manual verification process was undertaken on the georeferenced places to confirm accuracy, recognizing the potential for geocoders to misplace locations. This was achieved through detailed cleaning and verification operations at the database level. The georeferencing process also contributed to the removal of duplicate locations, underscoring its importance not only in spatial mapping but in maintaining data integrity.

46The georeferencing process is notably challenged by the issue of place homonyms, exemplified by city names such as “London” or “Brighton”, which refer to well-known locations in the United Kingdom but also to smaller towns in the USA. This similarity can lead to potential misrepresentation in geocoding, as global operations typically function from West to East. For instance, a reference to “London” intended to specify the UK city might be incorrectly geocoded to Ohio, USA. This inherent challenge extends to all homonyms worldwide, emphasizing the need for meticulous validation in the geocoding process, particularly for commonly occurring toponyms. The example illustrates that, while geocoding serves as a crucial tool in spatial data analysis, its results must be handled with caution due to the possibility of such misrepresentations.

47In conclusion, georeferencing serves as an essential element in graphically representing data, yet exhibits specific limitations when applied to extensive historical datasets. The geocoding process, while valuable, is not without flaws. During initial trials, it was discerned that certain locations could not be located by either the geocoder or the author, possibly because they no longer exist, having been renamed, absorbed into a city through administrative reorganization, or abandoned as a small village. The absence of geographical coordinates for these locations precludes their representation on a map, signifying a significant constraint tied to the geocoder’s capacity to locate all requested places. This highlights the inherent challenges in georeferencing, especially when dealing with large historical datasets, such as the one examined in this research, ranging from 1793 to 2000.

Insights gained

48The global diffusion of tourism is a nonlinear and heterogeneous process that manifests in the establishment of a worldwide nexus of tourist places, through the creation, continuation, and cessation of their tourist functions. This is a complex and heterogeneous process, marked by both growth and decline in the establishment of tourist places worldwide. Correspondences were observed between key periods in Globalisation and tourism dynamics, revealing a relative alignment between historical phases of both phenomena. Key dates in Globalisation were identified, such as 1500, 1800, 1830, 1850, 1870-1880, 1914, 1929, 1945, and 1970, with six of these marking temporal markers for the tourism globalisation periodisation.

49A quantitative analysis of touristic toponyms defined in this study displayed similar trends to existing studies on global history, history of globalisation, and history of tourism. Specific periods were characterised by various dynamics, including the beginnings of tourism from 1793 to 1830, consistent growth from 1831 to 1850, significant increases during 1851-1881, 1882-1895, and 1974-2000, slight growth from 1896-1928, and a sole period of stagnation from 1929 to 1973.

50Notably, the year 1945 was not recognised as a transitional moment but rather as part of the 1929-1973 phase, during which a decrease in the publication of tourist guides occurred. This decline lasted until 1958 but did not hinder Globalisation, as this era was still considered “a golden age for economic growth and exchanges in several corners of the world” (MacGillivray, 2006, p. 20). Subsequently, tourism experienced a resurgence after 1958, leading to an almost unanimous historical correspondence across disciplines for a period beginning after 1973-1974. This era was marked by unprecedented growth and the various effects generated by globalisation, highlighting the intricate relationship between tourism and Globalisation throughout history.

51The research conducted on the globalisation of tourism led to the development of an innovative methodology grounded on tourist guidebooks, resulting in a comprehensive database spanning the years 1800 to 2000. This methodology facilitated the extraction of vital insights, including:

  1. Variability in the Trajectory of Tourist Places. Tourism globalisation is characterized by dynamic, periodic systems that form a worldwide network. This dynamism is illustrated through the spatiotemporal evolution of these places.

  2. Phenomenon of Growth in Tourist Emergences. Over 200 years, tourism has grown exponentially, as shown in Figure 2, with the data sample of 72,000 tourist toponyms resulting in approximately 40,000 emergences. This represents an initial quantification with an approximate 702% increase in touristic production. Key emergence peaks were identified in 1851, 1892, 1929, and 1973, reflecting notable changes in the field (increase from 2,410 in 1830 to over 13,500 in 2000).

  3. Non-linear Process. The global tourism field exhibits dynamics of contraction and expansion, with places being both injected into and ejected from tourist systems, reflecting the non-linear nature of tourism globalisation.

  4. Tourist Intermittency. This term denotes places maintaining their tourist function but showing sporadic evolution, as represented in Figure 3, with 2,308 intermittent tourist places identified in the study. Periods of absence in guidebooks were qualified as “temporary stops”.

  5. Tourist Permanencies. 2,332 locations have sustained their tourist function since emergence, as shown in Figure 4. This includes 140 places established before 1800, primarily in Europe (Equipe MIT, 2008, 2011; Knafou, 1996; Stock, 2001). These permanencies were found across continents, with notable concentrations in Italy and Spain throughout the two centuries. Permanent locations emerged in areas like Morocco, Mexico, Tunisia, and later in Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Central and South America, North and West Africa, Central Africa, the Canary Islands, Eastern and Southern Europe, and South and West Asia.

Figure 2. Production of tourist places between 1800 and 2000

Figure 2. Production of tourist places between 1800 and 2000

Figure 3. Intermittent trajectory of tourist places

Figure 3. Intermittent trajectory of tourist places

Figure 4. Permanent trajectory of tourist places

Figure 4. Permanent trajectory of tourist places

52These key findings underscore the multifaceted and dynamic nature of the globalisation of tourism, demonstrating a periodic pattern of growth and decline. They further highlight the complexity of tourist place emergence, intermittency, permanence, and disappearance, and contribute valuable perspectives to the understanding of the global tourism field. The observations also illuminate the nuanced relationship between tourism and geography, particularly the fluctuating popularity of tourist locations over time and across regions.

Conclusion

53In summary, this study highlights the complexities and potential expansion of understanding tourism globalization. Its Western-centric approach may not encapsulate the full nuance of global tourism trends, underscoring the need for further exploration. Expanding the database of tourist places to include non-Western sources, and examining the practices of non-Western populations, would provide a more holistic view. Such expansion could involve incorporating information from various institutions, companies, digital platforms, and social media (Chareyron et al., 2014; Chareyron et al., 2013), thus widening our comprehension of the subject.

54Furthermore, the indispensable role of reliable, digitized data is emphasized, presenting both challenges and opportunities in the field of tourism history research. The use of AI assistance in collecting and analyzing data can enhance efficiency, accuracy, and the depth of research findings.

55Lastly, contrary to some views of tourism as a declining field, this study affirms its dynamic nature, displaying resilience and innovation, and echoing industrial revolution structures (Violier, 2017; Violier and Taunay, 2019). This transformation is marked by complex, non-linear trends, illustrating the adaptive and far-reaching impact of mass tourism on practices and places across various societies. The ongoing evolution of tourism involves invention, imitation, and blending, reflecting the inherent mobility of the entire world (Stock, 2008), and diversity of the global human experience.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. The World of Tourism according to Buckminster Fuller’s projection
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tourisme/docannexe/image/6306/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 148k
Titre Figure 2. Production of tourist places between 1800 and 2000
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tourisme/docannexe/image/6306/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 224k
Titre Figure 3. Intermittent trajectory of tourist places
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tourisme/docannexe/image/6306/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 98k
Titre Figure 4. Permanent trajectory of tourist places
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tourisme/docannexe/image/6306/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 182k
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Andreea Antonescu, « Exploring the historical evolution of tourist places: methodological implications and cartographic considerations when assessing tourism globalisation »Mondes du Tourisme [En ligne], 24 | 2023, mis en ligne le 15 décembre 2023, consulté le 27 mai 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/tourisme/6306 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/tourisme.6306

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Andreea Antonescu

Associate Professor, César Ritz Colleges, Switzerland
aantonescu[at]cesarritzcolleges.edu; andreea.antonescu07[at]gmail.com

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