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23|2023 - HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS: THE VISIBLE AND THE HIDDEN

Deadline for receipt of abstracts: September 30th, 2022
Deadline for receipt of full texts: January 30th, 2023

COORDINATION

Philippe BACHIMON, Université d’Avignon

Nelson Graburn, University of California at Berkeley

Maria Gravari-Barbas, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Santorin, Greece : A Chinese couple takes a picture before the wedding, in front of the sunset which also attracts several other tourists

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© Maria Gravari-Barbas, 2016

The Via call for papers seeks to explore a range of facets related to matrimonial, romantic and honeymoon tourism (McKercher, Bauer, 2003), in a context of 'liquid love' (Bauman, 2003) and notable evolutions of marriage, matrimonial relationships and more generally of love relationships on the one hand; and evolutions of tourist mobilities on the other.

Wedding events are a growing tourist industry. The wedding itself, which has become an event (staging, services, accommodation, catering, etc.) that is largely "touristified," is followed by a honeymoon, sometimes financed by gifts from wedding guests. This is also preceded by bachelor and bachelorette parties, which have become festive tourist stays (usually a weekend).

Several situations can be mentioned:

- Matrimonial tourism with its imposed destinations such as Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada (Tourism for a rapid divorce, or elopement), and also Tahiti or the Châteaux de la Loire in France. Beyond the sometimes distant destinations, this matrimonial tourism includes a set of service providers such as castles, mas, caterers, entertainers... or even Riads, Ranches or Isbas...

- Honeymoon destinations have become established, and many have acquired-sometimes for a long time-an international (Santorini, Bora Bora, Capri, Venice...) or national (Jeju in South Korea) reputation.

“Romantic destinations” (Zhu, 2018) more generally concern travel by couples to celebrate their lives together - wedding anniversaries or dating anniversaries, trips to re-establish a relationship...

The questions in this issue of Via are diverse and intertwined.

They seek to capture the places - the destinations of matrimonial, honeymoon, romantic tourism... What geographies do they outline on a global scale (Seongseop, Agrusa, 2005; Bertella G. 2017)? Insofar as through these journeys the "lost" Garden of Eden is sought: What are these substitute earthly paradises? Where are they today in the imaginations of couples, whoever they may be (Walters and Cassel, 2016)? What clichés and stereotypes are conveyed by the promotion of these destinations? And what are the relations of domination in this globalised matrimonial tourism industry? (Rydzik et al, 2021).

These questions are asked in a dynamic and historical way: new honeymoon destinations have emerged in the last years or decades, diversifying the historical romantic destinations (even if most of these historical destinations still maintain their place as is the case of Paris). And finally, what are these emerging destinations?

These questions refer to the actors who produce these destinations. Who are they, how do they operate, on a range of scales from local service providers to national or international positioning? And what products are offered (types of hotels, cruises, visits, events, etc.)?

They also concern the issue of imaginaries: what is a "romantic" place for tourists of different origins and backgrounds? How does one perceive the romantic character of a destination according to its different cultures and origins? The question of the practices, sometimes very regulated, even ritualised, which are behind this tourism - preparation visits, with the photographer, etc. - is raised.

Starting from the observation of a set of places and specialised service providers on a global scale, as well as an asserted demand from couples, it is therefore on the places, actors, imaginaries and practices of "romantic" tourism that this issue of Via invites us to examine.

Bibliographie

Bauman Z., 2003, Liquid love, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bertella G. 2017, The Emergence of Tuscany as a Wedding Destination: The Role of Local Wedding Planners, Tourism Planning and Development, 14(1), 1–14.

McKercher B., Bauer T., 2003, Conceptual framework of the nexus between tourism, romance and sex, in Thomas G. Bauer, Kaye Sung Chon, Bob McKercher, Sex and Tourism: Journeys of Romance, Love, and Lust, Routledge.

Rydzik A. Agapito D., Lenton Ch. 2021, Visibility, power and exclusion: The (un)shifting constructions of normativity in wedding tourism brochures, Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 86. 

Seongseop Kim S., Agrusa J., 2005, The positioning of overseas honeymoon destinations, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 887–904.

Walters N. , Cassel  S. 2016, Still a white paradise? Photographic representations of Jamaica as a tourism destination, Tourism, Culture and Communication, 16 (1) pp. 69-73

Zhu Y., 2018, : Heritage and Romantic Consumption in China, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press

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