chapter  9
18 Pages

Tourism, border politics, and the fault lines of mobility

WithRaoul V. Bianchi, Marcus L. Stephenson

This chapter examines the normative view of tourism as an apolitical phenomenon, abstracted from the broader realm of mobility politics and structural determinants of immobility. Tourism continues to be avidly promoted as one of the world’s most dynamic industries capable of stimulating inclusive and sustainable growth, also fostering socio-economic development. The idea of tourism as a benevolent force gathered momentum in tandem with attempts by the League of Nations to construct a peaceful international order and the expansion of commercial travel during the interwar years. Tourism was celebrated as one of the principal means through which Europeans could experience the benefits of European Union citizenship. The idea that international tourism represents a largely benign form of cross-border movement, premised upon consensual trade ties between states, continues to exert a powerful influence on government thinking worldwide. The barriers to international cross-border travel are neither simply financial nor are they strictly formal-legal constraints derived from the rights of citizenship.