chapter  1
Urban tourism and its discontents: an introduction
WithJOHANNES NOVY, CLAIRE COLOMB
Pages 30

This chapter examines Belfast, Northern Ireland as a case study in order to analyse how the politics of tourism development intersect with the politics of ethnic conflict in deeply divided cities with histories of violent conflict. Policy-makers began strategizing Belfast's comeback long before the conflict was settled. Protestants, in turn, frame the hardships of their communities in light of the Catholic community's growing financial and political influence. As Baker states, if there is one thing that can be said for sectarianism, it gives meaning to one's life and it is free at the point of entry'. The economic growth that was supposed to undermine ethnic tension has become a driver of the old conflict in a new form. Groups are also attempting to circumvent state constraints by seeking investment from international organizations such as the European Union or the International Fund for Ireland.