Reconstructing and examining reality: Literary Tourism, Film-induced tourism & Language

Rita Baleiro, Kate Torkington


This special issue, which is also the first issue published under the new name of the journal (now called Dos Algarves: Tourism, Hospitality and Management Journal), brings together a collection of original research on literary tourism, film-induced tourism and language: three concepts that can shape and examine reality and are the substance that creates new worlds, portrays landscapes, nurtures emotions and expands knowledge about the world. Not so long ago, the research and practice of literary tourism – i.e. travelling to literary significant places – was a "palpable embarrassment" among scholars, making them "thoroughly uneasy" (Watson, 2006: 5, 6), although it often coexisted with an undisclosed wish to go on literary pilgrimages or participating in literary academic meetings that provided literary tours and literary readings in situ (Watson, 2006). This attitude resulted from the predominant influence of structuralism and post-structuralism (Derrida, 1976) which advocated that there is "nothing outside the text": language and texts are self-enclosed systems in which the critical connections are those between the text signifiers and not those between words and the natural objects they represent. The context was, however, never neglected (cf. Derrida, 1977) and the notion of the text without limits was present and also enhanced by reader-response criticism and the transactional theory of meaning formation (Rosenblatt, [1978] 1993; Iser [1974] 1978). Such theorists advocate that only the readers' active interaction determines the 'realisation' of the text (Iser, [1974] 1978). As such, until that interaction happens, the literary text is incomplete. This same principle seems to consciously or unconsciously motivate visitors to go on literary touring, so they fill in the gaps after the interaction between the projections of what they consider valid and the elements in space. This view transferred to tourism studies via the geographical (Herbert, 1996) and humanist (Pocock, 1987) approaches to tourism, highlighting that the experience of place aided the understanding of the literary texts. Literary tourism has, however, other motivations that involve visits to places associated with the author (e.g. where s/he lived, worked or died), and the inspiration to travel to these sites is not only to get a better understanding of the text but to feel closer to the author (Watson, 2009). Later, literary tourism expanded via the production of literary events (i.e. literary festivals) and literary places (e.g. literary parks and hotels).
The first four articles in this special issue address these research topics. The first one, "Práticas de turismo literário: Uma revisão sistemática da literatura" / "Practices of literary tourism: A systematic literature review", analyses the different literary tourism products and experiences discussed in scientific productions. This study concludes that such practices (i) take place predominately in Europe and China; (ii) that they are spontaneous tours and visits, which happen when visitors encounter visual literary landmarks; and (iii) the promotional tools of such practices are tourist guides, maps and the audiovisual industry (a topic also discussed in the fourth and fifth articles in this issue).
The second paper on literary tourism focuses on literary hotels and aims to evaluate if these accommodation units are a new type of literary tourism or just a product of literary tourism. To that end, the researcher analysed fifty-seven hotel websites that provided information in English regarding the hotel's literary connection. The author proposes a taxonomy of these hotels: literary-themed hotels, hotels associated with an author, hotels dedicated to an author, hotels associated with a fictional work or a character, and library hotels. The study's findings show that literary hotels are not a single type of tourism product but a wide-ranging type that offers a variety of products and experiences to multiple target audiences under different categories.
The third article, “Os eventos literários e a criação poético-ficcional no Vale do Paraíba (SP): Concepções e realizações” / “The literary events and the creative processes in Vale do Paraíba (São Paulo, Brazil)”: conceptions and achievements”, analyses another product of literary tourism: the literary festivals in the Vale do Paraíba (São Paulo, Brazil). Departing from the concept of literary systems, this paper aims to understand if (and how) participation in these events impacts the fictional and poetic creation, the entry into the publishing circuit and the possibility of reaching more readers. The results show that literary festivals are an excellent opportunity for authors to promote their works and meet their readers, although they claim that contact with the public does not always impact the creative process.
The fourth paper on literary tourism takes a different approach: it takes a book – Portugal de relance / Portugal at a glance – by Maria Ratazzi (1882) and seeks to understand and identify symbolic images of Portugal using the mythical Portuguese imaginary (identified by the anthropologist Gilbert Durand) as an analytical methodology. In their interpretative reading of Rattazzi's book, the authors could observe how it is possible to find clues to the founding myths of the imaginary of a culture and how this underlies the construction of a tourist imaginary of a destination.
Experiencing the place where the book was written or set and the places where literature is celebrated has a parallel in film-induced tourism studies. The use of topographical and geographical accuracy in literary texts and films has motivated both types of tourists to travel to the places where the book was set, and film was shot. Apart from these common traits, there are two others: the imagination, which makes it possible to shape visitors' experience of real-world locations, and the tourism industry's role in transforming fictional experiences of places into actual-world experiences.
The fifth article published in this special issue addresses the impact of crime television series on the image of tourist destinations. In this work, the authors analysed 929 viewers' reviews of eight crime television series available on the IMDb platform (Commissario Montalbano, Shetland, Unauthorised living, Gomorra, Dogs of Berlin, Marseille, Trapped and Sky Rojo) between October 2021 and February 2022. The findings show that when TV series portray the destination negatively (e.g., Gomorra), there are significant impacts on the image of the destination and tourist behaviour.
The following article is entitled "Movie-Induced Tourism: New Zealand and the UK, an EEG case study" / "Turismo Cinematográfico: Nova Zelândia e Reino Unido, um caso de estudo de EEG" and it evaluates the impact of films on the attractiveness of tourist destinations, namely on the intention of spectators to visit the destinations. To that end, two destinations represented in three fantasy genre sagas were selected: the United Kingdom and the Harry Potter films, and New Zealand and The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. The authors conducted an EEG study with six variables (involvement, stress, interest, focus, excitement, and relaxation), using a questionnaire survey. Findings reveal a strong relationship between all variables in the decision to visit a destination
The seventh paper in this issue concerns the transformations in the historic centres of Lisbon and Porto due to the tourist boom and the debate on this topic in Portuguese media between 2014 and 2019. After compiling a corpus of 120 texts, the study used content analysis as theoretical-methodological support. This paper demonstrates the existence of antagonistic positions between individuals associated with urbanism, ecology and sustainability, who have a very active presence in the media and a group of institutional actors with high responsibilities in tourism and municipalities.
The final article focuses on rural lodging in Brazil, intending to demonstrate collectivisation and socialisation in these accommodation units. The methodology is qualitative and descriptive, and the collected data were analysed from the perspective of Peirce's Semiotic and Walter Benjamin's Assembly theories. The results determine that these Brazilian spaces of rural lodging are spaces for civic actions and decisions of social demands in rural Brazil.
We hope that with the publication of this special issue, we are helping to confirm that literary and film-induced tourism have been significant in developing new destinations and experiences, and that innovative research is closely analysing this phenomenon.

Texto Completo:

PDF (English)


Derrida, J. (1976). Of grammatology. (Trans. G.C. Spivak). Johns Hopkins University Press.

Derrida, J. (1977). Limited Inc. (Trans. A. Bass). Johns Hopkins University Press.

Herbert, D.T. (1996). Artistic and literary places in France as tourist attractions. Tourism Management, 17(2), 77-85.

Iser, W. ([1974] 1978). The implied reader: Patterns of communication in prose fiction from Bunyan to Beckett (2nd ed.). John Hopkins University Press.

Pocock, D. C. D. (1987). Haworth: The experience of a literary place. In Mollary, W.E. & Simpson-Housley, P. (Eds.), Geography and literature: A meeting of the disciplines (pp. 135-142). Syracuse University Press.

Rosenblatt, L.M. ([1978] 1993]). The reader, the text, the poem: The transactional theory of the literary work (2nd ed.). Southern Illinois University Press.

Watson, N. J. (2006). The literary tourist. Readers and places in Romantic and Victorian Britain. Palgrave.

Watson, N. J. (2009) (Ed.). Literary tourism and nineteenth-century culture. Palgrave.