Erasmus Students

The ‘Ambassadors’ of Cultural Tourism

Authored by: Karolina Buczkowska

The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Tourism

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415523516
eBook ISBN: 9780203120958
Adobe ISBN: 9781136324789

10.4324/9780203120958.ch18

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Abstract

‘Cultural tourism seems to be omnipresent, and in the eyes of many it also seems to have become omnipotent’ – the words of Greg Richards (2007: 1) reflect the continuous intensification of tourist interest in culture in all its aspects. Openness to learning and tourist experience characterises mainly young people and results from their ability to establish contacts easily, from their knowledge of foreign languages, and from their lack of anxiety or fear of the unknown. Jensen (2006) believes that travelling and mobility in themselves have become a part of the lifestyle of young people. Richards (2007: 15) points out that among cultural visitors, ‘The single largest age group is between 20 and 29, and almost 40 percent of visitors are under 30’. Students are a dominant group among young travellers as they have a lot of free time during their studies: ‘Young travellers, and particularly students, are important for cultural tourism because of the strong link between cultural consumption and education. Highly educated people tend to consume more culture …’ (Richards 2007: 15). It has been believed lately that ‘the European student environment is undergoing radical change. More and more students go to study abroad and these experiences – as they declare it – change their lives’ (Boomans et al. 2007: 55).

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