Tourism and Gentrification

Authored by: Maria Gravari-Barbas , Sandra Guinand

Routledge Handbook of Tourism Cities

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367199999
eBook ISBN: 9780429244605
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429244605-6

 

Abstract

For the last ten years, international tourism has steadily been growing at an average rate of 4% per year. Years 2017 and 2018 have recorded the highest growth rate (7% and 6% respectively) since 2010 (UNWTO, 2019). Increasing tourism mobilities and development affect places in different ways. A large body of literature has been analysing the changes induced by tourism flows in different places around the world (Colomb and Novy, 2016; Bures and Cain, 2008; Fainstein and Judd, 1999a). Tourism impacts different types of spaces: urban centres (Fainstein and Gladstone, 1999), islands (Herrera et al., 2007) rural (Guimond and Simard, 2010; Donaldson, 2009; Gonzalez, 2017) or coastal areas (Mullins, 1994) and in different ways. Those more traditional residential, educational or commercial functions are challenged by new tourism (tourist rentals, shops catering to exclusive and international customers, or revamped and heritage-led urban areas). As the tourism economy can bring-in revenues for the country, city or local community, it can also harm the socio-economic composition of these places by introducing displacement or transforming the local economy. Interestingly, it is only recently that scholars in social sciences, in the fields of both gentrification and tourism studies, have paid attention to tourism and tourist mobility as main triggers for gentrification (Gotham, 2005a). In the scientific debate, this phenomenon has been coined as “tourism gentrification” (Gotham, 2005a, 2018; Hiernaux and Gonzalez, 2014; Gravari-Barbas and Guinand, 2017; Cócola-Gant, 2018), Gotham being the first to introduce the concept in the field of urban studies with his seminal work on the French Quarter Vieux Carré in New Orleans (2005a, 2005b). Since then, changes have occurred in different places and within different contexts. With the growth in tourism, this phenomenon can today be considered as both a widespread and a global one (Gotham, 2018). However, the concept still raises much debate among scholars in terms of conceptualisation and epistemological implication. This chapter aims to examine the historical and intellectual debate on the concept of tourism gentrification, in order to highlight the key contributions that have been identified so far. This critical retrospective should help to identify the limits and the tensions this concept holds and thus set the agenda for further research.

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Tourism and Gentrification

Introduction

For the last ten years, international tourism has steadily been growing at an average rate of 4% per year. Years 2017 and 2018 have recorded the highest growth rate (7% and 6% respectively) since 2010 (UNWTO, 2019). Increasing tourism mobilities and development affect places in different ways. A large body of literature has been analysing the changes induced by tourism flows in different places around the world (Colomb and Novy, 2016; Bures and Cain, 2008; Fainstein and Judd, 1999a). Tourism impacts different types of spaces: urban centres (Fainstein and Gladstone, 1999), islands (Herrera et al., 2007) rural (Guimond and Simard, 2010; Donaldson, 2009; Gonzalez, 2017) or coastal areas (Mullins, 1994) and in different ways. Those more traditional residential, educational or commercial functions are challenged by new tourism (tourist rentals, shops catering to exclusive and international customers, or revamped and heritage-led urban areas). As the tourism economy can bring-in revenues for the country, city or local community, it can also harm the socio-economic composition of these places by introducing displacement or transforming the local economy. Interestingly, it is only recently that scholars in social sciences, in the fields of both gentrification and tourism studies, have paid attention to tourism and tourist mobility as main triggers for gentrification (Gotham, 2005a). In the scientific debate, this phenomenon has been coined as “tourism gentrification” (Gotham, 2005a, 2018; Hiernaux and Gonzalez, 2014; Gravari-Barbas and Guinand, 2017; Cócola-Gant, 2018), Gotham being the first to introduce the concept in the field of urban studies with his seminal work on the French Quarter Vieux Carré in New Orleans (2005a, 2005b). Since then, changes have occurred in different places and within different contexts. With the growth in tourism, this phenomenon can today be considered as both a widespread and a global one (Gotham, 2018). However, the concept still raises much debate among scholars in terms of conceptualisation and epistemological implication. This chapter aims to examine the historical and intellectual debate on the concept of tourism gentrification, in order to highlight the key contributions that have been identified so far. This critical retrospective should help to identify the limits and the tensions this concept holds and thus set the agenda for further research.

Looking at tourism gentrification

Tourism gentrification: the historical and intellectual development of a concept

From its early ages, tourism has been accompanied with structural, social, cultural and even political changes. For instance, concurrent with the implementation of new infrastructures or services, are the confrontation of otherness for tourists and locals and a new and fresh tourist “gaze” (Urry, 2002) on people, places and landscapes. The work of Mullins (1994) on class structure of an area mainly devoted to tourism on Australia’s Golden Coast resulted in interesting findings. He evidenced the rise of a small bourgeoisie clearly linked to the tourism economy. This change in the social structure of an area affected by tourism was a ground-breaking result and raised attention to social/class transformation influenced by tourism. However, it is with the work of Gotham (2005a, 2005b) that the link between tourism and gentrification was expressly stated. When the author first coined the concept, it defined “the transformation of a middle-class neighbourhood into a relatively affluent and exclusive enclave marked by a proliferation of corporate entertainment and tourism venues” (Gotham, 2005a, p. 1102). The major interest with this definition lies in the dual processes of globalisation and localisation embedded in the urban redevelopment processes. In Gotham’s case, tourism is expressed by international global actors (hotel chains, car rentals, tour operators, etc.), linked to the service industry (communications, finance, etc.) while at the same time investing on the local level by developing local culture, products and places for consumption that will appeal to visitors. For Gotham, the nexus between the global and the local in tourism (Milne and Ateljevic, 2001) cannot be separated. Gotham provided the missing conceptual link between the production-side and the demand-side explanations of gentrification, while avoiding one-sided conclusions (Gotham, 2005a, p. 1103). He offered a new way to theorise and analyse tourism as a set of practices that has causal impacts on urban forms, socio-spatial patterns and processes of urban development (Gotham, 2018).

In the recent years, scientific literature has shown that the relationship between tourism and gentrification is of a more complex and diverse nature. Works by researchers look at the process and investigate which comes first, gentrification or tourism. The analysis, for instance, has traditionally been focusing on the impact of tourism over population and territories as in the case for Mullins and Gotham’s work. Indeed, in some cases, projects are planned and designed from their inception to cater to the visitors’ economy (Fainstein and Judd, 1999b). In other cases, it is during a later stage that new owners, renters and consumers, as well as other institutional and collective social actors (real estate agents, developers, mortgage lenders, etc.) invest in urban areas (Hamnett, 1991). These actors are attracted by the services and the culture created and promoted, in order to attract local, regional or international visitors. This can be the case of derelict but centrally located places (former industrial, port or warehouse areas) that have experienced capital and human disinvestment since the second part of the twentieth century. These areas, often transformed into “tourism playgrounds” (Judd, 2003), can attract (often with the help of public intervention) residential gentrification. This was for instance the case in Baltimore, where the private/public-led Inner Harbor redevelopment generated gentrification phenomena that manifested with new constructions adjacent to the Harbor East area. However, another body of works has demonstrated that tourism actually follows urban gentrifiers (Bridge, 2007; Schlichtman and Patch, 2014; Schlichtman et al. 2017). Tourists are attracted to gentrified and gentrifying neighbourhoods. In Le Marais, Paris, for instance, tourism invested in the neighbourhood after its heritagisation and the general upgrading of its image and accessibility (Gravari-Barbas, 2017). This can be also understood by both the physical and the symbolic changes that these areas experienced after their gentrification: heritagisation, improvement of the urban infrastructure and public spaces, with simultaneous creation of shops that cater to new residents and are also very attractive to tourists (farmers’ markets and gourmet shops, designer retail shops, specialised bookstores, art galleries, etc.).

Key issues on tourism gentrification

Short-term accommodations as “gentrifying machines”

Tourists are searching for contact and interaction with the local population (Stor and Kagermeier, 2017). They are particularly attracted by the possibilities offered by social and business operators to “share” the living quarters of the “locals”. “Living like a local” becomes the ultimate value for international elites, since it offers a more distinctive and insider’s approach to the places they visit. Far from being part of the so-called sharing economy (Hamari et al., 2016) tourism rentals exemplify the desire of tourists to go beyond traditional “commercial” accommodations in order to reach the status of a cognoscente, feeling and living “at home” at any longitude and latitude.

Tourism rentals represent in the recent years, a real urban phenomenon – a “new gentrification battlefront” (Cócola Gant, 2016), the consequences of which produced a considerable body of works in an increasingly large number and types of places, ranging from established tourist destinations in Europe (Amsterdam (Pinkster and Boterman, 2017), Athens (Balampanidis et al., 2019); Barcelona (Lopez-Gay and Cócola Gant, 2016; Qualgieri and Scarnato, 2017), Berlin (Novy, 2017), Reykjavik (Mermet, 2017), Vienna (Gunter, 2018)) and North America (Dudás et al., 2017)) to other, less common places in the world (González Pérez, 2017; Piñeros, 2017). Literature also tends to show that the phenomenon increasingly applies to emerging destinations such as Sofia, Bulgaria (Roelofsen, 2018).

In most cases, tourism rentals have been viewed as a powerful yet fearsome “gentrifying machine” converting housing into accommodation for visitors. In the case of Athens, Balampanidis et al. (2019) demonstrated that tourism is more pervasive than “classic” residential gentrification, since short-term tourism rentals tend also to apply to low-quality and low-return properties, considered until recently disadvantaged for conventional rental (and therefore resulting in residential gentrification). The authors showed (2019, p. 14) that, adequately refurbished, such properties can compete with lower-class hotel rooms as they have the advantage of their central location. This trend impacts the social composition of central and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods since it removes a long-standing barrier to gentrification in all the high-rise neighbourhoods of the city centre.

Researchers have indicated that apartment conversion into short-term tourism rentals causes an out-migration of residents, a shortage in housing and price increase which also excludes other residents from the possibility of moving into the area (Cócola Gant, 2016). According to Gravari-Barbas (2017) tourism rentals gentrification can be compared to “super-gentrification” phenomena (Lees, 2003). As Cócola Gant (2016, p. 7) showed, the tourism rental phenomenon corresponds to “a snowball process.… It leads to a form of collective displacement never seen in classical gentrification, that is to say, to a substitution of residential life by tourism”.

This is also the conclusion of Gladstone and Préau (2008, p. 145):

the growth of tourism is a major factor increasing potential land rents in inner-city neighbourhoods, with the resultant stock of gentrified spaces and neighbourhoods serving in turn to attract even more visitors, further increasing land values and leading to even more gentrification and sweeping changes in the demographic composition of neighbourhoods.

Tourism-induced commercial gentrification

Tourism visitation tends to modify commercial and business landscape. This goes beyond the stereotypical image of the souvenir, postcard and T-shirt shops, which usually flourish in tourist areas. Tourism development brings in bigger and more international markets with specific needs in terms of catering and other types of consumption. Tourism demand impacts the existing restaurants, bars or shops, catering for locals, which either adapt their products to their new customers’ demands and expectations or are being replaced by tourism-targeting businesses.

Tourists desire to be part of the local, share everyday experiences, visit “ordinary” places (Condevaux et al., 2019), go off the beaten track (Gravari-Barbas and Delaplace, 2015; Delaplace and Gravari-Barbas, 2016) contribute to investing in traditional local food markets (Gonzalez and Waley, 2013) as showed for Barcelona or Lisbon (Guimarães, 2018). Flea markets, such as Saint-Ouen in the north of Paris (Gravari-Barbas and Jacquot, 2019) are also illustrative of the changes brought by tourism: small objects, easier to carry, or design artefacts tend to substitute the usual market objects (second-hand or antiques). This evolution and adaptation of the offered products and services are symptomatic of the markets’ transformation into tourist attractions. In the barrio Boqueria of Barcelona, for example, visitors can take part in cooking experiences or participate in guided tours (Crespi Vallbona and Domínguez Pérez, 2016).

If many existing restaurants or businesses adapt to serving tourism and are packaged and commodified for tourism, many others who do not support the tourism business have to eventually close down. This is especially the case of everyday shops, which are progressively replaced by others, mainly catering to tourism. Gazillo (1981) showed the impact of mass tourism on the bars and restaurants of Old Québec. However, the departure of everyday shops is not only attributed to the arrival of tourists, but also to the departure of significant numbers of local residents due to the touristification of the visited areas, as is the case of Old Québec (Berthold, 2012).

The role of tourism in commercial gentrification in places that have already experienced extensive residential gentrification (such as Le Marais in Paris or the Lower East Side in New York) is more difficult to analyse. The exclusive cultural spots, contemporary art galleries (Mathews, 2010), state-of-the-art temporary exhibitions, gourmet restaurants, trendy bars or “starchitectural” museums (Gravari-Barbas and Renard-Delautre, 2015), cater primarily to the neighbourhood and to the metropolitan customers and are analysed as artist-induced gentrification phenomena (Mathews, 2010). However, located in areas that are current premium urban destinations, and made part of the global tourist, leisure, culture and art offer of the area, they are also shaped by (and cater to) the international tourism demand. Commercial gentrification is expressed by new relationships between previously unrelated domains: gastronomy, fashion, art, architecture, design, etc. closely interacting with each other and offering a total and exclusive experience (Lipovetsky and Serroy, 2013).

Although commercial gentrification follows and reflects residential gentrification, often commercial and residential gentrification are parallel and reciprocally supported processes. Tourism-induced commercial gentrification may even precede residential gentrification phenomena. In Saint-Ouen’s flea market for example, commercial gentrification can be viewed as the pioneering front of future changes of the residential patterns (Cousin et al., 2015).

Tourism gentrification and displacement

Quoting García and Claver (2003), Häussermann and Colomb (2003), Hoffman (2003), Terhorst et al. (2003) or Gotham (2005a), Cócola Gant (2015) underlines the conflicting nature of commerce gentrification and shows the increasing conflicts between how affluent visitors and residents use the city and the needs of lower income residents. Tourism commercial gentrification leads to displacement not only of the commercial venues but also of the local residents to whom those venues used to cater.

Using Marcuse’s conceptualisation, Cócola Gant (2015) distinguishes between “direct displacement” and “indirect displacement”.

While “direct displacement” refers to the out-migration from the neighbourhood or the moment of eviction, “indirect displacement” is a long-term process that results in a set of pressures that makes it progressively difficult for low-income residents to remain over time.

(Cócola Gant, 2015, p. 8)

Tourism-induced commercial gentrification “signifies that residents have lost their battle to remain”. The author draws on Davidson (2008, 2009) and Davidson and Lees (2010) who suggest that “the pressure of indirect displacement leads residents to experience what they call ‘loss of place’: a forced dispossession and dislocation from their places that leads them to a form of ‘displacement’ into a new colonised social context” (Cócola Gant, 2015, p. 9).

Self- and bottom-up tourism gentrification

Tourism gentrification goes beyond the forces of the corporate tourism industry that influences space development and consumption. Authors have particularly paid attention to local actors, and residents, as well as the tourists themselves, as main contributors to the gentrification phenomena. For instance, the work of Herzfeld (2017) on the Old Town of Rethymnon on the island of Crete and the community of Pom Mahakan in the old historic centre of the Thai capital Bangkok, has shown that local actors do act, cope and structure their environment in order to take advantage of the tourism economy leading to transformation in the urban environment. This analysis has also been drawn by Chan et al. (2016) in their investigation of the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces in Hunan, China. The authors noticed that some Indigenous people were taking advantage of the UNESCO title and the tourism flow as a mean to improve their socio-economic standing and reach middle-class standards, particularly through adopting entrepreneurial strategies gleaned from their encounters with outside-gentrifiers and tourists. The authors’ position on the concept of “self-gentrification” is interesting as they consider it a reaction (to help conserve both heritage landscapes and Indigenous ways of life) to the process of “external” gentrification. At another level of analysis, Freytag and Bauder (2018) show that in Paris tourists can, through mundane practices such as soft mobility, induce bottom-up touristification and contribute to the transformation of urban areas. For example, cycling (using rental bikes) and walking as tourist practices (Lorimer, 2011), the authors argue, induce bottom-up touristification by interconnecting tourist hotspots and the accommodation locations. The cyclists and walkers, both tourists and local residents, contribute, with their presence, to the urban transformation (tangible and intangible) and to the touristification of the places that are located along the way (Jensen, 2009). Bottom-up approaches to tourism gentrification are very much connected to new patterns of behaviours, consumption and commodification that are, consequently connected to financial incentives and opportunities (Condevaux et al., 2019). Different authors and bodies of work show that the tourist alone cannot be solely blamed for the gentrification process; instead tourism and gentrification are much more complex phenomena (Füller and Michel, 2014).

 

Vieux Québec – mini case study

On the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1985 for its “living and inhabited” character, the Vieux Québec, has since then been loosing inhabitants, public services and daily amenities. On the other hand, this historical core has witnessed significant and regular tourism growth with an increasing internationalisation of visitors and a growing flow of cruise passengers. This important increase has generated a set of diversified offers to cater to the visitors’ demands (new events, shops, restaurants, cultural facilities and amenities). But it has also destructured the housing market notably in terms of rentals with a strong demand for short-term rentals and real estate speculation. This has given rise to a boom in tourist residences and Airbnb-type accommodations in Old Québec with growing discontent from the residents but also from the hotel industry.

In this difficult social-economical environment and increasing tensions, the city of Québec implemented in 2012 a consultation process bringing together the main stakeholders of the historic centre. The objective was to work to reverse the current trend of residents’ decline and to reflect on the coexistence of different uses in Old Québec(residential, commercial, institutional, administrative, touristic, etc.). This was also a consequence of the mobilisation of engaged citizens of Old Québec (Comité des citoyens du Vieux-Québec) who, together with the Québec City area hotel association, have also pushed for a population consultation on short-term rentals in 2018. The city has since then reformed the tax rating system for short-term rentals, required them to be officially declared as touristic accommodation and limited the permit to transform or construct condominiums for tourism purposes.

Current scope of interests and future perspectives on tourism gentrification

An abundant, recent and burgeoning literature examines the field of tourism gentrification today. Some of the numerous emerging issues pose questions and deserve more attention. They also call for more comparative studies – the risk being to multiply the individual cases and the monographs.

Post-colonial approach to tourism gentrification

According to Cócola-Gant (2018), in recent years, a new set of literature coming from the non-Western countries has emerged among the scientific debate on tourism gentrification (Hiernaux and Gonzalez, 2014; Janoschka et al., 2013). It comes from a posture of “epistemological resistance” (de Sousa Santos, 2012) to Western scientific paradigms and attempts to reach a new definition of “cosmopolitanism” (Hiernaux and Gonzalez, 2014, p. 59). This posture sets a new light and brings in new approaches. For instance, a broad set of literature from Chinese scholars has focused on the radical transformation of the socio-economic urban landscape – from lower-class (or, even rural) to upper-class spaces (due to the fast pace of the phenomena) (Su and Teo, 2009; Zhao et al., 2009) through the implementation of residential tourism leisure areas (Liang, 2017). In these cases, tourism becomes the main driving force in economic, social, cultural and lifestyle transformation (Liang and Bao, 2015). In Latin America scholars such as Hiernaux and Gonzalez (2014) have challenged the idea of the “rent gap” (Smith, 1987) in the reconfiguration of certain historic centres or certain places, to replace it with the idea of a reconfiguration of the land market. The main claim being that the differential in income from the land in these Latin American urban settings is being sustained by symbolic values that can cater to potential uses and imaginaries of visitors. Emphasis is put on the intangible dimensions of these specific areas being transformed by and for tourism. Following the same trend, other researchers, as in the case of Singapore’s little India (Chang, 2016), have questioned Western expressions of commodification of culture such as “gentrification aesthetics”, as they draw on different perspectives depending on the local policy and state ideology which influence urban redevelopment. This broad range of literature marks the beginning of a much wider and promising set of new perspectives on the tourism gentrification phenomenon.

Tourism gentrification in a post/hyper/trans-tourism era

The increasingly blurred lines between the ideal/typical figures of tourists and residents, their utilisation of space, and the city at large, in a closer interaction, the exchange and sharing of places and leisure activities, impacts gentrification phenomena. Tourists and visitors not only reproduce the implicit rules in the guided journey but also experience the city and its spaces following their own initiatives (Judd, 2003). The figures of the “post-tourist” (Urry, 2002; Feifer, 1985), the “hyper-tourist” (Viard, 2000) or the “trans-tourist” (Ateljevic, 2009; Corneloup, 2009), discussed by Bourdeau (2018), provide an overview of the changing status and practices of tourism. Respectively referring to “play, oblique posturing and ludic transgression interact(ing) with artifice, assumed inauthenticity and pastiche, the clash of opposites, provocation and even cynicism” (post-tourism), the “technological, geographical and cultural intensification of the meaning and forms of tourism” (hyper-tourism) and the “transcendence of the usual borders and categories with the aim of exploring neglected or repressed othernesses” (trans-tourism) (Bourdeau, 2018), these renewed tourism forms show the capacity and will of tourists to escape from the “tourist bubble” while creating the conditions for tourism gentrification. As Gravari-Barbas and Guinand (2017) stressed, these post/hyper/trans situations go hand-in-hand with gentrification: as visitors are increasingly searching for new and “off-the-beaten-track” places, cities try to capture visitor (local or foreign) imagination, offering an array of activities and places to explore. Thus, gentrification affects increasingly new destinations, which are reputed to be “more authentic” as well as “off-the-beaten-track” areas in established destinations.

The image of the post/hyper/trans-tourist finds its mirror in the cosmopolitan “polytopical” resident (Stock, 2007) who has multiple residential attachments. Literature connects both expressions to gentrification phenomena (Guinand, 2017). But as the tourist’s profile (increasingly behaving “as a local”) and the local inhabitant’s profile (increasingly cosmopolitan and multi-resident) tend to be blurred, the literature referring to the phenomena particularly relating to tourism or to residential gentrification, also tends to be blurred, thus calling for necessary clarifications and theoretical frames by researchers (Sequera and Nofre, 2018).

Tourism as a “super-gentrifier”

In several central metropolitan areas that have experienced residential gentrification phenomena since the 1960s, tourism may act as a super-gentrifier. Lees (2003) used the term of “super-gentrification” to describe the real estate market evolution in Brooklyn Heights, NY: “the transformation of already gentrified, prosperous and solidly upper-middle-class neighbourhoods into much more exclusive and expensive enclaves”. She localised this intensified re-gentrification in a few select areas of global cities such as London (Butler and Lees, 2006) and New York “that have become the focus of intense investment and conspicuous consumption by a new generation of super-rich ‘financifiers’ fed by fortunes from the global finance and corporate service industries” (Lees, 2003, p. 2487). According to the author, this new stage of gentrification, which started in New York in the 1990s, does not follow a disinvestment stage. It rather corresponds to a new wave of gentrification and housing renewal to even higher standards that have the potential to partially evict the early gentrifiers contradicting the Marxist model of capital investment and disinvestment cycles in the urban space. Unlike gentrification that occurs in different phases and, therefore, suggests that the process will finally reach a state of stabilisation, super-gentrification emphasises the ability of the process to constantly renew itself. This means that its end cannot be imagined. Much more than a residential real estate market, short-term tourist real estate tends to act as a super-gentrifier. In the Marais, Paris, for example, short-time tourism rentals tend to substitute first and second-wave gentrification of this central, historic and highly attractive Parisian neighbourhood, since tourism rents generate more value than classic residential rents that are already fairly expensive (Gravari-Barbas, 2017). The capacity of tourism to constantly renew the building stock without experiencing intermediary disinvestment stages represents a fertile ground for further research.

Hyper-tourismification, tourism gentrification and the emerging tourism governance

According to Gravari-Barbas (2017) “hyper-tourismification” designates tourism phenomena observed in areas used for leisure purposes by both tourists and local residents, characterised by the embedment of tourism into everyday life; from globalisation of the real estate tourism markets and the intermingling of residential and tourism rentals; by a global culturescape and brandscape; by creativity, design and contemporary art; by architectural iconicity; by hyper-aestheticisation; and by the existence of a tourism governance. These areas are infused by tourism, which plays an important role on neighbourhood planning issues, on the nature of commercial functions and on the tourists’ and locals’ place imaginary.

In these hyper-tourismified areas, residential and commercial super-gentrification tend to produce specific urban environments designed to cater to a large range of “gentrifiers”, from “permanent” (often with “polytopic” and “multiresidential” attachments (Stock, 2007)) and to more ephemeral (tourist) populations. This situation of different strata of gentrifiers is two-fold: on the one hand, it results in conflicts, which have been abundantly studied in recent works (Colomb and Novy, 2016); on the other hand, it leads to the development of specific tools and regulations which tend to produce, in these super-gentrified areas, a specific “tourism governance”. The local decision-makers are aware that tourism is not only a “cash windfall” but also an increasingly constitutive component of the hyper-tourismified areas. Consequently, in these areas, and more specifically in central neighbourhoods of large metropolises, a new governance model is taking place that involves permanent and secondary residents (a growing proportion of whom come to these areas for similar reasons as the tourists), tourists (for whom residents form part of the attractiveness of the place) and local decision-makers who integrate, or even use tourism, as a part of cultural differentiation in their neighbourhood.

A promising research field is therefore the evolution of those super-gentrified areas, in which tourism experienced though tourism rentals, boutique hotels or other hybrid residential formats, tends to transform the nature of neighbourhoods.

Conclusion and further agenda for research

As we have seen in this chapter, tourism gentrification has, since it was first coined in 2005 (Gotham, 2005a, 2005b), been widely used to define different and complex phenomena inducing spatial, social and economic change linked to the tourism economy. This wide spread of the concept calls for further research as well as recommendations for practitioners and policy makers in the field of tourism. First, one should be careful not to fall into the trap of calling “tourism gentrification” any transformation set in a tourism context. As we have attempted to underline in this chapter, tourism gentrification is of a complex and sometimes counterintuitive nature. It does not follow logic or linear patterns and goes beyond traditional dichotomies (Sequera and Nofre, 2018). For instance, speculation does not always cause displacement, as the first ones to speculate could be the residents themselves. For some (Sequera and Nofre, 2018), the overuse of the term tourism gentrification implies an epistemic gap between touristification and gentrification. According to the authors, both theoretical and conceptual tools need to be used especially in the field of urban studies. Sequera and Nofre mobilise the example of protests against mass tourism in central urban cores that have been held by popular classes, but also by the middle class and the elite, calling for a more mundane and ordinary landscape setting, in order to show that when touristification occurs, it is not always linked to gentrification (2018, p.851). This means that policy makers need to be attentive to the mechanisms of gentrification and not be too quick to link them to tourism. For instance, as we have seen, the post-tourism phenomenon is one outcome of the call for a more “authentic” experience that concerns the whole set of actors who participate in the tourism economy and sometimes lead to a gentrification outcome. This is also one of the reasons why, in the scientific field, tourism, touristification and gentrification still need further research and theoretical debate, since an understanding of the process has not been fully achieved yet (Cócola-Gant, 2018).

If further investigation is needed on the epistemic ground, other fields and perspectives also need to be addressed to further the research agenda. For instance, little has been said on urban landscape (Duarte Paes, 2017) and tourism gentrification. Scientific research needs to go beyond the commodification of culture and postmodern landscape debate (Zukin, 1992) and investigate the changes developing most notably within its intangible dimension, and how people (residents, tourists, locals, etc.) relate to these changes. Does it, as Cócola-Gant (2018) puts it, provoke a loss of place? This question could be better investigated by practitioners and public authorities with the help of academia. Another limit that has been highlighted in the field of tourism gentrification is the dichotomy between mobility and immobility: the ones who move and the ones who settle and stay. This categorisation then tends to essentialise categories of “residents” or “locals” as being static and rooted (Franquesa, 2011). However, as we all know, residents are also visitors and could be so in their own city. Further academic research should be undertaken to unravel these categories, their attributes and what they entail in a time of increasing multiresidential individuals and public authorities should be more attentive to multiple “residents” they host in their territories in order to better understand the socio-economic and spatial dynamics but also better respond to the needs of these individuals.

Finally, in a context of growing tourism economy, growing vulnerabilities, frustrations and resistances, there is a crucial need to push the research agenda on tourism gentrification further in order to better grasp and unravel the complexity of this phenomenon. In fact, rather than a symptom, tourism gentrification should be used as an instrument and a lens through which to read the complex balance of social, economical and political power.

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