Johannes Novy - Technische Universität Berlin
Claire M Colomb, Dr* - University College London, Bartlett School of Planning
Drawing upon empirical research as well as existing work in the tourism and urban studies areas, this paper will analyze recent trends in tourism in Berlin (currently Europe's third most popular urban destination) and their implications for urban scholarship. Described as reflecting the emergence of a 'new' or 'post' tourism overlying or even superseding previous tourism patterns, developments in Berlin illustrate that urban tourism on the one hand is becoming ever more segmented and specialized, and at the same time is increasingly losing its distinctiveness. Delineations between tourism and other forms of migration and mobility, as well as other forms of leisure and (place) consumption, are becoming increasingly blurred. Berlin (particular neighborhoods within it) has been overwhelmed by all kinds of 'temporary city users' including second homeowners, exchange students, mobile academics (including urban researchers!) and other 'migratory elites'. The consequences of these developments will be discussed from two perspectives. Theoretically, we will discuss whether the developments witnessed so intensely in Berlin exemplify wider changes in leisure, consumption, and mobility patterns in advanced capitalist societies and what questions this raise for urban scholars' understanding of tourism, urban change and neighborhood transformation. Empirically, we will analyze how in Berlin, debates and protest movements have emerged amongst the (existing) residents of popular tourist neighbourhoods about the negative impacts which tourism has had on the city's urban fabric and daily life, e.g. on the restructuring and gentrification of socially mixed residential neighbourhoods such as Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain or, mostly recently, Neukölln.