Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change Special Issue – Tourism at the Olympics

Tourism at the Olympics
Publication of a Special Issue of the Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change
to mark the 2012 Olympic Games


The Olympic Games go far beyond just being a sporting event. Staged as a truly global spectacle every four years, the Games are pivotal sites of touristic activity, social encounter, and cultural change. Unlike any other event, the Olympics harness a ‘humanistic’ and ‘universal’ setting for celebrating global togetherness, staging cultural diversity, and performing (his)stories of national identity and provenance. Over time, and commensurate with the motto ‘higher, faster, stronger’, the Olympic Games have conjured up powerful imageries of modernisation, mobility and progress. At the same time, they have also functioned as arenas of conflict, where contested ideologies of nationhood, race and gender have been repeatedly fought over.

Hosting the Olympic Games presents a unique opportunity for countries to promote, regenerate and develop cities and regions and to firmly locate them within an increasingly competitive global tourism marketplace. At the same time, Olympic landmark buildings, ‘districts’ and ‘villages’ have lastingly transformed cities and regions and have gained tremendous material and symbolic value as tourist attractions and heritage sites. On another level, the Olympic Games produce a kaleidoscopic range of intangible engagements with place and spectacle, invoking collective memories, and touching on emotions such as suspense, humour, joy, compassion, embarrassment, etc.

The editorial team of the international Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change (JTCC) invites researchers to contribute to a Special Issue on ‘Tourism at the Olympics’ to examine the Olympic Games as sites of touristic practice, representation and experience, and to critically reflect on the social, cultural and political dimensions of ‘Olympic tourism’. We are interested in cases which deal with specific Games, comparisons between Games and the Olympic idea / ideal as it extends into cultural and social life. We encourage the submission of papers from the diversity of academic disciplines (anthropology, architecture, cultural studies, geography, history, tourism studies, etc.) and welcome manuscripts which adopt interdisciplinary approaches. We are interested in the following indicative themes:

–          The power of the spectacle – tourism and Olympic rituals, ceremonies, events

–          Fixing places as destinations – centrality and marginality of Olympic sites

–          The histories of Olympic tourism

–          Hosting the games – Olympic Villages, Hotels, Cultures of Hospitality

–          Tourism and the materialities of the Olympic Games – structures, architectures, heritages, souvenirs, etc.

–          Olympic tourism and visual culture – photography, logos, posters, etc.

–          (Re)presenting and performing the nation – Olympic tourism, nationalism, national fan cultures

–          Olympic Tourism as site of intercultural dialogue and/or conflict

–          The power of narrative in an age of co-presence: Being there and ‘virtually being there’ in real time

–          Olympic fringe events and supporting programmes – staging local culture, the arts, food, etc.

–          The emotional dimensions of Olympic tourism (suspense, frustration, togetherness, etc.)

Or, we will be pleased to hear from you with other ideas.

Authors must send a manuscript, presented according to the journal’s guidelines (available at Submissions should be in Word format and be between 7,000 and 8,000 words in length. Each article should include the full name(s) of the author(s), the main title and affiliated institution, email address. In addition, authors need to provide an abstract of between150 and 200 words, as well as a list of key words (maximum of five). Authors are invited to provide three or four high-resolution images. All manuscripts submitted for publication in the Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change (JTCC) must be original. Authors remain responsible for the content and opinions expressed, as well as for the accuracy of the data and references.

If you are interested in contributing to the JTCC’s Olympic Special Issue or wish to discuss a potential contribution, please contact Prof. Mike Robinson (, or Josef Ploner (

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