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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism

For a Special Issue on
Popular Culture Tourism and Regional Development

Abstract deadline
01 September 2021

Manuscript deadline
31 July 2022

Cover image - Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism

Special Issue Editor(s)

Christine Lundberg, The Norwegian School of Hotel Management, Stavanger University, Norway
[email protected]

Maria Lexhagen, ETOUR, Mid Sweden University, Sweden
[email protected]

Vassilios Ziakas, Independent Researcher, Leeds, UK
[email protected]

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Popular Culture Tourism and Regional Development

Popular culture tourism is induced by a wide range of common expressive practices, from arts to sport and leisure such as film, music, literature, games, and fashion. In the Nordic context we see an increasing number of examples and interest in this type of tourism, for instance, related to the Nordic Noir fiction genre the Millennium book series by Stieg Larsson (Sweden) and TV series The Bridge (Denmark), the films Frozen and Mission Impossible in Norway, the Game of Thrones TV series locations in Iceland, the Moomin children’s’ cartoon in Finland, the music of ABBA in Sweden and the Black Metal scene in Finland, Iceland, and Norway. However, there are both opportunities and challenges, short- and long-term, in the connection between global fandoms, popular culture phenomena and demand, and the local and regional impacts and motives for hosting and planning for this type of tourism. This is a call for papers that explore popular culture tourism empirically in the Nordic context as well as conceptual work and systematic reviews encompassing a broader perspective to further strengthen this, to date, primarily empirically based research platform.

A traditional definition of popular culture is based on the idea that it is a phenomenon consumed and liked by the masses and often seen as the counterpart to fine culture. It is commercial in nature and easily accessible by the many. The consumption of such phenomena induces travel motivation and behaviour. For example, audiences of a film, TV show, or literature develop a connection to places, storylines, and characters of such expressions and decide to travel in their footsteps. Research on popular culture tourism is an emerging area in travel and tourism scholarship, encompassing a multi-disciplinary terrain that includes, inter alia, tourism, cultural studies, fandom research, geography, political economy, business, media studies and technology. Its core value lies in providing a platform to create synergies among different popular culture expressions, as well as destination products and services.

Drivers behind the growth of popular culture travel, documented in recent years, can be found in, globalisation processes associated with the rise of the creative industries, media convergence, digitalisation, commoditisation, and its subsequent development of interactive fan cultures. As such, popular culture tourism presents new opportunities for destinations to develop a distinctive, competitive advantage to attract new tourism segments of both loyal fans and incidental tourists who find a destination’s association to, for example a film, an added value in their tourism experience. Nevertheless, the nature of popular culture tourism tied to worldwide signs, pursuits and idols, which are distributed for broad consumption, may raise dilemmas over regional policy priorities echoing tensions between global forces and local contexts. From a regional destination development perspective then, the core matter is: how best can popular culture be appropriated and leveraged for sustainable tourism gain by local destinations? This focal inquiry reveals a broad spectrum of issues related to the development of popular culture tourism that need to be understood such as transformations of place, place-making and place-identity, strategies responding to increasing and decreasing demand, stakeholder power and control, host and visitor relationships, public and private policy, and practice. From a tourism demand perspective, issues related to desire, motivation, expectations, behaviour, identity, and authenticity are central. Therefore, it is pivotal for tourism scholarship to investigate the nexus of popular culture tourism and regional development through employing more critical approaches that consider its nuanced contexts and multifaceted effects on local communities.

We hereby invite papers to the Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism’s special issue on Popular Culture Tourism and Regional Development that critically investigate the relationship between popular culture tourism and regional development. Particular topics include, but are not limited to:

- Impacts of popular culture tourism on regional development and transformation of place
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and place-making
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and place-identity
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and marketing and branding
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and destination strategy and management
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and triple-bottom-line sustainability
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and stakeholder power and control
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and host and visitor relationships
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and public and private policy and practice
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and authenticity
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and image perceptions
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and tourists’ desire, motivation, expectation, involvement, behaviour, and identity
- Post-covid popular culture tourism, recovery and resilience of regional destinations
- Entrepreneurship and innovation in popular culture tourism for regional destination development
- Popular culture tourism, revitalisation and local heritage
- Popular culture tourism, regional development and tourism experience value creation
- Popular culture tourism, regional networks and collaboration (including the creative industries outside of tourism)
- Popular culture tourism, regional development, and digitalization and the online space

Submission Instructions

An abstract between 500 and 800 words should be sent to the guest editors via email before 1 September 2021 so that its suitability for the special issue can be gauged and to provide feedback. When abstracts fit well with the aims of the current call, the authors are invited to submit full manuscripts via the journal’s submission system: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/sjht for double-blind peer review. Full paper manuscripts of 6,000–7,000 words inclusive of tables/references/figure captions /footnotes /endnotes based on original empirical research or theory building are invited to this special issue.

Key dates
Abstract submission: 1 September 2021
Feedback on abstract: 1 October 2021
Deadline for manuscript submission: 1 February 2022
Final manuscript due: 31 July 2022
Publication: Early 2023

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Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article