Berlin: Sustainability and Tour Guides in a Partial Dark Tourism Destination

Article English OPEN
Asaf Leshem (2013)
  • Publisher: University of Novi Sad, Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management
  • Journal: Turizam (issn: 1450-6661, eissn: 1821-1127)
  • Subject: Berlin | sustainability | tour guides | dark tourism | Home economics | TX1-1110

When guiding in Berlin about the Holocaust or about the Cold War, tour guides often hear the phrase: “I didn’t come here for that, but I want to see that as well...” Many of Berlin’s 10 Million visitors per year claim to have an attraction towards both the morbid and the lighter side of the city. Following from that popular sentiment it is argued that Berlin can be defined as a Partial Dark Tourism Destination. As such, it is further argued that Berlin is prone to an increase of socio-economic and socio-cultural negative impacts. The premise of the research is that Berlin’s tour guides function as a link between the residents of the city and the visitors. The thesis, then, is that tour guides play a role and can contribute to development of social, cultural and economic urban tourism sustainability. An analysis of tourism impacts and tourists-residents relations is presented, in which the tour guide plays a role in influencing the visitor’s behaviour. I conclude that tour guides have greater influence on social, cultural and economic behaviour of the tourist than previously considered, and therefore a potential to enhance sustainable tourism development in Berlin. The significance of this research is in the way it points out to the roles Berlin tour guides play in facilitation of sustainable tourism development in the city. Furthermore, the research shows the ways in which tour guides contribute to increasing responsible tourist behaviour.
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