17th International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology - 2010

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Anja Saretzki - Speaker

In the European tourism market destinations mostly are organized as community models. From a social constructionist point of view, they are made up of a complex interplay of physical factors, symbolic meanings and the social experience of being in a place. The management is tied to the political and administrative institutions of the destination and it has a limited influence on private and public stakeholders. Concerning the question of guidance these characteristics are rather seen as an obstacle for positioning destinations as strategically manageable product-market combinations.
But the diversity and independence of stakeholders can also be seen as a chance. The term destination governance describes approaches to the regulation of such constellations. Governance as ‘governing without government’ does not know a central regulation authority but can be understood as the management of interdependence. This is linked to ideas of participation, balance of interests, self-organization of networks and reaching of consensus and community. In this case the destination is not just a product but also a medium of destination management.
From this point of view, it is essential to join marketing and management efforts in destination governance with local meanings, culture and identity. This social constructionist perspective means that conceptualizations of destinations affect projects, plans and marketing. At the same time marketing and management concepts as well as promotion and branding efforts affect the space as representations in the sense of Lefebvre and thus become socially effective. Destination governance as ‘governance of place’ can thus not be thought to be independent from processes of place-making and place-oriented community building. Discourses, action-guiding ideas and images of the place have to be incorporated in governance processes just as well as material conditions. The destination Lüneburg will serve as an example to demonstrate how destination governance can be conceived in view of this context.


17th International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology - 2010: Sociology on the Move


Gothenburg, Sweden

Event: Other