Resident experiences of encounters with tourists in Berlin-Kreuzberg: A qualitative research on neighbourhood resident perspectives
MetadataShow full item record
This study assesses individual resident perspectives on the experience of neighbourhood tourism. It focusses on the direct experience of encounters with tourists during everyday life. To assess this topic, a case study in Berlin-Kreuzberg was conducted, where the diversity of encounters was examined with structured and unstructured observations. A such, this study conducts empirical research of local actual encounters that result from and constitute tourism as a major globalisation process. In addition, to assess the individual resident perspective and experiences, in-depth, qualitative, semi-structured interviews with neighbourhood residents were held. During these interviews, interview photos were used to examine differences between residents. The study applies Lefebvre's Spatial Triad, taking into account conflict and synergy -in terms of spatial practice and spaces of representation- that result from the shared use of places in the neighbourhood by a diversity of users. The neighbourhood is produced by the spatial practices and routines of residents, tourists, local entrepreneurs, as well as other neighbourhood users. Tourists actively participate in the neighbourhood and co-produce the neighbourhood through practices of exploration and leisure. Especially in leisure, there are large similarities between tourists and residents in terms of practices and attitudes, although the temporal aspect of tourism constitutes important differences as well. The study examines different types of actual resident-tourist encounters, with special attention to the role and interaction of contextual elements, including resident practices, resident routines and resident attributes. In addition, this study shows that tourists (practices, bodily attributes, perceived attitudes) and contextual elements (spatio-temporal context, fixed and mobile objects) play a major role in the experience of encounters by residents. Encounters, in the perspective of residents, constitute conflict and synergy. In the context of the research area, conflicts are mainly related to photography, privacy, crowdedness and nightlife nuisance. On the other hand, respondents also put forward that tourists contribute to a lively atmosphere, highlight the educational value of tourism and mention that tourists can be a source of diversion for them. Importantly, conflicts and synergies are also related to place meanings, as tourists, through their practices, produce new and reinforce existing place meanings in the neighbourhood. For some residents, places meanings such as the neighbourhood as leisure and exploration space, conflict with their conceptualisation of the neighbourhood as a residential space, as an intimate place of evolved social networks, affiliation and memories. As a result, some residents see tourism as a threat to the neighbourhood. The study results show that the direct, bodily experience of encounters differs between residents, depending on whether and how they interact with resident's individual practices and routines, individual attributes, individual histories of encounters with tourists, as well as resident stances towards gentrification and neighbourhood change in general. As such, the study reveals, presents and explains a diversity of contrasting experiences and meanings that neighbourhood tourism has for residents.