"Circulation, Access, and Tourist Experience: Berlin's Center and Periphery as Case Study" by Grace Meloy

 

"Circulation, Access, and Tourist Experience: Berlin's Center and Periphery as Case Study" by Grace Meloy

To access what was the main Soviet war memorial in East Berlin and more broadly in East Germany, the tourist in Berlin must make a conscious decision to leave the city’s center, which is saturated with the city’s main tourist and memorial sites, and move out into the periphery. By public transportation, one must take two S-bahn lines and then walk through one of the city’s large parks, Treptower Park, to finally reach the memorial. This movement into and through the periphery is deliberate and controlled, greatly contrasting the tourist’s movement in the city’s center, where sites are easily accessed and tourists may wander freely.

 John Urry, a leading scholar of the theory and practice of tourism, has characterized tourist behavior as being consumptive in nature, for the tourist consumes the sites and sights, food and drink, and activities that comprise the tourist experience of a particular place. The desire for authenticity has been recognized to be one of the main factors in this consumptive behavior and, consequently, exploring the role of authenticity in tourist behavior and experience is one of the primary interests in tourism studies. Still, the search for authenticity is not the only variable that affects tourist behavior and experience. Circulation and access, topics that belong to the hereto-limited genre of sociology known as “mobilities,” affect how the tourist behaves and experiences a tourist environment. Indeed, the circulation of tourists and access to tourist sites, which are influenced by the built environment, the limitations of physical infrastructure, and tourist resources, greatly contribute to how tourists interact and experience space, and thereby fundamentally affect their behavior and experience. Through critical reexamination of secondary literature, assessment of primary sources such as guidebooks, tourist websites, and city maps, and site analysis, I want to compare the tourist environment that constitutes Mitte with two sites in Berlin’s periphery, the Soviet War Memorial and Cemetery in Treptower Park and the former Stasi prison memorial in Hohenschönhausen, through the perspective of accessibility, circulation, and transportation patterns to demonstrate the significance of these to tourist behavior and experience.

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  • HAAARCH!!! 2014
  • Undergraduate Work