Tourism and Culture in Philosophical Perspective

October 14, 2019 - October 17, 2019
City of Hvar


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  • Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb
  • Plato Society, Zagreb

Main speakers:

Institute of Tourism, Zagreb
University of Zadar, Croatia
Trinity College, Dublin
University of Zagreb (PhD)
Cambridge University
Margarete Ruckmich Akademie, Freiburg
University of Surrey
Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb
Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb


University of Zadar, Croatia
University of Zagreb (PhD)
Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb
Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb

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The Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb, the Plato Society of Zagreb, and the City of Hvar

in cooperation with Hvar Heritage Museum and the Hegel Society of Zadar

invite submissions for the

International Symposium: 

Tourism and Culture in Philosophical Perspective

Hvar, October 14-17, 2019 

Tourism as a “profoundly human”[1]activity is a relatively recent phenomenon. For the part of the world’s population possessing the requisite means, travel for pleasure or business is taken for granted today as a constitutive part of ordinary life and an integral aspect of the fulfillment of one’s purpose as a human being, complementing the aims of family, work, and education. The business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists provides a major source of income for many economies, generating revenue in the form of payment for goods and services, as well as opportunities for employment in the service sector. 

While human populations have been mobile since the beginning of history, the reasons for moving about differed greatly from those of modern tourism. The word tourist (from Fr. “tour” or “tourner”, Old English turian, Old French torner, Latin tornare; 'to turn on a lathe,' Ancient Greek tornos- τόρνος, a turning lathe or a “carpenter's tool for drawing a circle, like our compasses, probably [consisting of] a pin at the end of a string,” Liddel-Scott), was first used in 1772, and the word tourism in 1811. Nevertheless, travelling for pleasure existed in Egypt as early on as 1500 B.C. (Casson, Lionel 1994. Travel in the Ancient World. Baltimore: JHU Press, 32). During the Roman Republic, spas and coastal resorts were popular among the rich. By the Middle Ages, traditions of religious pilgrimage had been established, producing classics in the genre of pilgrimage literature, such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West. These appear alongside secular travel accounts such as those of Su Shi (11th century) and Fan Chengda (12thCentury). Francesco Petrarch wrote an allegorical account of his ascent of Mt. Ventoux in 1336 (Epistolae familiares IV, 1) in which he praises travelling and criticizes the frigida incuriositas of those who do not see its worth.

Modern tourism can be traced to what was known as the “Grand Tour”, a traditional journey undertaken as a sort of rite of passage by young men of means from the European upper classes, beginning in the 17th and continuing into the 18th and 19th centuries, intended for their intellectual, moral, social, and political formation. The Grand Tour involved travel to places of natural beauty, and centres of Classical art and culture from Antiquity to Renaissance, typically including France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. 

With the advent of rail and steamship travel in the second half of the 19th century, tourism gradually became accessible to the middle classes and mass tourism began to develop, as pioneered in the UK by Thomas Cook. Today, a wide diversity of “niche” specialities, from agro- or ecotourism to extreme sport and medical tourism, have come into existence, and ever new variations continue to appear. 

The Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 aimed to “clarify the real nature of tourism in all its aspects and the role tourism is bound to play in a dynamic and vastly changing world”, along with the “responsibility of States for the development and enhancement of tourism in present-day societies”. The Declaration emphasized the role world tourism could play as “a vital force for world peace”, capable of providing “the moral and intellectual basis for international understanding and interdependence” and of contributing to “establishment of a new international economic order,” in which “the widening economic gap between developed and developing countries” would be eliminated. Its vision foresaw that “spiritual elements” would “take precedence over technical and material elements” in “the practice of tourism”. The aim of the proposed ideal of world tourism was the “total fulfilment” and “liberation” of human beings in a “spirit of respect” for their identity and dignity and an ever increasing contribution to their education, as well as “equality of destiny of nations”, and affirmation of the “originality of cultures” and “moral heritage of peoples”.  

In the decades since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared freedom of movement and the right to leave and to return to a country, together with the right to rest and leisure, universal human rights (Article 13, 24), it is questionable whether we have moved any closer to realisation of the Manila Declaration’s ideals for development of world tourism. It is doubtful, too, whether tourism has moved us any closer to its “ultimate aim” of improving quality of life and creating better living conditions for all peoples. It is clearly not the case that every human being “has access to creative rest and holidays and enjoys the freedom to travel within the framework of free time and leisure.” A large part of the world’s population does not possess the means to enjoy these rights. 

Tourism thus reflects the fundamental division of humanity into advantaged and disadvantaged which has plagued our world from ancient times until today. More recently the phenomena of mass tourism and “overtourism” have further brought into relief the negative tendencies of the culture of tourism itself, as the balance continues to tip in tourist destinations world-wide between sustainable numbers of visitors, and numbers which threaten the integrity of natural and cultural legacy and the life of the local communities. 

In 2018, the City of Hvar, Croatia celebrated in 150 years of organized tourism. It is in Hvar, and in cooperation with the City of Hvar, Hvar Heritage Museum, and other civic and cultural institutions and businesses from the City of Hvar, that the Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb, together with the Plato Society of Zagreb and the Hegel Society of Zadar, will organize the International Symposium: 

Tourism & Culture in Philosophical Perspective

We propose to consider tourism from a philosophical and interdisciplinary standpoint, in cooperation with our hosts, the City of Hvar, its citizens and its civic and cultural institutions, whose first-hand experience in organized tourism and insights into the relationship between community and the economy of tourism, between host and guest, as well as into the pressing issues of overtourism, sustainability, and moral responsiblity will provide an invaluable contribution to our dialogue.

We invite submissions which consider from a philosophical perspective or from an interdisciplinary standpoint topics dealing with the relationship of tourism and culture in today’s world. These may include, but are not limited to, the following thematic clusters:

Human Beings as Tourists - Epistemological, Psychological, Anthropological and Sociopolitical Aspects of Tourism

  • Travel and its aim
  • Travel and spiritual worlds: tourism as reflected by and reflecting the journey within
  • Tourism in relation to pleasure and the good
  • Individualism and community
  • Regionalism and globalism

Leisure, Time, Place – Physicality and Metaphysical Aspects of Tourism

  • Mobility, Time & Space 
  • Displacement, Change, Loss of Place
  • Body, Rest, Movement
  • Place and World

Responsibility, Sustainability, Accountability – Moral and Ethical Aspects of Tourism

  • Right to leisure, freedom of travel
  • Tourism and the ecosystem – growth vs. sustainability
  • Tourism and global warming – ethical considerations
  • Loss of place – Sociocultural effects of mass tourism on neighbourhoods and the local community
  • Wealth & poverty in the context of tourism
  • Tourism and migration
  • Overtourism and its causes – when is too much too much?
  • The common good and personal interest in the context of tourism
  • Corruption and criminality in the context of tourism

Beauty, Identity, Community, Legacy – Aesthetic and Cultural Aspects of Tourism

  • Identity, preservation of identity and loss of identity in the context of tourism 
  • Consumption vs. cultivation as character of humans’ relation to their cultural heritage
  • Museums, monuments, art and artistic production in human experience and in the context of tourism
  • Connection to nature, natural beauty and engaging with the natural environment as aspects of tourism
  • Tourism and community
  • Tourism and individualism
  • The obnoxious tourist : Culture and lack of culture in the context of tourism 
  • Cities, communities, mobility, travel from ancient times to the present

Tourism and education – Ascent from the Cave?

  • The neglected competency: The role of leisure and rest in education 
  • Tourism and the examined life? Curiosity, knowledge & self-knowledge, 
  • Practice and creativity as elements of travel and tourism
  • Cultural sensitivity, local mores and the cultivation of taste in the context of tourism
  • Social media, information, and truth in tourism: Trends, bucket lists, fake news and information sharing in the age of mass tourism

Submissions should be made using the conference management system EasyChair and the submission web-page:

For instructions on how to submit via Easy Chair please consult the Easy Chair “How to submit” page at

Organisational committee

Dr. Marie-Élise Zovko, Institute of Philosophy; Prof. Dr. Filip Grgić, Leiter, Institute of Philosophy; Zagreb Doc. Dr. Nives Treščec; University of Zadar Prof. Dr. Jure Zovko, Institute of Philosophy; University of Zadar; MA Renate Kroschel, Freiburg i. Br.; MA Nives Tomasović, Curator, Hvar Heritage Museum

[1]Manila Declaration on World Tourism–

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August 1, 2019, 9:00am CET

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#Philosophy of Culture, #Philosophical Issues in Tourism, #Plato Society, Zagreb, #Hegel Society, Zadar, #Hvar events