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Collective Memory and Tourism

Globalizing Transmission through Localized Experience

Vida Bajc

The articles in this issue highlight the relationship between collective memory and tourism. In what ways are practices of collective remembering implicated with those of tourism? Where do collective memory scholarship and tourism studies meet? How might the two interdisciplinary academic fields be shaped through each other’s concepts? We suggest that experiencing the collective past is integral to specific forms of tourism, particularly what is called ‘heritage tourism’. So, too, are certain kinds of public practices of collective remembering increasingly connected with the tourism industry. In the absence of, or complementary to, financial support for the historic preservation efforts, the entrepreneurial approach to the collective past turns objects of such memory into tourist attractions to keep them economically viable. Thinking about collective remembering in relation to tourism directs our analytical focus to the authority of experiencing the past in a specific tourist place in the present. It centres our attention on what is involved in making this experience possible.

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Christian Pilgrimage Groups in Jerusalem

Framing the Experience Through Linear Meta-Narrative

Vida Bajc

Christian pilgrims come to the Holy Land to visit specific physical places that give their faith a tangible form. On organized tours, pilgrimage is structured through an itinerary which consists of a series of encounters, purposefully shaped to bring to life the story of Jesus. These encounters involve performative practices of tour-group leaders at specific symbolic sites with particular narratives. The biblical reality is invoked through a process of meta-framing which allows for a cognitive shift from the mundane walking from site to site into a biblical reality. Meta-framing interlaces the Christian religious memory, performed by the spiritual leader, with the Israeli historical memory, performed by the Israeli tour guide, into a single, linear meta-narrative.