This study analyses the perspectives of roots tourism through the experiences of Western Ukrainian diaspora members visiting their places of origin and the views by tour operators specialised in roots tourism and public authorities dealing with tourism in the region, evaluating the actual or potential impact in terms of tourism development opportunities. The peculiar history of this territory makes it a distinct research target, with dynamics that are different from the rest of the country. The desire to turn Western Ukraine into a solid tourist destination and the aim of stimulating economic development in a region that is still struggling to re-emerge from its marginality are widespread and form a fertile basis for the growth of diaspora tourism as a solid asset. The case of the Ukrainian diaspora and its relations with roots tourism is important because it holds partial yet significant similarities with many other diaspora histories and groups. The emotional links with the homeland are strong among the first generation migrants, while second and further generations of Ukrainian migrants show weaker personal connections with Ukraine, yet still show widespread interest in visiting the country of their ancestors. Lights and shadows emerge from the diaspora tourists’ experiences and perceptions. Specialised tour operators clearly see the enhancement of this form of tourism as an important business opportunity, while public authorities are not currently focusing on this segment, preferring general tourism promotion.

Diasporic tourism in Western Ukraine. Perspectives and challenges

Corsale Andrea;Vuytsyk Olha
2015

Abstract

This study analyses the perspectives of roots tourism through the experiences of Western Ukrainian diaspora members visiting their places of origin and the views by tour operators specialised in roots tourism and public authorities dealing with tourism in the region, evaluating the actual or potential impact in terms of tourism development opportunities. The peculiar history of this territory makes it a distinct research target, with dynamics that are different from the rest of the country. The desire to turn Western Ukraine into a solid tourist destination and the aim of stimulating economic development in a region that is still struggling to re-emerge from its marginality are widespread and form a fertile basis for the growth of diaspora tourism as a solid asset. The case of the Ukrainian diaspora and its relations with roots tourism is important because it holds partial yet significant similarities with many other diaspora histories and groups. The emotional links with the homeland are strong among the first generation migrants, while second and further generations of Ukrainian migrants show weaker personal connections with Ukraine, yet still show widespread interest in visiting the country of their ancestors. Lights and shadows emerge from the diaspora tourists’ experiences and perceptions. Specialised tour operators clearly see the enhancement of this form of tourism as an important business opportunity, while public authorities are not currently focusing on this segment, preferring general tourism promotion.
Diaspora; Roots tourism; Western Ukraine; Identity; Development
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/195512
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