Full mission statement

Tourism, Travel and Text is the largest interdisciplinary research group in the field of tourism, travel and culture in the field of the humanities in The Netherlands. We share a particular interest in the relation between touristic practices and representations in literary and other texts. Members contribute to RICH’s research agenda by focusing much of their work on tourism and travel on social processes of in- and exclusion and on the meanings of art and creativity for people and society.

Concentrating on a wide range of travellers – from women in the Roman Empire to present-day visitors of ‘dark heritage’ sites – group members focus on key questions such as:

  • which role culture (cultural media and objects, cultural narratives, cultural experiences, cultural practices) plays in practices of travelling and the tourism industry;
  • how travellers/tourists and their behaviour and experience reflect and contribute to class/social status, gender, ethnicity, age and other axes and categories of social difference;
  • which values and meanings they attach to what they see and experience when travelling and how these values and meanings have been mediated by texts and other representations;
  • how tourists themselves are turned into a spectacle;
  • and how tourists and the tourism industry affect tourist sites and heritage in general.

In this context, we analyse changes in travel/tourist itineraries, cultures of travelling, representations of travelling, and the material goods, cultural practices and ideas that travellers bring along as well as changes in the construction and representation of travel destinations. As such, we analyse the conservation or creation of heritage as well as how landscapes, cities, literary heritage and ‘dark’ heritage are represented in media and are used to attract visitors.

We publish our research findings in national and international scholarly media, disseminate our work to the wider public, and - last but not least - discuss it with our students in our own unique Master's programme Tourism and Culture.