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Transforming Tourism Spaces in Changing Socio-Political Contexts: The Case of Parnu, Estonia, as a Tourist Destination

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The need to understand tourist destinations and their change has grown considerably in past decades, and this has become an especially relevant matter with respect to destinations located in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe, where international tourism and tourists are increasingly becoming characteristic features of the changing societies. This paper aims to analyse the historical transformation process of the town of Parnu, Estonia. The local manifestations of wider socio-political contexts and changes are discussed and a narrative is provided of the transformation of Parnu as a destination. This transformation has been characterized by changing periods of development and reorientation, which have created specific, complex socio-spatial constructions. Based on the changing contexts and their socio-spatial manifestations, the transformation and touristic identity of Parnu is divided into four historically contingent periods, which are further discussed in relation to path-dependent and path-creative perspectives.

Keywords: Development; Estonia; destination; transformation; transition economy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland 2: Parnu College, Tartu University, Parnu, Estonia

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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