Vampire Weekend: Twilight, The Walking Dead and tourism


What can the Twilight series teach us about tourism?

Start Date

13th Dec 2018 3:00pm

End Date

13th Dec 2018 5:00pm


The Media School, Lecture Room 206, Salamanca Square

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Vampire Weekend

Associate Professors Mia Larson and Richard Ek, from Sweden's Lund University, discuss the importance of imagination in tourism studies. They consider how popular culture is an underestimated source of empirical material, with examples of how the Twilight movies and The Walking Dead series can illustrate tourism issues.

Richard Ek is Associate Professor in Human Geography at Lund university, Sweden. His current research interests include tourism theory, political and post-political philosophy and biopolitical spatiality.

Mia Larson is Associate Professor in Business Administration at Lund University, Sweden. Her current research interests are pop-culture tourism, spiritual and alternative tourism management and the sharing economy.

The term pop culture tourism refers to tourism induced by pop culture. The tourists that engage in this type of tourism can be characterized as fans that exists in a pop culture community. This form of tourism is becoming increasingly popular and  is highly demand driven. Destinations associated with a pop culture phenomena, such as destinations depicted in books and films, often experience increased numbers of visitors as well as strengthened and changed destination images. The pop culture phenomenon of the Twilight Saga book and film series is used as an example in this presentation to explore how a pop culture phenomenon can affect destinations, and how destinations manage this type of tourism, as well as the behaviour of tourists while consuming the pop culture tourism product. 

In tourism studies, certain methodologies and methods dominate, primarily the case study (of particular tourist destinations) and interviews (of tourists and stake-holders). This is perhaps a logical outcome as tourism and tourists are mainly considered an empirical phenomenon. But tourism as a societal phenomenon can be addressed by other methods and empirical materials, offering new theoretical and philosophical insights through lateral analytical procedures. One under-valued source of material to dive into is popular culture. This lecture makes a call for the application of popular culture in order to extend tourism theory further, with the examples of the Twilight Saga and the Walking Dead series.