Transformation of tourist landscapes in mountain areas: Case studies from Slovakia

Author: and
Key words: , , , , ,
Issue: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2011
Full text .pdf | doi: 10.5719/hgeo.2011.52.13

Author Affiliations

Branislav Chrenka*, Vladimír Ira
Institute of Geography, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Štefánikova 49, 814 73 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
*Corresponding author. Email: branislav.chrenka@savba.sk

ABSTRACT

After two decades of deregulated free market economy the post-socialist rural mountain areas are being unprecedently commodified. Landscapes of tourist consumption with specific behaviour patterns are produced and reproduced. The paper explores how landscapes are transformed due to massive investments into tourist infrastructure with questionable impacts on quality of life and environmental sustainability. Power relations and related production of space are analysed in three case studies in the selected mountain areas in Slovakia. First, the Oščadnica case study reflects on rural landscape rapidly transformed by massive ski resort development and deforestation. Second, the Tále golf course development case study describes commodification and gentrification processes in Central Slovakia. Third, the High Tatras case study explores how power structures push on the transformation of the oldest and most visited National Park in Slovakia.

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