Reconnecting the space of tourism and citizenship: The case of tourists’ hubris

Lucia Tommasini, Lianne Schreurs, Elena Cavagnaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid growth of tourism prior to the COVID-19 pandemic prompts the need for critical reflection of tourism’s “local-global” responsibility in the wake of that pandemic. Conceptually driven by the ancient Greek notion of hubris, this study reflects on the perception of tourists as actors disconnected from citizens’ necessities, safety and well-being. In so doing we develop further knowledge on the relationship between the spaces of tourism and citizenship and how this might build a sustainable future-proof tourism.

Data were collected daily for two weeks via three Google Alert queries set to mine Italian online news media contents immediately after the Italian Government’s adoption of mobility restrictions due to COVID-19. This study uses a thematic narrative analysis to examine the contents related to tourists during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The exploratory findings reveal how tourists are largely presented as taking over the space of local residents and, by breaking the rules set by national and local authorities, as disregarding those residents’ safety and well-being. Hence, they appear disconnected from any sense of belonging to a local or global community, and from a space to which they owe a duty of care.

By framing tourists as hubristic subjects ontologically belonging to a neoliberal leisure space disentangled from the citizenship space, this study establishes a novel theoretical grounding from which a sustainable future-proof tourism that is rooted in citizenship space can be rethought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-349
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Tourism Futures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Citizenship
  • Neoliberalism
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Covid-19
  • Sociology of space


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