International Conference "Branding Mediterranean Europe: Tourism, Transport, and National Identity, 1945-1990"
In the last 60 years, the number of tourists in European Mediterranean countries has multiplied exponentially. In these countries, tourism is one of the largest service industries, therefore building a successful, destination brand is of major concern for the economy. It has also, however, societal and ideational consequences. Competing for the same ‘product’ of tourism on a global scale forms a huge part of nation branding. The narrative and imagery of a country’s attractions feeds into the construction and revamping of national identities. In this sense, tourism can become a map to guide our study of discursive, ideational and cultural changes in Mediterranean Europe, particularly in the period from 1945-1989 but also understand the impact of these discourses on cultural identity; for each one of the countries and the history of Southern Europe as a whole. Management and tourism scholars have long investigated the economic and branding implications of this phenomenon, while in recent years, anthropologists and sociologists have discovered the value of the study of tourism. Yet, the historical depth of their approaches is typically quite limited. We are interested in addressing this lacuna in the period from 1945-1990.
Looking at Mediterranean Europe’s tourism offers an invaluable opportunity to write global history from the perspective of small states that developed into popular tourist hubs. What are the advantages of ‘smallness ‘and how did these countries generate a policy with a global reach and international and national consequences? To distil a place’s identity is a complex process that involves a network of multiple stakeholders at local, national, and international level, often with competing interests that attempt to shape a place’s image. The so called ‘holiday makers’ from tour companies, advertising agencies, public authorities and planners, state tourist organisations, graphic designers, national airlines executives and cruise lines produced visual stimuli and textual messaging to familiarise vacations to the mass public. The conference aims to foster an interdisciplinary discussion that, through case studies, mobilises methodological tools from a broad spectrum of fields. These include history of international relations, economic, social, and political history, business history, cold war studies, public diplomacy, visual culture, and communication studies also informed by sociological approaches.
Register to participate online at the link below:
There will be a live stream available on YouTube.
Thursday, 8 June 2023
9:30 – 10:00 Introductory remarks: Eirini Karamouzi and Gelina Harlaftis
Coffee and refreshments
10:00- 12:00 PANEL 1: Southern European tourist practices
Discussant: Eirini Karamouzi
• Christos Aliprantis, Tourism, and policing in Cold War Greece, 1950-1974
• Luis Martinez del Campo, ‘The Best of Both Worlds: Branding Gibraltar as a Tourist
• Adeline Stefan, Building leisure spaces on the Costa del Sol and Romanian Black Sea Coast,
• Antoni Vives Riera, From different Spain to observed Majora: tourism, environmental and
identity in the Mediterranean paradise
12:00 - 12:15 COFFEE
12:15 -14:00 PANEL 2: Business of Branding and Tourism
Discussant: Michalis Karavantzis
• Rory Archer, Private Entrepreneurs in a socialist state: Albanian small businesses on
Yugoslavia’s Adriatic coast during the Cold War (1945-1989)
• Maria Psimouli & Stella Kladou, Names and Frames: Exploring Brand consistency through the
lens of identity.
• Andrew Smith, Building a French Florida and the ‘touristification’ of Midi
15:00- 17:00 PANEL 3: Cinema induced Tourism.
Discussant: Vassilis Vamvakas
• Rui Lopes, Touristic Thrillers: Integrating Southern Europe through 1960s spy films
• Mado Spyropoulou, The image of Greece through the official selection of the Festival de
• Paolo Villa, The Garden of Empire. Italy as a tourist destination in Hollywood movies (1950-
17:30 - 19:00 ROUNDTABLE: How to think about tourism and nation branding?
Chair: Gelina Harlaftis
Panelists: Angelos Vlachos; Michalis Karavantzis; Evripides Zantides
Friday, 09 June 2023
9:30-11:30 PANEL 4: Cultures of Greek Tourism
Discussant: Evripides Zantides
• Stavros Alifragkis & Emilia Athanassiou, Inventing the Greek summer: ‘Boy on a Dolphin’ and
the Emerging Cultures of Tourism in the 1950s and 1960s Greece
• Odysseas Garganas, The development and shaping of Greek national identity through tourism
images and representations. The case of the GNTO posters (1945-1990)
• Vasilis Vamvakas &Panayis Panagiotopoulos, Iconic Greece: the post-war image of Greekness
• Poppy Sfakianaki, Messages de la Grèce: an illustrated magazine seeking to revive French
tourism to Greece in 1946
11:30- 12:00: COFFEE
12:00 -14:00 PANEL 5: The role of Transport
Discussant: Angelos Vlachos
• Eirini Karamouzi (University of Sheffield/American College of Greece), The advertising
campaign of Olympic Airways, 1957-1990.
• Gelina Harlaftis(IMS/FORTH), From sailing to selling the sea: Shipping business and the
business of tourism in Greece, 1945-1975
• Alexandra Papadopoulou(IMS/FORTH), Between the Greek state and the Onassis business
group. The foundation and evolution of the Greek national flag air carrier.
• Ilias Bissias, Panayiotis Korakas, Maria Lekakou, Ferries Lines between Italy and Greece:
Building a “marine highway” for tourism between Central Europe and the East Mediterranean
15:00- 17:00 PANEL 6: Tourism and Counterculture
Discussant: Michalis Nikolakakis
• Anita Buhin, In pursuit of Yugoslav men: eroticization of the Adriatic through romantic
• Javier Cuevas del Barrio(online), Tourism, Economic Development Policies and Counterculture
during the Franco Dictatorship in Spain: the case of Torremolinos
• Marina Simic & Milos Nicic, Alternative seaside. Imaginaries of Greece among Yugoslav
• Mary Ikoniadou, Cold War re-presentations of the Aegean landscape
17:30-19:30 PANEL 7: Tourism and Southern European Identity
Discussant: Mary Ikoniadou
• Ana Quintas, Paula Costa Soares and Rui Alexandre, Identity, Ideology and Tourism: Portugal
in the magazine Panorama (1941-1949)
• Carlos Bartolo, “The true oasis of a tormented, devastated Europe”: The early stages of tourism
state policies in Portugal occurring during the Second World War
• Lucia Rodriquez Carcia de Herreros & Gabriel Gonzalez, ‘I meditterannei si voltano’. An
analysis of the catch calling imaginary of Spain and Italy through the 1950s and 1960s cinema
This conference is co-organized by the University of Sheffield, Centre of Excellence Food, Tourism and Leisure
at the American College of Greece and the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, with the generous support of
Mary Ikoniadou (Leeds Beckett University); Gelina Harlaftis (IMS/FORTH & University of Crete); Eirini
Karamouzi (University of Sheffield/American College of Greece); Panayis Panagiotopoulos (National and
Kapodistrian University of Athens); Vasilis Vamvakas (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)