Escaping from the event?
A new perspective on Christmas markets in Northern Italy
Global change impacts the everyday life and our way of living, whereby tourism often plays a central role. The rising competition between tourism destinations forces them to constantly create new offerings and products in order to attract visitors.
In this context, tourism has a special influence also on culture and traditions, by changing, reviving and/or staging cultural events, such as Christmas markets. It can be noticed that they changed their meaning over time and became also a global event and in some places, like South Tyrol, also a promising strategy to extend the tourism season.
In a research project on Christmas markets in South Tyrol with a special focus on the case of Merano-Meran, our researchers
Greta Erschbamer and the head of center,
Harald Pechlaner, explored the
change of Christmas markets on a global and a local level. Culture is in a constant change and therefore also the meaning of Christmas became more diversified, where the perception of inhabitants becomes a central element of the discussion.
Qualitative interviews with residents of Merano-Meran expored the meaning of Christmas markets for the locals and the impact of increasing numbers of visitors.
The results give insights into aspects of the events' authenticity, show a shift to less commercial settings in rural areas, and highlight also some negative impacts.
The results were presented in the following paper:
Marcher, Erschbamer and Pechlaner (2019), Escaping from the event? Residents' perception of Christmas markets in Northern Italy.
Event Management, 23(4)