From hostile boundaries to tourist attractions

Alon Gelbman, Dallen Timothy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    83 Scopus citations


    This study examines the transformation of hostile borders to inviting tourist attractions. It focuses on three cases: the 'Island of Peace' on the Israeli-Jordanian border, the 'Golden Triangle' of Southeast Asia and the Berlin Wall. All three are located on boundaries that were sites of conflict and instability, formerly closed and fortified but transformed into open and free borders for tourism. The geopolitical changes that have influenced the development of the sites account for the similarities between them. In all three cases, unique attractions have been developed, offering elements such as special demarcation, observation points and commemorations of the heritage of the closed border or a symbolic representation of cooperation and renewed political relations with the neighbouring country. The tourism development at these attractions may constitute an important contribution in terms of awareness and education that could help in strengthening relations of peace and cooperation in places that in the past suffered from a closed and hostile border. By examining the development of intensive tourism at selected border tourism sites, much can be learned about the development of border attractions elsewhere.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)239-259
    Number of pages21
    JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 25 2010


    • Borders
    • Geopolitical conflicts
    • Globalisation
    • Peace
    • Tourist attractions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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