Political boundaries and tourism: borders as tourist attractions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Although formalities commonly associated with international boundaries are sometimes considered bothersome and often add a perceived distance to certain tourist destinations, borders do, in many cases, function as tourist attractions. This paper discusses the nature of political boundaries in the context of tourism and examines the tendency of various types of international frontiers and their associated environments to attract significant tourist numbers. Situations considered are relict boundaries, boundary parks and monuments, and natural wonders located at international borders. Subnational boundaries are also examined in a similar fashion. Since tourism is also important in areas adjacent to boundaries (borderlands), the last part of the paper focuses on some of the dimensions of cross-border shopping, bordertown gambling, welcome centers, and international enclaves - all border-related phenomena which are not in fact part of a precisely established political boundary but which owe their existence to their borderlands location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalTourism Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • attractions
  • borders
  • tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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