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The use of signage as a tool for social integration in tourist cities: examples of relevant cases in Catalonia

The use of signage as a tool for social integration in tourist cities: examples of relevant cases... This paper aims to expose the evolution in the use of the so-called reception tools and tourist information that are present at the time of consumption of a trip towards an interest in and a willingness to link local residents and tourists in a friendly, inclusive and conciliatory way. This is the case of territorial signage designed for pedestrians, a growing protagonist of the urban landscape of many cities, which has found in its formulation the appropriate response to unify the messages and criteria that are addressed to all audiences and people with all types of sensitivities.Design/methodology/approachBased on an extensive fieldwork study conducted in 2013 and 2017 in the 62 most populated cities of Catalonia, different variables related to the shape of the signage and the content presented in them were analysed. To this end, a specific pattern of ad-hoc observation and structured interviews were applied to determine the social transition of the content and approaches used in the signage.FindingsWhile signage is initially considered to be a basic solution with purely informative content, poor in qualitative aspects and often neglected by those responsible for its management, over time it has emerged as a tool that serves to unify the interests of the citizens who share the same space for mutual interaction. It is characterised by providing open and transversal information for all citizens without focussing on or thematising tourism in an exclusive and segregated way, separating it from the rest of the aspects that make up the nature of the urban landscape.Originality/valueThis paper confirms that these tangible instruments of support for tourists, beyond seeking a harmonic fit in the urban planning of today's cities, are also complicit in seeking social cohesion in the present-day paradigm of the conflicts created by urban tourism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Tourism Cities Emerald Publishing

The use of signage as a tool for social integration in tourist cities: examples of relevant cases in Catalonia

The use of signage as a tool for social integration in tourist cities: examples of relevant cases in Catalonia

International Journal of Tourism Cities , Volume 7 (2): 19 – Jul 6, 2021

Abstract

This paper aims to expose the evolution in the use of the so-called reception tools and tourist information that are present at the time of consumption of a trip towards an interest in and a willingness to link local residents and tourists in a friendly, inclusive and conciliatory way. This is the case of territorial signage designed for pedestrians, a growing protagonist of the urban landscape of many cities, which has found in its formulation the appropriate response to unify the messages and criteria that are addressed to all audiences and people with all types of sensitivities.Design/methodology/approachBased on an extensive fieldwork study conducted in 2013 and 2017 in the 62 most populated cities of Catalonia, different variables related to the shape of the signage and the content presented in them were analysed. To this end, a specific pattern of ad-hoc observation and structured interviews were applied to determine the social transition of the content and approaches used in the signage.FindingsWhile signage is initially considered to be a basic solution with purely informative content, poor in qualitative aspects and often neglected by those responsible for its management, over time it has emerged as a tool that serves to unify the interests of the citizens who share the same space for mutual interaction. It is characterised by providing open and transversal information for all citizens without focussing on or thematising tourism in an exclusive and segregated way, separating it from the rest of the aspects that make up the nature of the urban landscape.Originality/valueThis paper confirms that these tangible instruments of support for tourists, beyond seeking a harmonic fit in the urban planning of today's cities, are also complicit in seeking social cohesion in the present-day paradigm of the conflicts created by urban tourism.

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References (37)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© International Tourism Studies Association.
ISSN
2056-5607
DOI
10.1108/ijtc-03-2020-0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to expose the evolution in the use of the so-called reception tools and tourist information that are present at the time of consumption of a trip towards an interest in and a willingness to link local residents and tourists in a friendly, inclusive and conciliatory way. This is the case of territorial signage designed for pedestrians, a growing protagonist of the urban landscape of many cities, which has found in its formulation the appropriate response to unify the messages and criteria that are addressed to all audiences and people with all types of sensitivities.Design/methodology/approachBased on an extensive fieldwork study conducted in 2013 and 2017 in the 62 most populated cities of Catalonia, different variables related to the shape of the signage and the content presented in them were analysed. To this end, a specific pattern of ad-hoc observation and structured interviews were applied to determine the social transition of the content and approaches used in the signage.FindingsWhile signage is initially considered to be a basic solution with purely informative content, poor in qualitative aspects and often neglected by those responsible for its management, over time it has emerged as a tool that serves to unify the interests of the citizens who share the same space for mutual interaction. It is characterised by providing open and transversal information for all citizens without focussing on or thematising tourism in an exclusive and segregated way, separating it from the rest of the aspects that make up the nature of the urban landscape.Originality/valueThis paper confirms that these tangible instruments of support for tourists, beyond seeking a harmonic fit in the urban planning of today's cities, are also complicit in seeking social cohesion in the present-day paradigm of the conflicts created by urban tourism.

Journal

International Journal of Tourism CitiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 6, 2021

Keywords: Tourism management; Social integration; Tourist signage; Urban spaces

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