The development of specific locations into tourist attractions: cases from Northern Europe
AbstractLocations such as geodetic lines, geographical extreme points and national boundaries fascinate tourists because of their specific character, and therefore many of these have become significant tourist attractions and resources for tourism development. The aim of this paper is to conceptualize specific locations, and to analyse their development from a point or a line into a tourist attraction. In addition, the production of specific character is discussed. The transformation of specific locations into tourist attractions is approached through four cases in Northern Europe. Each of the cases is discussed using Dean MacCannell’s model of sight sacralization in order to test its applicability in the empirical context. It is noted that specific locations develop into attractions in a series of stages, but
the model of sight sacralization does not fully explain their transformation or their specific character. The stages may occur in different order, they can be overlapping or same stage can take place several times during the process. Furthermore,
the development of specific locations does not end to the last stage of the model. It is suggested that specific locations should be approached more widely through social and political processes that influence their production and development.