Markets, Strategies, and Rivalries
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Jens Gammelgaard and Christoph Dörrenbächer
Chapter 12: Sun, alcohol and sex: enacting beer tourism
Tourism is often linked to ideas of escapism and release from everyday duties and obligations. Modern societies are characterized by highly complex systems of social and cultural control, and citizens of these societies find forms of liberation in travel (Jafari 1987). Tourism destinations act as magnetic spaces of leisure and relaxation that can be visualized as the realm of ‘touristhood’ – a theatrical arena in which individuals adopt different masks and conduct themselves according to expectations and norms that differ from those that rule their everyday lives. The consumption and enjoyment of alcoholic drinks constitutes a relevant element of the scenery of touristhood. In touristic spaces the beer product is socially transformed and constructed; tourists enact beer tourism through drinking practices and rituals performed at the destination. Alcohol, and in this case beer consumption, is constitutive of sociocultural traditions in many national cultures (such as those in Northern Europe). National and local beer cultures are however being transformed and re-shaped in tourism destinations. This study examines the interrelation of beer cultures, more specifically German beer culture, and tourism. It analyses how beer culture, combined with touristhood, produces extreme and novel forms of consumption, transforming both tourism practices and the world of beer. Researchers have indicated how the legitimacy of firms depends upon the environment’s institutional characteristics, the organization’s characteristics and the process of legitimation by which the environment builds its perception of the organization (Kostova and Zaheer 1999).
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