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‘Tourism for Everyone’
Domestic Tourism in the USSR during Late Socialism, 1950s-1980s

PATTLE, SHEILA,HELEN (2015) ‘Tourism for Everyone’
Domestic Tourism in the USSR during Late Socialism, 1950s-1980s.
Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This dissertation examines Soviet domestic tourism during late socialism, when tourism developed into a mass phenomenon. The study builds on the work of Diane Koenker, Anne Gorsuch and other researchers into Soviet tourism, and takes it in new directions. Different facets of tourism are explored, namely tourism as an industry, as a cultural phenomenon, and as a social practice. The dramaturgical metaphor is employed as a framework through which tourism is conceptualised as a form of performance in distinctive settings for tourism. The research also explores tourism as an imaginary practice, which involves individuals’ imaginative geographies of places. The roles of the tourist and the tour guide are examined using documentary and visual sources and oral history interviews.

The case study focuses on the Golden Ring (Zolotoe kol’tso) tourist route, which was established as a setting for tourism during late socialism. The route connects Moscow with a number of smaller towns, including Kostroma, which also receives tourists from Volga cruises. Archival sources, newspaper articles and Soviet guidebooks are used to explore the establishment of the Golden Ring, including the images associated with the route. In Kostroma two opposing images were promoted simultaneously: a museum-town (gorod-muzei) of historic buildings, mainly former monasteries, with no sign of Soviet modernity; and a modern Soviet town. This is one example of the ambivalences surrounding domestic tourism in the context of ‘developed socialism’. Tourism was promoted a key part of Soviet modernity as well as of local cultural identity, yet the Soviet tourist was regularly lampooned in Soviet culture during late socialism.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Soviet domestic tourism; Golden Ring; Kostroma.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 May 2015 09:37

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