Bubble-Wrapped Sightseeing Mobilities: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Experiences in Copenhagen

Jonas Larsen*, Mónica Sylvia Gomes Bastos, Line Isselin Skovslund Hansen, Lieke Maureen Hevink, Katerina Jostova , Dovile Smagurauskaite

*Corresponding author

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This article explores the staging of the Hop On–Hop Off buses, bus-tour and actual embodied performances enacted by tourists on the move. We draw on a performance-inspired terminology to explore the co-production of mundane tourist experiences. Following calls for not making moral judgements or belittling sightseeing tourists and understanding the mundane dimensions of tourist practice, we conduct empathetic research with and about them. We also draw on performance metaphors to highlight the staged and scripted nature of these tours. However, to disavow assumptions that sightseeing is a uniform, fully choreographed practice, we identify different practices and motives within an otherwise much-scripted practice. We show that Hop On–Hop Off practices potentially undermine distinctions within tourism theory between (1) individual tourism and mass tourism, (2) self-directed active mobility (such as walking) and designed passive mobility (such as the sightseeing bus), (3) bubbles and local neighbourhoods and (4) gazing and glancing.
TidsskriftTourist Studies
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)387-403
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2021

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