Worlds of Imagination: Media, Place and Tourism in Today’s Global World

07 Apr 2021 18:00
09 Apr 2021 17:00


This 2-day online international conference from April 8-9, 2021 (with an opening night on April 7, 2021), highlights the interconnections between media, tourism and place and aims to bring together the diverse perspectives, approaches and actors involved in this process while focusing on critical issues accompanying this multifaceted phenomenon.


Registration fees


We have five different registration fees. For conference participants, i.e. researchers who are going to present at the conference, we offer fees based on career level (PhD or post-PhD) in combination with place of residence (Tier A, B or C, see here what that means). For conference guests, i.e. people who are not presenting but want to attend the conference as a listener, we charge a small fee of €5.

Registration fee categories:

- €25,00 Conference participant (PhD student, Tier A)
- €12,50 Conference participant (PhD student, Tier B+C)
- €35,00 Conference participant (post-PhD researcher, Tier A)
- €17,50 Conference participant (post-PhD researcher, Tier B+C)
- €5,00 Conference guest ('listener')

You can register for the conference by ordering a ticket at Billetto in the category that applies to you. Billetto will also charge a small administration fee in top of the prices mentioned above.


Conference topic

In today’s globalized, transnational and digitalized media environment, popular culture plays a significant role in the establishment and (re)negotiation of place identities and the ways in which people relate to physical locations. Traveling to film locations, participating in fan re-enactments or visiting theme parks are some of the varied and multifaceted ways in which the ties between people’s worlds of imagination and the real worlds they inhabit are made tangible through place.


We venture off the beaten track by adopting a decidedly global perspective and putting emphasis on the exploration, analysis and comparison of cases from around the world. Consider Bollywood, which produces more films, for a larger audience, than Hollywood does every year, and how Chinese, Indian and Russian travellers increasingly determine the face of international tourist flows. This conference aims to broaden the horizons by including and comparing research into, for example, Bollywood films, Brazilian telenovelas and South Korean K-pop culture.


Keynote speakers

We are proud to present the following keynote speakers: 

- Prof. Dal Yong Jin (Simon Fraser University), editor of Transmedia Storytelling in East Asia: The Age of Digital Media (2020) and author of Transnational Korean Cinema: Cultural Politics, Film Genres, and Digital Technologies (2019);

Prof. Sangkyun Kim (Edith Cowan University), editor of Food Tourism in Asia (2019, with Ian Yeoman and Eerang Park) and Film Tourism in Asia: Evolution, Transformation and Trajectory (2018, with prof. dr. Stijn Reijnders);

Prof. Mimi Sheller (Drexel University), author of, among many other publications, Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene (expected 2020) and Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes  (2018);

- Prof. Peter U. C. Dieke (Visiting Professor at Makerere University Business School), editor of Tourism in Development: Reflective Essays (2021, with Brian King and Richard Sharpley,) Research Themes for Tourism (2011, with Peter Robinson and Sine Heitmann) and The Political Economy of Tourism Development in Africa (2000); 

- Prof. Lúcia Nagib (University of Reading), author of Realist Cinema as World Cinema: Non-cinema, Intermedial Passages, Total Cinema (expected 2020) and Brazil on screen: Cinema Novo, new cinema and utopia (2007);

Prof. Matt Hills (University of Huddersfield), author of Fan Cultures (2002) and Doctor Who: The Unfolding Event (2015).


About the Worlds of Imagination project

Worlds of Imagination is an ERC-funded research project at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, that focuses on media tourism: the phenomenon of people visiting locations from popular films or TV series. Recent years have seen explosive growth in this type of tourism, with far-reaching implications for the experience and organization of landscapes. The aim of this project is to discover why and under what circumstances films or TV series give rise to new tourism flows, and which variations can be found based on the specific characteristics of the media productions, local communities and the tourists involved. Our international comparative approach delivers a fundamental contribution to a growing but fragmented field of research. Not only does this approach challenge the Western bias of media tourism studies, it also, for the first time, brings the often uneven global politics of media tourism to the fore.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 681663).



Worlds of Imagination is an ERC-funded research project at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, that focuses on media tourism: the phenomenon of people visiting locations from popular films or TV series. Recent years have seen explosive growth in this type of tourism, with far-reaching implications for the experience and organization of landscapes. The aim of this project is to discover why and under what circumstances films or TV series give rise to new tourism flows, and which variations can be found based on the specific characteristics of the media productions, local communities and the tourists involved. Our international comparative approach delivers a fundamental contribution to a growing but fragmented field of research. Not only does this approach challenge the Western bias of media tourism studies, it also, for the first time, brings the often uneven global politics of media tourism to the fore.

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