Conclusive remarks : tourism across a porous curtain
in Sune Bechmann PEDERSEN and Christian NOACK (eds), Tourism and travel during the Cold War : negotiating tourist experiences across the Iron Curtain, London : Routledge, 2019, pp. 190–206
Abstract: This concluding chapter embeds tourism in the Cold War within the broader debates of Cold War history, contemporary European history, and the history of European integration. Within this scope, the chapter highlights how the volume cuts across the boundaries of these various scholarly fields to present a more complex and multi-layered picture of East–West interactions and the diverse rationales, be they political, economic, cultural, bureaucratic, that either promoted or hampered them. This chapter also connects the subject of tourism in the Cold War with the broader framework of inter-state relations and political agreements embodied in the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), its Final Act, and ensuing process of follow-up conferences. The main argument of the chapter is that, despite the very existence of the Iron Curtain and serious impediments to the circulations of ideas, people, and goods across it, historiographical research in various fields connected with the Cold War is revealing the existence of webs of contacts, exchanges, and influences, as well as a diverse range of agencies involved in making all of this possible.
Exporting holidays : Bulgarian tourism in the Scandinavian market in the 1960s and 1970s
in Sune Bechmann PEDERSEN and Christian NOACK (eds), Tourism and travel during the Cold War : negotiating tourist experiences across the Iron Curtain, London : Routledge, 2019, pp. 23-46
Abstract: From the early 1960s, Bulgaria pursued an ambitious program of international tourism targeting Western visitors who could contribute to the country’s hard-currency income, thus assisting foreign trade. The strategy tied the tourist sector to foreign policy and bilateral diplomacy. This chapter explores the triangular dynamics in the institutional history of Bulgaria’s tourism from the 1960s until the mid-1980s, discussing opportunities and challenges arising from this sectoral interlock in the Cold War context. It shows how tourism across the Iron Curtain was more vulnerable to geopolitical pressures and Cold War public panics than the foreign trade flows.
The lure of capitalism : foreign tourists and the shadow economy in socialist Romania of the 1960s-1980s
in Sune Bechmann PEDERSEN and Christian NOACK (eds), Tourism and travel during the Cold War : negotiating tourist experiences across the Iron Curtain, London : Routledge, 2019, pp. 47-60
Abstract: This chapter examines how Romania’s opening to Western tourism in the 1960s impacted on the everyday life of ordinary citizens. It analyses how the influx of foreign tourists from capitalist countries seeking to profit from the local shortage economy created a shadow economy for scarce consumer goods. Drawing on a range of archival sources and oral history interviews, the chapter focuses on the practices of consumption between the 1960s and the 1980s and explores how the Romanian state reacted to the informal economy, which exposed the socialist state’s inability to fulfil citizens’ desires. The lure of capitalism: foreign tourists and the shadow economy in socialist Romania of the 1960s-1980s.