This website uses cookies to understand how you use the website and to improve your experience. By continuing to use the website, you accept the University of New England’s use of cookies and similar technologies. To learn more about our use of cookies and how to manage your browser cookie settings, please review our Privacy Notice.


Lessons from the Emerald Isle: The Implications of Mass Tourism


Eric G. E. Zuelow

Assistant Professor of History, University of New England

Every year, millions of tourists embark on the pursuit of foreign adventures, hoping to escape from the everyday and to cast their gaze upon an exotic “other.” Sometimes, this “golden horde” of pleasure seekers leaves behind a healthy and vibrant host community, but other times the impact of tourism is decidedly negative. The Irish case stands as an impressive success story. After centuries of poverty, men and women from across Irish society banded together during the second half of the twentieth century, creating not only an industry that is among the most important in Ireland, but also a unique sense of what it means to be Irish in the twenty-first century. This talk uses the Irish example to illustrate what is involved in creating a tourist product that benefits the host culture, in sharp contrast with places such as Cancún where tourism resulted in “socioeconomic apartheid” and the creation of what some call “Cancún’s Soweto.”


Eric G.E. Zuelow is Assistant Professor of European History at the University of New England, Special Graduate Faculty at the University of Guelph, Ontario, and Adjunct Graduate Faculty at Union Institute and University. He is the author of Making Ireland Irish: Tourism and National Identity since the Irish Civil War (2009), editor of Touring Beyond the Nation: A Transnational Approach to European Tourism History, and co-editor of Nationalism in a Global Era: The Persistence of Nations (2007). Zuelow serves as reviews editor for the Journal of Tourism History and is the editor/creator of The Nationalism Project.

Assigned Reading

Eric G. E. Zuelow, Making Ireland Irish: Tourism and National Identity Since the Irish Civil War (Syracuse University Press, 2009)


A reception will be held at 5pm at the UNE Art Gallery


Center for Global Humanities


(207) 221-4335

6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public