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Visiting the Borderless City: Traveling via the Internet
Unformatted Document Text:  site. In short, the new flexibility in imagemaking the Internet permits means new flexibility in how travel can be experienced. The following sections explore in detail how the meaning of tourism is flexible by looking at two examples of post 9/11 tourism in New York. Pilgrimage to New York Probably the most dramatic event to impact a U.S. city in recent history was the crashing of planes into the World Trade Center towers. The Internet played an integral role in people’s experience of this event as they sought out immediate information that could not be found on television. 18 For weeks afterwards New York became the center of media attention, and the World Wide Web became the place to explore in depth what took place there. The Web provided everything from personal diaries and lists of the missing to video images of the towers collapsing (Schorow, 2001; Gibson, 2001). Although remembering and mourning the many deaths was the central theme in the media after the tragedy, soon there also emerged a concern about how the attacks would affect the tourist economy. Businesses that depended on tourism were hurting nationally, but New York businesses were especially hard hit due to the fear caused by the crashes. In the weeks following September 11 some hotels only filled 20% of their rooms. Theater attendance dropped, forcing several shows on Broadway to close, and some major attractions, including the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building’s observation deck, were temporarily closed because of safety concerns (Sanger and Aikman, 2001). In response to the downturn, Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a personal appeal to the nation: ’I encourage people from all over the country who want to help, I have a great way of helping: come here and spend money’ (Treanor, 2001). In November, a television ad campaign was developed called ’the New York Miracle’ which featured famous celebrities, including Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal and Woody Allen,

Authors: Fotsch, Paul.
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site. In short, the new flexibility in imagemaking the Internet permits means new flexibility in
how travel can be experienced. The following sections explore in detail how the meaning of
tourism is flexible by looking at two examples of post 9/11 tourism in New York.
Pilgrimage to New York
Probably the most dramatic event to impact a U.S. city in recent history was the crashing
of planes into the World Trade Center towers. The Internet played an integral role in people’s
experience of this event as they sought out immediate information that could not be found on
television.
18
For weeks afterwards New York became the center of media attention, and the
World Wide Web became the place to explore in depth what took place there. The Web
provided everything from personal diaries and lists of the missing to video images of the towers
collapsing (Schorow, 2001; Gibson, 2001).
Although remembering and mourning the many deaths was the central theme in the
media after the tragedy, soon there also emerged a concern about how the attacks would affect
the tourist economy. Businesses that depended on tourism were hurting nationally, but New
York businesses were especially hard hit due to the fear caused by the crashes. In the weeks
following September 11 some hotels only filled 20% of their rooms. Theater attendance
dropped, forcing several shows on Broadway to close, and some major attractions, including the
Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building’s observation deck, were temporarily closed
because of safety concerns (Sanger and Aikman, 2001). In response to the downturn, Mayor
Rudy Giuliani made a personal appeal to the nation: ’I encourage people from all over the
country who want to help, I have a great way of helping: come here and spend money’ (Treanor,
2001). In November, a television ad campaign was developed called ’the New York Miracle’
which featured famous celebrities, including Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal and Woody Allen,


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