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Visiting the Borderless City: Traveling via the Internet
Unformatted Document Text:  At the same time, these symbols do not have stable meanings. While most tourism Web sites depicted Ground Zero as a legitimate tourist site, there might have been those who still viewed the platform as inappropriate for tourism. Not only does the Internet allow symbols to circulate around a city that cannot be controlled, the Internet allows multiple meanings to be connected to these symbols; it allows them to be embedded in multiple discourses. This will be clear in my next example of contemporary tourism in New York. In this case, promoters viewed the World Economic Forum as an opportunity to revitalize the city, but protestors saw it as a symbol of undemocratic corporate power. Yet, for both groups the forum served as a reason to visit New York. Demonstrators as Tourists In many ways the World Economic Forum (WEF) was an ideal example of what cities look for to attract tourists. Conferences are an important part of every large city’s tourist economy, and one goal of urban marketing is to attract the annual meetings of professional organizations and business trade shows. The primary reason WEF founder Klaus Schwab gave for moving the meeting from its regular location in Davos, Switzerland to New York was to ’show solidarity with the people of New York and the American People’ (Padgett and Kitchen, 2001). The twenty-seven-hundred delegates were the most valued kind of tourists: they were primarily wealthy political and business leaders who could afford to stay at the most luxurious hotels and eat at the most elegant restaurants. In addition, every night lavish parties were held for the guests. 22 After the five-day event, the president of the city’s tourism board claimed the conference generated at least 100 million dollars in revenue for the city (Barry, 2002c). Spending at the most exclusive hotels and restaurants meant the tourism displayed by the delegates to the forum mostly fell within a tourist bubble. 23 The most extreme example of the

Authors: Fotsch, Paul.
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At the same time, these symbols do not have stable meanings. While most tourism Web
sites depicted Ground Zero as a legitimate tourist site, there might have been those who still
viewed the platform as inappropriate for tourism. Not only does the Internet allow symbols to
circulate around a city that cannot be controlled, the Internet allows multiple meanings to be
connected to these symbols; it allows them to be embedded in multiple discourses. This will be
clear in my next example of contemporary tourism in New York. In this case, promoters viewed
the World Economic Forum as an opportunity to revitalize the city, but protestors saw it as a
symbol of undemocratic corporate power. Yet, for both groups the forum served as a reason to
visit New York.
Demonstrators as Tourists
In many ways the World Economic Forum (WEF) was an ideal example of what cities
look for to attract tourists. Conferences are an important part of every large city’s tourist
economy, and one goal of urban marketing is to attract the annual meetings of professional
organizations and business trade shows. The primary reason WEF founder Klaus Schwab gave
for moving the meeting from its regular location in Davos, Switzerland to New York was to
’show solidarity with the people of New York and the American People’ (Padgett and Kitchen,
2001). The twenty-seven-hundred delegates were the most valued kind of tourists: they were
primarily wealthy political and business leaders who could afford to stay at the most luxurious
hotels and eat at the most elegant restaurants. In addition, every night lavish parties were held
for the guests.
22
After the five-day event, the president of the city’s tourism board claimed the
conference generated at least 100 million dollars in revenue for the city (Barry, 2002c).
Spending at the most exclusive hotels and restaurants meant the tourism displayed by the
delegates to the forum mostly fell within a tourist bubble.
23
The most extreme example of the


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