HomeAsian Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Researchvol. 5 no. 2 (2011)

Remembering the Past in Cities: ‘Preserved’ Paris and ‘Reconstructed’ Seoul

Young-sook Lee | Marie-christine Bonneau

Discipline: Tourism



Capital city tourism in relation to national identity is a significant area of research. However, the area lacks a comprehensive analysis that can encompass a broad theoretical framework. The purpose of this paper is to identify and compare how two ancient capital cities of West and East, Paris and Seoul, represent their identities. This in turn contributes to the development of a broad theoretical framework in urban tourism research. Semiotic analysis of relevant literature and tourism-relevant representations of the two cities identified the ways in which the cities are represented. Paris’ representations are imbued quite literally with the meaning ‘preservation’, while Seoul’s efforts embody ‘preservation through creation’. The difference between the two cities’ representation is attributed to the ‘preserved versus reconstructed’ nature of the two cities. The paper concludes that the ‘preserved versus reconstructed’ nature of cities could be considered as a significant element in future capital city tourism research