Visiting places associated with popular literature is increasingly prominent as a tourist practice; however little is known on how to explain the growing popularity of this phenomenon in large cities over the world. How do tourists experience contemporary cities through their participation in crime-detective fiction tours, and what meaning(s) do they attribute to their experiences? Towards this end, an ethnographic approach has been adopted which encompassed participation in three literary crime-detective fiction tours as well as in-depth interviews with twenty participants. The results of this study show that popular crime-detective fiction tourism is best understood as a quest to find the presumed true nature of the city. Participants experience a gradual descent into the city's underbelly, discovering multiple intertwined place-narratives and ultimately might acquire a sense of belonging, illustrating that this manifestation of literary tourism can be understood as a form of cultural criticism against a supposed "urban placelessness".

, , ,,
Annals of Tourism Research: a social sciences journal
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van Es, N, & Reijnders, S.L. (2016). Chasing sleuths and unravelling the metropolis: Analyzing the tourist experience of Sherlock Holmes' London, Philip Marlowe's Los Angeles and Lisbeth Salander's Stockholm. Annals of Tourism Research: a social sciences journal, 57, 113–125. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2015.11.017