Vacationing in the Cold War: Foreign Tourists to Socialist Romania and Franco's Spain, 1960s-1970s
AbstractMy dissertation examines the politics and effects of international tourism in socialist Romania and Francoist Spain in the postwar era. Despite the sharp economic and political differences between the two dictatorial regimes at the time of the Cold War, I argue that significant similarities existed in the way that they aimed to take advantage of international tourism in order to improve their image abroad and to acquire hard currencies, which were sorely needed as both states wanted to pursue a process of economic modernization. This dissertation also attempts to provide an explanation for why, by the end of the 1970s, the two countries achieved rather different results in terms of tourism development, despite the fact that both shared many features in the 1940s and 1950s. Most English-language scholarly literature examines relations between and transfers from western to eastern Europe, but pays little attention to the relationships between southern or eastern parts of the continent and the “West.” Moreover, most scholarly work silently integrates, often by implication, southern Europe into the amorphous “West.” This study takes a different approach. By comparing the rise and evolution of international tourism in two countries on different sides of the Iron Curtain, it reassesses the geopolitics of postwar Europe by showing the developmental similarities between eastern and southern Europe. It thereby suggests that the Cold War view of a bipolar Europe needs refining. The bulk of my dissertation analyzes the two governments’ policies—and the discussions and debates leading up to those policies—regarding tourism, how and why the policies were implemented, as well as the anticipated and unanticipated results. To provide a more in-depth analysis of the ways in which tourists, their behaviors, and their preferences (be they in attire, morals, diet and the like) influenced policies, I compare the Romanian Black Sea coast and Spain’s Costa del Sol during the 1960s and 1970s. I focus in particular on the interactions between foreign tourists and locals, and how intended policies were applied and received.
TypeUniversity of Pittsburgh ETD
Stefan, Oana Adelina (2016) Vacationing in the Cold War: Foreign Tourists to Socialist Romania and Franco's Spain, 1960s-1970s. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.