Nostalgia, Commodification of Emotions and Small-town Tourism: The Case of Vintage Vila

Open access


Small urban environments face many issues in tourism; for example, how to position themselves in contrast to the larger cities and how to provide adequate tourist facilities for their guests. In the case of positioning, they have to choose something different and attractive. And in the case of infrastructure, small cities are primarily meant for their residents and have plenty residential buildings but lack of tourist accommodation buildings. The article attempts to reflect on specific contemporary form of “consumed nostalgia” (Cross, 2015) that is characteristic of the era of modern consumer society and offer an example of how its potential could be employed in tourism, particular in small urban environments with significant implications of preserving abandoned properties and thus existing architectural and cultural heritage. An analysis of Vintage Vila accommodation facility that is located in small city of Brežice, Slovenia, was conducted in order to acquaint the potential of a specific form of nostalgia tourism. After an interview with Vintage Vila founder, a review of their Facebook site and the responses of the visitors was made. Additionally the study of media coverage of Vintage Vila was completed to understand the discursive construction of a unique narrative of the place. The basic objective of this paper is to describe this innovative solution for the preservation of architectural and cultural heritage of small urban environments. With the case study of Vintage Vila accommodation facility we hope to encourage other small cities to recognise their potential in abandoned buildings. Restoration of such facilities can open up new possibilities in tourism and may, together with thoughtfully chosen narratives that emotionally bound people to their material environment, contribute to a revitalization of small cities. What is more, tourism development grounded in vintage and nostalgia appeals should be considered as part of a call for sustainable growth, as it advocates and supports alternative consumer practices (such as recycling and reusing objects) and preservation of material culture in general.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • ASHWORTH GREGORY AND PAGE STEPHEN J. (2011) “Urban tourism research: Recent progress and current paradoxes”. Tourism Management (32): 1–15

  • BARTOLETTI ROBERTA (2010) “Memory Tourism and the Commodification of Nostalgia”. In: Peter Burns Cathy Palmer and Jo-Anne Lester (eds.) Tourism and Visual Culture (23-42 Vol. 1). Wallingford: CABI

  • BONNETT ALASTAIR (2016) The Geographies of Nostalgia: Global and Local Perspectives on Modernity and Loss. London and New York: Routledge

  • BOYM SVETLANA (2007) “Nostalgia and Its Discontents”. Hedgehog Review summer: 7-18

  • BRAJOVIĆ HAJDENKUMER SLAVKA (2015) Tednik “V duhu nostalgije” [TV show]. Ljubljana: RTV Slovenija 6. 7. 2015.

  • CROSS GARY (2015) Consumed Nostalgia: Memory in the Age of Fast Capitalism. New York: Columbia University Press

  • DAVIES JEREMY (2010) “Sustainable Nostalgia”. Memory Studies 3 (3): 262-268

  • DAVIS FRED (1979) Yearning for Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia. New York: Free

  • Discover Brežice (2016) “Pestra izbira nastanitev za vse okuse”. Available on: 14. 9. 2016.

  • EVANS GRAEME (2000) “Planning for Urban Tourism: A Critique of Borough Development plans and Tourism Policy in London”. International Journal of Tourism Research (2): 307-326

  • FROW JOHN (1991) “Tourism and the Semiotics of Nostalgia”. October 57: 123-151

  • Inštitut za politike prostora (1. 9. 2016) “Urbano območje”. Available on: 10. 9. 2016.

  • Iz hiše na Robidišču (n. d.) “Razpršeni hotel” [Scattered hotel]. Available on: 13. 9. 2016.

  • LICHROU MARIA O’MALLEY LISA AND PATTERSON MAURICE (2008) “Place-Product or Place Narrative(s)? Perspectives in the Marketing of Tourism Destinations”. Journal of Strategic Marketing 16 (1): 27-39

  • JOHANSSON ROLF (2003) “Case study Methodology”. A key note speech at the International Conference “Methodologies in Housing Research” 22-24. 9. 2003. Available on: 1. 9. 2016.

  • KAPETANOVIĆ ŽANA (30. 5. 2016) “Pri babici v Brežicah”. Pomagaj si sam (19): 3-7

  • KNEŽEVIĆ MLADEN (2010) Osnove metodologije in statistike. Grosuplje: Grafis Trade

  • MARSCHALL SABINE (2012) “‘Personal Memory Tourism’ and a Wider Exploration of the Tourism−Memory Nexus”. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change 10 (4): 321-335

  • MARSCHALL SABINE (2014) “Tourism and Remembrance: The Journey Into the Self and Its Past”. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change (12) 4: 335-348

  • MARSCHALL SABINE (2015) “Touring Memories of the Erased City: Memory Tourism and Notions of ‘Home’”. Tourism Geographies 17 (3): 332-349

  • MCCABE SCOTT AND STOKOE ELIZABETH H. (2004) “Place and Identity in Tourists’ Accounts”. Annals of Tourism Research 31 (3): 601-622

  • MOORES SHAUN (2012) Media Place and Mobility. New York: Palgrave Macimillan

  • NARED KATJA (7. 6. 2015) “Namesto da bi hiško prodali so v njej ustvarili prostor kjer se ustavi čas”. Available on: 8. 9. 2016.

  • SURS (19. 5. 2016). Available on: 14. 9. 2016.

  • Official Gazette RS (16/2008) Zakon o varstvu kulturne dediščine. Available at:!/Zakon-o-varstvu-kulturne-dediscine-(ZVKD-1) 14. 9. 2016.

  • Official Gazette RS (61/2014) Odlok o občinskem prostorskem načrtu Občine Brežice. Available on: 10. 9. 2016.

  • Official Gazette SRS (42/1988) Odlok o razglasitvi starega mestnega jedra Brežice za kulturni in zgodovinski spomenik. Unavailable source online.

  • Vintage Vila (n. d.). Available on: 8. 9. 2016.

  • Zavod za varstvo kulturne dediščine Slovenije (2008) “Strokovne zasnove varstva kulturne dediščine za območje občine Brežice”. Available on: 14. 9. 2016.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 342 174 8
PDF Downloads 195 122 12