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Festivals and tourism in rural areas : stakes and perspectives in Midi-Pyrénées

  • Rayssac, Sébastien
Publication Date
May 05, 2004
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If the sociologists and the anthropologists are interested in festivals, and more specifically, in social reports they engender along with the cultural aspect they convey; what can geographer bring to scientific study of this social phenomenon which profoundly marks some territories? The festival is a localized element linked with a given society. For the matter of fact, the geographer, who is more specifically interested in the link societies - spaces, can wonder about this stage setting of societies in their spaces, which feeds the collective identical representations, and more particularly regarding experiences done by visitors. Our communication means to question this festivals theme in link with tourism in rural area in France. Indeed, more and more festivals know a revival or are simply created by the rural societies, which take advantage of these events to revitalize and stimulate certain places, make them known and attractive to visitors. The example of the Region Midi-Pyrénées can be retained in this study, considering the multiple festivals in rural areas which attract every year, and more particularly during the summer period, the French but also foreign tourists. The great variety of subjects testifies of the cultural vitality of the countryside in the southwest of France, like Jazz in Marciac in the Gers or like the international Festival of the comic to Vaour in the Tarn. The organization of these festivals also comes along with the discovery of the built heritage and the regional gastronomy, with the development and the promotion of the home grown products. Finally, we can point out that the tourist promotion which is realized by tourist offices, the local committees of the tourism and the regional council of the tourism, gives evidence of the will which have the local actors to turn their space into attractive territories.

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