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Quo vadis research on spatial atmospheres?

In: Tourism Geographies: 1–14


Michael Volgger, Dieter Pfister und Peter Dirksmeier


This paper offers a multidisciplinary overview on the concept and reality of affective and spatial atmospheres. Initially, the paper provides a synopsis on the disciplinary origins of the concept in philosophy, cultural geography and architecture, and then outlines how tourism research has more recently started adopting the atmosphere perspective. Research on spatial atmospheres has primarily been concerned with collective affective phenomena in space, but has also been characterised by inconclusive debates regarding where transpersonal affect ultimately emanates from (quasi-objective environmental origins vs relational body/’Leib’-centred origins). While these are important debates which have implications, the practical and empirical operationalisation of the atmosphere concept is just as relevant. This holds particularly for tourism, where providers try to engineer desired moods and ambiances. The paper concludes by identifying current gaps in the literature and outlines future directions for research into atmospheres, in the tourism field and beyond.


Michael, Volgger, Dieter Pfister und Peter Dirksmeier. 2023. Quo vadis research on spatial atmospheres? In: Tourism Geographies: 1–14. doi: 10.1080/14616688.2023.2270980.

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