Artists, Tourists, and the State: Cultural Tourism and the Flamenco Industry in Andalusia, Spain


In this article, I seek to demonstrate how research on cultural industries and tourism combined yields insights into the contemporary dynamics of cultural survival in the age of globalization. Tourism is increasingly an important economic force that facilitates cultural mobility and promotes cultural consumption, and in turn contributes to the growth of a regionally embedded cultural industry. I take the example of flamenco music and dance in southern Spain and focus on three agents that help shape this art complex — the cultural industry, the tourists and the state. I analyze how these agents interact, and show how their engagements at multiple geographic scales result in a distinctive and successful cultural tourism in Seville, Andalusia. The flamenco art complex survives and thrives today through the combination of resilient local talent closely linked to identity maintenance, domestic and foreign tourists that engage in cultural consumption, and the government subsidizing the artists through state‐sponsored spectacles.