Home Away at Home: Mediating Spaces of Tourism and Narratives of Belonging in the German Village of South Korea

  • Desmond Wee
Part of the Perspectives on Asian Tourism book series (PAT)


Current research of film tourism has been garnering interest, but still mainly premises managerial perspectives on destination management, lacking more holistic approaches to critical implications of film tourism. It becomes pertinent to explore film tourism in terms of tourist experiences comprising the reliving and reconstitution of fictional events (not always) based on media narratives. This paper considers how tourism ‘takes place’ in media (as content) and touring uses film (as process) as inherent parts of spatial, liminal and mediated experience. It centres on the German village in Namhae, South Korea, which was built over a decade ago as a tribute to the Korean workers who lived in Germany as Gastarbeiter. It explores the question of identities of the ‘locals’ as portrayed in the film, ‘Endstation der Sehnsüchte’ by Cho Sunghyung and juxtaposes this alongside the huge influx of ‘tourists’ indulging in photographing experience on the film set of the Korean TV drama ‘Couple or Trouble’. What surfaces in this research is a complex mediation of experiences that explore the nexus between the impacts of film and television on the cultural heritage of residents in film tourism locations and the convergence of mediatisation, globalisation and identity through film.


Media Tourism Identity German village South Korea 


  1. Ahmed, S. (2000). Strange encounters: Embodied others in post-coloniality. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous (2016, March 9). Connecting cultures: Koreans returning from abroad make waves. Korea Herald. Retrieved from
  3. Anonymous (n.d.-a). German Village. Visit Korea. Retrieved from
  4. Anonymous (n.d.-b). Korean TV Drama. Visit Korea. Retrieved from
  5. Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  6. Astudillo, T-M, & Cha, F. (2012, August 14). Korea to build second German Village. CNN. Retrieved from
  7. Auge, M. (1992). Non-places: Introduction to an anthropology of Supermodernity. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  8. Bærenholdt, J., Haldrup, M., Larsen, J., & Urry, J. (2004). Performing tourist places. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  9. Barthes, R. (1972). Mythologies. (A. Lavers, Trans.) New York: Hill and Wang.Google Scholar
  10. Bartram, D., Poros, M., & Monforte, P. (2014). Key concepts in migration. New York: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Bauman, Z. (1996). From pilgrim to tourist–or a short history of identity. In S. Hall & P. D. Gay (Eds.), Questions of cultural identity (pp. 18–36). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Beeton, S. (2005). Film-induced tourism (Vol. 25). Clevedon: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Bruno, G. (1997). Site-seeing: Architecture and the moving image. Wide Angle, 19, 8–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chaney, D. (1993). Fictions of collective life: Public Drama in late modern culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Cho, S.-H. (Director). (2009) Endstation der Sehnsüchte [DVD]. Frankfurt: Zorro Medien GmbH.Google Scholar
  16. Choe, J.-H., & Daheim, H. (1987). Rückkehr- und Bleibeperspektiven koreanischer Arbeits- migranten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  17. Chung, D.Y. (2008, November 20). Das deutsche Dorf in Namhae. Bestandsaufnahme, Hintergründe & Perspektiven. Lecture. Retrieved from
  18. Classen, C. (1993). Exploring the senses in history and across cultures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Cresswell, T. (2006). On the move: Mobility in the modern Western world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Edensor, T. (2000). Staging tourism: Tourists as performers. Annals of Tourism Research, 27(2), 322–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ertel, M. (2012, July 12). Weisswurst and beer: Tourists flock to South Korea’s ‘German Village’. Der Spiegel. Retrieved from
  22. Garz, D. (2015). Going away. Going home! Coming home? The Migration of Korean nurses and miners to Germany and their return in retirement to Korea’s German village-together with their German husbands. OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society, 6(1), 161–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Germann-Molz, J. (2008). Global abode: Home and mobility in narratives of round-the-world travel. Space and Culture, 11(4), 325–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haldrup, M., & Larsen, J. (2006). Material cultures of tourism. Leisure Studies, 25(3), 275–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hannerz, U. (1990). Cosmopolitans and locals in world culture. Theory, Culture and Society, 7, 237–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hendry, J. (2000). The orient strikes back: A global view of cultural display. Oxford: Berg Publishers.Google Scholar
  27. Hudson, S., & Ritchie, J. R. B. (2006). Promoting destinations via film tourism: An empirical identification of supporting marketing initiatives. Journal of Travel Research, 44(4), 387–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jansson, A. (2007). A sense of tourism: New media and the dialectic of encapsulation/decapsulation. Tourist Studies, 7(1), 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: NYU Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kazan, E. (Director). (1951). A Streetcar named desire. [Motion picture]. New York: Warner Bros.Google Scholar
  31. Kershaw, B. (1993). Reminiscing history: Memory, performance, empowerment. In C. Rojek & J. Urry (Eds.), Touring cultures: Transformations of travel and theory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Kim, S. (2012). Audience involvement and film tourism experiences: Emotional places, emotional experiences. Tourism Management, 33(2), 387–396.Google Scholar
  33. Lash, S., & Friedman, J. (1992). Modernity and identity. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  34. Lash, S., & Lury, C. (2007). Global culture industry: The mediation of things. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  35. Lee, K. (2008). Mapping out the cultural politics of “the Korean wave” in contemporary South Korea. In C. B. Huat & K. Iwabuchi (Eds.), East Asian pop culture: Analyzing the Korean wave (pp. 175–190). Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Lee, S.A. (2015, March 5). Enjoy a bit of island life in Namhae. Retrieved from
  37. Lefebvre, M. (2006). Landscape and film. New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  38. Levell, N. (2000). Reproducing India: International exhibitions and Victorian tourism. In M. Hitchcock & K. Teague (Eds.), Souvenirs: The material culture of tourism. Hants: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  39. Lippard, L. (1997). The lure of the local: Sense of place in a Multicentered society. New York: New Press.Google Scholar
  40. Meyrowitz, J. (1985). No sense of place: The impact of electronic media on social behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Mitchell, D. (2001). The lure of the local: Landscape Studies at the end of a troubled century. Progress in Human Geography, 25(2), 43–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Morley, D. (2002). Home territories: Media, mobility and identity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Onishi, N. (2005, August 9). In a corner of South Korea, a taste of German living. New York Times, Retrieved from
  44. Reijnders, S. (2011). Places of the imagination: Media, tourism, culture. Farham: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  45. Rojek, C., & Urry, J. (1997). Transformations of travel and theory. In C. Rojek & J. Urry (Eds.), Touring cultures: Transformations of travel and theory. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Salazar, N. (2012). Tourism imaginaries: A conceptual approach. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(2), 863–882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shim, D. (2008). The growth of Korean cultural industries and the Korean wave. East Asian pop culture: Analysing the Korean wave, 1, 15–32.Google Scholar
  48. Simmel, G. (1950). The Sociology of Georg Simmel. (Kurt Wolff, Trans.) New York: Free Press. Google Scholar
  49. Sontag, S. (1977). On photography. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  50. Thrift, N. (2004). Driving in the city. Theory, Culture & Society, 21(4/5), 41–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tuulentie, S. (2006). Tourists making themselves at home: Second homes as a part of tourist careers. In N. McIntyre, D. Williams, & K. McHugh (Eds.), Multiple dwelling and tourism: Negotiating place, home and identity. Oxfordshire: CABI.Google Scholar
  52. Tzanelli, R. (2007). The cinematic tourist: Explorations in globalization, culture and resistance. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Wearing, S., Stevenson, D., & Young, T. (2010). Tourist cultures: Identity, place and the Traveller. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  54. Wee, D. (2012). Touring heritage, Performing home: Cultural encounters in Singapore. In L. Smith, E. Waterton, & S. Watson (Eds.), The cultural moment in tourism: New perspectives on performance and engagement (pp. 79–96). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  55. Williams, T. (1947). A Streetcar named desire. London: Signet.Google Scholar
  56. Yun, S. J. (2007). Essay on TV Drama as a storyteller in the digital era-focus on the MBC TV Drama Couple in trouble. Korean Literary and Criticism, 11(3), 101–126.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlshochschule International UniversityKarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations